Just as stunning in taste and texture as it is in presentation, my brand spanking new Creole style gluten free eggplant Parmesan is an epic home cook love story, y'all. Cajun fried eggplant slices, layered between homemade baked red gravy and three ooey gooey cheese. Baked til browned, bubbly, and unforgettable restaurant-quality flavor that's perfect for romantic dinners, 'company's coming over' gatherings and 'let's just make this ordinary day super special ok?' at-home festivities. Yep and yay...
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Oh Creole Style Gluten Free Baked Eggplant Parmesan, You Really Did Make ALL of My Dreams Finally Come True...
For months now, I've had thoughts of this Creole style gluten free eggplant Parmesan dancing around in my head. Eggplant is in season in the summer here. True. But, it's honestly warm enough in south Louisiana to find locally grown fresh eggplant at my local produce mart almost any time of the year.
Since we've been married, Mark's been really resistant to my bringing home eggplant and giving any dish a go with it. He said that he never really liked eggplant. And that he didn't think that I could win him over to my eggplant-loving side. Like ever. Sigh!!
Because Mark is so easy going, I've let him slide for the last 4 ½ years on his no-eating-eggplant stance. I didn't want to rock his boat, because I know what it's like to have someone else hype up a food to me that I really don't like. Only to give in and be even more turned off to the meat, veggie, fruit or gluten free carb in question.
However, last week I was really, really craving fried eggplant. So, I gave in to my craving and ended up frying up a batch. Well, Mark reluctantly ate his first one. Then, he ate another. And right after he ate his third fried eggplant slice, he turned to me and said, "Well, you did it. This is the best fried eggplant that I've ever had."
So then I was in like Flynn, y'all!! Since my Cajun fried eggplant passed the Mark test, I knew that I could keep going and go all the way with my plans to make my very own Creole style gluten free eggplant Parmesan.
But, before I did, I knew that I would also have to make my baked red gravy first. Because I knew that no other tomato sauce was going to give me the depth of flavor that I wanted to REALLY win Mark over to the eternal eggplant loving side.
And, I'm on cloud nine to report that not only did Mark like my spin on traditional eggplant Parmesan. He LOVED it. So much so in fact that he didn't moan, kick or scream about the meatless meal at all. And he was oh sooo happy to take the leftovers for his next-day lunch, too.
Then, once he called to tell me how awesome it was the next day, I figured that I was in the free and clear to share this truly amazing Creole style gluten free eggplant Parmesan with y'all, too. Yep.
How to Make Creole Style Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan Your New Rewarding Home Cook Labor of Love
To start the Creole style gluten free eggplant Parmesan, prepare the best ever baked red gravy (Creole tomato sauce):
While the baked red gravy is resting, make the Cajun fried eggplant. Cover and keep warm. (I kept them in the microwave until ready to use.)
Next, pour about 1 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a well-greased 10-inch cast iron skillet. I used the top of my Lodge 5-quart Dutch oven.
Then, add a layer of about ⅓ of the fried eggplant slices. Don't worry if you have some gluten free bread crumb clumping issues like I did. It's normal at the end of a frying batch. And it melts right into the casserole while baking, too.
Then sprinkle all the cheese you want on top:
Repeat the layers until you reach the top of the skillet. You will probably have sauce and cheese left. And maybe a few Cajun fried eggplant slices that you'll be really happy to dip into the red gravy and eat too!! 🙂
Finally, bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until bubbly and browned to your liking on top. Let sit for a few minutes before serving to let some of the steam escape. And then cut you, and your lucky meal participants, a super slice of this one-of-a-kind Creole style gluten free eggplant Parmesan.
And then taste the all of the love that I put into preparing this unforgettable dish from the beginning to the end, y'all. The first thing you notice is how perfect the three-cheese blend is melted over the top of your slice.
Then, upon first bite you just won't believe how crispy the fried GF eggplant slices stayed throughout the baking process. And while your head is reeling back delightfully from the crunch factor, your taste buds are being pushed to whole levels from the insanely delicious and rich baked red gravy.
At this point, you're processing all of the individual components of the dish very, very well. And with each bite, they're all melding together into one forkful after the other of cohesive bliss that you thought you had to give up long, long ago when you found out that you were gluten intolerant.
Well, now you don't have to anymore, y'all. Nope. Now, you can have your Creole style gluten free eggplant Parmesan and eat it, too. Boasting everything you loved about wheat-laden eggplant Parm with whole new crunchiness levels. And new, out-of-this-world baked red graviness that elevate your taste buds to heights you never even thought were possible outside of a fancy dancy restaurant. Yep.
Share this Creole style gluten free eggplant Parmesan with those who applaud you for pushing yourself to be the very best version of you that you could ever be. And see y'all on the yum side....
Creole Style Gluten Free Eggplant Parmesan
For the Cajun Fried Eggplant
- 1 batch Gluten Free Cajun Fried Eggplant
For the Baked Red Gravy (Creole Tomato Sauce)
- 1 batch Best Ever Baked Red Gravy
For the Cheesy Layers
- 6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 ounces shredded Pepper Jack cheese
- 3 ounces shredded Parmesan/Romano cheese
- Prepare the baked red gravy. Keep covered and warm.
- When the red gravy is resting, prepare the gluten free fried Cajun eggplant. Cover and keep warm.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Pour about 1 cup of sauce into the bottom of a well-greased 10-inch cast iron skillet.
- Place about ⅓ of the fried Cajun eggplant over the sauce. Top with ⅓ of the cheeses.
- Repeat layers until you reach the top of the skillet. You will have remaining sauce, and possibly cheese.
- Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until baked and bubbly and browned to your liking on top.
- Let sit 5 to 10 minutes before serving.