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Eggplant Marinara – $5 Dinner Challenge

I was cruising through the produce department recently and saw that eggplant was priced as “per eggplant,” not per pound. So of course, I looked for the largest one so I could make lots of sauce!

Don’t forget to get the largest one when you see “per unit” prices in the produce department!

So here’s how this goes down…

Dice. Salt. Let sit in colander in the sink.

For at least 30 minutes.

This draws out the bitter juices and will make your sauce much tastier!


Cold water.


With seasonings.


Add crushed tomatoes.


Serve over pasta!

Eggplant Marinara Sauce

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 30 minutes

Cooking Time – 15 minutes


  • 1 large eggplant, diced ($.99)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil ($.05)
  • 1 tsp Italian sesasoning ($.05)
  • 1 tsp minced onion ($.05)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic ($.05)
  • 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes ($.99)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Spaghetti noodles or other pasta ($.50)
  • Side of veggies and/or bread ($1)



  • Put the diced eggplant into a colander in the kitchen sink and sprinkle salt over liberally. Let sit for 30 minutes. Then rinse with cold water.
  • In large skillet, add the olive oil and saute the rinsed eggplant with the Italian seasoning, onion and garlic for 5 to 7 minutes. Deglaze the skillet with 1/4 cup of water, then stir in the crushed tomatoes.
  • Cook noodles and veggies/bread as directed.
  • Serve Eggplant Marinara over pasta with side of veggies/bread.

Cost $3.68