Italian Recipes Recipes

Cheesy Eggplant Casserole

With layers of herbed ricotta cheese, quick homemade marinara, meaty yet super creamy and tender eggplant, and a gooey cheesy top, this eggplant casserole is a must-make dinner.

I have lots of eggplants in my garden and they’ve been ready for harvest for a while now, I wanted to use them for something delicious, but I just can’t decide which recipe to use. Luckily I found this recipe by Spain on a Fork on YouTube! This yummy dish is loaded with cheese and super creamy that one bite just wasn’t enough. What’s even better is that it can serve a crowd so you can definitely share this with your family.


  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 1/2 pounds eggplant (about 2 large)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for the baking dish
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1 small bunch fresh oregano
  • 8 ounces low-moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups)
  • 1 (15- to 16-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese (about 2 cups)
  • Whole nutmeg, or a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs



  1. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 425°F. Meanwhile, place 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes and their juices in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until the tomatoes are finely chopped, about 6 (1-second) pulses. Mince 4 garlic cloves.
  2. Trim and slice 2 1/2 pounds eggplants crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Arrange the slices in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Brush lightly on both sides with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and season all over with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Roast, rotating the racks and flipping the eggplant slices halfway through, until tender and light golden-brown, about 30 minutes total.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and season with 1/2 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened (about 2 cups), about 15 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  4. Pick and coarsely chop the leaves from 1 bunch fresh basil until you have 1/2 cup. Pick and coarsely chop the leaves from 1 small bunch fresh oregano until you have 2 teaspoons. If needed, grate 8 ounces low-moisture mozzarella cheese on the large holes on a box grater (about 2 cups).
  5. Place 1 pound whole milk ricotta cheese and 3 large eggs in a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Add the basil, oregano, half of the mozzarella, a few grinds of freshly grated nutmeg or a pinch of ground nutmeg, the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and stir to combine.
  6. Drizzle an 8-inch square baking dish with olive oil and brush all over. Arrange 1/3 of the roasted eggplant rounds in the dish. Spoon 1/3 of the sauce over the eggplant. Dollop 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the sauce and smooth the top. Repeat layering the remaining eggplant, marinara, and ricotta mixture two more times.
  7. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella evenly over the top. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet. Bake on the lower rack until golden brown and bubbling around the edges, about 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with more torn or small fresh basil leaves before serving.


Make ahead: The casserole can be assembled, wrapped, and refrigerated before baking up to 2 days in advance. Let sit at room temperature while the oven is heating. Uncover and bake according to instructions, adding a few more minutes bake time.

Storage : Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

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