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Today, I am telling you to turn your oven on.

Quinoa Crusted Baked Three-Cheese Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan |

I know a lot of you are like she’s crazy, BUT it was thunder storming all day yesterday. Basically, just the kind of weather that makes you want to curl up and take a nap. Actually, it didn’t just rain, it hailed, and if you have ever experienced Colorado hail, well then you know, Β one – it’s HUGE, and two – it hurts.

I know this because I decided I’d better get the garbage in before it poured and filled the empty cans up. Only I procrastinated and waited till the last possible second. I walked outside and it began hailing.

Quinoa Crusted Baked Three-Cheese Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan |

Of course.

I seriously have little pellet marks in my skin from the hail hitting me so hard. And the trash? The trash is something you totally need a boyfriend for. DefinitelyΒ a guy’s job.

Quinoa Crusted Baked Three-Cheese Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan |

So yeah, yesterday I just needed to turn on my oven and bake something a little cozy.

I also really, really needed to use up my eggplant, as you can see from the above photo. Every year I buy eggplant with the idea that for some reason I will like it a little bit more than the year before, but then it sits in my fridge forever because I don’t know what to do with it. So when in doubt, bake it and cover it in cheese. Works out pretty good every time.

Quinoa Crusted Baked Three-Cheese Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan |

Quinoa Crusted Baked Three-Cheese Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan |

Since I am not hugely in love with eggplant I made this with zucchini too. It was a good idea because it gives the dish a little different texture and well, it’s not just a bunch of saucy eggplant and cheese. Now there is zucchini in the mix too!

Oh, and of course the quinoa. Well I wasn’t sure how the quinoa part to this would work, but it actually turned out pretty awesome. While baking, the quinoa soaks up some of the sauce (so use extra sauce if you like things saucy) and becomes chewy with a slight bit of crunch to it. It’s the perfect texture, plus it bumps up the health factor which of course, is a nice little bonus.

Quinoa Crusted Baked Three-Cheese Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan |

And even though this takes a little time to make, most of the time is in the baking. It’s a pretty simple and straight forward recipe. You can even assemble the whole thing in advance and then just bake before dinner. Perfect summer supper!

Quinoa Crusted Baked Three-Cheese Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan |

Of course it doubles quite nicely as a great cozy comfort meal on a rainy summer day!

Quinoa Crusted Baked Three-Cheese Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan |

Quinoa Crusted Baked Three-Cheese Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 576 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  • 1 in medium eggplant sliced 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 in small to medium zucchinis sliced 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs may use regular or [gluten free |] if needed
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan divided
  • 3 eggs beaten, divided
  • 16 ounces whole or part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced or grated
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • cooking spray
  • 4 ounces fontina cheese shredded
  • 4-6 cups of [your favorite pasta sauce |]
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese sliced
  • your favorite cooked pasta for serving


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment.
  • In a medium bowl combine the quinoa, bread crumbs and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. In another smaller bowl whisk together the eggs.
  • Working in an assembly line dip the zucchini and eggplant slices through the eggs and then dredge them through the quinoa mixture, very gently shaking to remove excess. Place on the prepared baking sheet and continue with the remaining zucchini and eggplant slices. If you are having trouble getting the quinoa to adhere to the veggies, just sprinkle the quinoa over both sides of the veggies and place on the baking sheet. It will bake together in the oven. Sprinkle the veggies generously with salt and pepper. Spray lightly with cooking spray or olive oil spray. Bake for 25-30 minutes rotating the pan after 15 minutes. The veggies should be lightly golden and crisp.
  • Meanwhile, add the remaining 1 egg, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, basil, garlic and crushed red pepper to a bowl. Mix until smooth.
  • Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish or other dish equivalent in size. Spread about 1-2 cups of pasta sauce on the bottom.
  • Place a layer of zucchini and eggplant over the sauce. Spread half the ricotta mixture over the zucchini and eggplant. Spread another cup or so of pasta sauce over top. Layer with more zucchini and eggplant, saving a few for the final layer. Sprinkle the veggies with the fontina cheese and then add the remaining ricotta mixture plus another cup or so of sauce. Add the remaining zucchini + eggplant and then pour the remaining sauce over top. Cover tightly with foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, remove and top with the mozzarella. Bake un-covered for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Serve with hot pasta and fresh parmesan.


*Adapted from [Cooking Light |]

Quinoa Crusted Baked Three-Cheese Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan |

And be sure to serve this over pasta. Like do not even think about skipping it.

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  1. Really looking forward to trying this one! Tieghan, do you rinse the quinoa first, or just plop it right in? I have done both in other recipes, with differing results. I want to get this one right from the get go. Happy culinary creating!

    1. I like to rinse the quinoa first. Let me know if you have any other questions. Hope you love this!

      1. Hi – this is an inspired recipe, and you are one clever cook! I had some questions as it baked, would it get ‘goopy’ with lots of liquid on the bottom as the servings were dished out? Would the quinoa really bake sufficiently if it was not cooked first? Would the eggplant and zucchini end with with a palatable texture or …..? Positive results on all counts! This is delicious, and I think tastes even better (if that’s possible) a couple of days after baking. This is something I would proudly serve company – and I will!
        Next up, your chocolate seed bars…. Thanks for these great dishes!

  2. Made this last night with all zucchini (got some eggplant – adverse eaters in the family). It was delicious. Thanks!

  3. What a fantastic recipe! I absolutely loved it and so did my two friends I had over for dinner last night!!! It was a fun process too making it too. Thanks so much for sharing!! πŸ™‚

  4. Just made this last night for my vegetarian friends! I’ve never had eggplant before, so you can imagine how anxious I was about cooking it! It turned out wonderful and my guests were thrilled. Thank you SO much for sharing this recipe. All of the photographs of your food are beautiful!

    1. SO happy it went over well and you loved it too!!

      Thanks so so much for the kind words Meg!! Making my day! πŸ™‚

  5. I just made this today and while eating it I think I said “omg this is amazing” at least five times. I will definitely be making this again. Thanks Tueghan!

  6. I made this for dinner tonight and it was really lovely! Even my dad, who doesn’t like eggplant parmesan, said it was delicious. Total recipe winner! Thanks Tieghan!

    1. Hey Amy, I use raw quinoa in this, but if you have some cooked I think that would work too. Hope you love it!

  7. Omg. Looks delicious. Now I feel like making home-made pizza. Thanks for sharing from

  8. Sounds perfect! It’s just cooled off enough in Boston to turn the oven on too! Thank you for this!

  9. this looks delish! it’s boiling hot here in vancouver, but i still managed to make a lasagna the other night – this would have been much more interesting though.

  10. I cannot even count the number of eggplant that have perished in my refrigerator over the years. It’s not that I don’t like eggplant, it’s just that I like it better when a restaurant creates something with it. Also, the boyfriend (who, to be honest can come in handy with trash taking out…sometimes…) doesn’t really like eggplant.
    However, I think if I baked it with three different cheeses and served his with a big meaty chicken breast then he might be able to get behind this pretty purple vegetable πŸ™‚
    Thanks Tieghan and hope your summer is all blue skies from now on!

  11. another delicious recipe tieghan! love how hearty this dish is.. perfect for the horrible winter weather Australia is experiencing right now! thanks for the idea!

  12. Perfect timing! I was just browsing Pinterest yesterday for some zucchini ideas as my garden is overflowing with it!

  13. Hey Tieghan! Good save on the eggplant! I love what you’ve done with it here and adding the quinoa ups the nutritional value of this dish! Lovely photographs, too! Thank you for this mouthwatering recipe!

  14. I love the comment above—if in doubt bake it and cover it in cheese. Beth made me laugh. Well I love both zucchini and eggplant. I think the topping is quite inspirational.

  15. Omg, look at that cheese. “When in doubt, bake it and cover it in cheese,” needs to be printed and framed. Very true words. πŸ™‚

  16. Thunderstorms, rain, and hail present the ultimate reason for making cozy comfort food. This pot o’ yum is driving me bonkers. So much flavor, so filling! I hope it rains here so I can have an excuse to make this warm and inviting dish!

  17. Trash is TOTALLY a boyfriend job! I just made mine take it out yesterday as I was sitting in bed far, faaaaar away from that stinky situation πŸ˜‰ So glad you got to cozy up with this comforting meal after the trash/hail situation – you deserved it! And I would totally turn my oven on for this!

  18. I can’t believe you were able to salvage that eggplant into this beautiful dish…I have to give my vegetables that I loose in the back of the fridge a second chance after seeing your magic!!! I loved eggplant growing up as a vegetarian (no longer am) eggplant was my “meat” of choice and it really is satisfying in dishes like yours. Can’t wait to try the quinoa breading.

  19. Wow, this recipe looks so delicious and I am especially excited because it doesn’t seem too daunting! I’m going to try it, I’ll let you know how it goes..since you’re always so good at responding to my mentions on Twitter πŸ™‚ I know you care how well my attempts go!!

  20. I’m so glad to hear it isn’t just me with the eggplants. I want to love them but the texture and the seeds…zucchini has my heart forever though so I’m glad you added it. And, trash is totally a boy job! I hate when I have to do it.