Nothing says comfort food like a big pan of homemade lasagna. Sometimes I just crave that saucy, cheesy, goodness. The problem with hearty comfort foods is the fact that they sometimes leave you feeling stuffed and miserable afterwards. Not to mention the hefty calorie count that comes along with all that layered perfection.
When I eat lasagna I can’t just eat one small portion, it just doesn’t work that way. I usually eat two or three servings, at least.
One thing I love about making eggplant lasagna, is how you get the delicious flavor and cheesiness from a traditional lasagna, but without all the heaviness you sometimes feel when using pasta and ricotta cheese.
This recipe is so delicious, I don’t even miss the pasta. Seriously!! In fact I’m pretty sure I prefer it this way. I know, I know, you can’t believe I just said that. However, it’s the truth. There’s just something about crisp, perfectly seasoned eggplant that makes my mouth water.
I guess the best way to describe this dish would be, eggplant parmesan elevated to a whole new level. How could that be wrong? The answer is…it can’t be!
This recipe can be made with, or without ground meat. So if your looking to save a few additional calories you can make this with ground turkey, or omit the meat altogether. Either way, it’s going to be just plain old good!
- 1 large eggplant or two small
- 1 large spaghetti sauce (45 ounce)
- 1 pound ground beef or turkey (optional)
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups cottage cheese
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- ½ tablespoon garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white
- 1 tablespoon water
- Wash and slice eggplant into ¼ inch pieces. Line baking sheet with paper towels and place eggplant on baking sheet. Generously salt each eggplant slice on both sides. Allow eggplant to rest 1 to 2 hours
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Pat any excess water and salt off of eggplant with a dry paper towel
- In a bowl whisk whole egg, egg white, and 1 tablespoon of water together
- In a separate bowl mix together bread crumbs, Panko, oregano, and garlic powder
- Start the dredging process by first dipping the eggplant slice into egg mixture, and then into seasoned bread crumbs. Lay coated eggplant onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat process until all eggplant slices are breaded
- Bake eggplant for 15 to 20 minutes, or until eggplant is brown and crisp
- In a skillet cook ground meat until browned. Add minced garlic and cook an additional minute. Drain any excess fat or liquid
- Add jarred sauce to cooked meat
- In a 9x 13 baking dish, place ½ cup of meat sauce in the bottom of pan. Add one layer of eggplant to dish, do not overlap
- Add 1 cup of cottage cheese, spreading evenly over the eggplant
- Add 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and ⅓ of the Parmesan cheese, spread evenly over the cottage cheese
- Add ⅓ of the remaining meat sauce
- Next repeat the previous process. Eggplant, cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella, add ½ of the remaining parmesan and meat sauce, spread evenly
- Add last layer of eggplant. Top with remaining meat sauce, I cup of mozzarella cheese and remaining Parmesan cheese
- Cover with foil and bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly
- Let rest 5 to minutes before serving