I like to be honest with you guys therefore I’m going to admit that our first attempt at this recipe didn’t turn out so well. All of a sudden, it’s getting dark at 7:30 instead of 9:30 – what’s that about? We underestimated the prep time, cook time, and sunset time, making for a perfect storm of recipe failure. Don’t get me wrong, the dish itself was delicious and beautiful… we just didn’t have the chance to take pictures of it.
And what’s a recipe without photos, right? I can talk all I want about a dish. I can tell you that it’s rich and satisfying. That the creamy, smoky eggplant is just the beginning of this dish and that it’s only after the eggplant has been smothered in caramelized vegetables and juicy tomatoes that the magic happens. And I can tell you that the hunks of chèvre are the tangy, mouthwatering “cherries on top,” nestled in amongst the layers. All of this business is clocking in at under 250 calories per serving.
But let’s be honest, the words take a backseat to the photos, don’t they?
I think the pictures speak for themselves. The bright tomatoes, the browned goat cheese, and the charred sprigs of thyme – it says that a lot of thought and care was put into this meal. Sure, it requires a little more time than most of our recipes but the prep and effort is minimal because it’s mostly just bake time. You can let it cook while you do laundry or talk to your mom on the phone or watch a Halloween movie. Then assemble, bake some more, and enjoy – and obviously, share.
After eating this dish, we decided that whoever did eggplant parmesan for the first time made one very big mistake: they used parmesan and mozzarella instead of chèvre. I say this in hopes that the dear, long-deceased Italian “mamma” who first made parmigiana won’t haunt my dreams tonight.
The fact of the matter is that goat cheese adds so much more flavor and depth to this dish. Instead of melting and smothering the other ingredients, it adds a bright tang that cuts through the already rich flavors, surprising your mouth in each bite.
Skinny Eggplant Parmesan
A healthier take on an Italian classic, this dish combines smoky eggplant, roasted tomatoes, and tangy goat cheese with aromatic herbs.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour 10 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Yield: 5
- Category: Main
- 2 small eggplants
- 2 medium sized beefsteak tomatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic [sliced thin]
- 1/2 of a yellow onion [sliced thin]
- 5-6 baby bella mushrooms [sliced]
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 oz. chèvre goat cheese
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 16 oz. thick tomato sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 Tablespoon packed fresh basil
- Preheat your oven to 415º and line two baking sheets with parchment.
- Remove the ends from the eggplants and toss them out. Slice the eggplant into 3/4″ discs. Arrange them on plates or trays and sprinkle salt over them. This allows the eggplant to sweat, release flavor, and become more tender. It makes a huge difference! Allow them to rest for 30 minutes.
- Place the slices on the baking sheets and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt and pepper on each slice. Put sheets into the oven and bake for about 40 minutes, flipping the slices halfway. They will start to dry out, so drizzle with more olive oil when you flip them.
- The eggplant is done when the slices are very soft.
- While the eggplant is baking, you can spice up the tomato sauce.
- In a medium bowl, add your tomato sauce, cayenne pepper, red chili flakes, basil, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon sea salt. Most tomato sauces are already quite salty, so taste your sauce to determine whether you need more salt.
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet and heat to medium.
- Add sliced onion to the pan and sauté for 3-5 minutes, then add the mushrooms and sauté for another 3-5 minutes, finally, add garlic and sauté for about 2 more minutes.
- Decrease over temperature to 400º and spray a 9″ x 13″ baking dish with olive oil and line the pan with the eggplant slices.
- Slice tomatoes into 1/2″ thick rounds.
- Pour half of the tomato sauce over the eggplant and crumble half of the goat cheese over the sauce. Next, spread the sautéed mixture evenly over top.
- Add sliced tomatoes and the remainder of the sauce. Top it off with the other half of the goat cheese, crumbled.
- Sprinkle sea salt and black pepper and lay thyme sprigs across the top.
- Bake 30 minutes, until the goat cheese starts to turn golden brown.
- Serving Size: 130mg
- Calories: 224
- Sugar: 7g
- Fat: 16g
- Carbohydrates: 17g
- Protein: 8g