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Grilled Vegetable Parmesan Casserole

An easy summer casserole that's packed with grilled seasonal vegetables
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword mediterranean diet, vegetarian
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 263kcal
Author Craving Something Healthy

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant peeled if desired, and cut into round 3/4" slices
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 medium zucchini cut lengthwise into 3/4" strips
  • 1 large red pepper cut in half and seeds, core removed
  • 2 medium Portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning mix divided
  • 12 ounces prepared or homemade tomato sauce
  • 8 fresh basil leaves more or less to taste, sliced thin
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese divided
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup Panko crumbs

Instructions

  • Put the eggplant slices in a colander, and sprinkle/toss with the salt. Let them sit for at least 15 minutes, or until they give up some of their liquid.
  • When the eggplant is almost ready, heat the grill to medium-high, and slightly spray the grill racks.
  • Add the eggplant, zucchini slices, red pepper, and mushrooms to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning herb mix, and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the vegetables, and toss lightly to coat.
  • Place the vegetables on the hot grill, and grill them for about 4 minutes on each side, or until they're softened and have grill marks. I like to grill my red peppers until they blacken in spots so the skins peel off. This is optional.
  • Remove the cooked vegetables from the grill, and place them back into the mixing bowl to let them cool. If desired, pull the blackened skins off the red peppers. Slice the red pepper and mushrooms into strips.
  • Heat the oven to 350°F
  • In an 8" x 8" baking pan or casserole dish, spread about 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce.
    Add one layer of the vegetables on top of the sauce.
    Sprinkle about 1/3 of the fresh basil leaves over half of the mozzarella cheese.
    Top with another 1/4 cup of tomato sauce.
    Add a second layer of vegetables, another 1/3 of the fresh basil leaves, and the nearly the rest of the mozzarella cheese. I like to save about 1 handful of mozzarella for the topping.
    Spoon or spread the rest of the sauce over the casserole.
  • In a small bowl, combine any remaining mozzarella cheese, the Panko, the 1/4 of Parmesan cheese, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning mix, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss well to combine.
  • Sprinkle the cheese/Panko blend over the top of the casserole. Cover it lightly with foil, and bake for about 25 minutes or until the cheese is melted throughout. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes so the Panko can crisp.
    If a crispier topping is desired, turn on the broiler and move the casserole to the top rack for about 30 seconds - make sure it doesn't burn!
  • Garnish with the remaining 1/3 of the fresh basil leaves. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

The vegetables can be grilled well in advance if desired. Keep them in the refrigerator until you're ready to use them.

Nutrition

Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 833mg | Potassium: 962mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 2038IU | Vitamin C: 70mg | Calcium: 236mg | Iron: 2mg