All the tasty flavors and the comfort of lasagna without the noodles! Roasted eggplant slices, layered with a delicious cheese mixture with spinach and fresh herb, and of course a little red pasta sauce. This hearty vegetarian eggplant lasagna can stand alone as dinner (2 pieces per person) along with your favorite salad!
10ozfrozen spinach, thawed and fully dried (wring out all the water)
1cuppacked chopped fresh parsley
½cuppacked chopped fresh basil⅔ ounce
Black pepper to your liking
2cupsprepared pasta sauce of choice (Homemade or store-bought)
Season the eggplant slices on both sides with kosher salt and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes (if you don't have the time, this step can be optional).
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and position a rack in the middle.
Wipe the eggplant slices very well with a paper towel (you want to dry it well and remove any excess salt), then arrange on lightly oiled baking sheet (or two if needed). Brush the top of the eggplant with extra virgin olive oil. Roast in the heated oven until the eggplant softens and becomes pliable (about 15 to 20 minutes or so).
While the eggplant is roasting, prepare the ricotta filling. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg. Add the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, ¼ Parmesan, garlic, oregano, spinach and chopped herbs. Add a small pinch of kosher salt and black pepper to your liking. Mix well to combine.
Remove the eggplant from the oven. Lower the heat to 375 degrees F.
Prepare a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Pour a bit of the pasta sauce (about ½ cup or so) and spread it out into one layer. Lay a few eggplant slices (anywhere from 4 to 6 and it’s fine if they overlap a bit). Spread ½ of the ricotta filling, then spread a thin layer of the sauce. Repeat the process in the same pattern. Spread the final layer of sauce and follow with the remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup of Parmesan.
Cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake in the heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, then carefully uncover and return to the oven. Bake for another 10 to 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the edges of the lasagna turn a nice golden brown.
Let the lasagna rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.
Salting eggplant is optional but it does help the flavor and texture of it. Be sure to wipe the eggplant slices very well to remove any excess salt (you can also rinse it, but you'll need to make sure to dry the eggplant super well).
Prepare Ahead Tips: You can roast the eggplant and prepare the ricotta cheese filling 1 day in advance. Keep them refrigerated in separate containers. Assemble before baking. When ready to bake, let the lasagna stand at room temperature while you preheat the oven.
Leftovers & Storage: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days. Rewarm, covered, in a medium heated oven.
To reheat: Warm, covered in a 350 degrees heated-oven
Can this be Frozen? It is best not to freeze eggplant lasagna as eggplant can become too watery and mushy when frozen.