This Italian Chicken Eggplant Casserole was a creation to use up some eggplant I had. I wanted to make it as low calorie as possible, so I didn’t use cheese. Although it was great, the addition of cheese would have been delicious, too.
I love eggplant and anything Italian. This recipe was easy, but several steps I took could be skipped if you want to make it even more simple.
- Instead of grilling the chicken, you could just put it in your oven or better yet, use leftover chicken.
- I chose to roast the eggplant in the oven for a little added flavor, but this step can be skipped also.
- Although I first cooked my tomato sauce on the stove to incorporate the flavors of oregano, basil, and garlic, you can just sprinkle all those ingredients right on top of the chopped items and mix it right in the casserole dish.
- I chopped fresh tomatoes because I had them, but you can certainly use canned diced tomatoes.
- I used fresh garlic, but you can also just use garlic powder to save the chopping and peeling of the cloves.
So, all you have left is the chopping of the chicken and vegetables. Sorry, no easy way around that. If you use a food processor, you won’t have the nice meaty chunks and your casserole will be too soupy. Yes, you’ll just have to chop by hand. Not so bad for a yummy meal that’s also healthy and low calorie.
And not only is this casserole low calorie and low carb, it’s also gluten free.
But you don’t have to be concerned about calories or care if it’s gluten free to enjoy this Italian casserole. The flavors are great and if you’re more of a meat lover and need more substance, then by all means, you can brown some ground beef, add sausage, or use up some leftover roast beef.
Or, maybe you want to add some pasta. I think ziti, a twisty noodle, or even elbow noodle would be great.
As always, I think you should be creative in the kitchen and switch up my recipes to please your family. The only time I really feel I have to follow a recipe to exact ingredients and measurements, is when I bake desserts.
Italian Chicken and Eggplant Casserole | Recipe
1 or 2 chicken breasts
1 lg. eggplant
1 lg. onion
1 lg. green bell pepper
8 oz. fresh mushrooms (I didn’t have fresh and used an 8 oz. can)
3 garlic cloves
1 – 29 oz. can of tomato sauce
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. sugar
salt & pepper
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)
Chop large eggplant into 1″ size cubes. Put in colander, sprinkle with salt, toss around and sprinkle with salt again to make sure you salt all the cubes. This will cause the water in the eggplant to come to the surface to avoid your casserole from being too watery. Set colander in the sink while you grill your chicken.
Grill chicken breasts to “almost” done (approx. 10-12 min.) and set aside to cool before slicing.
Chop onion, green bell pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms, and garlic cloves.
Put both cans of tomato sauce in a sauce pan and add chopped garlic cloves, oregano, sugar, and salt & pepper. Simmer on medium for 20-30 minutes.
While sauce is simmering, shake colander with eggplant over sink to get rid or the excess water. Dump onto paper towels and pat with paper towels to absorb more water. Spread eggplant on a lightly greased sheet pan and bake in 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.
Chop chicken into bite size pieces.
Dump all chopped veggies, mushrooms, chicken, and eggplant into large casserole dish. Pour all tomato sauce on top. Toss to incorporate all ingredients.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Chicken will finish cooking and still be tender.
If you decided to sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, put it on and place casserole back in the oven tell it’s melted. Or, skip the mozzarella cheese and just sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese on your plate. Enjoy!