Eggplant Marinara Recipe


This is a healthier version of eggplant Parmesan, but just as tasty. I used a limited amount of cheese in this dish, and filled grilled eggplant with white beans. The white beans have a soft texture and add a bunch of protein to the dish, making it a viable main course option for vegetarians.

I still had a leftover jar of marinara sauce from last summer and the sauce tasted amazingly good. Everyone loved this dish and the best part is that no one felt guilty having the decadent dessert I made afterwards!

1. Info for Eggplant Marinara Recipe

  • Cook Time: 35 min
  • Total Time: 50 min
  • Servings: 8
  • Calories: 77 kcal

2. Ingredients for Eggplant Marinara Recipe

  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
  • 2 eggplants
  • 3 slices day-old bread (I used homemade bread)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 6 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1½ yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or any neutral oil)
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, freshly grated
  • 1½ teaspoons white pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (25-ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded

3. Directions:

  1. Trim and thinly slice the eggplants lengthwise. Sprinkle with salt. Let sit, then pat dry with paper towels. Brush a 7-quart non-stick Dutch oven with oil. Add the eggplant slices and cook on both sides for 2 minutes.  Transfer to a platter and let cool.
  2. For the marinara sauce: In the same oil from the eggplants (or add another tablespoon if necessary), add the onions and cook for 8 minutes over low heat. Reserve 3 tablespoons on a plate and add the marinara sauce to the remaining onions. Cover with a lid and let cook for 15 minutes over low heat.
  3. Cut the slices of bread into cubes. Place in a food processor and turn into crumbs. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Lightly oil the bowl of the food processor with a silicone brush. Add the reserved onions, cumin, grated garlic, oregano and white beans. Coarsely blend until a thick paste is formed (it’s okay if there are still whole beans at the top of the food processor). Season with salt and pepper. Add 4 tablespoons parsley and pulse 3-4 times. Transfer the paste into a bowl.
  5. In a bowl, lightly beat the egg with white pepper. Add the egg to the bean mixture.
  6. Using a tablespoon, place a heaping spoonful of the bean filling on one end of a eggplant slice and tightly roll up it. Repeat with remaining slices of eggplant.
  7. Remove the lid from the marinara sauce and place the eggplant rolls into the Dutch oven, seam side down, so they’re secure. Cover again and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
  8. When ready to serve, sprinkle with the cheese and the remaining parsley. Turn off the heat and cover until the cheese is melted.
  9. Serve with linguine pasta on the side.
  10. Bon appétit!

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