Eggplant Parmesan Lasagna

by Heather on September 27, 2011

Let’s have a show of hands:  who actually REALLY loves eggplant?

For me it was one of those grow-to-love kind of things.  Previously – and by previously I mean pre-college – I only liked it in eggplant parmesan.  Think about it:  eggplant slices covered in seasoned breadcrumbs to hide the flavor and fried to hide the texture and covered in cheese and sauce to further distract you from the fact that you’re eating eggplant.  Hey, sounds good to me!

 

Seriously though…it does sound good to me.  And every time our family went to Olive Garden I would be so impressed with myself for ordering eggplant parmesan because I was eating a vegetable.  And it didn’t taste like one!  Whoever invented eggplant parmesan was (and still is) a genius in my mind. However, after college (because really, who can afford more than tuna and carrot sticks and Ramen in college?) I started to enjoy the flavor of eggplant more.  Brown it and cook it down a little and it had this crazy unexpected nutty flavor to it.  Who knew?  Apparently not me…and while I still love the flavors of fried breadcrumbs, sauce and cheese it was nice to discover new flavors too.

 

To tell the truth this lasagna stemmed from two things:  one, I only had half the number of lasagna noodles I needed for a normal lasagna and didn’t want to go to the store.  And two, I had an elephant seal of an eggplant in the fridge that needed to be used STAT.  At first I wasn’t sure what to think of the concoction that was born in my 9×13 Pyrex pan with the oh-so-handy lid on top, but last night after heating it up I knew that I’d found my new favorite lasagna recipe.  See, sometimes kitchen oopsies aren’t oopsies at all…we’ll just call them divine intervention.  Except for the salt-intead-of-sugar thing.  That’s not divine at all…

EGGPLANT PARMESAN LASAGNA

  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil + more for drizzling
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 jar of your favorite tomato/spaghetti sauce (or use your own if you’d like!)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/4 cups parmesan
  • 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • lasagna noodles (this is my favorite) – don’t pre-boil!

Preheat oven to 375.  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add the olive oil and eggplant, salt and pepper and cook until soft and golden brown.  In a large bowl mix together the cooked eggplant and the tomato sauce.  In another bowl whisk together the ricotta, egg, and garlic powder.  In another bowl (sorry for the dishes…it’s worth it!) mix together 3/4 of a cup of parmesan into the 3/4 cup breadcrumbs.  Spray a 9×13 dish with nonstick spray and layer a small amount of tomato sauce, a layer of lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, 1/3 of the mozzarella, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 1/2 of the tomato sauce, a layer of lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, 1/3 of the mozzarella, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, 1/2 of the tomato sauce, the last of the ricotta mixture, the last of the mozzarella, and finally the breadcrumbs/parmesan mixture on top.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, cover with foil and bake at 375 for 1 hour.  Remove the foil and let bake another 10 minutes or until the top is golden brown and bubbly.  Allow to cool for about 10 minutes to let the juices set before serving…the perfect amount of time to warm up some garlic bread and throw a salad together!

Like I said, divine intervention.  Lasagna for breakfast!

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gina @ Running to the Kitchen September 27, 2011

This post had me laughing on a few fronts. 1. my MIL recently made rice pudding with salt instead of sugar. My husband’s face as he tasted the first bite was priceless. 2. I feel the same way about eggplant. I buy it, but I’m never excited by it. I’d love to try out this reecipe though, it’s definitely something different to use up the veggie.

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2 Lauren at Keep It Sweet September 27, 2011

Please come make this for me for dinner, I’ll be your friend forever:-)

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3 Erin September 27, 2011

Loving this lasagna. And I actually did raise my hand to loving eggplant for real. But I don’t think I’ve ever had it by itself, uncoated.

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4 Lindsay @ biking before bed September 27, 2011

Yum this looks so good. Do you normally salt and press the eggplant first to remove the moisture?

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5 Heather September 27, 2011

I have done that before, but didn’t for this particular recipe :)

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6 d.liff @ yelleBELLYboo September 27, 2011

Completely obsessed with eggplant lately. Will have to try this. Meanwhile, you should try these eggplant boats- they’re incredible http://yellebellyboo.blogspot.com/2011/09/picadillo-filled-eggplant-boats.html

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7 Anna @ On Anna's Plate September 27, 2011

This does look divine :-) And I also used to order eggplant parmesan and feel proud of myself for ordering a healthy veggie dish, haha. Nevermind all that cheese, right? ;-)

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8 Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun September 27, 2011

I think my jaw dropped. Why? I’m making something very similar to this tomorrow night for dinner. I actually thought of a meal similar to genius Heather? Yes! LOL

Although I’m sure yours will end up looking way better than mine. ;)

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9 J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) September 27, 2011

I actually love eggplant and wish I had the motivation to make it more. This recipe looks soooo delish!!!! I have never seen it with lasagna noodles and I’m American-Italian so I know how to layer up the yumminess, haha.u

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10 The Food Hunter September 27, 2011

Actually, I really love eggplant! This looks wonderful

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11 Estela @ Weekly Bite September 27, 2011

Wow! This looks incredible!! Eggplant Parm is one of my favorite dishes. No doubt I would love it in lasagna form :)

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12 Aggie September 27, 2011

This looks delicious! I really do love eggplant. My original love is eggplant parm…but more recently an Indian dish, baignan barta I think it’s called?

Great recipe!

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13 Ashley September 27, 2011

This looks delicious! Always looking for new ways to use eggplant!

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14 Kiah September 27, 2011

I was the same about eggplant until my friend showed me how to cook it right on the burner, over the flame. It felt like camping, and tasted nice and smokey!

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15 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen September 27, 2011

You’re right eggplant is a tough vegetable to love, it’s got to be cooked just right. I think you’ve nailed it here, sounds perfect!

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