This eggplant lasagna is made with tender roasted eggplant layered with delicious homemade tomato sauce, lots of veggies and three cheeses. It's a low-carb, gluten-free, vegetarian lasagna with all of the rich heartiness, fantastic flavors and oozing cheeses that make lasagna so irresistibly good.
- 4 or 5 large firm Italian or globe eggplants (3 pounds)
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus more for oiling the baking sheets
- 4-5 large garlic cloves, minced (2 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 3 large carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 1 pound white mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and finely chopped
- 2 large broccoli crowns
- An 8-ounce ball of fresh mozzarella, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 8 ounces ricotta cheese (reduced fat is fine)
- 2 ounces grated Parmigiana Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling on top
- 12-15 fresh basil leaves, slivered (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400ºF/200ºC. Position oven shelves in the top and bottom positions.
- Trim the ends off the eggplants and cut them lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices. You should have 5 good slices per eggplant plus a few thinner side pieces with skin.
- Lightly oil two rimmed baking sheets and add eggplant slices in a single layer. Brush the tops with olive oil (about 3 tablespoons total). Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt per pan and season with fresh ground pepper, to taste. Bake for 30 minutes, switching the position of the pans halfway through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- While the eggplant roasts, heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Add carrots and mushrooms and cook over medium heat for 12-15 minutes, stirring frequently and pressing the veggies down into the pan with the back of a spatula, until lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes to a large heavy pot or dutch oven and set over medium-high heat. As soon as the garlic starts to sizzle, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 seconds (don't let it brown), then pour in the crushed tomatoes, followed by the tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of water, and the dried basil. Simmer the sauce, partially covered (to avoid splatter), for 20 minutes.
- Whiled the sauce simmers, place a broccoli crown on its side on a cutting board and, using a large sharp knife, cut/shave the crowns into 1/2-inch slices, which will give you a pile of finely chopped florets. Repeat with the other broccoli crown.
- When the sauce has finished simmering, remove it from the heat, stir in the chopped broccoli and the carrot-mushroom mixture and set the pot aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF/190ºC and set an oven rack in the center position. Lightly oil the casserole and spread 3/4 cup of sauce into the bottom. Arrange half the roasted eggplant slices on top. (see photos in post). Add half the remaining sauce on top of the eggplant. Arrange half the mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan evenly over the sauce layer. Arrange the remaining eggplant slices on top, then the remaining sauce. Finish with the rest of the cheeses.
- Cover the casserole with a double layer of foil and bake for about 55 minutes, until the lasagna is heated through and the cheese is melted, removing the foil for the last 15 minutes of cooking time to let the cheese brown.
- Remove the lasagna from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Slice into portions using a sharp knife. Serve with parmigiana cheese and fresh basil sprinkled on top.
Time-saving tip: Use your food processor to chop the carrots and mushrooms. Cut the carrots into chunks and pulse them in the bowl of your food processor using the chopping blade. Remove the carrots and do the same with the mushrooms.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins
- Category: Dinner, Casserole
- Method: bake
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Vegetarian, low-carb, gluten-free, comfort food