Delicious Three Cheese Eggplant Lasagna-Like Recipe: Made Without Pasta or Meat
In our garden this year, I planted three Japanese (also known as Chinese) eggplant seedlings purchased from the nursery. For some reason, the nurseries around here in Houston do not always carry them, so I was delighted when I found them. They often provide the more common larger varieties to be planted instead.
I nestled them among some flowers and herbs in a bright sunny spot outside our kitchen in the backyard. These three little plants now supported with tomato cages are growing large and are starting to produce in earnest. So I have gotten creative in using these longer skinnier forms of eggplant, which are so flavorful. This three cheese pasta-less vegetarian lasagna is the happy result of one of my latest creations.
Eggplant can soak up a lot of oil when being cooked if not careful. I experimented and oven-roasted it with only a light spraying of Pam to cut down on calories in this recipe. Eggplant nicely melds with other flavors of things cooked with it, so it is a versatile ingredient. Being roasted in the oven added a rich sweet taste to the final dish with the other ingredients.
- 5 large Japanese eggplants, sliced
- 20 to 25 Cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1 large sweet onion, sliced
- small handful garlic chives, chopped
- small handful Italian flat-leafed parsley, chopped
- small handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 12 to 16 ounces jarred or homemade marinara sauce
- 20 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 cups mozarella cheese, shredded
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese, grated
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Pam vegetable spray
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
1. After washing the vegetables and drying them, start by cutting the Japanese eggplants in half and then in 1/4 inch slices lengthwise.
2. Cut the cherry tomatoes in thirds and the onion in half and then in slices.
3. Spray several pans with Pam and distribute the eggplant in a single layer on the bottom with the other vegetables distributed evenly on top of it. Salt and pepper and again spray the top with Pam.
4. Roast the vegetables in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 20 minutes. Take out and let cool.
5. In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, the beaten eggs, 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese and the chopped herbs.
6. Start the layering process in a large ovenproof casserole dish, starting with a smear of marinara sauce on the bottom after spraying the casserole dish with more Pam to prevent it from sticking.
7. Layer the vegetables, alternating with the ricotta cheese mixture, breadcrumbs, shredded mozzarella cheese, and more marinara sauce.
8. Create at least three layers ending with a few more slivered basil leaves near the top and ending with mozzarella cheese and the remaining Parmesan cheese.
9. Bake in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 1 hour. Take out and cover with aluminum foil and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing and eating.
10. Garnish with more fresh basil or parsley if desired.
Step-By-Step PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
We grow the fresh herbs used in this recipe in our garden. If you do not have access to garlic chives, use some fresh minced garlic or garlic powder as a substitute. I recommend using the fresh parsley and basil, but if you cannot find them substitute dried.
By roasting the vegetables first, they shrink in size a bit, become more intense in their sweet flavors, and lose moisture content. Thus by not overdoing the amount of marinara sauce (or Italian sauce of your choice) in this recipe, your meatless lasagna will set up nicely even without pasta noodles to absorb moisture.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did in creating it, and we did in tasting it. Trust me. It is even better than it looks!
Eggplant Cut into One Inch Cubes for a One Cup Portion
|Calories from Fat||0|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 0 g|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 5 g||2%|
|Sugar 0 g|
|Fiber 2 g||8%|
|Protein 1 g||2%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Additional Nutrition Information
B vitamins must be ingested daily to maintain normal immune functions and support a healthy metabolism, skin, hair, and muscle tone. Any excess leaves the body in the urine. One cup of raw eggplant also provides many B vitamins, including the following percentages based on a 2,000 calorie daily diet:
- Niacin 2.5%
- Pantothenic acid 2.1%
- Riboflavin 1.6%
- Thiamin 2.8%
- B-6 3.4%
Eggplant is also a source of other vitamins and minerals such as the following:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- and Magnesium, to mention a few.
- It even contains a small amount of iron.
So it pays to become familiar with this fleshy, meaty textured food source native to India. It is a fruit like it's nightshade cousin the tomato. I still think of them as vegetables despite their classifications to the contrary.
Will you be giving this 3 cheese lasagna recipe a try?
Here is another recipe for you using eggplant—a healthy version of one of my favorites: Eggplant with Garlic Sauce.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Peggy Woods