I'll Be Eating Giada De Laurentiis' Cheesy Vegetable Parmesan Casserole All Fall and Winter Long
Giada De Laurentiis may be a celebrity chef, but her recipes feel anything but fussy. Whether she's whipping up macaroni and cheese "cupcakes", ricotta-filled fall cookies or a weeknight sausage rigatoni, I know I can always turn to The Giadzy (Giada's blog) and find something delicious, comforting and family-friendly to make. And the latest recipe posted on The Giadzy's Instagram account will be one I have on repeat all fall and winter.
During the colder months, salads don't feel very appealing to me, but I still want to eat plenty of veggies. Giada's solution? Cover your favorite veggies in marinara, cheese and breadcrumbs and bake them until they turn into a healthy, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food dinner. To make Giada's dish, which she calls Vegetable Parmesan, start by preheating your oven to 375℉ and tossing your favorite sliced vegetables in a bowl with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Giada says, "This recipe calls for eggplant, fennel and bell peppers, but you can use whatever vegetables you love or have on hand."
Next, grill your veggies in a grill pan (like this one from Crate and Barrel, $70) for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Once your veggies are soft, spoon your marinara into a 9" x 13" baking dish. (Giada says store-bought sauce is A-OK for this recipe, and we totally agree with this shortcut). Start by layering your grilled eggplant slices on top of the marinara and adding mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Next add your grilled peppers and another layer of cheese. For the last layer, add your grilled fennel along with the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs with a drizzle of olive oil on top. Bake in your preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the crust on top is golden and bubbly.
According to the recipe, this veggie casserole serves six people. Each serving has 451 calories, 28 grams of fat (12 grams of which are saturated), 29 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fiber, 100 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin C, plus a hefty serving of calcium and vitamin A. Perhaps what's most impressive is that this meatless entree has a whopping 24 grams of protein! With a dish this hearty and filling, it's never been easier (or more delicious) to eat your veggies.