Eggplant Lasagna Recipe


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Roasted eggplant is one of my favorite things to make during the summer, and I’m always finding new ways to incorporate it into full meals. One of my favorite ways is this low carb eggplant lasagna recipe with ground beef and ricotta.

If you’re worried that you’ll miss the noodles, don’t be. This dish has all of the flavors of a great “real” lasagna, I promise you won’t even miss the noodles one bit! (That being said, if you prefer real noodles, try my classic keto lasagna instead.)

During the summer, this healthy eggplant lasagna is the best way to enjoy those flavors and use seasonal veggies at the same time. Give it a try even if you don’t like eggplant! The flavor of the eggplant is not strong with this preparation. (But if you do like eggplant, make sure you also try sauteed eggplant and eggplant rollatini this season!)

What Is Eggplant Lasagna?

Low carb eggplant lasagna is just like regular lasagna, but with layers of roasted eggplant instead of the noodles. And, learning how to make eggplant lasagna is super easy — not so different from the regular kind.

What Does Eggplant Lasagna Taste Like?

Eggplant lasagna tastes very close to regular lasagna. The texture of the eggplant layer is just different from pasta. Layers of roasted eggplant, a beef marinara sauce, three cheeses, and Italian seasonings make a flavor combo that can’t be beat.

Is Eggplant Lasagna Keto?

Yes, this simple eggplant lasagna recipe is keto friendly! Each filling serving has just 6 grams net carbs.

Why You’ll Love This Eggplant Lasagna Recipe

  • All the same flavors of regular lasagna, but healthier
  • Tender eggplant, saucy beef, and gooey cheese
  • Easy to make, with quick prep time
  • Simple ingredients found at any grocery store
  • Naturally low carb, keto-friendly, and gluten-free
Slice of eggplant lasagna on a plate with fresh basil.

Ingredients & Substitutions

This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for eggplant lasagna, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.

Roasted Eggplant:

  • Eggplant – You’ll need about 20 ounces of eggplant, which may be one or two depending on the size. For prettier lasagna, you can use two eggplants instead of one, and only use the center cut slices. To avoid any bitterness, make sure you choose small-to-medium eggplants that are firm to the touch. Huge ones, or those that are too soft, tend to be more bitter.
  • Olive Oil – I use extra virgin olive oil most often, but regular olive oil or avocado oil also works. This adds flavor and helps the eggplant caramelize when you roast it.
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Meat Sauce:

  • Olive Oil – For sauteing the garlic. Again, other types of heat-safe oil are fine to use.
  • Garlic – I used 2 cloves, but feel free to use more if you love garlic (I do and sometimes add more!). You can mince it yourself, or use jarred garlic for convenience. If you like onions, you can also saute half an onion (diced) together with the garlic, which will take about 5-7 minutes.
  • Ground Beef – I use 85/15 ground beef and don’t usually need to drain it, but you can drain yours after cooking (before adding the marinara) if you use 80/20. Alternatively, 90/10 is also fine to use if you want to lighten up this dish. Other types of ground meat, such as ground turkey, chicken, pork, or Italian sausage, are also fine to use.
  • Sea Salt & Black Pepper – You can also add crushed red pepper flakes if you want extra heat.
  • Marinara Sauce – I used 1 1/2 cups to keep the carbs low for a keto eggplant lasagna, but you can increase the amount if that’s not important to you and you want the meat layer to be more saucy. Watch for added sugar if you use a store-bought marinara, or try my homemade sugar-free marinara sauce.
  • Italian Seasoning – I tend to make my own Italian seasoning mix (takes just 5 minutes!), but store bought also works.
VARIATION: Make vegetarian eggplant lasagna!

VARIATION: Make vegetarian eggplant lasagna!

Instead of the ground beef, substitute sauteed veggies. Mushrooms and spinach are great options!

Cheese Filling:

  • Ricotta Cheese – If you’re not a fan of ricotta, you can also substitute cottage cheese. (You can run it through a blend to make it more smooth if you want to.)
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese – I use the shelf-stable grated kind, but freshly grated is even better.
  • Egg – To bind the filling together. You can omit this if you need an egg-free version.

Cheese Topping:

  • Mozzarella Cheese – Buy pre-shredded or shred it yourself. You can also use sliced fresh mozzarella instead.
Eggplant lasagna ingredients in bowls.

How To Make Eggplant Lasagna

This section shows how to make low carb eggplant lasagna, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full instructions, see the recipe card below.

The trick to eggplant lasagna is to make the layers in parallel. Roasting the eggplant, cooking the meat marinara sauce, and making the cheese filling can all be done in tandem. Then, it’s a matter of simply assembling the layers and baking.

  1. Slice eggplant. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or use foil and grease well). Slice the eggplant into thin sheets lengthwise. (I recommend a mandoline for thin, even slices, but a knife also works.)
  2. Roast eggplant. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet in a single layer. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the eggplant until soft. If there is any excess moisture remaining, pat dry with a paper towel.
Why roast first?

Why roast first?

Roasting the eggplant makes it deliciously caramelized and removes excess moisture, so your eggplant lasagna won’t be watery.

  1. Make meat sauce. While eggplant is roasting, heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, then add ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, breaking apart with a spoon or spatula. Stir in marinara sauce and Italian seasoning and reduce heat to a gentle simmer.
Roasted eggplant on a baking sheet.
Tomato meat sauce in a skillet.
  1. Make cheese filling. While the meat sauce simmers, mix together the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and egg in a small bowl.
  2. Assemble low carb eggplant lasagna. Now, you’ll alternate the layers: Line the bottom of a 9×13 glass or stoneware baking dish with a single layer of roasted eggplant slices. Top with the ground beef marinara mixture, spread the ricotta mixture on top, and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Repeat the layers a second time, with the final layer being the mozzarella on top.
Ricotta cheese mixture in a bowl.
Eggplant topped with ground beef marinara in a baking dish.
Ricotta parmesan cheese mixture spread over ground beef marinara in baking dish.
Finished eggplant lasagna before baking.
  1. Bake. It’s done when the cheese is melted and golden. I like to top with a little fresh basil.
Baked eggplant lasagna.

Storage Instructions

Store this classic eggplant lasagna recipe in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Make Ahead Instructions:

If you want to meal prep, you can make this recipe for keto eggplant lasagna ahead. You could prepare the layers ahead of time: roast the eggplant, mix together the cheese layer ingredients, and cook the meat sauce. Store these separately in the fridge for up to 4-6 days, then all you need to do is assemble and bake.

Alternatively, you can assemble the whole thing in advance as well, store in the fridge for 2-4 days, and just bake when ready. (I usually opt for this second option.)

Can You Freeze Eggplant Lasagna?

Yes, you can freeze lasagna with eggplant for up to 2-3 months. If you are making it ahead, assemble the casserole as written but skip the last baking step. If you have leftovers you want to freeze, it’s fine to freeze those after baking, too.

Let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking if you can. While baking from frozen is possible, it would take a very long time to heat through.

Reheating Instructions:

If you previously baked it, you can reheat low carb eggplant lasagna leftovers in a 350 degree F oven, or in the microwave, until heated through.

On the other hand, if it was pre-assembled but not fully baked, you’d heat it the same way as the original, at 400 degrees F. Keep in mind that cheese will burn if it’s in there for longer than 10-15 minutes, so you may want to reduce heat or tent the top with foil if you are baking it for longer to get it warm enough.

Showing the inside of lasagna with eggplant in a baking dish.

What To Serve With Eggplant Lasagna

Eggplant lasagna is easily a complete meal in itself — that’s one of the things I love about it! But if you want to add something on the side, here are a few ideas:

More Low Carb Lasagna Inspired Recipes

If you like this easy eggplant lasagna recipe, you might also like some of these other ways to enjoy lasagna flavors in a healthy way:

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Ingredients

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Instructions

Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.

Roasted Eggplant

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C). Line and grease a baking sheet.

  2. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet (or two small ones). Brush both sides with olive oil. Season with sea salt and black pepper.

  3. Roast the eggplant in the oven for about 15-25 minutes, until soft. When done, remove from the oven and leave the oven on at 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).

Meat Sauce

  1. While the eggplant is roasting, heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant.

  2. Increase heat to medium-high and add the ground beef. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Cook until browned (about 10 minutes), breaking apart the meat with a spoon or spatula.

  3. Stir in marinara sauce and Italian seasoning. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Cheese Filling

  1. While the meat sauce simmers, make the cheese filling. In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and egg.

Assembly

  1. Line the bottom of a 9×13 in (23×33 cm) glass or stoneware casserole dish with a single layer of roasted eggplant slices (typically 6 slices for a layer). Top with the ground beef marinara mixture. Spread the ricotta mixture on top. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers again, with shredded mozzarella last.

  2. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese on top is melted and golden.

Recipe Notes

Serving size: 1/8 of entire recipe

  • Nutrition info is based on 85/15 ground beef and will also vary depending on which marinara sauce you use.
  • For “saucier” lasagna, increase marinara to 2 cups instead of 1 1/2.
  • For prettier lasagna, you can use two eggplants instead of one, and only use the center cut slices.

Nutrition Facts

Amount per serving. Serving size in recipe notes above.

Calories
426

Fat
30g

Protein
30g

Total Carbs
9g

Net Carbs
6g

Fiber
3g

Sugar
4g

Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.

© Copyright Maya Krampf for Wholesome Yum. Please DO NOT SCREENSHOT OR COPY/PASTE recipes to social media or websites. We’d LOVE for you to share a link with photo instead. 🙂

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