Delicious Melty Eggplant

I’m not really sure what to call this one, but it is delicious, and melty, and soft, and meaty, and tomatoey, and it’s just the best thing ever. It’s super simple – eggplant, garlic, and tomato sauce, baked until the eggplant disintegrates and you are left with rich melty eggplanty saucy goodness.

This is something my husband makes that has been passed down in his family. He says that his step mother used to bake eggplant and garlic in tons of oil and marinara all day long in the oven at a really low temperature. We are both too lazy and impatient for that, so this is the easy version.

I count this as a veggie and a fat serving. This makes 4 servings at a time and is an excellent one for batch cooking or for feeding families or company.

That means that if you are on the weight loss plan (and it’s dinner time) you have a protein still to work with. I love to put this delicious melty eggplant over legume pasta, or quinoa. Yes, I just said the P-word. There are so many weird pastas out there now-a-days, and some of them are technically compliant. Some people find any pasta-like things triggering, so please be careful and trust your intuition about this. I haven’t had any issues with it.

Some brands of legume pasta are mushy and strange (black bean and edamame pasta for example – are kind of gross in my opinion) but there are a few that have a much better texture that I really like. Some brands that I’ve found that I like a lot are Tolerant lentil pasta, Ancient Harvest POW lentil pasta, Banza chickpea pasta, and Trader Joes lentil pasta. See photos below. In the FAQ, Susan mentions pasta from the Explore Asia brand, which is compliant, but I think it’s gross and mushy compared to these brands.

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Banza-4-types

Here’s what the FAQ in my program says about legume pasta:


If you are looking at a different brand and wondering whether it will work, it needs to meet the following criteria:

  1. No flour is listed in the first three ingredients.
  2. It contains more than 15 grams of protein per serving.
  3. It contains more than 10 grams of fiber per serving.

If it meets these three criteria, it’s acceptable. 6 oz. = 1 protein serving for both women and men


Ok, enough about pasta. Let’s make some delicious melty eggplant.

Delicious Melty Eggplant

  • Servings: Makes 4 Serving
  • Print

Each Serving Contains:

  • 1 Veggie Serving (adjust quantity to your individual food plan)
  • 1 Fat Serving

Ingredients

Veggies*

  • 2 medium eggplants

Protein*

  • Protein Options:
    • Quinoa (4 oz = 1 protein serving)
    • Legume pasta (6 oz cooked = 1 protein serving, I just use 3 oz dry because it roughly doubles)
    • Vegan ricotta (2 oz = 1 protein serving)
    • Split your protein – half pasta, half ricotta – this is my favorite!

Fat*

  • 4 tablespoons or 2 oz of olive oil (4 fat servings)

Condiments (Freebies)

  • 1 jar of marinara sauce (check for sugar!)
  • Salt, pepper, oregano
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, whole

Maintenance Modifications

  • Grain Additions: Eat over any cooked grain, I prefer quinoa.
  • Protein Additions: More lentil pasta, vegan ricotta, or pine nuts.
  • Fat Additions: More oil, or vegan ricotta.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Slice the eggplants into lengthwise chunks about the length and width of two fingers.
  3. Put the eggplant into a casserole dish or baking dish and add the oil.
  4. Dump the jar marinara sauce on top.
  5. Sprinkle about a teaspoon each of salt, pepper, and oregano.
  6. Throw a few whole garlic cloves on top.
  7. Stir it all together and place in the oven, covered with a lid.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring every 20-25 minutes and stabbing the eggplant with a fork to mash it slightly.
  9. Meanwhile, cook legume pasta or quinoa to put the eggplant on top of.
  10. Separate the completed dish into 4 servings, noting the weight of each serving and using that number as your veggie amount. I eat 10 oz of veggies at a meal, and this usually come in a little bit short of my veggie quota, so I add a few cherry tomatoes, a side of carrot sticks, or a side of whatever else is lying around.

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62 Comments

  1. This looks just amazing ! I am a huge eggplant fan and although I am not vegan your complete meal with the ricotta and pasta looks so tasty!
    Thanks for this recipe.:)

  2. Beoncenter

    Where would I find the Bright Line Eating FAQ?

    • You would have access to them if you were in a program like the boot camp or 14 day challenge. I don’t think you can access them without that, but I could be wrong, do a google search?

      • Thanks so much for your quick reply! I figured that was the case since I couldn’t access them during my many google searches. I appreciate your blog. It is a great resource to me on my BLE journey.

  3. Cheri Dekker

    Can you explain your Notes for Maintenance? I am new to BLE…When on maintenance can I add Grain, Protien, or Fat? How much and when?

  4. Thank you for the inspiration. I am cooking this in my crockpot and I omitted the oil because I’d like to add some parmigiana to the finished dish. I have tried a number of your recipes and have enjoyed all.

  5. Anonymous

    This recipe sent me to the grocery store. We completely enjoyed this dish. Thanks so much for sharing it! ❤️

  6. Do you think I can do that in a pressure cooker.? 1 hr of oven time in summer is too much for me.

    • Try it and let us know Renate! 🙂 I’ve never used a pressure cooker.

      • I tried in the Instant Pot. I added a bit of water because I was afraid that the pasta sauce wasn’t enough liquid for the pressure cooker. I did 20 min with natural release of a couple minutes. The taste was perfect. Next time I will use no water add the pasta sauce first and then the eggplants. I used half for our dinner, even the kids tried it. I will use the left-over for vegetarian lasagna for the family. The oven gives it probably a more baked flavor but for the hot summer time it works with the Instant Pot too.

  7. Hi Katie. A vegan friend of mine asked about WHEAT PROTEIN. I asked is it in a powdered form? If do its a no no. But they said they had a “Burger that Bleeds”😖

    Apparently they found hemaglobin on the root of a plant that creates the juice that would give it a meaty taste.

    But anyway he said they are gonna start selling this “wheat protein” in stores (must be new).

    Do u know anything about these things??

    Gina H

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Hi Gina, are you talking about vital wheat gluten? This is the main ingredient in a lot of fake meat products, and Bright Line Eating’s position on it is that it’s totally fine. Here’s what the FAQ says about it:

      Seitan, “Hydrated Wheat Gluten,” or “Wheat gluten” in any form is fine. It’s made from flour, but the flour part is completely rinsed off and all that remains is the protein.

      4 oz. = 1 protein serving for women
      6 oz. = 1 protein serving for men

      Hope that helps!

  8. Wow this is so delicious! And I just want to say, THANK YOU for the pictures of the pasta boxes! It makes it so much easier to shop for them when you can see what they actually look like! Love your site!

    Michele

  9. I used to make this when I lived in Beijing, but it was a much more complicated process with a lot more oil. This is so much easier! Thanks.

  10. Katie, when you serve this for dinner, do you still have a salad on the side?
    I’m still on the weightloss plan, so I figure I’d have 6oz pasta-as-protein + 6 oz of this eggplant yumminess AND an 8 oz salad.
    In other words, the salad is always part of dinner.
    Am I right?
    Thanks so very much for your incredible site. I’ve been sharing it far and wide.

    • Depending on your food plan, yes you may need to eat more veggies. No, you don’t have to eat salad with dinner, veggies are veggies, you just need 14 oz total of veggies at dinner on the weight loss plan. I eat 10 oz of veggies at both lunch and dinner, but if I need to supplement I use carrot sticks or cucumbers or something like that in the side. Salad works too, but then you don’t get fat for the dressing, but absolutely you can do what you described! Enjoy, hope that helps!

      • Yes, that helps enormously.

        I did wonder why you were eating 10 oz of veggies at lunch … you’re obviously dividing the 20 oz of veggies per day into two meals, yes?
        Have you done that since the beginning?

        That makes a whole lot of sense – especially regarding the dressing, because if I use the fat allocation in the recipe, there’s nothing left to make the salad exciting.

        Muchos appreciations for your help, angel.

        Btw, if you ever decide to create a BLE-friendly recipe book, (self-publish on Kindle, perhaps?) I reckon you’d make a fortune.

      • Yep that’s exactly what I’m doing with the 10 and 10, a lot of people do that from the beginning, I just think it’s easier for batch cooking.

  11. Absolutely to-die-for yummy!! Thanks so much.

  12. Lynne Johns

    I made this today and it really is simple and delicious. I removed the peel because I had gastric bypass and they can be very hard to digest. It was really amazing. Thanks, Katie.

  13. Maria Vernachio

    This recipe is my new go-to. I can’t believe how good it is and so simple and healthy. Katie Gates you are amazing! !

  14. LOVE this recipe so much! Thank you Katie!

  15. Kelly Patricia Birch

    Thanks for the idea, have made it twice with eggplants from the farmers market this summer and it has been so delish!I didn’t even add the oil and it still was yummy.

  16. Rachel Izakowicz

    Thanks for this recipe. I made it for tonight and it looks & smells delicious. I was wondering if it would be ok to subtract 8 oz from the total recipe to allow for the 2 oz ‘free’ marinara per serving? Mine is quite saucy, so wanted to see if this is something that would still be within the lines for this dish! Thanks a lot.

  17. Annette Smith

    I’m making this tonight. Thank you for this wonderful site. I am doing BLE based on the book and I find
    Quinoa listed a grain but not a protein. I so hope I missed something! Can you explain your source for it being a protein please? Thank you!

    • Yes, quinoa can be used as a protein. 4oz. I think you can only access the FAQ through doing a bootcamp or official program, so that makes sense that people are confused about that! Thanks for clarifying.

      • Thank you so much Katie. You are such a good writer. I appreciate you creating and keeping this site up.

      • This is life changing for me. As a vegetarian who eats fish, the idea that I can have quinoa as a protein instead fish or beams everyday is huge.

        Thank you for clarifying.

  18. Maureen corbett

    Hi Katie, I love your recipes!
    I have a question about legume pasta. My Trader Joe’s varieties are made with single ingredients: “Organic red lentil flour” for one; “organic black bean flour” for another. When I just looked up the Explore Asian brand, the black bean pasta (for example) lists black beans (not black bean flour) as the ingredient.
    I’m confused…it would seem that the Explore Asian brand (which is listed as the acceptable brand per BLE) is similarly made, by somehow processing the black beans into a slurry or powder that is made into dry pasta. I probably will ask about this in the boot camp that I just started…but wouldn’t even legume “flour” be flour and therefore not BLE-friendly?
    I’d love to be able to take advantage of these other brands…Thanks!
    Maureen

    • I think the official people would say that it isn’t ok because it says flour, but my personal opinion (again, not the official position of most programs) is that there’s only one way to make legumes into pasta and that’s by grinding it up, and that some brands call that flour and others don’t. I think it’s the same thing. I could be wrong. I haven’t found any differences in the way products labeled “black bean” and “black bean flour” affect me. You’ll have to do your own research about that one. Good question.

  19. Katie … several of the pastas that you list on this page that taste better than edamame and black bean pasta taste better because they are made from the FLOUR of the legume in question … “red lentil flour” is not BLE-friendly. The pastas need to be made from the whole legume, without first drying and pulverizing it into flour. :-/

    • Thanks for expressing your concern about this. That’s why I said that you should use your own judgement about them. For many bright line eaters I’ve talked to, they aren’t triggering, for some, they may be. I’ve tried the ones labeled “lentils” side by side with the ones labeled “lentil flour” and I can’t tell the difference. Honestly, I can’t think of how the process for making pasta out of legumes would be different for these two ways of labeling, you have to grind it up to make it into pasta, whether you call it “lentils” or “lentil flour”. That’s my reasoning about this, and all of these brands have been totally fine for me. They taste better than the black bean and edamame pasta but not nearly the same as “real” pasta, so it doesn’t light me up at all. That’s my own experience with it, I would caution any bright line eater with it though, and as always, we all need to do our own research with these kinds of grey area foods. Susan’s recommendation in the FAQ has to do with grams of protein per serving, so that’s what I’ve used as my guide.

  20. Made this two days ago. My, my, my what a tasty dish. You are right in your description it is both delicious and melty! I’m not a vegetarian, but follow your recipes to incorporate more interesting veggie dishes into my diet. I paired this with some homemade Italian turkey sausage. It is so good. I will continue to follow you. Who knows you may be able to convert me. Looking forward to your cookbook!

  21. Hi Katie. The only ingredient in Tolerant Red Lentil Pasta is “organic red lentil flour.” Please explain why this is okay for BLE! I also bought the Banza brand which does not list flour so I will use that for your (awesome looking) recipe tonight. But I’m wondering if I should return the other. Thanks for any info.

  22. This is an awesome recipe! I make it once a week. It’s perfect because my husband is a Vegan. It’s very delicious especially when I add my Ricotta cheese made from tofu. Thank you so much for the recipe and the information on what type of pasta to buy!

  23. I am on Bright Line Eating and see one problem with this recipe concerning the marinara sauce. We are allowed only 2oz of marinara sauce per serving so if this makes 4 servings, the amount of sauce in the recipe should be 8oz, not a full jar which averages 22 to 24oz which is 11-12 servings of sauce on BLE. I made this recipe and it is good but adjusted the amount of sauce to 8oz.

    • Thanks Cindy, I am aware of this, and the reason for using the whole jar of marinara is that it cooks down so much that it ends up being much less than 11-12 servings of sauce. Because the only ingredients are eggplant, sauce, and oil, and because I know that there is 4 servings of oil, I just weigh out my veggie portion of the dish as one serving, plus 2 ounces for the condiment allowance. Does that make sense? So if I eat 10 oz of veggies at dinner, I would serve myself 12 oz of this eggplant dish, which is usually almost exactly 1/4 of this recipe.
      Thank you for clarifying!

      • Katie, thanks so much for the explanation. I also found out from BLE’s FAQs that any tomato sauce over 2oz jumps from condiment category to the vegetable category. Thanks and keep up the great work. Can’t wait to try them all!

  24. Thank you for sharing this! It was delicious, versatile, and lasted several days. I used it several ways…as a side, on top of meat protein, on zucchini noodles, etc. will make again and put on spaghetti squash or as a dip for raw veggies.

  25. Ah this looks incredible! Well done Katie, you’re so inspiring and really helping me with creative meal ideas. (I’m a trained chef so you can imagine how deep my love for food is).

    I would love to see more “veg & fat portion only”recipes as these are very useful when cooking for dinner guests etc who are not on BLE.

  26. Katie, this was AMAZING! Totally loved it and will make it again. It’s reacquainted me to eggplant!

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  28. This was great…quick and easy and yummy, even without the oil! Thank you Katie for your inspiring recipes and website!

  29. Kathy Webster

    Thanks Katie, This was delicious!

  30. Katie, I love this “recipe,” have made it twice now and I can’t believe how easy and delicious it is. I do seem to have to cook it longer than you suggest though or it doesn’t get melty. Like an hour and twenty minutes total. I have bought the Banza pasta and it just arrived from Amazon today so in the next day or two will try it with that and some ricotta. Looks really good. Thanks for the great BLE recipes. I’m not vegan so I’m making some of the breakfasts and this one so far.

    • Me too, I made it twice this week! 🙂 Yeah, 1.5 to 2 hours is what I do too, it goes faster if you put a lid on it, but then it will be more liquidy. Enjoy!

  31. Made this a few times now and it is easy and delicious!

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  33. Anonymous

    This recipe was amazing – the only problem was that I broke my bright lines. I couldn’t stop eating this yummy moreish dish so went over my 10oz.

    • Oh no! I’m that way with roasted potatoes, I ask my husband to weigh my meal for me and bring my plate to the table and put leftovers away. You might be one of those people that should be more careful with (or avoid) recipes. Simply resume. ❤️

  34. annie harvey

    Im in australua. Bit confused as only lentil pasta i can find is this – but with lentil flour?? So not ok??
    ….San Remo Pulse Pasta is made using flour from pulses including: peas, lentils, chickpeas and borlotti beans instead of wheat to boost the protein content and other nutritional benefits. With a great taste, San Remo Pulse Pasta is:

  35. wow I LOVE Kite Hill Ricotta! I thought I had to give it up! Thank you so much!

  36. Just made this recipe, it is really good and filling! Thanks so much for tasty BLE meals!

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