This eggplant lasagna is layers of roasted eggplant with meat sauce and three types of cheese, all baked to golden brown perfection. A low carb version of the classic pasta dish that always gets rave reviews!
I love Italian food, you can never go wrong with traditional dishes such as chicken parmesan and baked ziti. When I’m looking to enjoy some Italian food without a heavy carb count, I turn to this easy and flavorful eggplant lasagna.
There’s nothing better than a hearty lasagna filled with meat and plenty of melted cheese. I happen to love this eggplant lasagna even more than the pasta-filled original, and it couldn’t be any simpler to make!
How do you make eggplant lasagna?
Start by cutting two eggplants lengthwise into slices. Brush the eggplant with olive oil, and season it with salt and pepper. Roast the eggplant until tender and golden brown. While the eggplant is cooking, it’s time to make the sauce. Cook ground beef, garlic and onions in a pan, then add a jar of marinara sauce. Let the sauce simmer for a few minutes, and then you’ll be ready to assemble your lasagna. Layer the eggplant slices with meat sauce and cheeses, then top the dish with a layer of shredded cheese. Bake until golden brown, then add a sprinkling of parsley and serve.
Tips for the perfect eggplant lasagna
- It’s important to cook the eggplant before it goes into the lasagna. Roasting the eggplant adds a ton of flavor, and pre-cooking it will keep the lasagna from getting watery as it bakes. If your eggplant has any moisture on it when it comes out of the oven, blot it dry with a paper towel.
- The eggplant may release a little water in the lasagna as it further cooks. You can remove any excess liquid with a spoon or a baster before serving.
- You can build the lasagna ahead of time and bake the lasagna when you are ready to serve it. The unbaked lasagna will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- I prefer to grate my own cheese for this recipe. Pre-shredded cheese often contains stabilizers and anti caking agents and doesn’t melt as well.
- While I typically use whole milk ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, you can save a few calories by substituting part skim cheese.
- Leftover lasagna will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat the lasagna in a covered pan until warmed through, or you can heat individual slices in the microwave for 90 seconds.
Do you peel eggplant before cooking?
I do not peel my eggplant before I cook it. I find that without the peel, the eggplant tends to lose its shape and become mushy in a layered dish such as this one. If you really prefer to remove the peel you can, but it’s definitely not necessary.
Can you freeze eggplant lasagna?
Lasagna is a great candidate for the freezer. You can assemble the dish, then cover it tightly with foil and freeze it for up to 2 months. Place the frozen lasagna in the oven covered, and bake it. You’ll need to add about 30 minutes to the bake time for a frozen dish. Proceed with the rest of the recipe as directed, then serve and enjoy.
This lasagna is delicious as is, but you can still customize it to your palate with a variety of different ingredients.
- Vegetables: Try thinly sliced zucchini or even cabbage leaves instead of eggplant.
- Meat: Use ground turkey, mild or hot sausage or grilled diced chicken instead of ground beef in the sauce.
- Sauce: Try a creamy Alfredo style sauce instead of marinara sauce.
- Add Ins: You can add other ingredients to your dish such as cooked mushrooms, spinach, kale, bell peppers, olives or artichoke hearts.
Once you try this dish, you’ll find yourself making it on a regular basis – it’s just that good!
More Italian recipes to try
- Spinach Lasagna
- Baked Tortellini in Meat Sauce
- Zucchini Lasagna
- Italian Chicken
- Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs
Eggplant Lasagna Video
- 2 eggplants
- 1 tablespoon olive oil divided use
- 1 pound ground beef I use 90% lean
- 1/2 cup onion diced
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 24 ounce jar marinara sauce
- 16 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided use
- 1 tablespoon parsley chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.
- Trim the stem end from the eggplants. Cut the eggplants lengthwise into 1/2 inch thick slices.
- Brush 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the eggplant slices and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the eggplant in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender and browned. If there's any excess moisture on your cooked eggplant, blot it dry with a paper towel.
- While the eggplant is cooking, prepare the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
- Add the ground beef and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook for 5-6 minutes, breaking the meat up with a spatula, until beef is browned and cooked through.
- Add the onion and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the marinara sauce and bring to a simmer; cook for 5 minutes.
- Place the ricotta cheese, Italian seasoning, egg, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
- Coat a 2 or 3 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place 1/4 of the sauce in the bottom of the dish. Add 1/3 of the eggplant slices on top. Spread 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over the eggplant then top with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers, ending with the mozzarella cheese.
- Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, then let stand for 7-10 minutes. Cut into slices, then serve.
Did I miss something? When do you put the rest of the sauce on after the initial 1/4 c. In pan?
After the initial mozzarella layr you repeat the layering beginning with the sauce etc