Before we dive into the good stuff, let’s discuss what Banza is. It’s a gluten-free pasta alternative made entirely from chickpeas! If you are a pasta-lover but trying to incorporate some healthier, plant-based things into your diet this is 100% for you! Banza tastes like the real deal and doesn’t get mushy like some other pasta alternatives might.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about this pasta bake. I saw this on an episode of The Kitchen on Food Network and have been dying to make it. I did make a few tweaks, however! I chose to use Banza because of the gluten-free factor (although you can find regular, gluten-free pastas!) and it worked *just* as good. I also added in some zucchini for a little extra helping of veggies.
Eggplant, Zucchini and Tomato Banza Bake
Recipe adapted & slightly tweaked from Food Network
- 1 pound of Banza (I used penne) or regular rigatoni pasta
- 1 eggplant, diced
- 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes
- Olive oil
- 1 zucchini
- One 24 ounce jar of tomato sauce of your choice (I used Rao’s Arrabbiata)
- 2 cups fresh mozzarella cut into cubes
- Salt & pepper
- Oregano (optional)
- Garlic powder (optional)
- Non-stick cooking spray (to spray baking dish)
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan (or as much as you’d like 🙂 )
- Fresh basil for garnish
Preheat over to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes evenly in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper (add any other spices you wish, too!) and mix together to coat. Pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes to roast. Leave oven on at 400!
While the veggies are cooking, cook the Banza/pasta according to package and drain. Set aside. If cooking regular pasta, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. If using Banza, be sure to rinse it off after draining so it maintains it’s firmness.
Once veggies are done roasting, combine them with the pasta, jar of sauce, 1 cup of the cubed mozzarella and mix to coat evenly. Note: The original recipe calls to reserve some pasta water and add to this mix. I found with Banza it is not needed, as it’s still a little wet from rinsing off.
Spray baking dish with non-stick spray and dump your mixture into the dish. Top with the remaining cup of cubed mozzarella and Parmesan, and toss in the oven for about 20-25 minutes. For extra golden brown on top, turn on your broiler after your dish is done cooking for a few minutes.
Top with chopped basil, serve & enjoy!
Check out more recipe inspo here!