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Recipe: New Orleans Eggplant Casserole

This dish may be served as a main course or as a side dish. It is highly modifiable depending on your taste. Personally, I cannot eat onions and green peppers, so I skip those. You can use less or more rice depending on whether you wish to serve as a main or a side. If you do not like spicy food, use mild sausage or all ground beef and no cayenne pepper or hot sauce. Some Cajun purists may complain, but as a bonafide Coon A**, I can assure you that some of us cannot always eat with such gusto. A true taste of the Big Easy.

New Orleans Eggplant Casserole Ingredients

  • 3 large eggplants

  • 1 cup uncooked white rice

  • 2 cups water

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • cup chopped fennel bulb

  • pound bulk hot pork sausage (such as Jimmy Dean)

  • pound ground beef

  • cup chopped celery

  • cup chopped onion

  • cup chopped green bell pepper

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 1 dash hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco), or to taste

  • cup fresh French bread crumbs

  • 2? tablespoons butter, melted

How to Make New Orleans Eggplant Casserole

  1. Slice the eggplants 3/4 inch thick, and sprinkle each side with salt. Allow slices to drain in colander set in the sink for 2 to 3 hours. Wipe off excess salt, but do not rinse slices. Lay the slices into a large skillet with about 2 or 3 tablespoons of water. Cover, and steam over medium heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Remove and cut the slices into 3/4 inch cubes.

  2. Bring the rice and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 2-quart casserole dish.

  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook the eggplant cubes for about 10 minutes to slightly dry them, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 2 more minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a large bowl.

  5. Cook the fennel in skillet until tender, 5 to 8 minutes; transfer into bowl with eggplant. In the same skillet, brown the pork sausage and ground beef, breaking the meat up into crumbles as it cooks, about 10 minutes. Add meat to eggplant mixture. Drain excess fat from skillet; cook celery, onion, and green pepper until the celery has started to become tender and onion is translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer vegetables to bowl with eggplant and meat.

  6. Stir cayenne pepper and hot sauce into the mixture, combining the eggplant and meat thoroughly; gently stir in the cooked rice. Check for seasoning, and add salt if necessary. Place the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the casserole with crumbs, and drizzle with melted butter.

  7. Bake in the preheated oven until hot, about 40 minutes.

New Orleans Eggplant Casserole Nutritions

  • Calories: 486.4 calories

  • Carbohydrate: 49.5 g

  • Cholesterol: 57.9 mg

  • Fat: 25.3 g

  • Fiber: 12.4 g

  • Protein: 18 g

  • SaturatedFat: 8.8 g

  • ServingSize:

  • Sodium: 439.6 mg

  • Sugar: 8.8 g

  • TransFat:

  • UnsaturatedFat:

New Orleans Eggplant Casserole Reviews

  • I am not a big fan of eggplant, but I grew up eating this dish. I absolutely love it...just as my mom made it. You can make it as mild or spicy as you like it. This was always a dish we brought to potluck dinners.

  • I love eggplant casserole It is a staple for any true cajun family. My grandmother has made this for years; however, I do not think she ever added the fennel bulb. Other than is delicious PS If you do not care for eggplant, put it in a food processor, so there will not be any large chunks to bite into.

  • Made this with all lean ground beef, town rice and fennel powder instead of bulb -- was very good and different.Thanks Casseopeia

  • I grew up in Lafayette . Yes someone finally mentioned THE TRINITY Great recipe ... thanks for sharing

  • Loved it

  • I did not use oil, butter, bread crumbs or fennel bulb(didnt have). I cut recipe in half and used 1/2 lb. very lean grd. meat and cooked it with the onion, grn pepper, celery & garlic powder. I steamed cut up eggplant with a little water in micro for 5 min. Added rice and drained eggplant to cooked meat/veg mix. I seasoned with Tonys creole seasoning. It seemed dry so I added an 8oz can of tomato sauce before baking for 30 min. We added cheddar cheese and it was very good.

  • I thought this recipe was great, but I followed all of the directions to a T on the eggplant and it ended up mushy I felt like it was very overcooked based on all of the different steps. Next time I will probably just dice it and use it in the casserole.

  • Lots of steps if you follow the recipe sequentially... next time I will multi-task. And cook eggplant in microwave, much easier I didnt bake it with bread-crumbs and butter but the flavor was great, will definitely make it again

  • Like most things I cook, the recipe is more a guide than a rule. That being said, this was an amazing dish I cheated & cooked the onion, garlic, meat, celery, peppers, and eggplant together. I totally skipped the extra steps with the eggplant. I did slice it, cover with salt, pepper, & garlic, and let sit while cooking the rice and meat mixture. Then I cubed the eggplant & mixed in with meat, and cooked rice. Then baked at 350for 30 min. It was awesome Thanks.

  • Amazing

  • This recipe is the bomb I make this dish quite often. I make it spicy and also weaker for the family members with the weaker stomachs. I made a few changes just like everyone does. I use brown rice instead of white, I added mushrooms , A bunch more garlic cloves, Also use a can of diced tomato ( like someone else mentioned) to keep it moist. Comes out great every time so glad I found this recipe. I am asked to make it for every pot luck dinner . thanks, Dan

  • Very good recipe Thanks so much for submitting this. I have a friend bringing me eggplants all the time now I added more rice. I used ground meat but I do plan on using sausage next time You could even use sliced or cubed sausage in place of ground. I probably added too much salt to the eggplant when sweating it, so I did rinse, and then didnt add anymore salt at all, to the meat or the rice. I skipped the butter, as I didnt have unsalted, but that certainly provides more flavor and moistness. I skipped the breadcrumbs, and added Parmesan cheese flakes to the top.

  • I made this recipe and we liked it a lot. I added a canof drained petite diced tomatoes. I also used crushed Ritz crackers instead of bread crumbs on top. You definitely have to season to taste because the rice soaks up a lot of flavor.

  • I coated the Eggplant with onion salt, and put more celery and onion in than was requested... I also used the stalk of the fennel as well as the bulb...I didnt have French bread, so I used regular bread on half and for my husband who is trying to avoid bread, I used rice cakes for the top. After tasting it we also added a little mayo to make it a little more creamy.

  • This was soooo good The only change I made was using less eggplant. I only used one. Just delicious.

Source: New Orleans Eggplant Casserole All About Trends

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