Classic Eggplant Lasagna

Aug 26, 2022 · By Bethany Kramer
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Eggplant lasagna; layers of thinly sliced baked eggplant, three melted Italian cheese, and accents of fresh herbs throughout each layer. You will be shocked by how flavorful and hearty this dish is without using any pasta noodles at all!

One of my favorite summer vegetables is eggplant! And besides our classic eggplant parmesan being an all-time favorite recipe to make (and one of our most popular blog recipes!), I LOVE making lasagnas with eggplant.

The best part about this recipe? There’s no frying, breading, or pasta noodles involved! The eggplant is simply roasted or baked before layering with ricotta cheese, fresh herbs, and of course – rich marinara to bring it all together. It’s lighter, healthier, but bold in flavor.

Ingredients – What You Need

Below you’ll find the full list of ingredients needed to make this recipe, plus some ingredient tips!

Ingredients for eggplant lasagna arranged on a wooden cutting board.

Eggplant: the star of the show!
Marinara: I like to choose a quality marinara for the best flavor! You can use our favorite store-bought marinara to save time or make your own with our San Marzano tomato sauce.
Parmesan: fresh parmesan cheese is a must! It melts better than pre-shredded parm and the taste isn’t even comparable.
Ricotta: for the filling, only a thin layer is used!
Mozzarella: for a melty cheese topping!
Fresh herbs: I like to use a combination of fresh basil and oregano. I do not recommend swapping for dried herbs, the taste will not be the same!
Garlic: fresh garlic will add the perfect depth of flavor to the ricotta filling! Try to use fresh garlic, but if you must, garlic powder works too.
Egg: this helps bind the ricotta filling ingredients together.

How to Make Eggplant Lasagna – Step by Step

(1) Roast the eggplant slices – First, after slicing the eggplant, lay the slices on a pan and brush them with oil and dust with salt. Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes on the middle oven rack.

(2) Mix the ricotta filling – Then mix the ricotta filling together (ricotta, parmesan, herbs, egg, garlic, and salt & pepper).

Two images side by side showing steps one and two for how to make eggplant lasagna.

(3) Add sauce and layer – when the eggplant is finished roasting, get a baking dish and spread marinara on the bottom, then layer with eggplant.

(4) Add the filling – Then spread a thin layer of the ricotta herb filling over top. Add mozzarella over top and repeat layer: sauce, eggplant, ricotta, mozzarella.

Two images side by side showing steps for how to make eggplant lasagna.

(5) Bake! When the final layer is done, it should be topped with mozzarella and fresh parmesan. Then lower the oven to 350F and bake for 25-30 minutes uncovered. Serve with more fresh basil!

Tips for Success

You must bake the eggplant first! Don’t skip this step! For the texture and taste of this recipe to be spot on, you have to cook the eggplant first before layering it in the lasagna. It not only cooks it thoroughly but softens it, removes excess moisture, and deepens the flavor!

Don’t skimp on the herbs! The flavor of this recipe thrives on the fresh herbs involved. Use an abundance of fresh summer basil and oregano for the best results! Dried herbs are not recommended.

Keep the eggplant skin on – for the best results in taste and texture, I recommend not peeling the eggplant. So much of the meaty texture and delicious flavor comes from the eggplant skin, plus it helps hold its shape together better with the skin intact.

Use foil if the top browns too quickly – If towards the end of your baking time the top of the cheese begins to brown too quickly, place a foil tent over top to protect it. Don’t seal the foil tightly though, we don’t want to trap moisture and make the eggplant watery.

How to Freeze it & Reheat Leftovers

How to freeze it – the best way to freeze this would be to assemble the entire recipe and don’t bake it. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap, then foil, and freeze for up to one month. Then remove from the freezer when you’re ready to bake it, let it thaw, then bake as the recipe instructs!

Reheating leftovers: you can do this two ways: reheat the leftovers in a microwave for 30-60 seconds (or until they’re warm). Or in the oven at 350F in an oven-safe dish, covered with foil, for about 8-10 minutes (depending on how much you’re reheating) or until warm.

What to Serve it With

I absolutely love serving this eggplant lasagna with pasta noodles and additional marinara! Then we always pair it with a fresh salad like our corn and tomato salad, Tuscan artichoke salad, or this summer farro salad. If you have some crusty bread to serve on that side, that is always a winner too in our house!

Classic Eggplant Lasagna

5 from 2 votes
Eggplant lasagna; layers of thinly sliced baked eggplant, three melted Italian cheese, and accents of fresh herbs throughout each layer. You will be shocked by how flavorful and hearty this dish is without using any pasta noodles at all!
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Serves 9 lasagna slices

Ingredients

  • 2 medium to large eggplants Cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 32 oz tomato sauce
  • 8 oz mozzarella
  • 1/4 fresh parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 Tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil

Ricotta filling

  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • generous pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Roast eggplant slices: Then arrange slices of eggplant on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush both sides of the eggplant with oil and sprinkle a pinch of salt over the top of the slices. Bake for 20-25 minutes on the middle oven wrack until roasted.
  • Mix ricotta filling: in a small bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, egg, fresh basil & oregano, garlic, and salt & pepper. Set aside.
  • Assemble lasagna: when the eggplant is finished roasting, In a casserole dish or baking dish, spread a generous layer of tomato sauce on the bottom. Then layer: roasted eggplant slices, a thin layer of ricotta, mozzarella, and then sauce. Repeat until the final layer, on the last layer top with sauce then mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  • Bake: Lower the oven temperature to 350F and bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes. Serve with chopped fresh basil!

Notes

Use foil if the top browns too quickly – If towards the end of your baking time the top of the cheese begins to brown too quickly, place a foil tent over top to protect it. Don’t seal the foil tightly though, we don’t want to trap moisture and make the eggplant watery.
Avoid burning the bottom of the lasagna by layering sauce – make sure when layering, that the bottom of your baking dish is layered with enough sauce. If it’s only a little, the sauce will evaporate while baking and could potentially cause mild burning. Which we always want to avoid! 🙂
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword eggplant lasagna, eggplant lasagna recipe
Freezer Friendly Yes

Nutrition

Serving: 1lasagna slice | Calories: 233kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.4g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 10.9g | Saturated Fat: 5.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 63.8mg | Sodium: 846mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7.1g

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5 Comments

  • April says:

    5 stars
    Easy & quck to do. Delicious! I’ll be making this recipe again. Thank you!

  • Patricia says:

    5 stars
    OMG this eggplant lasagna was amazing!! Packed with flavor, and overall so delicious and filling. The fresh herbs in the ricotta filling are perfection and should not be skipped as Bethany suggests.
    Quick note – I made the mistake of over salting the eggplant slices because I wasn’t sure a pinch of salt would be enough…I was wrong lol. You need very little salt when roasting the eggplant, especially since the eggplant will absorb the sodium in the tomato sauce (just make sure the sodium/flavor in the tomato sauce is to your liking) and ricotta filling. This is without a doubt my new favorite lasagna dish! 🙂
    Thank you, Bethany!!

    • Bethany says:

      Thank you so much, Patricia! I love this lasagna so much, so I’m thrilled you enjoyed it too. 🙂

  • jen says:

    wow, this looks soo delicious and yummy classic eggplant lasagna. thanks for sharing this article.