Recipe: Eggplant Lasagna (Easy Vegetarian Dinner)

Casserole Recipes, Dinner Recipes, Pizza + Pasta Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes

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It’s true; this is no ordinary lasagna. We’re skipping the meat to make this vegetarian lasagna and we’re swapping out the noodles for eggplant! And if that sounds intimidating, don’t worry, it’s super simple! This delicious eggplant lasagna uses the same layering process as any regular lasagna plus delicious Mediterranean ingredients for a healthy and gluten-free dinner.

Tons of fresh veggies and zesty sauce layered with gooey cheese. Who doesn’t love that?  This Mediterranean veggie lasagna is easy to make and tastes absolutely delicious even to the hungriest carnivore. You can sauté almost any veggie and add it to this lasagna. I have made my own red sauce in the past and while I feel very Martha Stewart-esque after, the truth is, the amazing cooks at Trader Joe’s make an excellent marinara sauce that doesn’t destroy my kitchen.

This recipe serves 12 people and is the perfect choice for a cozy night in or a large gathering. Young and old will change their tune towards vegetarian dishes after a plate of this eggplant lasagna. So, have fun with this recipe and embrace new veggies!

Ingredients in Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna

There are three main layers included in this vegetarian lasagna. Here are the ingredients for each:

Vegetable Marinara Layer

  • Garlic
  • Yellow Onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Carrots
  • Summer squash
  • Marinara sauce (homemade or storebought)

“Noodle” Layer

  • Eggplant
  • Olive oil
  • Salt

Cheese Layer

  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Eggs
  • Frozen spinach
  • Parmesan
  • Basil
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper

How To Make Eggplant Lasagna

Just like a normal lasagna, this eggplant version is all about layering! You’ll start with a layer of the vegetable marinara sauce on the bottom, then a layer of eggplant and then the cheese mixture. Repeat! Here are the steps:

Prepare the eggplant:

Eggplant sliced into discs Eggplant has a good amount of water in it, so to prevent the lasagna from being watery, you can par-cook it in the oven for a bit ahead of time. Just slice up your eggplant (use a mandoline to ensure even thickness), cook it in the oven at 400 degrees for 15-2o minutes while you prep your other ingredients.

Optionally, before you bake your eggplant slices, you can also spread them on a baking sheet, salt both sides and then allow to sit for 20-30 minutes. This will ensure even more moisture is pulled out but this step is optional if you don’t have time.

Should I peel the eggplant?

There’s no need to peel your eggplant for this lasagna. This skin is totally edible, delicious and nutritious! So keep that skin on for this Mediterranean lasagna.

Prepare the vegetable layer:

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil then sauté the garlic, onion, mushrooms, carrots, and summer squash all together. Add in 2 jars of marinara to the vegetable mixture.

Prepare the cheese layer:

In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 2 eggs, 2 cups of the mozzarella (reserving 2 for the topping), parmesan cheese, basil, spinach, salt, and pepper.

Layer it up:

Using a 9×13 pan add a layer of the vegetable marinara sauce on the bottom, then a layer of eggplant, and then the layer of ricotta mixture. Repeat this layering process finishing with vegetable marinara on top then sprinkle with the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.

Bake!

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes and let rest 10 minutes outside the oven before cutting.

What To Serve With Eggplant Lasagna

This vegetarian lasagna pairs nicely with a Caesar salad or the addition of bread if you’re not gluten-free. Our Pear, Walnut and Gorgonzola salad also makes a delicious side.

Total Time: 105 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves (1 tablespoon) garlic minced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 container of fresh mushrooms, washed, stems trimmed, and sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 2 summer squash (about 2 cups), sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 eggplants, sliced (depending on size)
  • 2 (26 oz) jars of your favorite marinara sauce
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (10 oz) container of frozen spinach, thawed then squeeze out the remaining liquid and discard
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh basil (reserve a few extra leaves for garnish) or 1 tbsp dried if necessary
  • 1 container of skim milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Slice the eggplant into 1/2 thick rounds and roast on a baking sheet 15-20 minutes.
  2. In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil then sauté the garlic, onion, mushrooms, carrots, and summer squash all together. Add in 2 jars of marinara to the vegetable mixture.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 2 eggs, 2 cups of the mozzarella (reserving 2 for the topping), parmesan cheese, basil , spinach, salt, and pepper.
  4. Lower your oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Using a 9x13 pan add a layer of the vegetable marinara sauce on the bottom, then a layer of eggplant, and then the layer of ricotta mixture. Repeat this layering process finishing with vegetable marinara on top then sprinkle with the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes and let rest 10 minutes outside the oven before cutting.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Serving Size: 12 servings

Calories: 316

Protein: 21 gram(s)

Fat: 17 gram(s)

Carbohydrates: 24 gram(s)

Fiber: 8 gram(s)

Sugar: 8 gram(s)

Saturated Fat: 8 gram(s)

Sodium: 578 milligram(s)

From the kitchen of:

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1 Comment


on June 4, 2018 at 6:54 PM Reply

I make this on a regular basis & my family loves it. No one misses the meat! I use the "no bake" lasagna noodles to make it even easier/quicker. If I don't have a crowd to feed, instead of making it in one 9x13" pan I make it in 2 smaller pans (8x8" or 9x9" whatever I have) and put one in the freezer before baking....always nice to remember that we have that yummy meal waiting for us on very busy days! (just remember to allow it to thaw before baking the frozen one.) Cook time no different with the 2 smaller ones in my experience. Also - instead of the spinach mentioned I use a full bag of fresh baby spinach - just add it in smaller bits as you stir & stir it into the cheese mixture. It all does fit and is a lovely, healthy tweak to this recipe.




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