I really love eggplant. I just haven’t cooked with it very much. We had a fridge stocked full with things that Hunter Hann liked to eat. Leftover buffalo chicken dip. Venison sausage. You know, man food.
So I thought I would make something “girly” Something that he “doesn’t like” so that I would have a big pan full of yummy, healthy food for me to eat. Uh, hey guess what everyone. Apparently he loves eggplant. Ooook? When did this happen?
I decided to use eggplant in place of the noodles in a lasagna dish. Wow, so good. I honestly wasn’t sure how it would turn out and thought there was a big chance that it would be watery. I was so pleasantly surprised! This dish turned out fantastic. And the leftovers were even better. Even Tinsley could not stop eating it. I wasn’t even going to offer her any but she kept saying “try it. try it.” She I let her. And she loved it!
The key here is to roast the eggplant just enough so that the skins are not to tough to cut through, and so that the flesh of the eggplant is tender when it comes out of the oven.
The other important thing is to slice the eggplant so that the slices are the same thickness. Uh, I hope you’re better at that than I am. This is one of those “do as I say, not as I do” moments. But whatever. Try to slice them between 1/4 and 1/2 an inch thick. The thickness of your slices will determine your roasting time. And do you like turkey sausage? I hope so! There is not beef in this recipe, although it would be easy to use beef in here, and it would be delicious! I used a pound of lean ground turkey, and to add some more flavor, I also used 1/2 a pound of ground turkey sausage. I really love sausage in lasagna, but I wanted to keep it lightish. Is that a word?I even broke my own rule and used part skim cheese in this recipe. Gasp! I know, but remember? I wanted to keep it “lightish.”
- 2 eggplants (about 2.5lb total)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1/2 lb ground turkey sausage
- 1 15oz container part-skim ricotta cheese
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 32 oz (about 4 cups) of your favorite marinara sauce
- 1 1/2 C part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 C shredded Parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil for topping
- **Just so you are prepared, you will have 3 layers of eggplant slices, 2 layers of meat mixture, 2 layers of ricotta mixture, and 3 layers of shredded cheese mixture.
- Preheat oven to 350. Cut ends off of the eggplants, and slice them into 1/4-1/2 in thick slices. Do not use the very outsides that are completely covered in skin. Lay them on a foil covered sheet pan, spray with cook spray or drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 10-13 minutes, depending on the thickness. Remove from oven and turn heat up to 375.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, begin to cook diced onion, until it is softened a bit. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Add meat and sauté all together until cooked through. Remove from heat. Drain excess fat or water and set aside.
- In a bowl, beat eggs, then add ricotta, oregano and basil. Mix well.
- In a large skillet, pour a thin layer of sauce in the bottom and even out with the back of a spoon. Layer in the first pieces of eggplant. Then add an even layer of sauce, then meat mixture, then ricotta mixture, then a mixture of the shredded mozzarella and shredded Parmesan.
- Repeat the last step.
- Finally, layer the last set of eggplant, topped with sauce, and the remainder of the shredded cheeses. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and browned.
- Let lasagna set for at least 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Top with fresh basil.
This is obviously not a vegetarian dish. It’s just a little lower in carbs than traditional lasagna. Plus the extra nutrition value from the eggplant. Let me know what you think!