I scream, you scream, we all scream for…LASAGNA!
Isn’t that how it goes?
OK, I know it’s ice cream, but lasagna ranks up there for me on levels of food excitement.
Origins of Lasagna
Perhaps like many of you, we were under the impression that lasagna originated in Italy. Turns out, its origin history is more complicated!
Some say the concept originated in ancient Greece where layered dough sheets (called laganon) were cut into strips and baked. Others claim it resembles a Roman dish recorded in a cookbook in the 1st century AD. And still others place its origin in England or Italy in the 14th century, where cookbooks describe the concept of layering cheese and pasta in a dish and baking it. (source)
But it wasn’t until the 16th century that tomato-based versions were recorded that more closely resembles today’s lasagna. Those versions came from Italy. So to everyone who ever contributed to the invention of lasagna, we’re forever grateful!
How to Make Eggplant Lasagna
This lasagna is easy to make, requiring just 10 ingredients and extremely simple methods.
If you can slice an eggplant, toss lentils in a pot of marinara, and blend basil + tofu, you can master this recipe.
The base is roasted eggplant “noodles,” the “cheese” is my go-to tofu ricotta (although you could substitute macadamia ricotta!), and the sauce is my favorite store-bought marinara with red lentils simmered in for extra fiber and protein (although you could also make your sauce from scratch!).
Assembly is the best part!
Layer sauce, noodles, cheese, sauce, noodles, cheese…..until you get to the top! Finish with sauce, noodles, sauce!
Bake for 45 minutes and you’re ready to dig in.
I hope you all love this recipe! It’s:
High in fiber (10.8 g/serving) + protein (10.7 g/serving)
& Perfect for fall
This is the ideal dish to make this fall and winter when you’re craving something hearty yet healthy, or to serve to guests. No one will miss the actual noodles or cheese!
This would also be an amazing dish to make on the weekend and take for lunch (or enjoy as leftovers) throughout the week. Enjoy as is, or with my favorite Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas and/or Simple Pumpkin Soup.
If you try this recipe, let us know! We love seeing your comments, ratings, and photos tagged #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Lentil & Eggplant Lasagna
- 2 medium eggplants (sliced into 1/4-inch slices lengthwise // or 12 lasagna noodles, boiled)
- Sea salt (for sweating)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
SAUCE + LENTILS
- 1 28-ounce jar favorite marinara sauce* (I like Trader Joe’s Basil Marinara)
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup rinsed and drained red lentils (can sub green, but will increase cooking time)
- 1 12-ounce block extra firm tofu (drained and pressed dry for 10 minutes)
- 1 1/2 medium lemons, juiced (1 1/2 lemons yield ~1/4 cup or 60 ml)
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup fresh basil (finely chopped // plus more for serving)
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp each sea salt + black pepper
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese (optional // plus more for serving)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C). Also set out two baking sheets and one large (9×13-inch or similar) baking dish (sizes/amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
- Generously salt eggplant slices on both sides and arrange in a colander in the sink to remove excess water/bitterness for 15 minutes. (If using lasagna noodles, boil, drain and set aside.)
- Rinse salted eggplant slices well and dry thoroughly between two clean absorbent towels. Lay a baking sheet on top and place something heavy on top to absorb excess moisture.
- Arrange slices on 1-2 baking sheets in an even layer and drizzle with a little olive or grape seed oil. Bake in a 425 degree F oven for 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce oven heat to 375 degrees F (190 C).
- While eggplant is baking, add marinara sauce and water to a large saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Then add rinsed lentils and lower heat to a simmer (low) and cook loosely covered (to prevent splattering), stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes or until lentils are tender.
- In the meantime, make tofu ricotta. Add all ricotta ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse to combine, scraping down sides as needed. You want a semi-puréed mixture with bits of basil still intact.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt and pepper for flavor, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, or lemon juice for brightness. I usually add a bit more of all three.
- Spread a thin layer of lentil marinara sauce into your baking dish. Then layer on a few pieces of eggplant (see photo).
- Spoon half of the ricotta filling over the eggplant slices and spread into an even layer. Then top with another layer of marinara sauce. Repeat until you have used up all the ricotta. NOTE: The top layers should be: Marinara, eggplant noodles, marinara.
- Sprinkle the top with vegan parmesan cheese (optional) and cover with foil. Bake at 375 F (190 C) for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until the sauce is bubbly and warm and the top layer is very slightly browned (see photo).
- Let rest for 10-15 minutes. Then slice with a serrated or very sharp knife, and serve with additional vegan parmesan cheese and fresh basil (optional).
- Leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat in the oven or the microwave until warm. You can freeze the dish up to 1 month: Prepare up until baking and then thaw slightly before baking at 375 F (190 C) until warmed through.