Family Time in the Kitchen | Eggplant Parmesan Recipe and the Tomato Challenge

This post is sponsored by Red Gold Tomatoes. All opinions are my own. 
#RedGoldRecipes #RedGoldTomatoes

Family time in the kitchen

My husband grew up watching his grandfather cook Italian food and he really enjoys spending time in the kitchen sharing family recipes with our daughters. Family time in the kitchen is a great bonding experience and we love that our daughters are learning to carry on these family traditions and recipes. We recently spent a full Saturday making Italian food together and completing the Red Gold Tomato challenge. We made sauce starting with canned tomatoes, eggplant parmesan and then had some fun comparing Red Gold Tomatoes to a competitor brand in a series of activities that tested the tomatoes to their limits.

We have been using Red Gold Tomatoes often in home recipes and previously shared a few favorites with an Italian Meatball Dip and Chili Baked Potatoes.

We started our family time in the kitchen making homemade sauce.

Homemade Tomato Sauce Recipe


  • 10 Cans Red Gold Whole Peeled Tomatoes
  • 4-5 Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil

Puree tomatoes in blender and pour into large pot on stovetop over medium heat. Add fresh basil leaves. In skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and chopped onions. Sauté for approximately 10 minutes then add entire skillet contents to tomato sauce pot. Cover and cook on low for approximately 4 hours or until desired thickness.

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

We used our homemade sauce to make eggplant parmesan, one of my husband’s grandfather’s favorite dishes.

This easy homemade eggplant is delicious with the easy sauce recipe starting with canned tomatoes!


  • Eggplant
  • 3 Cup flour
  • 5 eggs
  • ½ Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Cups Homemade Tomato Sauce
  • 4 Cups Mozzarella Cheese

Prepare eggplant by peeling and slicing into approximately ⅛ inch slices.

Heat olive oil in skillet. Set up eggplant cooking station with bowl of whisked eggs, bowl of flour and plate lined with paper towels.

Dip one slice of eggplant in flour then egg. Place in skillet to cook hot oil. Continue process until skillet has one full layer of eggplant slice. Cook each side until lightly brown. Transfer to paper towel coated plate.

In casserole dish layer sauce, eggplant and cheese. Then repeat ending with cheese on top.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350°. Serve with bread or pasta and be amazed by how a simple can of quality Red Gold tomatoes can make so many incredible family memories at mealtime.

Tomato Challenge

Together, we had more fun in the kitchen and took the Red Gold challenge to see for ourselves why they make the freshest best taking tomato products. Using provided supplies including Red Gold and competitor brand whole peeled tomatoes, we observed the can ingredients at various stages to determine the best quality.

Little sister very carefully poured the cans of tomatoes into the trays to begin.

Then we cut, sorted, and drained the tomatoes while following along the processes with a tomato challenge score card.

Red Gold Tomatoes won every category in comparison to the competitor can. At the end of the process we sorted all the whole tomatoes and were surprised to find that Red Gold had a full tray and the competitor only had a few misshaped and squashed tomatoes that made it to the final tray.

The entire family agreed, Red Gold Tomatoes easily won the tomato challenge. This was a great activity and incorporated science into our family time in the kitchen. What do you look for in a great tomato?

Learn more about the homegrown tomatoes by connecting with Red Gold on Instagram, FacebookPinterest and Twitter.

Not all tomatoes are the same and it certainly makes a difference when you’re cooking Italian at home. See what we learned in the tomato challenge in our own kitchen with Red Gold Tomatoes.

11 thoughts on “Family Time in the Kitchen | Eggplant Parmesan Recipe and the Tomato Challenge”

    • I’m sorry you can’t find mozzarella cheese, it’s one of our very favorite and quite common where we live.

  1. Jersey girl checking in here. My town had a high percentage of Italian-Americans and I loved – LOVED – all the delicious food I got to eat there. This recipe reminds me so much of what the lady nextdoor – Maria used to make…and funny enough, she used canned tomatoes for her sauce even though she and her husband grew some in their garden.

  2. I would love to try this recipe as I have always wanted to make eggplant parmigiana. I do agree that spending time together cooking allows tons of bonding for a family. Creating something together that we can enjoy together is a great thing.

  3. Now that my kids are getting older, it isn’t so chaotic to cook with them around. We actually just baked some bread with my oldest last weekend. I think you’re doing such a great thing by teaching your daughters. My mom and dad didn’t cook very much so I had to learn a lot on my own. After ten years of marriage, my husband is finally enjoying his meals.


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