Make-Ahead Eggplant Casserole

(7 votes)

1 eggplant, sliced in rounds
1 cup raw white rice
1 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese, or low fat
1/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated

Place eggplant slices in salted water to cover (1 tablespoon salt to 1 qt water) and let stand for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to package directions, omitting any oil or butter, and set aside. Drain the eggplant, place in a single layer in a nonstick skillet, and cook until crisp-tender, turning once. Transfer to a dish and set aside.*

In a nonstick skillet, sauté the onion, garlic, and mushrooms in 1/4 cup of water until crisp-tender. Add the tomato sauce and herbs, scraping up brown bits from the bottom and sides of the pan. Simmer for a few minutes. Mix the ricotta cheese and milk in a separate bowl.

Spray a 2 qt baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray; layer the cooked rice, eggplant, ricotta and sauce. Repeat, ending with sauce. Top with mozzarella. Sprinkle Parmesan over the mozzarella.

At this point, you may cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate until time to use or bake uncovered at 350°F for 30-35 minutes.

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