This recipe is a delicious spin-off of a traditional Italian favorite. It is a true vegetable lasagna in that there are is no pasta in the recipe; it is all just veggies.
The traditional lasagna noodles are replaced with breaded eggplant cutlets. Using store-bought, frozen eggplant slices (Trader Joe’s offers a perfect product) makes this recipe easy to assemble. Jarred marinara sauce is another time-saving shortcut. Of course, for the truly homemade bragging rights, making a big pot of sauce and cutting, breading and frying (or baking) the eggplant slices is a viable option. Honestly, the suggested shortcuts do not hinder the flavor and authentication of this delicious veggie lasagna.
- 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 1 egg
- 1 container (15 ounces) whole-milk ricotta cheese; skim milk version works well, too
- 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 jar (24 ounces) marinara pasta sauce
- 2 packages (1 pound each) frozen breaded Italian-style eggplant cutlets
- Fresh basil sprig, optional garnish
- Drain thawed spinach well and squeeze out excess water; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, lightly beat egg. Stir in ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and reserve spinach until blended.
- Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce over bottom of 2 1/2 quart baking dish.
- Arrange 1/3 of frozen eggplant slices in single layer over sauce.
- Spread 1/2 of ricotta mixture over eggplant.
- Top with 3/4 cup marinara sauce.
- Layer on 1/2 of remaining eggplant slices.
- Spread remaining ricotta mixture.
- Top with remaining eggplant slices and sauce.
- Cover with foil. Bake in 425° oven for 45 minutes or until hot in center.
- Uncover. Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.
- Allow lasagne to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with fresh basil, if desired.