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Italian Sausage and Eggplant Casserole

This Italian Sausage and Eggplant Casserole is prepared with creamy layers of Italian sausage and fresh eggplant slices smothered in béchamel sauce and melty cheese.

Photo of Italian Sausage and Eggplant Casserole in a baking dish.


Italian Sausage and Eggplant Casserole

Ever wished to see eggplant in a new, tasty, and crave-worthy light? Well, I think you’re in for a treat! Feast your taste buds on this combo of tender eggplant slices, savoury Italian sausage, and silky béchamel sauce. This Italian Sausage and Eggplant Casserole promises a burst of deliciously cheesy goodness in every bite.

Let’s talk about the real scene-stealer here: the Italian sausage. When I first experimented with this recipe, I was certain that eggplant would be the star. However, to my surprise, the sausage effortlessly stepped into the spotlight. That said, the slightly soft and salty taste of the eggplant combined with the creamy white sauce was an absolute delight.

Lifting up a chunk of eggplant casserole with a serving spoon.

Why You’ll Love This Casserole

  • Flavor Fusion: This casserole is a great blend of savory Italian sausage, delicate eggplant, and the rich creaminess of Bechamel sauce.
  • A New Take on Eggplant: For those who are hesitant about eggplant, this recipe might just change your mind. The eggplant is softened and layered with robust sausage and creamy sauce, adding an appealing texture and absorbing the flavors of the dish. It’s a wonderful way to introduce this versatile vegetable to any skeptics.
  • Versatile Dish: This casserole can serve as a hearty main course for dinner, or as a side dish at a potluck. It’s also a great option for meal prepping, as it reheats well and can provide several meals throughout the week.
  • Flexibility: The recipe is quite flexible and allows for customization. Your readers can substitute their favorite types of cheese, try a different kind of sausage, or add other vegetables into the mix.
Béchamel sauce, also known as white sauce, is a classic French all-purpose sauce made from butter, flour, and milk.

What’s Bechamel Sauce?

Bechamel sauce, also known as white sauce, is a classic French sauce and one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine. It’s a smooth, creamy sauce made from a roux – a mixture of butter and flour cooked together – and milk. The sauce is often seasoned with white pepper and a hint of nutmeg.

Sausage and Eggplant Casserole Ingredients

  • 2 Eggplants, sliced longwise
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage, without casings
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Diced Tomatoes
  • Bechamel Sauce
  • 1 cup Shredded Italian Blend Cheese
Browned sausage and eggplant slices topped with bechamel sauce.

How To Make Sausage And Eggplant Casserole

Be prepared – this dish might take a little longer to prepare than your average meal, but trust me, every extra minute spent is worth it! The layered perfection of Italian sausage, eggplant slices, creamy béchamel sauce, and melted cheese is absolutely irresistible.

  1. Salt the eggplant slices and set them aside.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  3. In a big pan, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil.
  4. Add sausage to the pan, cook until browned, then add the tomatoes.
  5. Prepare this 👉 Bechamel Sauce.
  6. In a separate pan, lightly fry the eggplant slices.
  7. In a baking dish, layer meat sauce, eggplant slices, more meat sauce, and some Bechamel Sauce. Repeat this for 2 more layers, then sprinkle with cheese.
  8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned on top.
  9. Let it rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Tips & Tricks

  • Prepping the Eggplant: Salting the eggplant slices and letting them rest draws out the excess moisture and helps to remove any bitterness. Pat them dry before cooking.
  • Bechamel Sauce Substitute: If you can’t use bechamel for any reason, you can make it with Alfredo sauce.
  • Layering: Assembling the casserole in layers of eggplant, sausage, and sauce ensures every bite is packed with flavor and the ingredients cook evenly.
  • Resting Time: Let the casserole rest after baking before serving. This helps the juices redistribute and the casserole hold its shape when cut.
  • Add-ins and Variations: Try adding other vegetables like zucchini or bell peppers, or swap the Italian sausage for a vegetarian substitute.
  • Cheese Topping: If you like a more browned, crispy top, place the casserole under the broiler for a couple of minutes after baking. Keep a close eye on it to prevent burning.
Overhead close-up photo of Italian Sausage and Eggplant Casserole in a baking dish.

Storing and Reheating

  • Refrigerate: Once cooled, place the leftovers in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.
  • Reheating: This casserole reheats well. You can cover it with aluminum foil and heat in a 350°F oven until heated through.
  • Freezing: Assemble the casserole in a freezer-safe dish, cover, and freeze for 2 to 3 months. When ready to eat, you can bake it straight from frozen, just add some extra time to the baking process.

More Eggplant Recipes

Italian Sausage and Eggplant Casserole | | Layers of delicious Italian Sausage and eggplant slices covered in white (Bechamel) sauce and gooey cheese.

Italian Sausage and Eggplant Casserole

Katerina | Diethood
Italian Sausage and Eggplant Casserole is prepared with layers of Italian sausage and eggplant slices draped in béchamel sauce and melted cheese.
4.84 from 6 votes
Servings : 8
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 2 eggplants, sliced longwise, about 1/8-inch thickness
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch salt
  • 1 pound italian sausage, casings removed
  • 14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes, undrained
  • Bechamel Sauce
  • 1 cup shredded Italian Blend Cheese


  • Layer slices of eggplant on a large baking sheet; sprinkle each slice with salt and set aside for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the Bechamel Sauce and set it aside.
  • Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add onions and garlic; stir and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add sausage to the skillet and continue to cook and stir occasionally for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until sausage is browned; drain, then stir in the diced tomatoes. Set aside.
  • Heat remaining olive oil in a nonstick skillet.
  • Pat dry the eggplant slices, add them to the skillet, and cook just until lightly browned on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Assemble The Casserole
  • Spread 1 cup of meat sauce on the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  • Arrange about 6 slices of eggplant over the meat sauce.
  • Add more meat sauce over the eggplants.
  • Spread 1/3 of the bechamel sauce.
  • Repeat with 2 more layers, and top with remaining bechamel sauce.
  • Sprinkle the top with cheese.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly and top is lightly browned.
  • Remove from oven and let stand 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Serve.


  • Prepping the Eggplant: Salting the eggplant slices and letting them rest draws out the excess moisture and helps to remove any bitterness. Just remember to pat them dry before cooking.
  • Uniform Slicing: Using a mandolin to slice the eggplant ensures uniform thickness, allowing the slices to cook evenly. You will need about 18 to 20 thin slices of eggplant.
  • Swap Bechamel: Use a jar of Alfredo sauce if bechamel isn’t an option. 
  • Let it Rest: Let the casserole rest after baking for the best texture.
  • Try Variations: Add veggies like zucchini or peppers, or replace the sausage with a veggie option.


Calories: 290 kcal | Carbohydrates: 11 g | Protein: 13 g | Fat: 22 g | Saturated Fat: 7 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9 g | Cholesterol: 46 mg | Sodium: 518 mg | Potassium: 525 mg | Fiber: 4 g | Sugar: 6 g | Vitamin A: 87 IU | Vitamin C: 10 mg | Calcium: 69 mg | Iron: 1 mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: casserole with italian sausage, italian eggplant casserole, italian sausage casserole recipe, recipe for eggplant casserole
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21 comments on “Italian Sausage and Eggplant Casserole”

  1. I will place the eggplant on cooling racks and let drain for awhile next time. I did follow directions but, when I pulled this out of the oven it was watery. Used a baster to remove the liquid. I added a half teaspoon of Italian seasoning and some red pepper flakes to the meat mixture. I also used italian diced tomatoes which, I will also drain next time. I used a pound and 3/4 of meat. 1 pound wouldn’t have been enough to fill the men in the house. All that being said it was very flavorful!

  2. made this tonight and WOW! rave reviews! never going to serve 8 in our house! BTW, I will never figure out how anyone is able to lightly brown all that eggplant in 1/2 tbsp oil. We used a non-stick skillet, and lightly brushed the oil onto the pan before Eggplant is a sponge! Also, we used fruliano cheese on top.

  3. Omgosh…just served this for dinner and it will be going into the family favorite recipe file. Great recipe.

  4. Wonderful recipe! The sausage does bring it all together. Thank you. Enjoy Celebration of Creation today.

  5. Avatar photo
    Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen

    This dish looks out-of-this-world good! I love bechamel and use it frequently in Italian dishes too. It adds such a nice creamy layer. Just lovely, Kate!

  6. Avatar photo
    Arman @ thebigmansworld

    ” and it was aw.fall. ”

    I hope Ana reads this one day 😀

    This is amazing and it would not surprise me if it would convert every individual under 6 into loving eggplant- A very difficult feat in itself!

  7. We went from 60 degree weather to a week long heat wave of 90s. I had to pull my shorts out again! I’m so conflicted.. I want fall but I want summer!

  8. Avatar photo
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life

    Looks like perfect comfort food to me! I wish the kids liked eggplant but my husband and I both do, so I will just make this for us one night! It’s perfect timing with all the local eggplant at the farmer’s market. And we’re getting to the point where the kids aren’t always home for dinner anymore anyway thanks to far away sporting events.

  9. Avatar photo
    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet

    Bechamel sauce is my jam! This looks ridiculously good! Forget the plates – I want to dive right in!

  10. Avatar photo
    Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious

    Man, I’m pinning this one for when our heat wave breaks. This looks astoundingly good!

  11. Avatar photo
    Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert

    This looks like the perfect way to start enjoying the cooler weather we have had this week. LOOKS amazing as usual. I love your photos and I kind of want to swim in that bechamel sauce <– yup I am the weirdo who wants a pool of bechamel, haha.

  12. Avatar photo
    Manila Spoon (Abigail)

    We love Eggplants in the Philippines but often use it for the same old recipe over and over again so I am glad I can vary my repertoire and add this delicious casserole to my list. Pinned, too.

  13. Avatar photo
    Faith (An Edible Mosaic)

    I’m a hardcore eggplant lover and this looks amazing! Especially with bechamel and gooey cheese…swoon!

  14. Avatar photo
    Sarah @Whole and Heavenly Oven

    Gahhhh! Eggplant is totally my JAM so this casserole is just exactly up my alley! Somehow it’s just screaming MONDAY FOOD to me. 😉

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