Craving the comfort of that carb-rich, pasta-filled Italian food that we all love? That’s right, classic lasagna! Try this healthy eggplant lasagna without the carbs or guilt! Rich, savory, and loved by everyone of my family members. This delicious alternative to the classic will satiate your craving and keep you on safely on your weight loss journey!
For the Sauce
- 1 lb Ground Turkey
- 1 lb Ground Italian Chicken Sausage
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Yellow Onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves Minced garlic
- 1 cup Finely Chopped Mushrooms
- 1 cup Finely Chopped Celery Optional
- 2 28-ounce cans Diced Tomatos
- 1 can Tomato Paste
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Dried Italian Seasonings
- 1 tbsp Red Pepper Flakes optional
For the Lasagna
- 2 Eggplants sliced lengthwise, ½" thick (skin on with ends removed)
- 1 cup Finely Grated Parmesean Cheese optional
- 1 tbsp Dried Italian Seasonings
- 1 cup Shredded Mozzerella optional
For the Sauce
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot
- Sauté the onion, celery, mushrooms, garlic, ground beef, and ground sausage until meat is browned and vegetables are soft
- Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine
- Simmer sauce on low for 1-4 hours, stirring occasionally
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Top with sliced eggplant, side-by-side to cover the dish
- Sprinkle ⅓ cup shredded parmesean cheese
- Spoon 2 cups sauce over eggplant slices
- Repeat the layering 2 more times for a total of three layers: meat sauce, eggplant, parmesean cheese
- Cover dish with foil
- Bake for 30 minutes
- Remove foil and top with mozzarella cheese
- Return to oven and bake for 5-10 additional minutes or until mozzarella is fully melted
MY EGGPLANT JOURNEYWho is not a fan of eggplant? Believe it or not, me, up until I actually took the time to experiment with this amazingly versatile vegetable (well, officially, it is considered a fruit, similar to the tomato). Due to the spongy consistency of the eggplant, it easily absorbs the flavor of the surrounding ingredients and blends beautifully into many dishes. Eggplant is also packed full of fiber, extremely low-calorie, may help reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol, aids digestion, and prevents some cancers. In addition to the laundry list of health benefits, it is super easy to prepare. Throughout my 4 years living the Paleo lifestyle, I SO missed the comfort of my once prized traditional lasagna dish, and I longed for a Paleo acceptable replacement. My experimentation started with replacing traditional noodles with zucchini, which I found to produce a watered down flavor with mushy texture. After many failed attempts with zucchini, I decided to give eggplant a try. I tried my recipe with peeled eggplant, pre-roasted slices of eggplant, and eggplant that was salted to remove water prior to cooking. From my experimentation, the consistency of the eggplant that went straight from the cutting board to the lasagna pan with the skin left on worked beautifully! Not only was the consistency the most similar to the traditional al dente lasagna noodles that I once prized, but it held the shape of the slices beautifully, provided extended satiety from the added fiber in the skin, and supplied that oh-so-longed-for feeling of partaking in a true “comfort food,’“ without wrecking my diet.
TIPS AND TRICKS EGGPLANT LASAGNA
- I personally like my eggplant a little one the firm side. For a softer “noodle,” spread the sliced eggplant on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Roast in oven at 350° for about 8 minutes before constructing your eggplant lasagna.
- Meal prep your sauce over the weekend to nearly cut this recipe time in half. Besides making life a lot easier, the sauce just tastes better after sitting in the fridge overnight.
- The sauce freezes extremely well. Double the recipe to speed up the lasagna assembly process the next time you are craving it!
- Use store bought sauce if you want to make this recipe super easy and quick.
- Leave off the cheese for a true “paleo” lasagna with reduced calories.
- Think outside of the box with the leftover. I loved this recipe so much that I ate it for breakfast the following morning topped with over-easy eggs.
- If you are not feeding an army, you can quickly and easily make a deconstructed eggplant lasagna by doing the following:
- Slice 1 eggplant into round discs, discarding the ends
- Dollop with 1/4 cup pre-made meat sauce (or store bought)
- Top with 1 slice mozzarella cheese (or 1 tbls shredded)
- Sprinkle with grated parmesan and 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- Add a few fresh arugula leaves 10 minutes before removing from oven (optional)
- Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown
Sodium: 618.6mg | Sugar: 6.8g | Fiber: 5.7g | Calories: 258kcal | Saturated Fat: 1.6g | Fat: 3.6g | Protein: 11.5g | Carbohydrates: 20.3g