Eggplant Lasagna is a comforting meal, using eggplant slices instead of noodles! This easy recipe is a delicious way to enjoy the cheesy lasagna flavor you love, while eating more veggies at the same time. You can hardly even tell that there’s eggplant inside!
In fact, this recipe is perfect for those who may not be an eggplant fan. Two of my taste testers couldn’t even tell that they were eating eggplant!
It really just tastes like lasagna.
Ingredients You’ll Need
What’s in eggplant lasagna?
- Ricotta cheese
- Egg (optional)
- Shredded mozzarella
- Marinara Sauce
This recipe is vegetarian as written, but if you would prefer to use ground meat instead of mushrooms, you can totally do that, too! You can also make this recipe vegan by following my Vegan Lasagna recipe, and swapping the noodles in that recipe for roasted eggplant slices.
You can also simply cut-back on the cheese in this recipe by using tofu ricotta as a ricotta cheese alternative.
Not a mushroom fan? Try swapping the mushrooms for 2 cans of drained & rinsed lentils, if you prefer a different texture. (See my Vegan Lasagna recipe for tips!)
How to Make Eggplant Lasagna
1. Roast the eggplant. Cut the eggplant into thin slices, about 1/8-inch thick. The thinner you slice the eggplant, the less “chewy” it will be in the final lasagna. Plus, the more slices you get, the better!
I’m using a large 2-pound eggplant to get roughly 12 slices, but you can use two smaller eggplants if you need to.
Arrange the slices on two large baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
I don’t like to brush the eggplant with oil, as I think it makes them get soggy, but you can sprinkle them lightly with salt to help draw out the moisture.
Cook at 400ºF for 20 minutes, or until the eggplant starts to look lightly golden and tender.
2. Cook the mushrooms. As soon as the eggplant is in the oven, start chopping the mushrooms. I like to chop them as finely as possible, so you don’t get a noticeable “mushroom texture” in the final lasagna.
Saute the mushrooms in olive oil over medium-high heat, along with the garlic, oregano, salt and pepper, until the mushrooms are tender and have released moisture, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Set it aside until you’re ready to assemble.
3. Mix the ricotta. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta with one egg, and a 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
The egg helps add structure to the lasagna and makes it more filling, but this is optional if you need an egg-free dish.
4. Arrange the layers. Remove the eggplant from the oven, and let it cool briefly. Pour 3/4 cup of marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish (or similar) then add 1 layer of eggplant slices.
You’ll need about 4 large slices to get 3 layers for this lasagna, but if you have a few extra small slices of eggplant, you can use those to fill gaps, or rip a slice of eggplant in half, as needed.
You don’t have to be perfect about covering every inch of the pan.
Top the eggplant layer with half of the ricotta mixture, followed by half of the mushroom mixture, and half of the shredded mozzarella cheese.
Now repeat! Add another layer of eggplant slices (about 4 large pieces), top it with 3/4 cup of marinara sauce, and then add the remaining ricotta cheese and mushrooms.
Top with a final layer of eggplant slices. If you’ve run out of eggplant slices, that’s okay, too! This lasagna will be delicious either way. Add the rest of the marinara sauce on top, then finish it off with the remaining shredded cheese.
5. Bake. Let the lasagna cook uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes at 400ºF. When the top is bubbly and golden brown, the eggplant should be tender.
Let the eggplant lasagna cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving. I like to top mine with fresh basil leaves, to make it pretty, but that’s optional!
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Just like normal lasagna, I think the leftovers taste even better then next day when you reheat it!
Helpful Tips & FAQ
How do you cut eggplant for lasagna? I find it easiest to cut off the ends of the eggplant, the top and bottom, so the eggplant can stand up straight. From there, you can slice down on the cutting board, using a very sharp knife to make slices that are about an 1/8-inch thick.
If you have a mandoline slicer handy, you can also use that to make even more uniform slices. But, watch your hands and be sure to use a guard! Once you’ve sliced a finger on a mandoline once, you’ll never want to do it again. (Trust me on that.)
Do you peel eggplant before roasting? The eggplant peel is totally edible, so there’s no need to peel it. I find that the peel makes the slices a little more sturdy, but the larger the eggplant is, the chewier the skin tends to be, at least in my experience.
If you want to peel the skin, you can! The slices will just be slightly more fragile to work with in that case.
Why can eggplant lasagna be watery? Eggplant won’t absorb as much liquid as traditional lasagna noodles do (especially the no-boil noodles that I love), so sometimes eggplant lasagna will turn out a little more watery than a regular version.
You can make the eggplant less soggy with these tips:
- Roast the eggplant first. This will help any excess moisture evaporate, before you add it to the lasagna.
- Salt the eggplant. Adding some salt before roasting will help draw out moisture. Just don’t be too heavy handed with it, or your lasagna may turn out salty.
- Skip the oil. Eggplant is very absorbent, and will hold on to any oil you add. I prefer to roast the eggplant without added oil, to help improve the texture of the overall dish.
How do I pick a good eggplant? Look for eggplants that are very firm– practically rock hard– for the best taste and texture. Over-mature eggplants may have a bitter flavor, so avoid the ones with soft spots or discoloration. Look for an eggplant with a smooth skin for best results.
More Eggplant Recipes
How else can you make eggplant taste good? Try these!
I can’t wait to hear what you try!
- 2 pounds eggplant (1 large or 2 medium)
- salt & pepper
- 1 pound cremini mushrooms , finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 (15 oz.) tub ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 25 ounces marinara sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Slice the top and bottom off the eggplant, then stand it up on a cutting board and slice it into 12 thin slices, about 1/8-inch thick. (No need to peel.)
- Arrange the eggplant on two large baking sheets lined with parchment paper, sprinkle them with salt, and bake until tender about 20 minutes.
- While the eggplant is roasting, prepare the mushrooms. Finely dice them (almost so they look like ground beef) then heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the diced mushrooms with the garlic, oregano, a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. The mushrooms should release quite a bit of moisture after 8 to 10 minutes, which will make the lasagna less watery later.
- Pour the ricotta into a mixing bowl, and add the egg, and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Mix well, and set aside.
- Time to assemble! Remove the eggplant from the oven and let it cool briefly as you add 3/4 cup of marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9-by-13 inch baking dish. Add one layer of eggplant slices, using about 4 large pieces. You don't have to be perfectly about filling any gaps in the dish, but you can tear an eggplant slice into pieces, if needed.
- Spread half of the ricotta mixture over the eggplant, followed by half of the mushroom mixture. Top with 1 cup of shredded cheese.
- Repeat the layers, starting with a new layer of eggplant (use about 4 large pieces), and another 3/4 cup of marinara sauce. Add the remaining ricotta mixture, followed by the remaining mushrooms. Add a final layer of eggplant (it's okay if you don't totally cover the top-- use whatever you have left!) Then top with the remaining marinara sauce and shredded cheese.
- Bake at 400ºF until the top is golden and bubbly, about 40 to 45 minutes. Let the lasagna cool for 15 minutes, then slice and serve warm. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days and reheated for a fast meal later.
If you try this Eggplant Lasagna, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it!
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