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Beefy Eggplant Parmigiana

I developed this recipe one summer when my husband planted eggplant and tomatoes. I was thrilled when this special casserole won high honors at a national beef contest.—Celeste Copper, Baton rouge, Louisiana
  • Total Time
    Prep: 50 + simmering Bake: 35 min. + standing
  • Makes
    8 servings


  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 medium eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • Additional canola oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • Minced fresh parsley


  • In a large saucepan, saute onion, celery and garlic powder in oil until tender. Stir in the tomatoes, water, tomato paste, parsley, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Discard bay leaf.
  • In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In a shallow dish, combine flour and remaining salt and pepper. Place buttermilk in another shallow dish. Dip eggplant in buttermilk, then in flour mixture.
  • In a large skillet, cook eggplant in batches in 1/2 in. of hot oil until golden brown on each side; drain.
  • Place half of eggplant in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Top with half of Parmesan cheese, beef and tomato mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Top with remaining eggplant, Parmesan cheese, beef and tomato mixture.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with parsley.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 498 calories, 33g fat (8g saturated fat), 58mg cholesterol, 841mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 22g protein.

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  • Adele
    Jun 13, 2020

    I like the idea; however, I would do this differently. I wouldn't buy buttermilk just to make this; I would simply dip the eggplant in a beaten egg mixture. Rather than prepare the tomato/meat mixture as per this recipe, I would simply make a batch of my own spaghetti sauce the day before. Then I would layer the ingredients. A batch of my spaghetti sauce would make more than I would need for this recipe; however, I would simply keep that in the fridge and use it for pasta later on. My sauce keeps for two weeks in the fridge. Also, when preparing eggplant, it's a good idea to slice it, toss it with salt, and leave it in a cullender for about half an hour so that the salt can draw out the liquid (rinse it after half an hour). It cooks better that way. Having said that, this recipe did generate ideas for me. I'm not going to give it a star rating because it would be non-applicable. I do like the idea of adding beef to an eggplant Parmesan.

  • Rick
    Dec 13, 2019

    That's pretty much Greek mousaka....nothing new.

  • JoJo
    Aug 16, 2019

    I will be making this on the weekend and will bake the eggplant instead of frying it. For the benefit of the reviewer who wanted to lighten up on the fat content. Just brush will a little olive oil. Bake at 275 for 10 min. each side.

    May 18, 2019

    Looking At The Final Presented And Prepared Food Is Making Me Feel That I Have Missed It But Thank You So Much For Providing The Recipe In Such A Great Detail, I Will Definitely Try Best Educational Website For All Competitive Exams, Download Free Study Material, Free Books Pdf Download, Free Study Material In Hindi And English <a href=>Free Study Material For All Competitive Exams Download For Free In Hindi And English</a>

  • Mistra1980
    Jan 27, 2019

    This recipe is great! I’ve used it many times over the years. I prefer to add an extra can of stewed tomatoes to the sauce that goes over the eggplant because the casserole seems rather “dry” with just one can used. I also like to serve this dish with a side of plain spaghett. Highly recommended!

  • Charline
    Sep 13, 2017

    I will be trying this today. When making eggplant parmesan, instead of frying in oil, I put it on a sheet pan, sprinkle olive oil and broil on both sides. Saves time as well as fat.

  • Alicia
    Dec 1, 2016

    Delicious! Two hours after dinner and hubby actually said (again) that he really enjoyed tonight's supper. Yes, it did take about 1? hours prep time - but I can probably shave off at least 30 minutes on my second attempt. We WILL be enjoying this recipe again, and again. I'm doing a test freeze on a bit of the leftovers - hope it's successful.

  • ttesnyc
    Jul 31, 2016

    Love this! It took so long to make (2 hours for me) but it was worth it the effort. I would use slightly less salt (I don't cook with much salt so my taste tolerance for it is low). Have this with a nice green salad, some garlic bread (a small piece because this dish is very rich so you fill up fast) & iced tea. Super excellent!

  • jjviolin
    Sep 20, 2015

    I made this because I suddenly remember how much I liked eggplant parmiggiano when I used to live in NYC and my bf never tried it and we had some leftover ground beef and eggplant in the fridge. It took me 1 hour and half to make it but it was worth it. He said it was the best thing I ever made.I didnt add celery as I don't like it, and used sour milk instead of buttermilk because I accidentally bought the wrong thing. Anyway, it came out delicious. Thanks

  • VTitan
    Jan 3, 2012

    My husband was leary at first when I mentioned I was going to make this. That changed the second he took his first bite and he ended up absolutely loving it! I had to use a jar sauce due to time constraints but it was an amazing meal regardless. This is definitely one of our favorite recipes from Taste of Home since we began trying them all.