I love eggplant parmesan, and this combination of eggplant, fennel and bell peppers is a delicious low carb meal. Instead of breading and frying the vegetables, you can lightly grill or saute them, layer with marinara, cheese and top with Italian style panko breadcrumbs. Vegetable Parmesan Casserole is true comfort food and is so filling all you need is a side salad or glass of red wine.
Vegetable Parmesan Casserole
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into thirds
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thirds
1 orange bell pepper, cut into thirds
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce
2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2/3 cup grated Parmesan, divided
1 cup Italian-style panko breadcrumbs
1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a grill or saute pan over medium-high heat.
2. Drizzle the eggplant slices, fennel and peppers with remaining olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables for 3 to 4 minutes each side until softened.
3. Spoon 1 cup of the marinara sauce over the bottom a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Arrange the eggplant slices on top of marinara. Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Arrange fennel and peppers in a single layer on top. Spoon remaining marinara sauce over the vegetables. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle panko bread crumbs over the cheese.
4. Bake at 375F until the top is golden, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.