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Eggplant Parm Casserole
Eggplant Parm Casserole PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

For those nights when you need a hearty meal that'll satisfy your whole crew, turn to this recipe for eggplant parm casserole. Suggestion: Serve it with a side of toasty garlic bread.

RELATED: Eggplant Parm Bites

6 servings

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

2 eggs

2 cups bread crumbs

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

¾ teaspoon dried oregano

2 medium eggplants, sliced into rounds about 1 inch thick

Vegetable oil, as needed for cooking

2½ cups marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)

12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a medium, shallow bowl, whisk the flour with the salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to combine. In a second medium, shallow bowl, whisk the eggs. In a third medium, shallow bowl, stir the bread crumbs with the Parmesan and oregano to combine.

3. Working one at a time, coat each slice of eggplant in flour, then dip it into the egg and then into the bread crumbs to coat fully. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices.

4. In a large skillet, heat about ½ inch of oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the eggplant in batches and cook until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the slices back to the baking sheet when they’re finished.

5. Pour ½ cup of the marinara sauce into the base of the prepared casserole dish. Add half of the eggplant slices, making aneven layer in the base of the dish. Ladle 1 cup of the marinara over the eggplant and then top with half of the mozzarella.

6. Repeat with another layer of eggplant, marinara and cheese. Bake the casserole until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

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