13 Dec Baked Eggplant Parmesan Pasta (Gluten Free)
This delicious Baked Eggplant Parmesan Pasta is one of the best things to come out of my kitchen this year! I’ve always been intimidated by eggplant – if not cooked correctly, it can be pretty tough. Eggplants are little sponges, so the traditional fried version is extremely greasy. This recipe is so easy, it will be sure to be a family favorite!
Michelle from Vitamin Sunshine is sharing her healthy version of Eggplant Parmesan today. She loves using Chickapea Pasta in vegetarian dishes because she doesn’t need to worry about the dish having enough protein! Try this comforting and gluten free version of the classic Italian dish.
My roommate in college worked at The Olive Garden. She had access to the restaurant’s nutrition facts (at the time, these weren’t available on menus like they are now). She told me my favorite dish – eggplant parmesan – had more fat than a plate of alfredo pasta!
The first time I tried to make eggplant parmesan at home, I tried to lightly pan fry it – only to find that as I added slices of eggplant, the oil in the pan would quickly disappear. Eggplants are little sponges, and they absorb whatever liquid they are put in – so if you’re adding them to a pot of oil, they become completely saturated with oil.
I have long been wanting to come up with a recipe just as delicious as a restaurant version of eggplant parmesan, but infinitely healthier.
To keep this recipe gluten free (and nutrient packed!), I subbed breadcrumbs for some ground up brown rice cereal (my favorite trick for gluten free breadcrumbs!) and almond flour (because healthy fats are a good thing!).
Instead of serving a regular white pasta on the side, I added gluten free, chickpea and lentil Chickapea Pasta, into the baking dish, and covered it with a layer of eggplant slices and cheese!
Creating this Baked Eggplant Parmesan Pasta with Chickapea Pasta makes it extra good-for-you, but it’s still packed with all the delicious and comforting flavors and textures of the classic Italian dish!
Looking for more original chickpea lentil pasta recipes?
- Chicken Penne with Sundried Tomato Sauce
- Italian Sausage Stuffing with Pasta
- Vegan Jalapeno Mac and Cheese
This comforting pasta casserole has all the amazing flavor of a traditional eggplant parmesan recipe, but made gluten free with Chickapea Pasta, and with homemade gluten free breadcrumbs. Baking the eggplant instead of frying it saves a ton of calories making this a very healthy dinner choice!
- 1 eggplant large
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1/2 cup brown rice cereal blended into flour
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 box Chickapea Pasta
- 1 jar marinara sauce organic, if possible
- 1/2 cup parsley chopped, optional
- 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with a Silpat mat, or with baking paper. If neither of these options is available, use olive oil to generously grease your baking tray.
Slice eggplant into 1/3-1/2 inch slices.
In 1 bowl, add an egg and beat it.
In a 2nd small bowl, add the rest of the eggplant ingredients (parmesan, blended brown rice crisp cereal, almond flour, Italian seasoning and sea salt).
Dip a slice of eggplant into the egg, and then coat with the parmesan breadcrumb mixture. Repeat until all eggplant slices are coated and laid out on the baking sheet. Allow a little space in between each slice of eggplant so they get crispy all around.
Bake the eggplant for 15 minutes, then flip, and bake for another 15 minutes, until slices are golden brown and crispy.
Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
Cook Chickapea pasta in a pot of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. You'll want your pasta a bit undercooked, because it will continue to cook in the casserole.
In a casserole dish, add the pasta, and then pour on 2/3 of a jar of marinara sauce. Top with chopped parsley, and then arrange crispy baked eggplant slices across the top. Top eggplant slices with mozzarella cheese.
Bake casserole for 20-25 minutes, until sauce is bubbly and the cheese is beginning to brown.
The leftovers of this dish are amazing, but if you're preparing this ahead of time for a gathering, I recommend precooking the eggplant slices and pasta, but assembling the dish just prior to baking for best results.