Best Eggplant "Manicotti" Casserole
Recipe type: Side Dish / Casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5 to 6
 
Best Eggplant Manicotti Casserole ~ is a smart way to eating your favorite manicotti without all the calories and carbs! Cleverly swap out crepes or pasta noodles for eggplant slices that have been roasted, filled with ricotta, rolled and topped with tomato sauce and cheese. Deliciious and gluten-free!
Ingredients
  • 2 large eggplants, (about 8 or 9-inches long and 5-inches in diameter)
  • 1 + ¼ cups of ricotta cheese, (such as Polly O, or Galbani)
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese -divided
  • ½ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. dried parsley
  • 2 cups Mom's Quick Marinara Sauce - divided
  • ¾ cup shredded whole milk (or reduced fat) mozzarella cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil - divided
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Using a large, sharp knife, slightly square off the tops and slightly the bottom of each eggplant. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 8 to 10 slices that are about ¼-inch thick. Don't worry if they are not the exact size or thickness. When they bake, no one will notice any difference.
  3. BAKE eggplants in oven for about 10 minutes, remove and lightly drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each baking sheet. Return them back to the oven to continue roasting for another 8 to 10 minutes, until the eggplant is golden and tender. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. REDUCE oven to 350 degrees. While the eggplant is cooling down, prepare the ricotta filling.
  5. Combine and blend the ricotta with ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese, fresh basil and dried parsley. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of an 9 x 6-inch baking dish. Set aside.
  7. Lay the roasted eggplant slices on a work surface, two at a time. Spoon about 1 tablespoon (a good dollop) of the ricotta mixture onto an end of the eggplant slice and roll it up.
  8. Place each eggplant "manicotti," seam side down, in the baking dish, side by side and in two rows ( if you can). Place as many as you can to fit into the baking dish. Spoon the remaining marinara sauce over the eggplant evenly. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese on top, then with shredded mozzarella.
  9. BAKE (at 350 degrees) for 15 to 18 minutes, until the cheese is heated through, bubbly and golden on top. Remove and set it aside for 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
  10. Serves: 2 Eggplant "Manicotti" per person (yields: 5 to 6 servings)
Recipe by 2 Sisters Recipes by Anna and Liz at https://2sistersrecipes.com/best-eggplant-manicotti-casserole/