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Eggplant Lasagna – A Couple Cooks

Eggplant Lasagna

This eggplant lasagna recipe layers eggplant, homemade marinara, and a flavorful three-cheese filling! It’s a hearty dinner that pleases everyone.

Eggplant Lasagna

Got eggplant and want to turn it into a meal? Try this Eggplant Lasagna, a tasty dinner recipe that swaps out the traditional noodles for roasted eggplant! This gooey pan holds layers of eggplant, homemade marinara, and a flavorful three-cheese filling. Lemon zest and nutmeg takes it to restaurant-style flavor. It’s a hearty gluten-free and meatless dinner idea that everyone will love! This one’s now in our regular rotation to stay.

Ingredients for eggplant lasagna

Eggplant lasagna is a gluten-free version of lasagna that swaps the noodles for roasted lasagna. It’s similar to a classic Eggplant Parmesan, but skips the breading breading on the eggplant. You’ll slice the eggplant into planks, then use that for layering with the marinara and three-cheese filling. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Eggplant
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Butter
  • Crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce
  • Fresh thyme
  • Dried basil, dried tarragon, ground nutmeg, and kosher salt
  • Cornstarch
  • Lemon zest
  • Ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella cheese
Eggplant Lasagna

The tricks to eggplant lasagna

The biggest issue with lasagna recipes without noodles like eggplant lasagna is that eggplant is 90% water. Raw eggplant would make the dish into a watery mess! So there are a few tricks to making eggplant lasagna with the perfect consistency:

  • Roast the eggplant. This cooks out a significant amount of the water, making for the perfect tender consistency. You’ll roast at 425°F for about 25 minutes total.
  • Thicken the tomato sauce with cornstarch. This is another preventative measure! Adding a little cornstarch makes an even thicker tomato sauce with less water.
  • Let the lasagna cool for 15 minutes to set. Right out of the oven, there may be a little moisture. Let the lasagna sit and cool, which lets it absorb any remaining moisture.
Eggplant Lasagna Recipe

A few flavor secrets

This eggplant lasagna tastes restaurant-quality with just a few special items to make the ingredients sing! We recommend making the recipe with each of these ingredients:

  • Ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella cheese: Using three types of cheese brings a nuance in flavor. Use whole milk mozzarella if you can find it: it melts better than part-skim cheese.
  • Homemade tarragon tomato sauce: You could use store-bought marinara sauce in a pinch, but this tomato sauce is incredible! Substitute oregano if you don’t have dried tarragon.
  • Lemon zest and fresh thyme: These bring a zing and freshness that’s absolutely essential to the flavors.

Make ahead & leftover storage for eggplant lasagna

This eggplant lasagna recipe takes about 45 minutes to prepare, 30 minutes to bake, and 15 minutes to rest. So, it’s not a recipe for a quick weeknight meal! However, there are a few thing you can do to prep this recipe in advance.

  • Roast the eggplant in advance. One of the biggest time savers is roasting the noodles ahead of time. Roast and then refrigerate until the time of baking. They will accumulate moisture in the fridge, so pat them dry before assembling.
  • Make the tomato sauce in advance. It’s easy to let the tomato sauce simmer while you preheat the oven. But you can make it in advance too! Just refrigerate until serving: the flavor gets better over time.
  • Or, make the entire pan in advance! Leftovers store well; they can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and reheated in a 375°F oven.
Eggplant Lasagna Recipe

More eggplant recipes

This eggplant lasagna is one of our favorite new ways to use eggplant! Here are a few other eggplant recipes to try:

This eggplant lasagna recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

Print

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Description

This eggplant lasagna recipe layers eggplant, homemade marinara, and a flavorful three-cheese filling! It’s a hearty dinner that pleases everyone.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes, fire roasted if possible
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce, fire roasted if possible
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (or oregano)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch (or arrowroot starch)
  • 1 3/4 pounds eggplant (2 medium)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 16 ounces (2 cups) ricotta cheese
  • ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 cups (7 ounces) shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Preheat: Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Roast the eggplant: Slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch slices (at least 12 planks; don’t worry if they vary in size). Place the slices on two parchment-lined baking sheets and brush each side with them with olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided across the 2 trays. Roast for 10 minutes, then flip and bake 10 to 15 minutes more, until tender and golden brown.
  3. Prepare the sauce: Mince the garlic. Add the butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat: once melted, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn down the heat and carefully add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, tarragon, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Remove ¼ cup of the sauce and stir it with the cornstarch, then add it back to the pan (this helps to thicken the sauce). Simmer while making the remainder of the recipe, at least 15 minutes. When ready to use, remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the cheese filling: Destem the thyme, then roughly chop the leaves. Add 2 tablespoons thyme to a medium bowl and reserve about ½ tablespoon for topping the lasagna. To the bowl, add the lemon zest, ricotta cheese, ½ cup Parmesan cheese, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, nutmeg, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Stir to combine.
  5. Turn down the oven: Turn down the heat to 375°F.
  6. Assemble the lasagna: In a 9” x 9” baking dish or 7 x 11 baking dish (or similar volume dish), spread a ½ cup tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. Then top with 1 layer of the eggplant, half of the cheese mixture (in dollops) and about ½ cup of the tomato sauce, using a spatula to spread the sauce evenly over the cheese. Repeat again, topping with 1 layer of eggplant, the remaining cheese mixture, and ½ cup of the remaining tomato sauce. Finally, top with a final layer of eggplant, then another ½ cup tomato sauce. Sprinkle the entire top with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, and ½ tablespoon fresh thyme.
  7. Bake the lasagna: Bake the lasagna for 30 minutes, uncovered. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before serving (this allows the lasagna to set; you can let it sit even longer if desired). Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and reheated in a 375°F oven.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Keywords: Eggplant lasagna, Eggplant lasagna recipe, recipe for eggplant lasagna

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