Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna
Please Rate Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna
How Do I Cook Eggplant?
My husband grows just about any vegetable I mention, including several vegetables I had never tried before. For example, as a child my mom never used butternut squash, spaghetti squash, Swiss chard, or eggplant. So when he brought several eggplants in the house for me to cook, I had no idea what to do with them -- or if I would even like them!
Fried, Grilled, or Baked?
At first, we tried frying them along with our zucchini. I love fried zucchini, onion rings, and many other vegetables are great fried, so I was hoping this method of cooking eggplant would be a hit and we would easily use up all the eggplant we grew. However, although I liked it okay, it was not as tasty fried as I had hoped.
A little later, we tried slicing them, brushing both sides with olive oil, salting them, and then cooking them over the barbecue grill. This turned out okay, too, but I still was not a huge fan of eggplant at this point.
Too Much Eggplant!
Soon we had more eggplant than we knew what to do with, and we had to figure out people to give them to. Then one day, my oldest son, Eric, his wife, Natasha, and my beautiful granddaughter, Sofia came over for a visit. Right before they left for home we asked them if they wanted some home-grown vegetables, like spaghetti squash and eggplant. Natasha quickly said she would love to take some, and then she mentioned that she loved cooking Eggplant Lasagna.
Eggplant Lasagna Recipe
Natasha said her Eggplant Lasagna was delicious so I asked her to send me the recipe. A few days later I sent her a text and asked her to send me the recipe, which she did.
I did not have exact measurements but we wanted to try it, so my husband, Jerry, found a good recipe online -- similar to the one she sent me-- that we could refer to for ingredients and other details.
Very Tasty.... and Vegetarian
This recipe hub is the result of that recipe, but you can add or subtract any ingredients you wish to make it more appealing to you and your family.
I am sure you will love Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna (Click to Tweet!). It is also a very fancy recipe, so if you decide to use it for a potluck, party, or family dinner you will impress your guests so much they will not even notice it is vegetarian!
The Eggplant Flower & Eggplants Growing
Preparation & Cook Time
Slicing the Eggplant
The Ingredients You Will Need
- 2 medium eggplants, about 24 ounces
- 8 ounces Ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons water
- Salt & pepper, as desired
- A dash of cinnamon, (optional)
- 1 jar Ragu pasta sauce, 2 cups
- 8 ounces No-boil lasagna noodles
- Sweet basil leaves, as desired, fresh or dried
- 4 ounces Mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, sprinkle as desired
- 1/2 cup Black olives, pitted and sliced (optional)
- 3 tablespoons Olive oil, as needed
Important! Buy This Type of Lasagna Noodles
Preparing to Cook the Eggplant Slices
- Slice and cook the eggplant by first cutting off the top and bottom off the eggplant (be careful because there are thorns on the top!). You may wish to peel the eggplant, but I left the peel on for more fiber and vitamins.
- Slice the eggplant into 1/4" slices, then brush each slice with olive oil on both sides. You can cook the eggplant however you want, but we used the barbecue grill.
- Preheat your barbecue grill on low; you will want to set the eggplant slices on a large tray for easy transfer to the top rack of your barbecue grill. Salt the eggplant right before grilling.
- After placing the eggplant onto the top rack, set a timer for about 10 minutes, then turn the slices over for another 10 minutes. Check to make sure the eggplant is as tender as you like by piercing with a fork. Sometimes it may take upto 15 minutes each side, depending on how soft you like it.
- While the eggplant is cooking, slice the mushrooms and olives, and then set them aside for later.
- Now you need to prepare an oiled baking pan 11" x 13". Oil the baking pan on all sides or spray Pam on the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Take out a small bowl to mix the ricotta cheese, one egg, 2 tablespoons of water, and a quick sprinkle of cinnamon. At this point, you may add sweet basil, salt and pepper to taste. Mix ingredients well with a fork. Be sure to use this mix carefully and leave some for the top layer.
- START LAYERING: a) Use a spatula to spread pasta sauce thinly over the bottom of the baking pan you have prepared; b) Place lasagna noodles over the pasta sauce;
- c) Cover the noodles with dollops of the ricotta cheese mixture and spread evenly with a spatula.
- d) Place eggplant slices over the ricotta mixture;
- e) Sprinkle mozzarella cheese, then the mushroom slices and sliced olives;
- f) Top with pasta sauce and then sprinkle parmesan cheese over all. Repeat layering process until you are out of ingredients.
- Cover the Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna with foil and cook on the top grill for about 35- 40 minutes or until everything is bubbling and the noodles are soft. Allow recipe to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and enjoying.
Eggplant Cooking Made Simple!
Grilled Eggplant Slices
Building the Layers
The Last 2 Layers
Health Benefits of Eggplant
Many people love to use eggplant in pasta dishes. If you look at recipes for eggplant you will notice there are many Italian recipes, such as Eggplant Parmesan and Eggplant Lasagna.
If you are vegetarian, eggplant can be used in many main dishes as a meat-substitute because it takes on the flavor of the foods that surround it. Eggplant is spongy in texture when cooked, similar to mushrooms, and is also very similar to zucchini and other summer squashes. However, eggplants belong to the nightshade family, just like tomatoes, bell peppers, and potatoes.
Like all vegetables, eggplants have many health benefits. Here is a short list of some of the good reasons to include eggplant in your diet.
- It is low in calories; a one cup serving of eggplant provides just 66 calories.
- High in vitamins and minerals
- Contains phytochemicals, such as phenolic compounds. These compounds include caffeic and chlorogenic acid.
- Contains the flavonoids, such as nasunin, which has been well researched.
- Nasunin, an anthocyanin phytonutrient (plant chemical) is a powerful antioxidant that guards us from the damage of free-radicals (negative cells which damage healthy cells and promote fatal diseases).
- Eggplant is also a great source of phenolic antioxidant compounds which protect it from the stress of oxidation, such as environmental contaminants, such as bacteria and fungi.
- Chlorogenic acid, (derivative of the phenolic antioxidant) protects us from free radicals, thus, provides anti-cancer and antimicrobial properties, lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad type) and antiviral protection.
- Improves blood pressure and strengthens arterial walls due to several phytonutrients found in eggplant, including nasunin and terpene.
- Nasunin is also an iron chelator which rids the body of excessive iron. Excessive iron intake encourage the production of free radicals that promote abnormal cell growth, a contributor to cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
These are just some of the benefits of eating eggplant and researchers are finding out more all the time. So keep eating your eggplant and reap the benefits that natural foods have for you and your family.
One Serving of Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna
Nutritional Values for Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna
|Serving size: 1/9 of recipe|
|Calories from Fat||126|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 14 g||22%|
|Saturated fat 5 g||25%|
|Unsaturated fat 6 g|
|Carbohydrates 21 g||7%|
|Sugar 6 g|
|Fiber 4 g||16%|
|Protein 12 g||24%|
|Cholesterol 52 mg||17%|
|Sodium 446 mg||19%|
|* 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.|
Other Meat-Free Recipes for Eggplant Lasagna
I have included other recipes below that may interest you. Some of them are using a different type of eggplant, such as Japanese Eggplant.
Japanese Eggplant is longer and more slender than the ones I used in my recipe, but I am sure they are just as tasty.
Please enjoy these videos and leave a comment at the bottom of this page.
Eggplant Lasagna-- Low Carb
From Scratch:; Vegetarian Cheese & Eggplant Lasagna
© 2015 Miriam Parker