This eggplant lasagna is a low carb take on classic lasagna, simply replacing the traditional noodles with slices of tender eggplant! Vegetarian and totally packed with flavor, this recipe layers marinara sauce and a delicious spinach-ricotta mixture with low carb eggplant for a filling and addictive but healthy Italian dinner. Perfect as leftovers!
This eggplant lasagna is just as cheesy, tomato-y, and delicious as the traditional type, but without the carbs or gluten of lasagna noodles! With layers of rich eggplant, creamy ricotta, and perfectly seasoned marinara, topped with bubbly cheese, it’s the ultimate veggie Italian dinner. It’s hearty, filling, and the perfect comfort food.
What Makes This Recipe So Good
Eggplant – Mild, yet still rich, with a creamy texture, eggplant is the perfect veggie substitute for noodles. Just make sure you remove as much moisture as possible! (I’ll tell you how down below!)
Marinara – An easy homemade marinara sauce gives the lasagna plenty of traditional Italian flavor.
Ricotta filling – The cheesy, creamy ricotta filling is loaded with spinach, mozzarella and parmesan, earthy basil, bright lemon zest, and garlic that takes your lasagna to the next level.
How To Make Eggplant Lasagna
The full recipe is below, but here you’ll find all the steps for making this recipe perfectly the first and 100th time, along with useful tips and info!
Cut off the ends of the eggplant, then cut slices lengthwise. They should be about 1/8 of an inch thick.
Sprinkle the eggplant slices very liberally with sea salt on both sides, then let them sit for about 10 minutes. Pat the slices very, very dry with some paper towels. (The salt draws the moisture out of the eggplant slices, making the lasagna less watery, so you’ll want to remove as much moisture as you can!)
Stir together the marinara ingredients in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Add the rest of the ricotta filling ingredients and mix well to combine.
In a baking dish, add enough sauce to cover the bottom and spread it evenly. Add a layer of eggplant slices on top, covering the bottom of the dish completely. It’s okay if the slices overlap a little! Spread a layer of the ricotta filling over the eggplant slices and then repeat everything.
Top off your lasagna with a layer of sauce, then sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella and parmesan on top.
Bake the lasagna until the cheese is fully melted, then turn on the broiler and let the cheese gets brown and bubbly.
Remove the lasagna from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before sprinkling the basil on top.
Top Tips For Making
- If there is any excess moisture from the eggplant after baking, remove one square of lasagna and place a balled up paper towel in the empty square. This will help soak up any of that excess water.
- When picking your eggplant, look for a medium sized one. It’ll be large enough to cut into enough pieces for your lasagna, but also will not have the bitterness than large eggplants tend to have.
More Delicious Italian Recipes
- White Clam Sauce
- Caprese Sandwich (Melted or Cold)
- Chicken Carbonara
- Chicken Piccata (Paleo, Gluten Free)
- Whole30 Spaghetti and Meatballs (Paleo)
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- 2 eggplants large, sliced into 7mm (or a little over a 1/4") slices
- 1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
- olive oil to taste
- 2 tablespoons basil leaves shredded
- 1 egg large
- 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 10 ounces frozen spinach thawed and liquid squeezed out
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese divided
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Cut off the ends of the eggplant, then cut lengthwise to make slices about 1/8" (7mm) thick. Sprinkle the eggplant slices VERY liberally with sea salt on both sides. Let sit for 10 minutes to draw out the moisture, then pat VERY dry with paper towels to remove any excess water.
Make the marinara: Stir together the crushed tomatoes with the garlic powder, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt.
Make the ricotta filling: In a medium bowl, beat the egg. Add the ricotta, 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella, 1/2 cup of parmesan, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon basil. Mix well to combine.
Assemble the lasagna: In a 9×13-inch (23×33-cm) baking dish, add enough sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Spread in an even layer. Add a layer of eggplant slices on top. It's okay if the slices overlap slightly.
Add a layer of the ricotta filling and spread in a thin, even layer.
Repeat with the remaining ingredients in the same order, finishing with a layer of sauce. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and parmesan on top. Bake for 45 minutes, until cheese is fully melted. Then turn on the broiler for 5 minutes, or until the cheese on top is browned and bubbly. Remove the lasagna from the oven. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes to allow lasagna to set. Garnish with fresh basil and cut into 12 even squares.
- Excess moisture after baking: Remove one square of lasagna and place a balled up paper towel in the empty square. This will help soak up any of that excess water.
- Picking the perfect eggplant: Look for medium sized one. It will be large enough for this recipe but will not be as bitter as large eggplants.
I recommend buying wine from Scout and Cellar, especially for lower carb or sugar and the health conscious. There’s no added sugar to these wines, and they’re all much lower in carbs, calories, and sugar. For me, there’s no headache or fogginess the next day!
I love, love a deep red with my Italian food, but there are a ton of whites that are equally delicious. I like:
– Pinot Noir, like 2018 Adelante Pinot Noir from Casablanca Valley, Chile
– Zinfandel, like 2018 The Resident Zinfandel from Mendocino County, California
– Pinot Gris, like 2019 Che Fico Pinot Grigio from DOC delle Venezie, Italy