Cheesy Italian Beef Casserole
- 2 pounds 95% lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/3 cups low sodium beef broth divided
- 3 cloves garlic pressed
- 1 can diced tomatoes 14.5-oz.
- 2 cups chopped eggplant
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2/3 cup shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large skillet, brown beef with onion and bell pepper over medium-high heat; drain. Add salt, pepper, 1 cup of broth, garlic, tomatoes, eggplant, oregano, basil, and marjoram.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, making sure eggplant doesn't become too tender (it will cook more in the oven!).
- Whisk cornstarch and remaining broth together, and stir into beef mixture. Pour mixture into a 9- x 13-inch baking pan and sprinkle with cheese; bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is golden and melted, and eggplant is fork-tender.
SERVING SUGGESTION: A big salad of mixed baby greens, sliced red onion and avocado and halved cherry tomatoes, tossed with red wine vinaigrette. VEGETARIAN: Use TVP crumbles and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth. KOSHER: Use kosher ground beef and skip the cheese. GLUTEN-FREE: Make sure canned tomatoes and broth are gluten-free. Use arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch. NUTRITION: Per serving: 473 Calories; 6g Fat; 22g Protein; 11g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 48mg Cholesterol; 441mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fat. Points: 5
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