Quinoa, Eggplant & Marinara Bake

Quinoa is a nutritious alternative to white rice. Here, it's layered with marinara, eggplant and three types of cheese for a fresh take on eggplant parmesan.

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FOR THE WELLNESS OVERACHIEVER: Rehydrate ¼ cup dried wakame flakes according to package directions. Or use 3 to 4 wakame strips: Soak for 10 minutes in room-temperature water then chop. Stir into marinara sauce. Wakame is a seaweed that contains important minerals such as iron, a key factor in energy, and manganese, an important nutrient for healthy skin.

Prep Time
20 min
80 min


  • 2 eggplants (about 2 lb)

    3 tbsp olive oil

    sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste

    1 cup quinoa, rinsed

    2 cups packed baby spinach

    1½ cups all natural marinara sauce, divided

    2 large eggs, beaten

    1 tsp dried oregano

    ½ tsp red pepper flakes

    ½ cup full-fat ricotta cheese

    1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

    ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Slice stem off eggplant and cut into ¼-inch slices. Arrange on prepared sheets and brush both sides with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, 15 to 20 minutes, turning halfway.

3. In a large saucepan, bring quinoa and 1¾ cups water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, 5 to 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and stir in spinach. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes.

4. Spread ½ cup marinara sauce on bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Layer half of the eggplant over sauce, covering bottom of baking dish.

5. In a large bowl, stir together quinoa mixture, eggs, oregano and pepper flakes. Transfer to baking dish and spread in an even layer, pressing down with a moist spatula. Dollop ricotta on top of casserole and top with ½ cup mozzarella.

6. Place another layer of eggplant slices on top. Cover casserole with 1 cup marinara sauce and top remaining ½ cup mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden in some spots.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size ⅛ of recipe
  • Calories 371
  • Carbohydrate Content 38 g
  • Cholesterol Content 92 mg
  • Fat Content 18 g
  • Fiber Content 9 g
  • Protein Content 17 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 6 g
  • Sodium Content 753 mg
  • Sugar Content 11 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 7 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 3 g

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