Eggplant Lasagna- a cozy, hearty vegetarian dinner recipe made easy with no-boil noodles. Top it off with flavorful Arugula Almond Pesto! Keto, GF and Vegan-adaptable!

 Eggplant Lasagna made roasted eggplant, no-boil noodles and topped with Arugula Pesto. A delicious, healthy vegetarian dinner recipe that is comforting and nourishing. #eggplantlasagna

This delicious Eggplant Lasagna is so warm and comforting -it is one of those dishes you actually get kind of excited about the leftovers. I am actually eating the last piece as I type, and feeling a bit sad about it. After making a big batch last Sunday- it has been nourishing me all week long. Vegetarian comfort food at its best!

Why make Eggplant Lasagna?

What I love about this recipe is how surprisingly light it is. It’s hearty, don’t get me wrong- eggplant is filling and “meaty” but it doesn’t feel overly cheesy or heavy- meaning, it does not put me in a food coma.

There are just enough no-boil lasagna noodles to give it structure without completely taking over- making the eggplant the real star of the dish.

Roasting the eggplant is probably the thing that takes the most time, but I’ve made it as easy as possible for you. I really don’t think you’ll mind the process.

And once that part is done, just assemble and bake. You can also tackle this in stages, roasting the eggplant a day ahead. Or if you live somewhere warm, grilling the eggplant is even easier and adds great flavor!

Eggplant Lasagna | 60-sec video

Easy Eggplant Lasagna made with no-boil noodles and topped with Arugula Pesto. A delicious, healthy vegetarian dinner recipe that is comforting and nourishing. #vegetarian #eggplantlasagna #lasagna #healthycomefortfood

The thing that elevates this Eggplant Lasagna is the Arugula Pesto. Yes, of course, you can always use store-bought pesto or your own version of pesto would work fine too.

But if you have an extra 5 minutes, make the Arugula Pesto, trust me, you need this in your life. 😉

How to Make Eggplant Lasagna

Step 1:

Prep the Eggplant & Preheat the oven to 400F

slicing eggplant

How to cut Eggplant for Lasagna:

Slice 3 large globe eggplant, lengthwise, into 1/2 inch thick slices. You can cut them into rounds, but then there are more to manage that way.

Place onto 2 parchment-lined sheet pans.

salt the eggplant

Salt the eggplant to release water and remove bitterness.

Sprinkle one side with 1/2 teaspoon salt, turn them over and sprinkle with another 1/2 teaspoon salt – sprinkling as evenly as possible.

Let this sit 15-20 minutes, allowing them to sweat, which removes bitterness, while the oven heats up.

blot the eggplant dry

Blot the moisture that is released from the top side.

Brush or spray with olive oil.   Spray olive oil is very handy here-  or if you like butter or ghee, feel to free to melt and brush it on lightly.

spray with olive oil

Then flip them over.  Repeat: Blot and spray.  Easy, right?? 🙂

Roast the Eggplant to prevent watery Lasagna!

Roasting the eggplant ahead prevents the lasagna from becoming watery.  Place the eggplant in the middle of the 400 F oven until deeply golden 30-40 minutes.

roasting the eggplant 400F oven

Roast until translucent and golden. So check them and be intentional here. Undercooked eggplant is never good.

roast the eggplant

Step 2: Make the Filling

While the eggplant is roasting, make the filling. Saute one onion and 4-8 garlic cloves.

make the filling

Add a heaping mount of fresh spinach.

add spinach

Wilt it and season with salt and pepper.

sauce the spinach

Mix up the ricotta with basil, nutmeg, egg and salt and pepper.

make the ricotta mixture

Even though I used whole milk ricotta here, it did not feel even remotely heavy – so I recommend using whole milk ricotta.

ricotta mixture

Step 3: Assemble the eggplant Lasagna

Here I’m using a 25-ounce jar of store-bought marinara sauce.

Trader Joe’s Organic Marinara is flavorful as well and this brand or Organic “no-sugar-added”  Marinara Sauce made with 100% olive oil and no weird seed oils.

NOTE: If using a no-sugar-added marinara sauce,  it will need a little sweetness- I usually stir in  1-2 teaspoon of maple syrup to the jar, otherwise, the sauce can be too acidic.

tomato sauce

Spread 3/4 cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of a  greased baking dish.

Use either a 13 x 9-inch baking dish or a 11 to 12-inch  round baking dish.

layer the eggplant

Add the lasagna noodles, add  3/4 cups more sauce, then overlap half of the eggplant.

layer the eggplant lasagna.

Top with 1/2 of the ricotta mixture.

layer the eggplant lasagna.

Add all the filling. It doesn’t look like I added it all here but I went back and added the rest, and forgot to take a picture.

Please add all the filling. 🙂

layer the eggplant lasagna.

Sprinkle with 1/2 cup or 3/4 cup mozzarella and a few tablespoons of pecorino (or parmesan).

layer the eggplant lasagna.

Add the second, final layer of no-boil lasagna noodles.

layer the eggplant lasagna.

Cover with 3/4 cup marinara sauce.

layer the eggplant lasagna.

Add the remaining eggplant overlapping.

layer the eggplant lasagna.

Top with the remaining marinara sauce.

layer the eggplant lasagna.

Add the remaining ricotta- yep it will be on the top this time.  Sprinkle with Mozzarella and Pecorino.

This is what I’m using:

the cheeses to use in eggplant lasagna -ricotta, mozzarella pecorino

FYI: I do prefer saltier pecorino here versus tangier parmesan. Up to you.

Step 4: Bake the Eggplant Lasagna

Cover with parchment and foil (basically don’t let the foil touch the lasagna) and bake covered, until bubbling, then uncover for the last 10-15  minutes until golden and bubbling.

Step 5: Make the Arugula Pesto

make the pesto

While the Eggplant Lasagna is baking, make the Arugula Almond Pesto. It only takes 5 minutes and it totally elevates.

A delicious recipe for Arugula Pesto designed to enliven soups, stews, cassoulets, sandwiches and pasta dishes. It's vegan and made with almonds, basil and lemon zest adding a peppery brightness to dishes you are already making! 

When it is done, it will be slightly puffed, golden and delicious smelling – and you’ll feel especially proud of yourself.

Bask in it.

Roasted Epplant Lasagna made with no-boil noodles and topped with Arugula Pesto. A delicious, healthy vegetarian dinner recipe that is comforting and nourishing. #vegetarian #eggplantlasagna #lasagna #healthycomefortfood

It brings me joy just thinking about it.

Garnish with the arugula pesto or serve it on the side.

Eggplant Lasagna made with no-boil noodles and topped with Arugula Pesto. A delicious, healthy vegetarian dinner recipe that is comforting and nourishing. #vegetarian #eggplantlasagna #lasagna #healthycomefortfood

Because I can read your mind, let me answer some of your questions. 😉

Can I make the Eggplant Lasagna recipe without lasagna noodles to make it keto or low carb?

  • Yes.  I would increase the eggplant by roasting off one more. You can also brown some ground meat with the onions before adding the spinach to “beef it up”. Or add mushrooms!
  • I will say, I do like the structure the lasagna noodles add, especially when using these thin no-boil lasagna noodles, they are very very light. Even cutting back to one layer is an option. 🙂

Can I make this Gluten-Free?

Can this be made ahead?

  • Yes, feel free to make and assemble the Eggplant Lasagna ahead and bake it before serving (bring it to room temp first).
  • Or make it in stages: Roast the eggplant ahead, make the ricotta mix ahead, and the arugula pesto ahead refrigerating all. Assemble and bake the day of.
  • It does reheat well also.

Can this be frozen?

I don’t know. My guess is probably, and I would freeze after baking- but haven’t personally tried this. If you try it, please let us know the results in the comments below.

Can this be made vegan?

Yes, again, probably! I haven’t tried this- but what I would do is make the tofu ricotta recipe, leave out the egg but add the basil and nutmeg.  Use meltable vegan cheese as a substitute. Again, if you try this, please let us all know how it turns out…very curious. 🙂

Eggplant Lasagna made with no-boil noodles and topped with Arugula Pesto. A delicious, healthy vegetarian dinner recipe that is comforting and nourishing. #vegetarian #eggplantlasagna #lasagna #healthycomefortfood

Other Cozy Vegetarian Recipes you might like!

 

I truly am excited for you to try this Eggplant Lasagna. It’s a beautifully rewarding meal to make on a slower Sunday, and then you’ll get to enjoy the leftovers during the workweek.

A beautiful nourishing gift to yourself and your family.

xoxoxo

Sylvia

P.S. I used something similar to this 12- inch  Clay Baking Dish   if you are interested!

 

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An EASY Eggplant Lasagna made with no-boil noodles and topped with Arugula Pesto. A delicious, healthy vegetarian dinner recipe that is comforting and nourishing.

Eggplant Lasagna Recipe

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine| Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 75 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: main, vegetarian main
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Roasted Eggplant Lasagna made with no-boil lasagna noodles and topped with Arugula Pesto. A delicious, healthy vegetarian dinner recipe that is comforting and nourishing. Vegan and GF adaptable.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 3 large eggplants (about 3 lbs)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oilspray olive oil or ghee
  • ———-
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • one onion, diced
  • 48 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 6 ounces baby spinach, about 2 extra-large handfuls
  • Salt and pepper to taste ( 1/4 teaspoon each)
  • ——-
  • 16-ounce tub of whole milk ricotta (or sub tofu ricotta)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • ——
  • 24-ounce jar marinara sauce, about 3 cups
  • 8 no-boil lasagna noodles (or sub- gluten-free lasagna noodles)
  • 11 1/2 cups grated mozzarella (or meltable vegan cheese)
  • 1/41/3  cup pecorino (or parm, but I like pecorino better here)
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)

One batch Arugula Almond Pesto

  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds,  pinenuts  or smoked almonds
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup packed arugula
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/31/2 cup light flavored olive oil (make sure oil is not bitter)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (if your almonds are heavily salted, use salt to taste.)
  • 1/4 cracked pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Sweat and ROAST EGGPLANT: Slice eggplant into 1/2-inch thick slices and place on two parchment-lined sheet pans. Sprinkle half the salt over the top as evenly as possible. Turn each piece over and sprinkle the remaining salt. Let the eggplant sit (and sweat) 15-20 minutes while the oven gets hot. When the eggplants look damp, pat the top side down with paper towels. Brush or spray with olive oil. Flip them. Blot with paper towels, spray with olive oil. Roast in the middle of the oven for 30-40 minutes, checking at 25 minutes. Roast until golden and tender. Thinner slices will cook faster, thicker slower. Watch your eggplant!
  3. SPINACH FILLING: While the eggplant roasts, make the filling. In a large skillet, saute the onion, over medium heat until. tender about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant. Add the fresh spinach, lowering heat, gently wilting. Season with salt and pepper, turn heat off.
  4. RICOTTA MIXTURE: In a medium bowl, whisk with a fork, the ricotta, egg, nutmeg, basil and salt. Set aside.
  5. ASSEMBLE: Spray or brush a 9×13 baking dish (or 12-inch round baking dish) with olive oil. Place 3/4 cup marina sauce on the bottom, or enough to cover the bottom. Place the no-boil lasagna noodles over top. Spread another thin layer of marinara over the pasta, or just enough to lightly coat. Add half the roasted eggplant, overlapping a little if need be. Dot with half of the ricotta mixture. Spoon all of the wilted spinach mixture over top evenly. Sprinkle with 1/2- 3/4 cup mozzarella and 1/8 cup pecorino. Add another layer of pasta sheets. Lightly cover with 3/4 cup marinara (you’ll need one more layer of marinara for the top, so if it looks like you could run out, water this down a bit here.) Next add the remaining eggplant, overlapping if need be. Smother with the remaining marinara sauce and spoon the remaining ricotta in fluffy dollops over the top. Sprinkle with a few chili flakes,  1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/8 pecorino.
  6. BAKE: Cover with foil (if your lasagna comes to the top edge of the baking dish, cover with parchment first and then with foil) and bake in a 375 F oven for 45-50 minutes, uncover and bake 10-20 more minutes, until golden and bubbling.
  7. While it is baking make the Arugula Pesto – place everything in food processor and pulse until combined, but not too smooth. Add more oil, to make it looser if you like, or less to make it thicker.
  8. The lasagna is done when it is golden, bubbling and slightly puffed in the center.
  9. Let it rest 5 minutes before serving, dot it with  Arugula pesto or serve it on the side.

Notes

Additions: Feel free to add ground meat or mushrooms to the onion mixture to “beef” it up. I find the eggplant is quite filling on its own, but up to you. Just make sure your filling is seasoned and flavorful if adding to it. 🙂

LOW CARB: YES you could leave out the lasagna sheets altogether and use the eggplant as the “pasta” here for a keto version. I would add one more eggplant. I like the structure the lasagna noodles bring, but it’s good without too.

VEGAN: Sub Tofu Ricotta adding basil and nutmeg. Sub meltable vegan cheese.

If using a sugar-free marinara sauce– add 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup to the sauce- otherwise too acidic.

To reheat, let it come to room temp, cover, bake at 350F or 375F oven for 25-30 minutes. Or microwave.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/8th without pesto
  • Calories: 371
  • Sugar: 9.5 g
  • Sodium: 722.7 mg
  • Fat: 19.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 33 g
  • Fiber: 8.4 g
  • Protein: 16.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 70.7 mg

Keywords: Eggplant Lasagna, roasted Eggplant lasagna, keto eggplant lasagna, low carb eggplant lasagna, vegetarian lasagna, vegetarian lasagna recipe,

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Comments

  1. My husband made the eggplant lasagna following the recipe and it was delicious. I shared the recipe w/a friend and her family loved it as well. This is definitely a keeper.
    The next week my husband altered the recipe a bit — green chili (we live in NM) and ground turkey. Note to husband: drain chili well and slice eggplant into thinner slices. It still tasted good but not like the first time following the recipe. But, he tried — proud of him.

    1. That is awesome! It is fun being creative with recipes so I totally get it. And I love that he cooks for you. 😉

  2. Soooo amazing !!! And the arugula pesto put it over the top !!! Definitely saving this recipe ! Thank you so much !

    My 11 yr old son kept raving about it 😊

  3. It is my experience from trying the no-boil lasagne noodle that they disintegrate after being frozen. This is from a one time trial.
    I am not a vegetarian, however we are steering away from meat but could very easily become one after looking at all your yummy recipes.

    1. Thanks Eva- yes, I am hearing that Trader Joe’s no-boil noodles can disintegrate- not sure what brand you used but I suggest using Barilla or Ronzoni.

    2. I use Catelli Oven Ready Lasagna noodles … when I freeze leftover traditional lasagna, then thaw a month late, these noodles thaw beautifully, retain their structure and ‘bite’. Don’t know if Catelli is only in Canada? not sure.

  4. With the cooler weather, I was longing for lasagna and feeling sorry for myself because I can no longer eat pasta. Then I found this super-delicious recipe and satisfied my cravings. I like to roast the eggplants the night before and may one day try using them to create non-traditional lasagna type casseroles. For now though, I’m gobbling up the Italian comfort food I’ve been missing. Thank you!

  5. I have made this receipt so many times, it’s definitely a favourite of mine. Whenever we have guests I will make this!

  6. The BEST!! The recipe and instructions are great. I followed them all and the eggplant lasagne was so delicious! Whenever I need a recipe, I go to this website. I am confident that it will be a winner. And I can always find something for my vegetarian kids when they visit.

  7. I made this for my daughter and her husband when my daughter was recovering from surgery. They both loved it. I tried it again yesterday for my boyfriend and he is still raving about it this morning. My daughter and I are now hooked on your site and your recipes. So happy we found you.

    1. Hi Annie- I like it too- so rustic. It is linked in the “PS” right after the post body and in the recipe card (in the assemble section). I used a 12-inch here.

  8. A little bit of work, but absolutely delicious. And so far, no matter what I make from your recipe collection, my husband raves over it and my son gives me hugs. You have been a blessing to our family, Sylvia! Thank you!

  9. absolutely delicious! I added large portabella mushrooms and fennel seed and used my own homemade marinara. I’m making it again tomorrow bc I am craving it!

  10. Yes it freezes well after cooked and cooled. I reheated it from frozen in the oven

  11. One of my all-time favorite lasagna recipes. I make an extra one to freeze and it reheats perfectly. Thank you, Sylvia!

    1. Great! Love it Susie. Such a good feeling to have meals tucked away in the freezer.

  12. Amazing. I used provolone instead of mozzarella and light ricotta. Made the arugula pesto first, but forgot to use it. Next time!

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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