Runner recipes: Eggplant parmesan


Chris Burdick

This cheesy dish is a great way to take a break from traditional spaghetti.

Chris Burdick, Sports Co-Editor

  Are you looking to spice up dinner during this pandemic? Ditch the traditional spaghetti and meatballs and try out this twist on the eggplant parmesan. The Italian staple is a delicious way to change up your menu and learn some new culinary skills. 


Yield: 3-4 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes 

Cook time: 35-40 minutes 

Total time: 45 minutes 



2-3 bell peppers 

1 eggplant 

48 ounces of tomato pasta sauce 

½ -¾ pounds of ground beef 

8 ounces of parmesan cheese 

1 ½ teaspoons garlic, ground 

1 ½ teaspoons oregano 

1 teaspoon basil 

1 teaspoon of white pepper 

1 teaspoon cumin 

¾-1 cup of oil; I highly recommend olive oil 


Food Preparation: 

  First you will want to season your ground beef with your mix of spices. Put the beef in a bowl and season it well with garlic, oregano, pepper, and cumin. Mix the ingredients inside the bowl with your hands until seasoning is even. Be sure to clean your hands properly after to prevent spreading bacteria from handling the raw meat. 

  Next you will need to slice up your eggplant and peppers. Using a sharp knife, cut your eggplant into quarter inch slices. Make sure they are similar sizes because you will need to stack them later. 

  Then you will need to take your bell peppers and de-seed them. An easy way to do this is to take a sharp knife and cut off the top of the pepper to expose the core inside. Cut down the side of the bell pepper and pull it open. Then remove the remaining seeds and slice the pepper into slices similar to French fries. 

Cooking Directions: 

  Place a saucepan over medium heat.  

  Add olive oil, or oil of choice, into the pan. You will want just enough to glaze the bottom. Place your beef in the pan and cook it until it has browned; this typically takes about 10 to 15 minutes. 

  When that’s finished, take a pot and place it over equal medium heat and add 24 ounces of tomato sauce into the pot. Stir until it has warmed, taking one minute or so.  

  Add your beef and basil to the pot. Mix well to finish your meat sauce and pour into a separate bowl.  

  Next, place a new saucepan over medium-high heat with cooking oil glazing the bottom. Adding your bell peppers, cook them in the pan for 5 minutes. Be sure to stir regularly until the peppers are softened slightly. When they are finished, remove them from heat and place the vegetables on a clean tray.  

  Using the pan the ground beef was cooked in, add a small amount of cooking oil. Place your eggplant slices in, and turn on the stove to medium heat. Eggplant has a spongy quality, so it will soak up some of the leftover juices from the meat as it cooks. Continue cooking for about two minutes on each side, allowing the eggplant to brown. 

  Preheat the oven to 350 F. 

  In a glass baking dish, lightly layer the unused 24 ounces of tomato sauce to the bottom of the dish. 

  Place each eggplant slice side by side, lining the bottom of the pan. Then place a layer of bell peppers on top. Carefully, pour your meat sauce over the vegetables, and apply a second layer of peppers. Top the dish with a heavy layer of parmesan cheese. Repeat these steps for an additional layer. The completed dish should have two layers of eggplant and four of the peppers. 

  Place the dish in the oven and let cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let the dish cool a little, and you’re all finished and ready to dig in! 

  Do you have a recipe that you want us to try and you want to share? Send it in to The Runner at [email protected].