Eggplant Lasagna- a cozy, hearty vegetarian dinner recipe made easy with no-boil noodles. Top it off with flavorful Arugula Almond Pesto  for an extra burst of color and flavor.  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. For more fun ways to cook with eggplant, please take a peek at our 20+ Best Eggplant Recipes. 

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. Hello Sylvia,
    Planning on making this for my sons birthday celebration, eggplant and lasagna, his two penultimate favorites!! My question is can I make this a day ahead? I’d like to prepare and then refrigerate overnight and heat the next evening, will this work for this recipe? Hope so, recipe sounds amazing, especially the arugula almond pesto!!
    Best,
    Claudette

  2. This was excellent. While my husband and I are not vegetarians, I am always excited to try something new and different. I honestly didn’t think it needed the Argula pesto. I made the recipe exactly as it is listed. I used the argula pesto on another dish so nothing went to waste either. I hope this freezes well as I put some in the freeze for later.

    1. Thanks June- and hopefully worth it! I find recipes go much faster the second time around- and also if you make them in stages. 🙂

  3. Perfect! Best lasagna I have ever made. My husband has asked for it 3 times now. Wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you.

  4. Super tasty recipe that is a nice change from the standard meat-based filling. I used part skim ricotta and reduced fat 4-cheese Italian blend to cut the fat just a bit. Result is a guilt-free feeling lasagna dish that tastes amazing.

  5. I love this recipe so much & it’s great frozen too! I’ve made it a couple of times now & everyone loves it. Thank you

  6. This is amazing. I used homemade cashew ricotta and vegan mozzarella… fantastic. I have also used sweet potato instead of eggplant as well; hubby is not a fan of eggplant. Love your recipes.

  7. I made this today for our main meal – a house full of men who love meat – trying to cook without meat at least 2 days a week to start with. I served with a salad and coleslaw. THEY LOVED IT!! 🙂 Thank you .

  8. Sounds like this will be today’s dinner.

    About freezing eggplant, I make another casserole that has almost all the sane ingredients, its allegedly a Sicilian eggplant parmesan. Also, very delicious. Ironically , I use the same TJ mariner a sauce.

    There are only two of us and I food prep by cutting into serving portions and freezing. It reheats well on microwave (don’t judge me haha) or covered in an oven

  9. This is one of the best lasagne recipes I’ve ever eaten and definitely the best I’ve ever made,! Great directions and notes! Thank you!

  10. This eggplant lasagna was absolutely delicious. So incredibly flavorful and tasty. The arugula pesto brought it to a completely other level. Half an hour after finishing this meal I still have the amazing flavors dancing in my mouth. I had purchased three big eggplants and next time I think I would only use two. The layers got so high that it did spill over a little in my oven. This is the fourth recipe we have tried of yours Sylvia and you have now become our favorite chef!! Thank you!

  11. This is a beautiful, soul satisfying dish. I’ve made this both with meat sauce (ground turkey) and without, and everyone raves about it, no exceptions.
    And yes, the arugula pesto raises it to a whole other level, tho it’s dreamy alone. Even better the next day (if you’re lucky to have leftovers!)

  12. It’s really amazing. So I made pasta from scratch and marinara from scratch. Might be the best lasagne I’ve ever had. And I’m not a vegetarian.

    1. Yay Bill!!! Love that you made your own pasta and sauce! I bet that really elevated it.

  13. Made this reicpe with the Fast & Easy Marinara Sauce and a store-bought pesto (for the garnish). It was delicious! My husband asked me to make it again before it was even gone. As suggested, I tackled this in stages. The instructions were very easy to follow.

  14. I’ve made this a few times and I am making it again tomorrow! It’s so DELICIOUS! Thank you for this recipe, in fact thanks for all your recipes!!I I pretty much soley cook new recipes from your food blog, I’ve loved them all!

  15. I’m giving a 5-star rating for excellent instructions on to prep eggplant.
    So, thank you for explaining how to do this. In my opinion, I think the eggplant is not as bitter and more tender. Of course, the eggplant lasagna is so good; and yes, you must have the arugula pesto, great contrast.
    Your photos are always such an inspiration to get in the kitchen and make a fantastic recipe.

  16. This was delicious – the best vegetarian lasagne recipe I’ve found! I added some zucchini in with the eggplant for variety.

  17. Have I seriously not commented under this gem yet?! I make this at least twice a month for me and my husband (per recipe is 4 meals for us). Everything is so perfect, even the vegan version – the cheese might not melt as well but the flavor is still outstanding. I’ve only made it with tofu ricotta, which until I mentioned to my husband that it was tofu he didn’t have the slightest idea (and we eat tofu a lot so we are very familiar with the flavor). I double the pesto every time because we absolutely adore it. As much as I cook I’m not the fastest in prepping & this recipe consistently takes me about 4 hours from start to finish, but it’s very easy to divide and conquer. I make my own marinara every time from canned San marzano tomatoes too. It’s food like this that makes us not miss being omnivorous at all while navigating through a consciously-lived, plant-based life. Thanks Sylvia!

  18. This was so easy and delicious! I can’t wait to make it again. Beautiful presentation. I used Rao Marinara.

      1. Funny.. but don’t see it. There’s a mention that the serving size is 1/8 of recipe and that’s it. Yet I remember seeing something when I first came across the recipe last weekend!

        1. Sorry- I meant it is within the recipe card, on the bottom under the instructions. Before the Comment Box? See it? 379 calories per serving.

  19. This is absolutely delicious, made it first time in advance and froze it for a family holiday meal. It was a real hit, thank you

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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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