I remember when I used to live off of conventional pastas. All kinds of pastas: lasagna, fettuccini, spaghetti, macaroni, tortellini, and the list goes on! When I made a commitment to eat a gluten free diet, I made it my personal mission to recreate my favorites, in a new light. This eggplant lasagna is one of my favorite upgrades to the traditional style!
I love this new version of lasagna because it is made almost entirely of fresh vegetables. Eggplant, used in this way, is the perfect stand-in for traditional lasagna noodles. It is tender, juicy and full of flavor. In addition to serving as a great stand-in, eggplant is also ridiculously healthy for you!
In this recipe I use mushrooms and zucchini in the pasta sauce, and tofu for the ricotta mixture. I love the light, refreshing taste of tofu, and it pairs really well with the eggplant in this dish.
The pasta sauce is a quick prep, and can easily be left simmering on the stovetop while you prepare your eggplant. For the eggplant “noodles” I used a very sharp knife and sliced lengthwise about ¼ – ½ inches thick. I like to leave the peel on, but that’s a personal preference. I like the taste of the eggplant skin, and it adds a really pretty dark purple boarder to your lasagna.
I would definitely advise pre-cooking your eggplant slices so they become tender – just as lasagna noodles are boiled beforehand. Pre-cooking the eggplant for about ten minutes on an oiled pan in your preheated oven should do the trick.
Start your layering! Pasta sauce, eggplant, tofu ricotta, vegan mozzarella cheese and repeat! Enjoy!
- 1 -2 medium sized eggplants sliced sideways
- 2½ cups (vegan) mozzarella cheese
- Pasta Sauce
- 1 zucchini diced
- 5-8 mushrooms sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ teaspoons dried basil leaves
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1 (28 ounce) can organic crushed tomatoes
- 2 (6.5 ounce) cans organic tomato sauce
- 1 (6 ounce) can organic tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Tofu Ricotta
- 1 lb extra firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
- Slice eggplant lengthwise ¼-1/2 inches thick
- Place eggplant on an oiled pan and cook in oven for 10 minutes.
- In a large saucepan on medium heat, add a tablespoon of oil and cook the zucchini, mushrooms and garlic. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Season with basil, fennel seeds, salt, pepper, parsley and Italian seasoning. Simmer, covered, for about 15 - 20 minutes.
- In a blender combine tofu, garlic powder, oregano, basil, and apple cider vinegar until combined.
- Oil a large baking dish and spread a layer of pasta sauce on the bottom.
- Add a layer of eggplant slices on top of pasta sauce.
- Spread a layer of the tofu ricotta mixture on the eggplant slices.
- Spread a layer of pasta sauce over the ricotta.
- Top the sauce with ¾ cup mozzarella cheese
- Add a layer of eggplant
- Spread tofu ricotta on eggplant slices
- Repeat layers.
- cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes.