Trader Joe’s Tuesday: One-Skillet Eggplant Parm with Burrata

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I’ve been dreaming up this recipe for months. At the beginning of Shelter-In-Place, we planted a TON of eggplant plants, and we’re still waiting on them to, eh, start growing? They’re just sorta hanging out, being tiny, not doing much, but also not dying? Farmers, we are not. Not yet!

Eggplant is a laborious, glorious dish. First you cut the eggplant into rounds, then salt it to release excess moisture. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then pat it dry and dredge it through flour, an egg wash, and crispy breadcrumbs.

THEN you fry it, and layer it into a baking dish with tomato sauce and cheese.

It’s completely worth the effort. But sometimes, you want/NEED eggplant parm faster, and with far fewer dishes to clean (like…one instead of 10). And on those nights, this one-skillet stunner has got your back.

We simply saute cubed up eggplant in a large skillet to brown it, and allow it to release it’s excess moisture. Then a quick simmer in some store bought cheesy tomato sauce to bring all of the flavors together. If you like things SUPER CHEESY, throw some extra mozzarella into the eggplant tomato mixture itself before covering it with breadcrumbs, otherwise the burrata on top does the trick pretty nicely.

George and I like to eat this on it’s own, maybe with a simple side salad, but a lot of people like their eggplant parm served over pasta. A piece of good bread would be wonderful for scooping everything up, too. Or, serve it over zucchini noodles to keep things summery and light!

It would also be a fantastic summer side dish alongside grilled meats and vegetables. Yum. A great potluck dish! Make it at home, then finish the burrata step at the party. You can throw your cast iron skillet onto indirect heat on the grill to finish it!

All of these ingredients can be picked up at TJ’s, or any regular grocer!

my new cast iron skillet is a Smithey and I’M IN LOVE. i got the no. 12!

all of the ingredients minus olive oil, salt, and the EXTRA cheese should you choose to cheese

5 from 1 vote

One-Skillet Eggplant Parm with Burrata

Servings 4 to 6 people

Equipment

  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • 12-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron)
  • Small bowl

Ingredients

  • tbsp  olive oil, divided
  • 2 large  globe eggplants  (1 1/2 to 2 pounds total), 1-inch cubed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 leek, halved vertically, thinly sliced
  • 4 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4  tsp  dried oregano, divided
  • 1 (25 to 28 ounce)  jar tomato-based pasta sauce with Parmesan in it (I used Trader Joe’s “Three Cheese Pomodoro Pasta Sauce” – I’ve seen “four cheese pasta sauce” at regular stores. 
  • *OPTIONAL EXTRA CHEESY INGREDIENT: 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, 1/2-inch cubed (read the recipe to see how this comes into play)
  • 1 1/2  cup  panko breadcrumbs
  • 8 ounces  burrata cheese
  • 1/4  cup  fresh chopped parsley or basil

Substitutions:

  • Olive oil —> any neutral cooking oil
  • Eggplant—>  you could buy 2 pounds of bell peppers, zucchini, and squash, cut it and cook it the same way, and make a “one-skillet ratatouille” situation instead. That would be SO GOOD.
  • Leek—>  using a leek in eggplant parm was pretty rogue, but I love how the leeks at Trader Joe’s are pre-cut and cleaned for you! And they’re delish, more mellow and sweet than a regular onion. A large diced shallot or small yellow onion is great sub.
  • Garlic—>  1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
  • Dried oregano—>  Italian seasoning, dried thyme, or just omit it. If you have a bay leaf you could throw one in there. Just don’t forget to warn your eaters to fish it out if they find it in their serving!
  • Tomato—>  based pasta with cheese in it: this is basically just allowing us to NOT have to buy parmesan cheese… for our eggplant parmesan. If you can’t find a tomato sauce with cheese in it, buy grated Parmesan, and stir in 1/2 cup AFTER you take the skillet off the heat after simmering it.
  • Extra Cheese Mozzarella—>  If you like things super cheesy, make sure to do this step. You can also stir in 1 cup of shredded mozzarella.
  • Panko—>  any breadcrumbs will work. Have an old slice of bread sitting on the countertop? Blend it up into crumbs and use that! Panko will be the CRISPIEST, which is why I love using it.
  • Burrata—>  burrata can be tricky to find (that’s why TJ’s rules!). If you can’t find it, just find the freshest mozzarella, ideally packed in water, that you can, and use that!
  • Parsley or basil—>  A bit of fresh oregano will also work! We just want a pop of green here. You can also stir some parsley or basil (about 1/3 cup chopped) into the eggplant tomato mixture when you add in the tomato sauce, for even more herby flavor

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and quickly stir to coat it all in oil. If you don’t move quickly enough, all of the oil will soak into the first eggplant that touch it. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and stir in 2 tablespoons water and cook, stirring often, for 5 to 7 minutes, until eggplant is beginning to get tender and browned. 
  • Stir in 1 thinly sliced leek4 minced garlic cloves, and 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano. If your skillet is very dry by this point, add another 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook for 2 minutes, until the leek is softened. 
  • Stir in 1 (28 ounce) jar of tomato sauce and 1/4 cup water and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 5 minutes. If your sauce is bubbling and splattering, reduce the heat.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons olive oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon salt together until combined.
  • *OPTIONAL EXTRA CHEESY STEP: cube 8 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese and poke the cubes down into the eggplant and tomato mixture.*
  • Use a spatula to smooth the eggplant tomato mixture, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over top. 
  • Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are golden-brown. 
  • Tear the burrata into 6 to 8 pieces and place over the breadcrumbs. Return the skillet to the oven for 3 minutes just to warm the burrata.
  • Sprinkle 1/4 cup fresh parsley or basil over top and enjoy!
  • tbsp  olive oil, divided
  • 2 large  globe eggplants  (1 1/2 to 2 pounds total), 1-inch cubed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 leek, halved vertically, thinly sliced
  • 4 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4  tsp  dried oregano, divided
  • 1 (25 to 28 ounce)  jar tomato-based pasta sauce with Parmesan in it (I used Trader Joe’s “Three Cheese Pomodoro Pasta Sauce” – I’ve seen “four cheese pasta sauce” at regular stores. 
  • *OPTIONAL EXTRA CHEESY INGREDIENT: 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, 1/2-inch cubed (read the recipe to see how this comes into play)
  • 1 1/2  cup  panko breadcrumbs
  • 8 ounces  burrata cheese
  • 1/4  cup  fresh chopped parsley or basil

Substitutions:

  • Olive oil —> any neutral cooking oil
  • Eggplant—>  you could buy 2 pounds of bell peppers, zucchini, and squash, cut it and cook it the same way, and make a “one-skillet ratatouille” situation instead. That would be SO GOOD.
  • Leek—>  using a leek in eggplant parm was pretty rogue, but I love how the leeks at Trader Joe’s are pre-cut and cleaned for you! And they’re delish, more mellow and sweet than a regular onion. A large diced shallot or small yellow onion is great sub.
  • Garlic—>  1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.
  • Dried oregano—>  Italian seasoning, dried thyme, or just omit it. If you have a bay leaf you could throw one in there. Just don’t forget to warn your eaters to fish it out if they find it in their serving!
  • Tomato—>  based pasta with cheese in it: this is basically just allowing us to NOT have to buy parmesan cheese… for our eggplant parmesan. If you can’t find a tomato sauce with cheese in it, buy grated Parmesan, and stir in 1/2 cup AFTER you take the skillet off the heat after simmering it.
  • Extra Cheese Mozzarella—>  If you like things super cheesy, make sure to do this step. You can also stir in 1 cup of shredded mozzarella.
  • Panko—>  any breadcrumbs will work. Have an old slice of bread sitting on the countertop? Blend it up into crumbs and use that! Panko will be the CRISPIEST, which is why I love using it.
  • Burrata—>  burrata can be tricky to find (that’s why TJ’s rules!). If you can’t find it, just find the freshest mozzarella, ideally packed in water, that you can, and use that!
  • Parsley or basil—>  A bit of fresh oregano will also work! We just want a pop of green here. You can also stir some parsley or basil (about 1/3 cup chopped) into the eggplant tomato mixture when you add in the tomato sauce, for even more herby flavor

Join the Conversation

  1. Not only was this simple, it was fast and DELISH! I am definitely going to make this as a quick weeknight meal on repeat.

  2. Jacqui Singer says:

    5 stars
    Ahhh-mazing per usual. I feel like you could easily add a ground meat or sausage if you wanted it.

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