Paul and I both love pizza, Paul especially. He worked at a local pizza place for 8 years and received free or discounted pizza almost every day that he worked. As you can imagine, Paul requests pizza quite often and most of the time I am happy to join him in enjoying a good quality Take-N-Bake pizza. It is a treat for me to not cook that evening.
When I am trying to eat healthy, such as right after the holidays, I have to deny Paul his pizza requests.
I know, I am such a mean wife!
But, every time I try the whole “I’ll just eat a salad while Paul has pizza” plan, it never works. As I watch Paul enjoy the doughy, cheesy slices of pizza while I eat my healthy salad, I give in and have a slice, or two.
So, I needed to come up with a solution. A pizza-esque meal that would somewhat satisfy Paul’s pizza cravings with a healthier, lighter choice that would keep me happy.
Enter: Eggplant Pizzas!
They are simple to make, very customizable, and satisfying.
The creamy, tender, meaty eggplants make the perfect “crust”. Not only are eggplants delicious, they are also incredibly healthy. They are packed with fiber, folate, potassium, manganese and vitamins C, K, and B6.
I wouldn’t say that these eggplant pizzas fully replace the hunger for a traditional pizza, but they are satisfying enough to hold you over until the next time you treat yourself to a big ol’ greasy pizza.
Plus these little pizza guys would be perfect for a make-your-own-pizza party for kids, especially if gluten is a concern. You could simply provide a rainbow of different cut up veggies, cheeses and other toppings and let the kiddos go to town.
It would be just as much fun for an adult party, I think. Who’s in?
- Garlic powder (optional)
- 1 cup of your favorite jarred pizza sauce or fresh tomato sauce
- You can top your eggplant pizzas with any kind of cheese or veggies you prefer. You can easily omit the pepperoni for a vegetarian option.
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Mushrooms, thinly sliced
- Italian seasoning
- Lay the eggplant slices on a clean kitchen towel. Generously salt each side of the eggplant slices. Allow to rest for 20 minutes to draw out some of the liquid. After the 20 minutes use the towel to gently press out the liquid from the eggplants.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet by greasing it or lining it with a silpat mat.
- Lightly brush the eggplant slices with olive oil on each side. On one side of the eggplant sprinkle with black pepper and garlic powder.
- Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping the eggplant slices halfway through the cooking time. The eggplants should be tender and slightly reduced in size when done.
- Remove the eggplants from the oven and top them with a teaspoon to a tablespoon of tomato sauce, followed by shredded cheese, pepperoni and mushrooms, and Italian seasoning.
- Place the eggplants back into the oven for another 3 to 5 minutes, just until the cheese is melted and the sauce is warmed through.
- Serve the eggplant pizzas immediately.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 to 4 days. They reheat nicely in the microwave.