Roasted Eggplant Lasagna
If you're looking for a fantastic Sunday night dinner recipe, look no further! You'll find my Eggplant Lasagna Recipe is essentially a vegetarian Lasagna, but without the noodles (great for all those who are cutting down on the carbs or who are gluten-free).
The eggplant is roasted in the oven first and then layered with flavorful ricotta cheese and homemade tomato sauce. For a similar recipe that uses pasta try my Baked Stuffed Shells Recipe.
Why You'll Love This Recipe:
- It only takes 3 eggplants so it's pretty economical!
- You can prep the eggplant and the sauce up to 2 days ahead and then assemble the lasagna, bake and serve.
- It's a festive main course idea for Christmas or Thanksgiving if you need a vegetarian entree.
- Eggplant Be sure they are firm to the touch and without bruises.
- Olive Oil, Salt and Pepper You'll drizzle the eggplant with olive oil during the roasting process. It will mellow the flavor and soften the fibrous texture. The salt will help release the moisture and the pepper is for flavor.
- Ricotta Cheese I prefer to use whole milk ricotta cheese. I think the texture is better.
- Eggs The eggs will bind the ricotta cheese mixture and prevent it from running as it bakes in the oven
- Fresh Basil Is added to the ricotta cheese mixture for flavor, but you could also add freshly chopped spinach if you prefer.
- Grated Mozzarella Cheese Is added into the ricotta as well as the final layer on top. In the mixture it helps to keep the lasagna layers intact.
- Tomato Puree Be sure to buy pure tomato puree without any spices or flavorings.
- Garlic I like to add at least 2 garlic cloves to the sauce to give it a deeper flavor. But if you aren't such a fan, you could pair it back to one.
- Red Pepper Flakes I like tomato sauce with a little bit of heat, but if you are serving this to kids or guests who may not like spicy things, it's totally OK to skip it. It will still be good!
How do you cut eggplant for eggplant lasagna?
- First, make sure your eggplant has been rinsed and is completely dry, otherwise, it will steam up in the oven and become too mushy instead of roasted.
- Then cut the eggplant into ¼" pieces this is the perfect thickness for eggplant lasagna with three layers.
- You also want to slice them thin enough so they become soft and pliable in the oven, this will make the eggplant easier to eat once assembled in the eggplant lasagna.
- Then you'll drizzle both sides of the eggplant with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Roasting the Eggplant For Lasagna
- Bake the eggplant at 375F (190C) degrees for 7 minutes on each side and allow it to cool.
- It's perfectly fine to do this part in stages as you may not be able to fit all the eggplant in your oven at once! It typically takes me 4-5 trays depending on how big the eggplant is.
- After the eggplant has baked, remove them from the oven and allow to cool. Then, you can prepare your sauce.
Preparing the Homemade Tomato Sauce
- You could use store-bought marina sauce, but making your own homemade will taste so much better and it's so easy to do!
- In a large saucepan, you'll add the tomato puree, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste and red pepper flakes.
- If you don't like things too spicy, feel free to leave the red pepper flakes out. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce sweetens up and reduces a bit.
- You can double the recipe for the sauce and freeze the second batch. Then you'll have tomato sauce for Homemade Pizza all ready to go!
Make the Ricotta Cheese Filling
- To prepare the cheese mixture, add ricotta cheese, eggs, and freshly chopped basil to a medium mixing bowl.
- The egg will help the ricotta cheese set up while it bakes and prevents your filling from becoming too runny.
- If you have any ricotta cheese leftover, save it to make my Lemon Ricotta Pancakes the next day! The ricotta cheese makes them so light and fluffy!
How-To Assemble The Lasagna
- In a large, 9"x 13" heat-safe gratin dish, place a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the dish, and distribute evenly. This will prevent the eggplant from sticking.
- Then, add a layer of eggplant to the bottom and then spread a few dollops of the ricotta cheese mixture on top.
- Cover each eggplant round with another slice of eggplant roughly the same size.
- This allows for the ability to use all the slices and offer larger or smaller stacks depending upon the appetite of your guest.
How many layers should a lasagna have?
- Typically, a traditional lasagna has three or more layers to it and eggplant lasagna should follow the same rule of thumb.
- Repeat this process of sauce, eggplant, ricotta, and sauce creating 3 layers of “Lasagna” in total.
- The top layer should end with a layer of sauce and then some grated mozzarella cheese as the final layer.
- It's important the lasagna is cooked thoroughly inside since we added the eggs to the ricotta mixture.
- The eggplant can be roasted 1-2 days ahead, and keep tightly covered in the refrigerated.
- The tomato sauce can also be made 1-2 days ahead and covered and refrigerated.
- Prepare the ricotta cheese mixture just before assembling, as the ricotta can be come running the longer it sits.
- Serve with a tossed salad with a classic vinaigrette and homemade garlic knots.
- For a large holiday meal, serve the lasagna or my Eggplant Parmesan as a starter, serving each guest one stack of eggplant.
- For a main course follow up with my Chicken Marsala, Chicken Florentine or Chicken Piccata.
- For dessert try my Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe.
Roasted Eggplant Lasagna
Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Roasted Eggplant Lasagna is a great gluten-free alternative to traditional lasagna. But just as tasty!
- 3 Eggplants
- 3 tablespoon (45 ml) olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 15-oz cans of pure tomato sauce (890 ml)
- 2 garlic gloves
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 2 cups (475 ml) whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups (450g) shredded mozzarella cheese, separated
- ½ cup (120 ml) freshly chopped basil (separated)
- sprinkle of Italian Seasoning (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C
- Cut eggplant into ¼” (6mm)slices. Place on parchment lined baking sheets. Drizzle both sides of eggplant with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Bake eggplant for 7 mins each side and allow to cool (you will need to do this part in stages as you may not be able to fit all the eggplant in your oven at once!)
- Allow eggplant to cool.
- Meanwhile prepare your sauce.
- In a large sauce pot, add the tomato sauce, garlic, salt and pepper to taste and red pepper flakes. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 mins until it sweetens up and reduces a little bit.
- Then prepare the ricotta mixture. In a medium bowl add ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella, eggs and basil.
- Then assemble your lasagna. In a large heat safe casserole pan, place a thin layer of sauce on the bottom and distribute evenly. On top place a single layer of eggplant on top of the eggplant, a spoonful of the ricotta cheese mixture. Then add another single layer of eggplant and the ricotta, and a good drizzle of tomato sauce, repeat the process creating 3 layers of “Lasagna” in total. The top layer should end with a layer of eggplant and sauce and the remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Sprinkle with a pinch or two of Italian seasoning blend or dried basil.
- Bake at 375F/190C for 20-25 mins until cheese is melted on top and casserole is cooked through.
- Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to bubble and brown the cheese.
- Garnish with some finely minced basil on top.
- Serve immediately
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 315Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 81mgSodium: 909mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 9gSugar: 15gProtein: 13g
To get my Easy Summer BBQ Menu!
Great hack for eggplant parmesan. It is easier, less calories and tastes better! I always like eggplant parm, except for the breading. Now I know! I usually use a fancy Italian tomato sauce, which means the prep and cleanup are super easy. I also sometimes use it to "clean out the veggie drawer". Mushrooms, shallots, zucchini, spinach can all be added in and make the dish seem like new. Thanks!
I'm so glad it was a hit! YAY! One of my faves too! 🙂
I cooked it for 20 minutes and the eggplant is too hard.
Do I just keep cooking it longer until it's fully cooked?
Yes the eggplant should be soft and more time in the oven will make it so. But it typically becomes soft in the first stage when the eggplant is baked first on the sheet pan. Did you maybe forget that step? 🙂 Or it could be the eggplant was sliced too thick, really 1/4 inch slices is best so that it becomes tender fast. Hope this helps for next time!
wow looks wonderful.... Do you have a cookbook I can purchase?
I made this lasagna last evening. It was spectacular. Rave reviews from my other half, too. He and I both loved it. Said he might actually like it better than traditional lasagna.
YAY! So glad it was a hit!It's one of our faves too! Much lighter than traditional lasagna!
How much ricotta cheese does the recipe call for?
2 cups. The full recipe follows at the end of the blog post. Enjoy!
Is the sauce only on the bottom and then on the top Not in layers?
Oh no I put it in between each layer 🙂 Enjoy!
Great lasagna <3