If you are looking for an easy-to-make cheesy lasagna but you don’t eat meat, try our yummy eggplant lasagna recipe. It’s one of those go-to meals that will quickly become a favorite.
This recipe is full of tasty eggplant, tomato sauce and lots of creamy cheeses. All of this put together in 3 layers gives you the best eggplant lasagna.
Everyone loves lasagna because it’s a one-dish meal that is good for eating at home and also taking it to someone’s house for a picnic. Eating a low carb diet, we were looking to make up a one-dish meal that would fit into our way of eating and that would appeal to others.
If you like our traditional Keto Lasagna recipe or our Keto Eggplant Parmesan, you will be pleased with this Keto eggplant lasagna too and it is sure to be a winner on your dinner table. This recipe is vegetarian, but you can also use a meat sauce if you prefer.
What is Eggplant Lasagna?
Eggplant lasagna is a low carb version of the classic Italian lasagna dish with one main difference. Instead of using traditional pasta noodles to form the layers, you use sliced eggplant as your base.
After that, it is similar to your favorite lasagna. Just add tomato sauce, along with your favorite cheese, for instance, ricotta, parmesan, and mozzarella.
What Does Eggplant Lasagna Taste Like?
Even though the texture is somewhat different because we are replacing pasta noodles with vegetables, the flavor of the tomato sauce, spices, and cheeses all put together will bring the lasagna flavor back to your taste buds.
Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna
Our eggplant lasagna without noodles is definitely considered to be vegetarian because there is no meat in our recipe, including the sauce.
Like all lasagnas, cheese is a very important ingredient for flavor and strength in holding all of the ingredients together and it is usually permitted by most vegetarians.
Is Eggplant Low Carb?
Yes, I am pleased to tell you that eggplant is a low carb vegetable which makes it a good choice for this lasagna.
There are only about 6 NET Carbs in 1 cup of eggplant so it is a good choice in low carb recipes to help fill you up without the high carbs.
Is Eggplant Lasagna Healthy? How Many Calories?
Eggplant is one of those veggies that are low in calories and high in fiber which will aid in weight loss. There are only 20 calories in 1 cup.
Eggplant is very healthy for you to include in your diet regularly because it is high in many vitamins and minerals, such as fiber, copper, manganese, B6, C, potassium and so forth. Eggplants are also high in disease-fighting antioxidants and help in fighting high blood pressure.
Is Eggplant Lasagna Keto-Friendly?
I’m happy to say that if you are looking for a delicious keto dinner, you have found it! Eggplant lasagna is keto-friendly and good for any low carb diet.
Typically lasagna is a popular go-to meal that everyone loves. When you remove the pasta you are on your way to making yourself a keto eggplant lasagna. We made our version without meat but you can also add some ground beef or Italian sausage to it.
What Ingredients are in Low Carb Eggplant Lasagna?
Eggplant – A purple veggie that is best when they are smaller and firm.
Salt -This is important to draw the water out of the eggplant so that the casserole is not runny.
Ricotta -This cheese adds stability and creaminess to the low carb eggplant lasagna.
Egg – This helps bind the lasagna together.
Parsley – Fresh is best but dried will also be fine.
Italian Seasoning – A blend of spices used in a lot of Italian dishes.
Garlic Powder – An essential spice in Italian food.
Tomato Sauce – The rich, tomato flavor.
Parmesan – A common grated cheese for Italian foods.
Mozzarella – Lasagna would not be the same without mozzarella which makes it creamy and stringy.
Vegetarian Sauce or Meat Sauce for Eggplant Lasagna?
Our eggplant lasagna is a vegetarian version but can easily be transformed by adding a meat sauce to the casserole.
Brown up some ground beef and some Italian sausage, along with some onions and you have a nice thick meat sauce to add to your eggplant lasagna without noodles.
Choosing the Right Eggplant
I have made this eggplant lasagna so many times and have not given too much thought about what eggplant to buy except to make sure that they feel firm and don’t have brown soft spots on them.
Small to medium-sized eggplants are best for lasagna and it’s important to make sure they are firm. When eggplants are large they tend to be bitter and can also be soft.
I did recently learn that there are male and female eggplants and that the male ones have smaller and fewer seeds. To tell the difference when you are shopping for eggplant, the male ones have a small round circle at the blossom end, while the female has a deeper and wider impression which would resemble a line.
If possible I like to use the male ones because there are less seeds, but feel free to use either, they are both good.
What are the Best Cheeses for Eggplant Lasagna?
When I think of lasagna I immediately think of mozzarella! It helps hold the eggplant lasagna together and gives it the elasticity that it needs. The flavor is mild and not overpowering but at the same time gives lasagna its traditional taste.
Ricotta is another common cheese for lasagna, even though it’s not a traditional cheese used in Italy, it’s popular in the United States. It offers some creaminess to your dish.
Then you have the grated cheeses, like parmesan and romano, which are good for sprinkling in between the layers or even just on top for some extra flavor.
Preparing the Eggplant
In this next section, we are going to talk about how to prepare the eggplant first in order to make the best lasagna casserole.
It is easy to wash eggplant before using it for your recipes. Just thoroughly rinse it off, then dry it well with paper towels.
Do I Have to Peel Eggplant for Eggplant Lasagna?
Usually, for eggplant parmesan, I peel the eggplant because sometimes the skin can be tough. However, the one thing that I found when making this eggplant lasagna recipe is that when I use smaller eggplants the skin was more tender and it was ok to leave the skins on.
In fact, I prefer to leave the skins on if possible so that the eggplant will stay more intact.
After all, unlike the eggplant parm where we are breading it and frying it before forming the casserole, here the eggplant is the only stable thing inside the dish. That way the skin will help it maintain its shape.
How Do You Slice Eggplant for Lasagna?
When you make a no-noodle lasagna you cut the eggplant lengthwise from top to bottom, not across from side to side.
The reason for doing it this way is that the longer the lasagna pieces are, the more they will resemble noodles as you lay them in the pan. They will also help hold the lasagna casserole together better.
As you cut the eggplant lengthwise, you should cut each slice about a ¼-⅓ inch thick.
Do You Need to Salt Eggplant for Lasagna?
Salting the eggplant is a very important step and therefore I recommend it. The purpose of salting the eggplant is so that the salt will pull out the water from it, keeping your eggplant “noodles” from making your casserole too wet and soggy.
If you don’t salt it, as your eggplant cooks, all of the water will release which will make a wet mess.
How to Make Eggplant Lasagna
Now we get to the good part, showing you step by step how to put your eggplant lasagna without noodles together.
STEP 1: Roast the Eggplant
The first step in this eggplant lasagna recipe is to rinse the purple beauties and dry them off well.
Now get a cutting board and sharp knife to cut off the ends. Next thing is to cut the eggplant from the top to the bottom in long slices, about a ¼-⅓ inch thick.
Lay the eggplant slices on a cookie sheet and sprinkle salt on both sides. Let the slices sit for 30-60 minutes as the water starts coming out and puddling up on top.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
While the oven is warming up, wipe off both sides of the eggplant with paper towels, drying them off to remove the water.
Lightly oil a baking sheet. Place the eggplant slices onto the sheet. Brush the tops with a thin layer of olive oil.
Roast them in the oven for about 10-12 minutes until the eggplant softens and is pliable.
STEP 2: Make Sauce
You can either make your own sauce or you can use a jarred sauce.
If you are going to make up your own batch of tomato sauce, check out our recipe for Keto Tomato Sauce. It is easy to make and goes perfectly with a vegetarian eggplant lasagna.
If you are going to buy a sauce then I would recommend Rao’s sauce, which there are several good flavors to choose from.
STEP 3: Make Cheese Filling
In a medium-size bowl combine the ricotta, egg, spices, chopped fresh parsley, parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of the mozzarella. Mix until well blended.
Remove the eggplant from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
STEP 4: Layering Eggplant Lasagna
Using a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish.
Next, lay out a layer of eggplant slices.
Spread ⅓ of the ricotta filling.
Repeat the same process in the same pattern. You will get 2-3 layers depending on the size of the eggplant that you used.
Spread the final layer of sauce on top, then finish it off with the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella sprinkled on the top.
STEP 5: Bake
Bake your no noodle lasagna at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until it’s bubbling around the edges.
Let the low carb eggplant lasagna rest for 10 minutes before cutting into it which will allow everything to come together.
Different Variations of This Recipe
Making a meat sauce for the eggplant lasagna casserole is a great option. Use ground beef or ground sausage.
Filling the eggplant lasagna with more veggies, you can add spinach and mushrooms.
Adding chicken to your lasagna is also a yummy variation.
Keto eggplant lasagna can be made in a slow cooker which is good if you want to avoid heating up the kitchen with your oven or if you want to cook it while you are at work or out shopping.
FAQs & Best Tips
We have some important tips to share with you for making the best eggplant lasagna, and we will answer some commonly asked questions about things that may come to your mind before making this recipe.
Use small/medium and firm eggplant. If you use huge ones that are soft they are bitter.
No need to peel the eggplant. In fact, the peels will help hold them together as they bake.
Salt the eggplant slices so that it draws out the moisture and bitterness.
Roasting the eggplant gives it a good texture, helps remove water, and gives it a caramelized flavor.
Do not use too much sauce or it will add too much moisture and make the lasagna runny.
When the eggplant lasagna comes out of the oven, let it rest for about 10 minutes so that it will set up.
My Eggplant is Too Chewy
Chewy eggplant can be from cutting it too thick or from not cooking it enough. It’s best to follow our steps above for slicing the eggplant and making sure to cook the no noodle lasagna long enough.
If your lasagna is too watery it is probably from the eggplant being full of water. The way to resolve this is to salt it ahead of time which will remove the water.
If you bake or broil the eggplant before putting the no noodle lasagna together it will also firm it up by removing some of the moisture in it.
Make sure that the tomato sauce you are using in the keto eggplant lasagna is not watery either.
And after the eggplant lasagna without noodles comes out of the oven let it rest for 15 minutes so that it will firm up before cutting into it.
What to Serve with Eggplant Lasagna?
There are so many things that serve well with this easy eggplant lasagna without noodles and here are a few of our favorite suggestions:
Keto/Low Carb – Making this eggplant lasagna recipe is a perfect fit for keto. It is not made from traditional pasta.
Gluten-free – There is no gluten in this eggplant lasagna recipe because there is not any pasta.
Nut-free – A low carb recipe without a need for almond flour or any other forms of nuts.
Sugar-free – Eggplant is low in carbs and there are no other added ingredients with any sugar or carbs that turn into sugar.
Lasagna is always a good “make-ahead” meal. You can put it together the day before and stick it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake it. I’m happy to say that this low carb eggplant lasagna is no different.
You may even notice the flavors soaking in and becoming more pronounced the next day, making it all the more delicious!
How to Store
After baking your keto eggplant lasagna, and there are some leftovers, just wrap it properly by putting it in an air-tight plastic container and stick it in the refrigerator. It will last about 5 days, so eat it up quickly!
How to Reheat Keto Eggplant Lasagna
Your leftover keto eggplant lasagna can certainly be reheated, either in the microwave or in the oven.
Microwave: Cover your portion of low carb eggplant lasagna with a paper towel and heat it up for 1-2 minutes.
Oven: Place your no noodle lasagna in an oven-safe dish or tray and heat it uncovered, at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.
Can You Freeze Eggplant Lasagna?
Eggplant lasagna can certainly be frozen, either before it’s cooked or the leftovers after it’s cooked.
In both cases, it will keep in the freezer for 2-3 months, but only if it is wrapped properly in an airtight container and then put into a Ziploc bag for added protection.
If eggplant is on sale or you have an abundance of it growing in your garden, then it’s a perfect time to make up a couple of these easy eggplant lasagna casseroles and stick them in the freezer. It’s a perfect meal to take out for dinner when you don’t have a lot of spare time to cook.
Tools to Use
Baking dish – To bake the eggplant lasagna in.
Baking tray – To lay the eggplant slices on in order to salt them.
A sharp knife and cutting board – To cut the eggplant slices.
A bowl – To make the cheese mixture in.
Spatula – To spread the cheese and sauce.
Spatula – To serve the lasagna with.
Other Similar Recipes
Here are a few of our other easy and delicious recipes that you may also like to make.
This Keto Eggplant Lasagna is a favorite dish of so many and it can be made with meat or as a vegetarian version. It’s full of creamy, cheesy goodness and you will fall in love. It’s a one-dish meal that is easy to put together and is delicious to eat. This low carb casserole that will be a winner on your dinner table with your family.
3eggplants, sliced ¼-⅓ inch thick vertically
salt for “sweating” the eggplant
15 ozricotta cheese
1 ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tspItalian seasoning
1 tspgarlic powder
1 cuptomato sauce
½ cupgrated parmesan cheese
3 cupsshredded mozzarella (divided 1 cup + 2 cups)
Cut the ends off the eggplant and throw them away. Stand the eggplant up tall, and cut the eggplant into about ¼-⅓” thick slices. You want them to resemble lasagna noodles.
Place the eggplant slices onto a baking sheet and sprinkle salt on both sides. Let sit for 30-60 minutes. This step is crucial. The salt will pull out the water from the eggplant so you don’t end up with a watery lasagna. Once time is up, wipe the eggplant slices very well with a paper towel to remove any moisture.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly oil a baking sheet with olive oil. Place the eggplant slices onto the oiled baking sheet. Brush the top of the eggplant with olive oil. Roast them in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the eggplant softens and becomes pliable.
While the eggplant is roasting in the oven, prepare the ricotta filling. In a small bowl combine the ricotta, Italian seasoning, pepper, garlic powder, egg, chopped parsley, parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella. Mix until well combined.
Remove the eggplant from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
Lower the oven to 350 degrees.
In a 9×13 baking dish, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce. Lay about 4-6 slices of eggplant on the bottom of the pan. Spread ⅓ of the ricotta filling, then spread a thin layer of sauce. Repeat the process in the same pattern. You should get 2-3 layers depending on your size of the eggplants you used.
Spread the final layer of sauce on top, then sprinkle the remaining 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Let the eggplant lasagna rest for 10 minutes before cutting.
6.7 NET CARBS PER SERVING
For the best results with the eggplant, salt it to help release some of the water and then dry it well with paper towels.
Roast it in the oven first to give it a workable, pliable texture and great flavor.
There is no need to peel the eggplant, in fact, it is more stable in the casserole if you don’t.
Don’t use too much sauce. You want it to be an accent, not the predominant flavor. If there is too much sauce it can make the no noodles lasagna too runny.
When the low carb eggplant lasagna comes out of the oven, let it rest for a few minutes to set up.
Storing:The best way to store your leftover eggplant lasagna, is to place it in an airtight container which will keep it fresh for about 5 days.
Reheating: Can be done in the oven or the microwave.
In the microwave: Cover your portion with a paper towel and heat for 1-2 minutes.
In the oven: Place the leftover eggplant lasagna in an oven safe dish and stick it in the oven or the toaster oven for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
Freezing: The eggplant lasagna can be frozen either before it’s cooked or after. Just be sure to wrap the baking dish properly in freezer paper, a freezer bag, or foil. It will last 2-3 months.
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