Not-Your-Mama's Eggplant Parmesan


Not-Your-Mama's Eggplant Parmesan

Not-Your-Mamas Eggplant Parmesan
Not-Your-Mama's Eggplant Parmesan

Not-Your-Mama's Eggplant Parmesan might have the same comforting, flavorful taste as your mom's cooking, but it's far healthier for you. This vegetarian dinner recipe contains a secret ingredient that's loaded with protein — quinoa! It makes this meal hearty without loading up on any unnecessary calories. This is also one of the few vegetable casseroles that will satisfy the meat-eaters in the house because the vegetables are given an extra boost with a melted blend of gooey cheese.
This delicious and healthy casserole recipe is one that checks all the boxes. It is as hearty and as filling as can be, and includes many inexpensive ingredients. The whole family will love this easy healthy meal!


Looking for more healthy dinner options? Check out our mouthwatering collection of 20 Low-Calorie Dinner Recipes.



Cooking MethodCasserole


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 pound eggplant
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
  • Basil leaves for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.

  2. In a small saucepan, bring the quinoa plus 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer on low for 20 minutes until quinoa is cooked and water is absorbed.

  3. In a large bowl, place about 5 cups room temperature water and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring until the salt dissolves.

  4. Cut unpeeled eggplant into 1-inch cubes. Put the cubes into the bowl of water and let it sit 20 minutes. Drain and wrap eggplant in a kitchen towel and gently squeeze to remove all excess water.

  5. In a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, place the oil and saute the onion for about 4 minutes until it is translucent. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, 1 more minute.

  6. Add the eggplant cubes and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes until the eggplant begins to brown slightly. Add tomato sauce, basil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and lower the heat to low. Cover and cook 25 minutes.

  7. When the quinoa is cooked, heat a second non-stick skillet over medium heat and stir the quinoa in it for two minutes, adding the red pepper flakes and black pepper and tossing well.

  8. Add the quinoa to the tomato sauce in the skillet and stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Pour into the prepared baking dish and top with the Romano and then the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

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I'm usually not a huge fan of eggplant, but I really enjoyed this dish! The perfect amount of flavor, and a great healthy comfort food recipe.

Loved this recipe! I did find it to be a little too cheesy but other than that, absolutely amazing!

Such a great, lighter version of eggplant parm! I loved the quinoa and the eggplant had a great texture. Next time I'll add a little more sauce and, if I'm feeling indulgent, a bit more cheese.

As a person who loves eggplant parm, this dish did not disappoint! I don't normally like quinoa, but it was cooked perfectly, and with all the other ingredients, I hardly even realized it was there. I'd definitely make this again.

This dish is totally unexpected -- similar to eggplant parmesan, but in my opinion, SO much better! The quinoa gives it a great texture. I couldn't stop eating it!

Why I never thought to put eggplant and quinoa together before, I'll never know - but I sure am glad someeone else thought to. The combination is terrific, and it's great to have a lighter alternative to regular to the traditional eggplant Parmesan. This one's a keeper!

The flavor of this was incredible! (and that's coming from someone who doesn't like quinoa)

Tasty! I love eggplant parm, and this was a fun variation.

Perfect for the winter months. I would mix the cheese around as opposed to just having it on the top.

YUM! I love eggplant and this was SO good. I'd probably add a bit more eggplant and a smidge less cheese, but I'm totally making this.

This was honestly delicious!! I never knew how good quinoa could be!

This was great! I honestly think there could have been a little bit more eggplant throughout the dish, but I still really enjoyed it. If you like quinoa, you will love this !

I love finding recipes that are healthy without compromising flavor. This is definitely delicious!

sounds yummy i a new vegan just the right dish grace


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