Cheesy Eggplant Casserole with Ground Turkey

Comfort food made healthy, this cheesy eggplant casserole layers eggplant with protein-rich turkey and mozzarella. The best part? It bakes up in 30 minutes!

As I was planning for recipes this fall, I realized I didn’t have that many casserole recipes on my site. Time to change that! I love making casseroles for a hearty, family sized meal. We love leftovers so I often make a casserole like this for just the two of us and we enjoy leftovers for a couple of nights. It’s the best.

Baking dish of a cheesy eggplant casserole topped with cheese and fresh parsley.

This is also the perfect recipe to bring to new parents or friends and family that are in need of a meal. It feels like baby girl is going to make her arrival any day now and I know I’d happily accept this meal when I’m running on empty!

You can bring just this casserole or whip up a simple side salad to pair with it for a complete meal.

Spatula lifting a slice of cheesy eggplant casserole out of the casserole dish.

What Does Eggplant Taste Like?

If you’ve never tried eggplant before, don’t be scared! You will love eggplant in no time. It has a really mild flavor and when cooked properly, takes on the surrounding flavors of the dish. You can leave the skin on or peel it if you prefer. I find that the skins gets really soft when eggplant is baked in a casserole like this so I never take the time to peel it.

Eggplant is a super simple vegetable to work with. One thing to note with eggplant is that it holds a lot of water. In order to make sure the casserole doesn’t end up soupy or extra watery, you simply sprinkle salt on the eggplant slices ahead of time to pull the water from it.

Casserole dish with turkey meat sauce layered with slices of eggplant.

Ingredients in Eggplant Casserole

  • eggplant
  • turkey
  • marinara sauce – I look for marinara sauce with no sugar added. Three brands I like: Muir Glen, Rao’s Homemade and Primal Kitchen.
  • cheese – we’re using shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  • spices – I kept it simple with salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning.

Sheet pan with slices of eggplant with salt on them, preparing for the casserole.

How to Make this Eggplant Casserole

Start by cutting your eggplant into slices. Place on a flat surface and sprinkle both sides with salt. Let sit for 20-30 minutes. This allows the water to be pulled out of the eggplant, making sure that the casserole doesn’t end up super watery. Blot the eggplant slices with a paper towel.

To make your sauce, sauté your garlic in a little olive oil over medium heat and then add the ground turkey along with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Break up the turkey as it cooks. When the turkey is no longer pink, add the tomato sauce to the pan and stir to combine.

It’s time to build your casserole! Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Spread a little turkey sauce into the bottom of the pan and add a layer of eggplant slices. Top with half the turkey sauce mixture, add another layer of eggplant and top with the remaining turkey sauce. Sprinkle on mozzarella cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. The tin foil keeps the cheese from getting too browned! Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Serving of cheesy eggplant turkey casserole on a plate with a green salad.

More Casserole Recipes You Might Enjoy!

If you make this turkey eggplant casserole, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turns out. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and other EBF readers.

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Turkey Eggplant Casserole


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6

Description

Comfort food made healthy, this cheesy eggplant casserole layers eggplant with protein-rich turkey and mozzarella. The best part? It bakes up in 30 minutes!


Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • sea salt

Turkey Sauce

  • 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 24 oz jar marinara sauce (any flavor)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • grated parmesan cheese, to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut eggplant into slices, place on a baking sheet or platter and sprinkle salt on both sides. Let sit for 20-30 minutes. Discard up any water released from the eggplant slices and blot any remaining water with a paper towel.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  3. Heat 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil in large sauté pan. Once hot, add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add ground turkey into the pan, season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Cook, breaking turkey apart until turkey is cooked through and no longer pink, about 10-15 minutes. Add sauce to the pan and combine. Remove from heat.
  4. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread a little sauce into the bottom of the pan and add a layer of eggplant. Top with half the turkey sauce mixture. Add another layer of eggplant, top with the remaining turkey sauce mixture. Sprinkle on mozzarella cheese.
  5. Cover eggplant bake with foil and place in preheated oven. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is hot and bubbly. Remove from oven, let rest for 5 minutes and serve.
  6. Serve with grated parmesan.

  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Italian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 210
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 460mg
  • Fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 19g

Keywords: eggplant casserole

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