We love this fun and delicious twist on eggplant parmesan! Healthier and higher in protein, these eggplant “boats” are hollowed out and stuffed with sweet Italian chicken sausage and tomato sauce, then topped with a little melted low fat mozzarella – perfect for the bariatric patient! This is a “family casserole” you can eat in confidence!
2 medium (15 oz each) white eggplants, stems trimmed off and halved lengthwise
3 links (8.4 oz?) sweet Italian chicken sausage, casings removed (I used Premio)
1/2 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/3 cups crushed tomatoes
5 basil leaves, chopped (plus more for garnish)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
4 teaspoons grated Pecorino Romano
*Preheat the oven to 400°F.
*Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
*Hollow out the flesh of the eggplant to create a boat using a melon baller or small knife, leaving a 1/2-inch of the skin all around to create a shell. Roughly chop the scooped out eggplant flesh.
*Drop the eggplant into the boiling water and cook 3 minutes (poking it with a spoon so they stay submerged). Remove with a slotted spoon and set them on paper towels on the counter.
*Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking the meat up while it cooks into smaller pieces. Add the onions and garlic and cook on a medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add 1 cup chopped eggplant and
cook about 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup crushed tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in fresh basil.
*Pour 1/3 cup of crushed tomatoes on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish and place the eggplant boats on top. Season the eggplant with salt and divide the sausage and sauce evenly among the 4 eggplant boats.
*Top each with 2 tablespoons of shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 teaspoon each of Pecorino Romano cheese.
*Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes until cheese is melted and eggplant is cooked through.
Servings: 4, Size: 1 eggplant boat
Protein: 19 grams
Carb: 25 grams
Fat: 9 grams
The pulp that gets scooped out goes right back into the stuffing so nothing gets wasted. One boat is a complete meal and super filling!