Until recently, my only experience with eggplant was at a chain Italian restaurant about 15 years ago. The description sounded delicious and healthy, and anything smothered in Parmesan cheese has to be tasty, right? 

Wrong. The best way I can describe the way it tasted? Well, it tasted fishy. To be fair, I tried a couple more bites. Nope. It was just awful, and I’ve never had the desire to try eggplant again. I’ve often admired the beauty of eggplant from produce shelves with its glossy, deep purple skin and elegant contour, but, never have I ever, picked one up. And I’ve never understood why anyone would eat eggplant, at least deliberately.

My DIL, Michelle, told me about a great dish she prepared using eggplant and thought I might be able to “ketoize” her recipe. I relayed the restaurant story {see above}, but she promised this dish had no fishy taste whatsoever. Hmm. She’s a fabulous cook, so I decided to take the plunge and trust, because she’s never let me down. But, I still kept my expectations on the low side. One bite in, and I texted Michelle a picture of the Parmesan Eggplant Bake with a giant thumbs up! My fear of the eggplant has vanished. Soo scrumptious! 

Lots of health benefits from eggplant. Low in calories and nutrient-dense, they’re high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, as well as antioxidants {they help to protect the body from damage by free radicals}. They’re rich in anthocyanins, a pigment that’s responsible for their brilliant color, and in particular, nasunin, a potent antioxidant found in the skin of eggplants, so no peeling allowed ; ).  

I’m writing this in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic and limiting my trips to the grocery store as much as humanly possible. I’m definitely picky when it comes to choosing my produce, but didn’t have much luck this week. I settled for eggplants that were past their prime. They should be firm and heavy for their size, with smooth, shiny skins, and vivid colors. But the good news? They tasted absolutely delicious.

Start by slicing the eggplants into 1/2 inch-thick rounds. Dip into whisked eggs and coat in almond meal mixed with spices. It’s easy to make your own almond meal. I buy whole almonds in bulk and pulse in a food processor until I get a fine crumble. Roast these little fellows in a hot 425 degree F oven for 20 minutes.

In a large baking dish, layer low-sugar marinara sauce {I buy jarred}, roasted eggplant rounds, more sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese. Repeat. Top with fresh or dried basil. It only takes 15-20 minutes for the sauce to bubble and the cheese to lightly brown. Let stand about 15 minutes before serving. Store in fridge and reheat in microwave or 350 degree F oven until hot.

Eggplant Parmesan Bake

Roasted in almond meal and layered with marina sauce, Parmesan, and mozzarella cheese, our Eggplant Parmesan Bake delivers big on nutrition, flavor, and texture. With only 9 net carbs per serving, it's a delicious, meatless, keto-friendly main dish you and your family will love.

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1½ cups almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds (optional)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 24 ounces Rao's Homemade Arrabbiata sauce (or other low sugar marina sauce)
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil (chopped)
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 

  2. Slice eggplants into ½ inch thick rounds. 

  3. In a shallow bowl, whisk together almond meal, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and optional fennel seeds until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. Dip an eggplant round on both sides into the egg mixture, then coat entire round in almond meal mixture and place on parchment covered baking sheet. Repeat with all eggplant rounds, spacing evenly on baking sheets. 

  4. Bake in 425 degree F oven for 20 minutes. For even roasting, switch shelf placement of baking sheets halfway through. The rounds will be slightly toasted and golden in color. Remove from oven and set aside. 

  5. Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish. Place half of the roasted eggplant rounds in an even layer on top. Half some of the rounds to fill in spaces. Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce over the eggplant. Layer 1 cup mozzarella cheese, then ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat with another layer of remaining eggplant, 1 cup marinara sauce, 1 cup mozzarella, and ½ cup Parmesan. Top with fresh or lightly-dried basil. 

  6. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until cheese is golden brown and sauce is bubbly. Let stand for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Real Keto Recipes, Real Easy

Joanie and Amy Robach show you just how easy it is to cook incredibly healthy meals that taste great and ensure healthy nutrition

Welcome to the family!