Lasagna is one of those comfort foods that always makes everything better. Bad day at work? Lasagna. Feel a cold coming on? Lasagna. Just find out you owe a ton in taxes? LASAGNA.
And if you thought you’d have to kiss this magical comfort dish goodbye now that you’re off noodles, I have very good news for you – sliced eggplant tastes even better than noodles!
So give this a try and make enough for leftovers. It really is that good…
- Meat Mixture
- 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tbs oregano
- 1/2 tsp umami seasoning (optional)
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 basil paste (optional)
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Ricotta Mixture
- 16 oz Ricotta
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1 12 oz bag of frozen spinach
- 1 egg
- 2 tbs parsley flakes
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp black pepper
- Other Ingredients
- 5 oz diced onions
- 4 oz sliced mushrooms (white or Bella)
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 small/medium eggplants
- 1 jar low sugar marinara
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the eggplant the long way in 1/4 slices.
Cover slices in coarse salt and “sweat” the eggplant with a paper towel over the slices for 30 minutes. (Here’s a great blog on how to do it).
Rinse eggplant slices, pat dry, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
While eggplant is in the oven, cook the ground turkey with seasonings and minced garlic.
Once cooked, mixed with marinara and set aside.
Sauté the diced onions for about 10 minutes until soft and translucent.
Add in the mushrooms and 1 tsp minced garlic.
For the ricotta mixture, combine the following: ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, parsley flakes, garlic powder, black pepper, thawed spinach, sautéed mushroom/onion and egg.
Stir until everything is thoroughly mixed.
Once that’s done, start assembling.
Spread a thin layer of meat sauce at the bottom of pan.
Next, cover pan with one layer of eggplant slices.
After that, sprinkle more meat sauce onto the eggplant.
Spoon ricotta mixture on top of the ground turkey.
Repeat with another layer of eggplant, then meat sauce, then ricotta mixture.
Lay whole leaves of fresh basil on top and more mozzarella and parmesan on top.
Bake for 35-40 minutes.
Let cool for 15-20 minutes and serve!
I know sweating eggplant is a pain but I really believe it makes a big difference in tenderness, flavor and lack of moisture – which is important!
Some recipes say to slice the eggplant thin, but I really don’t agree. By the time you sweat and roast the eggplant, it loses a substantial amount of size. So for that reason, err on the side of thickness so the slices hold their shape better!
There may be a little extra moisture than there would be with noodles but in my experience, it’s really not much!
Feel free to swap out ground turkey with beef or pork.
If you want to keep it simple, you can skip the mushrooms and onions, but it really adds a nice umami flavor that I think you’ll miss.
This is one of those dishes that’s even better the next day so don’t be afraid to double up the recipe for the next day or two!