This easy vegetarian baked eggplant gratin is perfect for a meatless meal or a side dish. A simple basil and garlic sauce makes it creamy and fulfilling.
I was a vegetarian from when I was 12 until I was 22. I got very good at cooking vegetables and veggie burgers. But that was ten long years without bacon. (I have 20 bacon recipes currently to try to make up for that period of time).
The first Christmas my husband I were married my father-in-law gave me a copy of the Passionate Vegetarian. That was also the Christmas before my husband convinced me to eat meat again. Since then baked eggplant gratin has been my favorite eggplant recipe.
My baked eggplant gratin has all the flavors of eggplant rollatini but ½ of the work. I have loosely adapted the recipe from the Passionate Vegetarian cookbook to make it grain and dairy free.
I'm the only person in my house who eats eggplant. My husband does like it but he is mildly allergic and gets an itchy tongue from it. I don't mind because then I don't have to share. Personally, I will eat this for lunch every day.
How to Prep Eggplant
I slice the eggplant and soak it in salted water. This takes out some of the bitterness and makes it release some liquid so the gratin isn't watery.
Can I use dried basil?
The fresh basil really does make this dish special. I wouldn't recommend substituting dried basil in this recipe.
What type of sauce should I use?
Any type of sugar-free marinara sauce works in this recipe. You can see a jarred kind in my photos. But I've started making my own keto marinara sauce most of the time.
If you do not need this baked eggplant gratin to be dairy free go ahead and top it with some parmesan and mozzarella cheese. It is fabulous either way.
I hope you enjoy this Baked Eggplant Gratin!
- Preheat oven to 350. Soak the eggplant in salted water for 15 minutes. Drain well. Put in a large casserole dish, cover with foil bake for 25 minutes or until softened.
- Meanwhile, chop the green onions, garlic, and basil in a food processor. Add the coconut cream, mayo, egg, salt and pepper. Process until smooth.
- Remove half of the softened eggplant from the casserole dish, leaving one layer. Pour half the basil sauce on top and drop spoonfuls of half the tomato sauce on that. Add the rest of the eggplant and top with the remaining basil sauce and tomato sauce.
- Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes. The edges should be golden and sauce will have thickened.