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Ever since coming home from Italy, I’ve been searching for more ways to connect with my roots. Creating traditional Italian dishes is one of the ways I honor my family heritage. Although I absolutely love eggplant parmesan, the standard recipe is really heavy and not very healthy. So, I decided to create a lighter eggplant parmesan recipe that still tastes decadent but it’s secretly healthy.
The part about eggplant Parmesan that’s usually so unhealthy is the gobs of cheese and also the thick breading. I created a much lighter version by removing all that mozzarella and also roasting the eggplant instead of breading and frying them.
This recipe is a snap to make and tastes really fantastic. Plus, it’s totally heart-healthy. I actually prefer this version to some of the heavy versions I’ve tried. You can really taste the eggplant and tomatoes, unlike a lot of recipes where all you taste is the breading. I also quickly learned that using Parmesan instead of gobs of mozzarella still provides the salty taste but not all that fat.To create the sauce, I used onions, garlic, fresh oregano, and a can of Hunt’s crushed tomatoes. I feel extra great about using Hunt’s tomatoes because they are donating $50,000 to the American Heart Association in support of American Heart Month during the month of February.
My husband and I consistently try to eat healthy to practice good behavior in front of our kids and also to keep our hearts and bodies healthy. Adding Hunt’s tomatoes to dishes like my healthy eggplant Parmesan is a smart choice to add more produce and heart-healthy foods to your diet. There’s a great Ibotta offer right now where you can Buy 4 Get $1 off of Hunt’s products.
If you’re not sure about eggplant or eggplant parmesan, I highly suggest you give this recipe a shot. The crunch of the breadcrumbs goes so well with the zesty tomato sauce and the tender and slightly sweet eggplant. Besides the great taste, I also feel good about my choice. This dish is healthy and delicious.
Healthy Eggplant Parmesan Recipe
3 large eggplants
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 28 oz. can of Hunt’s crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh basil
4 tablespoons fresh oregano
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 450. Chop the eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds. Brush each side of the eggplant with olive oil. Lay the eggplant in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until both sides are golden brown (approximately 15-20 minutes per side, flipping half-way through).
While the eggplant is roasting, saute the onion with olive oil in a medium saucepan for about 10 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and 2 tablespoons of oregano and mix. Add in the Hunt’s crushed tomatoes and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Once the sauce and eggplant are both ready, start assembling the dish. Layer a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of the casserole dish. Add one layer of eggplant. Top the eggplant with sauce and then 1/3 of the cheese. Next, top again with eggplant, sauce, and cheese until you get to the last layer. Top with sauce and then add the breadcrumb layer. To prepare the breadcrumbs, simply chop the basil and remaining oregano and add it to the breadcrumbs. Drizzle olive oil into the breadcrumbs until lightly coated.
Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Let the dish sit for 5-10 minutes and then slice. Serve with fresh basil.