What is Eggplant Pasta Bake?
An aubergine (eggplant) pasta bake casserole uses sliced or diced eggplant and other vegetables to create a meatless yet flavorful Italian pasta dish. Introduced to the Southern Italy region through trade, aubergine is found in various Italian recipes today. This versatile vegetable has a creamy consistency once cooked. You can either bake, grill, or saute them to add a depth of flavor. Preparation-wise, you can choose to leave the skin on or discard it, but the skin has a chewy texture once cooked.
1. Aubergine Pasta Bake
To make this eggplant pasta bake, you will need two thinly sliced eggplants. A helpful tip in this recipe is to sprinkle salt on the sliced eggplants and let them sit for about 10 minutes. Doing this will draw out any excess moisture, making the vegetable less mushy once you cook the pasta bake.
This recipe also explains how to make a homemade tomato sauce using olive oil, onions, garlic, tomatoes, salt, sugar, and basil. This sauce will be the base of your pasta bake and provide fresh flavors that you otherwise wouldn’t taste with regular canned pasta sauces.
This recipe calls for penne or rigatoni pasta. Instead of using a large pot of boiling water, we suggest using a large saucepan. Fill the pan halfway with water and boil the pasta according to the package directions. After straining the cooked pasta, it will be combined with the pasta sauce and sauteed eggplants and transferred to an ovenproof baking dish. Pour in half of your mixture and sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top. Repeat with the rest of the pasta bake ingredients, add another layer of mozzarella plus grated parmesan cheese on top, and then bake at 350 degrees F for half an hour.
Get the full recipe and directions from here.
2. Beef Eggplant Pasta Bake
We love this delicious interpretation of an eggplant pasta bake. The recipe calls for half a pound of lean ground beef, onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, penne pasta, mozzarella cheese, and eggplant. Saute 4 cups of diced eggplant in olive oil until tender and set aside. Brown your ground beef along with the onion and garlic, and drain off the fat.
Next, season the meat and eggplant with salt, crushed red pepper, basil, and oregano and mix in some diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Pour it into a shallow baking dish to allow it to cool. Lastly, boil your pasta and drain it. Rinse it with cold water to allow the pasta to cool and let it drain again before incorporating it into the meat and eggplant mixture.
This eggplant pasta bake is a freezer-friendly meal that you can make ahead of time. It can last up to 4 months in the freezer if you wrap it in plastic wrap and cover it with tin foil on top. If you do decide to freeze it, it can go straight from the freezer to the oven. Keep in mind that this method will take more time to let it cook all the way through.
Get the full recipe and directions from BHG.
3. Layered Aubergine & Feta Bake
For those of you who aren’t in the mood for pasta, no problem! This recipe calls for bulgur wheat instead, which has a consistency similar to quinoa or couscous. Bulgur wheat is a form of cereal wheat found commonly in Middle Eastern cuisine. All you need to do to prepare bulgur wheat is add boiling water and a pinch of salt to it and cover it with a plate for 15 minutes while it soaks in the water. Once the bulgur wheat is ready, fluff it with a fork and add finely chopped parsley and the zest and juice of one lemon. You will serve this on the side along with your layered aubergine and feta bake.
You will notice that this dish’s flavor profile has strong ties to the Middle East, especially in the spiced cherry tomato passata component. Passata consists of pureed tomatoes, so you can simply use a can of tomato puree for that ingredient. You will be adding turmeric and either harissa or chili powder to the passata. If you are a fan of spicy flavors, this is a great recipe to try.
Get the full recipe and directions from Abel and Cole.
4. Ina Garten Baked Pasta made with Tomato and Eggplant Soup
This baked pasta offers a way to reuse and revitalize some leftover tomato and eggplant soup. The soup makes a great base for pasta sauce, which significantly cuts down on your preparation time for this dish. You will be using both penne and fusilli pasta for this eggplant pasta bake. The directions say to boil the pasta until they are al dente since they will cook the rest of the way in the oven.
Instead of the typical shredded mozzarella cheese, you will be using fresh mozzarella and parmesan. Once you incorporate everything in a large mixing bowl, portion it out into ramekins and bake at 500 degrees F for about 10 minutes, and dinner is ready.
Get the full recipe and directions from PureWow.
5. Mexican Aubergine Casserole
We enjoyed this unique take on a “traditional” eggplant pasta bake that takes on a Mexican flavor profile with cumin and green chiles. Bake your eggplant slices at 450 degrees F for about 20 minutes, then bring your oven’s temperature down to 350 degrees. While the eggplant is baking, make the sauce by combining a can of tomato sauce with green chiles, onions, olives, cumin, and garlic powder. Let this simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes so that the sauce thickens and the flavors start to meld together.
Once the eggplant slices are ready, add one layer to the bottom of a shallow baking dish and pour half of your sauce on top. Sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese on top of the sauce and repeat the same steps before letting the dish bake for about 30 minutes.
Get the full recipe and directions from food.com.
6. Vegan Eggplant Baked Rigatoni
If you’re looking for an alternative to a typical eggplant pasta bake, look no further. This recipe is a great way to create a vegan-friendly comfort food dish. You are in for a treat because you will make a vegan substitute for ricotta cheese with raw cashews, tofu, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and water. The consistency makes it feel very similar to ricotta, and all you need is a food processor to combine those ingredients.
You will trim and cut two eggplants into 1-inch cubes and add salt to pull out the excess moisture. Rinse and pat them dry after about 25 minutes, then proceed to saute them until tender. Next, combine it with marinara sauce and let it heat through. While cooking your eggplant, bring a pot of water to boil and add either ziti, penne, or rigatoni pasta. Cook until al dente, drain the pasta and add it to your sauce. Use a 3-quart baking dish and split your mixture and cheese into thirds to create six layers. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes and enjoy.
Get the full recipe and directions from The Full Helping.
7. Easy Eggplant Pasta Bake with Chickpeas
Last but not least, here is an easy one-pan vegan eggplant pasta bake recipe for you to try. It is simple to throw together and provides enough food for five servings. Use an oven-friendly skillet for cooking on the stovetop so you can transfer it to the oven, so everything cooks through thoroughly. You won’t have to bake the eggplant separately; it will soften on the stove. This recipe calls for a bit of white wine, which you will add while sauteing the eggplant. You will also be adding a can of undrained chickpeas and diced tomatoes to create the sauce for this dish. The chickpeas complement the creamy taste of the eggplant and add bulk to this vegan meal.
Boil fusilli pasta with some salt and a bay leaf. Be sure to reserve some of the pasta water to add flavor to your pasta bake. Combine everything and cook at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. The author says to serve it immediately since it tastes best fresh and is not suitable as a freezer meal.
Get the full recipe and directions from Everyday Healthy Recipes.
We hope you enjoy creating an eggplant pasta bake as much as we do. This versatile dish can be prepared in many different ways and still tastes good as a leftover meal the next day.
If you like this post, we think you’ll really like our 7 Courgette Pasta Bake Recipes post.