This Baked Pasta with Eggplant is an easy, family-friendly pasta casserole dish with added veggies. It’s vegetarian and can easily be made gluten free and dairy-free.Jump to Recipe
Baked Pasta with Eggplant
Can I tell you all a little secret?
I don’t like eggplant. Nope nope nope. Totally not my jam. And this fact is much to my husband’s disappointment since he adores that purple plant.
However, eggplants kept showing up week after week in our CSA (which stands for Community Supported Agriculture. This site can help you find one near you) and I simply couldn’t:
- give it away (apparently I am not the only one having a hard time loving it)!
- let it go to waste!
So, I set out to make an eggplant-loaded recipe that me, the pickiest of eggplant eaters, enjoyed. And, boy oh boy, did I ever do that when I made this Baked Pasta with Eggplant!
TNNers, not only did I find a way to ENJOY eating eggplant, but I found a new recipe that the whole family loves! Not only do I go back for seconds when this dish is on the table, but so does my whole family! Total win.
And I’m betting your family is going to love this eggplant pasta just as much, too!
Why this vegetarian pasta bake with eggplant is so good!
- Easy! It takes 35 minutes to cook up to perfection, but almost all of it is hands off! You can throw this together and get other stuff done (or relax!) while this delicious dinner cooks up.
- Perfect as leftovers. Reheats easily and makes a nice big batch so that your can use it to feed a crowd or enjoy on a night when cooking isn’t going to happen!
- Is easily adaptable. We all have different needs, preferences and/or eating styles…and this baked pasta with eggplant is easy to add protein to, make gluten free or dairy-free. Check the suggested adaptations section below for ideas of how to tweak this recipe to fit your needs.
- Veggie-loaded. Eggplant + spinach are already in this yummy vegetarian pasta casserole, but you could add even more if you wanted by using my kid-friendly vegetable tomato sauce instead of jarred sauce!
- It is family-friendly. This baked pasta is comforting and full of lots of familiar flavors your crew will love!
- Make gluten free by using your favorite gluten free pasta!
- Skip the cheese on top to make it dairy-free and/or vegan. Or use your favorite dairy-free cheese instead.
- Add protein. Stir in cooked chickpeas or if vegetarian isn’t need, add cooked shredded chicken or shrimp to the pasta before topping with cheese.
- Up the veggies. This baked pasta with eggplant is a great way to use up any veggies that need to go or add more veggies to your family’s diet! I love to throw in chopped broccoli, cauliflower, or zucchini…but you can add whatever vegetables you like, have on hand or need to use up!
- Peel the eggplant or remove seeds before roasting. This might be helpful thing to do for veggie-iffy eaters.
Want to make sure you always have spinach on hand for this Baked Pasta with Eggplant? Check out my tips & tricks for keeping spinach fresh all week!
Other veggie-packed pasta recipes…
- Mushroom Lentil Pasta
- Creamy Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce (vegan)
- Kid-Friendly Vegetable Sauce
- Pumpkin Pasta Sauce (quick & easy)
- Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- Easy Avocado Spinach Pesto
- One-Pot Cheesy Butternut Squash Pasta
Baked Pasta with Eggplant
- 1 pound eggplant, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound pasta
- 24 ounces pasta sauce
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded optional. Omit for dairy-free.
- 2 cups loosely packed baby spinach, chopped
- Preheat oven to 425℉.
- In a 9"x13" casserole pan, combine chopped eggplant, onions and garlic. Drizzle the oil over the top of the veggies and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat.
- Place veggies in the preheated oven and roast for 30 minutes.
- While the veggies roast, cook pasta according to directions. Once done cooking, drain water and set pasta aside.
- When veggies are done roasting, add the cooked pasta, chopped spinach, and sauce to the casserole pan. Toss to coat and smooth out into an even layer. Sprinkle with cheese and put back into the oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Enjoy warm.
The nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and may vary based on the product type, servings and other factors. If you are following a diet, please consult with a professional nutritionist or your doctor. Stay healthy!
Made this for dinner with some added chicken. Yum! Really good and pretty simple.
So glad you enjoyed it!
As always this came together so easily! I actually roasted the eggplant and made the pasta during weekly food prep, then just threw it all together and stuck in the oven for dinner one night. I added some mushrooms and spinach to make it go farther and I’m glad I did cause it’s been quickly eaten up!
This is really good. I had some eggplant was and looking for a way to use it and I came across this recipe. The only thing I did different was I had a little bit of zucchini when roasting the vegetables and some fresh basil before I put it in the oven the second time. My husband who claims to not like eggplant had two portions
I am so glad you enjoyed!
My family loved this!! One question, does this freeze well?
I’m so glad it was a hit, Denise! I don’t find pasta or eggplant to freeze super great. Edible, yes. But it’ll be a bit mushier onced thawed.
What size casserole dish? I grabbed a 9x 13 but I can’t imagine a whole pound of pasta is going to fit in with the eggplant.
Hi Heather! Thanks for pointing out that I didn’t have dimensions for the casserole dish in the recipe. Fixed! The dish I used for this recipe (and in the pictures) is indeed a 9×13. Everything fit beautifully, since the eggplant does cook down considerably.
I made this recipe using the kid-friendly vegetable tomato sauce in the notes. The only change I made was to use 6 oz. of pasta instead of 16. It was very good. I just have a couple suggestions. Since I made the sauce yesterday it was cool. I thought the cheese looked melted on top of the casserole and took it out of the oven at 6 1/2 minutes. It definitely needed 10 or more! (FYI) My carrots in the sauce were really sweet, which gave the casserole itself more of a sweet flavor. I will add more salt next time. I really like how pretty the casserole looks when it comes out of the oven. The colors are nice together. Even my husband commented on it
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Margaret! It is a really pretty casserole and love that you made my veggie pasta sauce to enjoy in this dish. Jarred sauces often have added sugar to help balance out the acidity of the the tomatoes, which I was trying to achieve with the natural sweetness of the carrots. Carrots can vary in sweetness (because Mother Nature likes to vary thing like that) and so totally adding some extra salt to balance that sweetness is a great idea, depending on the batch.