Cheesy Baked Aubergine

    1 hour

    A very rich and satisfying vegetarian main that is a nice alternative to a pasta bake or lasagne. Layers of aubergine, cheese and pasta sauce are baked till bubbly. Serve with crusty garlic bread and a green salad.

    256 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 1 aubergine, sliced into 1cm rounds
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed
    • 1 tablespoon garlic granules, or to taste
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 small onion, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
    • 275g fresh spinach leaves
    • 125g ricotta cheese
    • 90g grated mozzarella cheese, divided
    • 60g grated Parmesan cheese, divided
    • 200g tomato pasta sauce
    • 2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Ready in:1hr 

    1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Brush aubergine slices with olive oil on both sides, and place them on a baking tray. Sprinkle garlic granules over the top. Bake for 10 minutes.
    2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes and spinach. Cook and stir for a few minutes until fragrant, and the tomatoes have released their juices. In a medium bowl, mix together 125g of ricotta cheese, 60g of the mozzarella cheese, and 40g of the Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
    3. Place the aubergine slices in a greased baking dish. Top with the spinach mixture. Spoon the cheese mixture over the spinach, and spread into a thin layer. Pour the pasta sauce over the cheese layer. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese over the top. Sprinkle with Italian herbs.
    4. Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until heated through and the aubergine is easily pierced with a fork.

    Parmesan cheese

    Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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    Reviews in English (142)


    Fantastic, full of flavour  -  15 Sep 2015


    Very good with a few revisions. I would recommend sweating the eggplant first for 20 minutes and then seasoning with salt and pepper as well as garlic powder. I also put half the pasta sauce on top of the eggplant and then added the 3-cheese mixture before I layered on the spinach. Then I added the rest of the sauce and the remaining cheese on top. I think it works better this way because the flavors are spread more evenly. Without seasoning the eggplant generously, you end up with bland and boring at the bottom and all the flavor and pizzazz on top.  -  09 Jul 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    The measurements regarding the eggplant, onion and tomato are a bit open to interpretation. To make this dish, I used an eggplant that was about 8 inches tall and about 12 inches around. I left the skin on my eggplant slices for extra fiber, and also let them sweat for about 20 min before using. For anyone who's unfamiliar with sweating, you salt the slices and let them sit out for about 20-30 mins. The salt will draw out some of the bitterness inherent in eggplant. Not sure if the pre-baking of the slices in this recipe is also sweating, but I did both to be safe. You can rinse the slices after to remove almost all the salt. I had more than enough eggplant to fill the bottom of a 9x13 dish; I even had to overlap a few slices. I didn't have the spinach - somehow I overlooked that when writing the ingredients for my shopping list. I will definitely not forget for next time though. I love spinach in ricotta! I used a whole can of diced tomatoes with garlic and onions, drained. I just prefer the flavor. Did you know that canned tomatoes have more lycopene in them than fresh? Cooking brings out the lycopene in tomatoes. Anyway... I used a small red onion, chopped, which equaled probably about 1/4 cup worth, give or take. I found that the amount of cheese was just right, though I couldn't seem to spread it very well, so it was sort of crumbled on top and patted down. I did use a tad extra tomato sauce and cheese for the topping than listed in the ingredients. My f  -  21 Aug 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)