LOW CARB EGGPLANT LASAGNA

April 03, 2018

LOW CARB EGGPLANT LASAGNA

Confession – I have never been a fan of eggplant – until this Low Carb Eggplant Lasagna! Eggplant makes such delicious “noodles” when covered with marinara and cheese. In fact, I might even prefer this over regular lasagna. It’s just so filling and uniquely flavorful! This recipe can be made dairy-free by subbing vegan ricotta, vegan parmesan, vegan mozzarella cheese. It can be made completely vegan by subbing cooked lentils or meatless ground for the beef! No matter how you make it, this recipe is sure to become a favorite in your weekly meal prep rotation.

Did you know? One cup of eggplant has only 20 calories and 2 grams of net carbs, making it one of the lowest carb veggies you can use.

Preparing the eggplant

It’s essential to pre-bake the eggplant so it’s tender and not overly firm. Roasting prior also gets rid of excess water so you don’t have watery lasagna. First, I sliced each eggplant lengthwise into one-quarter inch thick slices. Then, I arranged the slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment (the parchment is optional but makes clean-up so much easier!) and lightly coated them with olive oil cooking spray. Finally, I roasted the eggplant slices in the oven at 400 degrees F for 10-15 minutes. You can turn the slices halfway through, but I didn’t find it necessary.

Preparing the sauce

While the eggplant was roasting, I prepared my sauce. I used organic lean ground beef in this recipe, but feel free to use lean ground turkey, or meatless ground as mentioned above! I sautéd the ground beef with onion, bell pepper, and fresh garlic because it really amps up the flavor of the sauce. Next, I added a low sugar marinara sauce and some fresh Italian parsley (can use two teaspoons dried parsley). I then let everything simmer for about 10 minutes to let the flavors meld. You can also make your own marinara using the recipe from my Low Carb Butternut Squash Lasagna.

Preparing the cottage cheese mixture

Now, instead of ricotta, I used low fat cottage cheese to reduce the fat and increase the protein content. My part Italian husband objected when I told him I used cottage cheese, but admitted it still tastes amazing. I just mixed it with a couple egg whites, some parmesan cheese, and nutmeg (it’s the secret to amazing nutty flavor!).

Assembling the lasagna

Once you have your meat sauce, roasted eggplant, and cottage cheese mixture all ready to go, it’s time to layer your lasagna. Here’s a visual of the steps:

Step 1: Layer two cups ground beef mixture in the bottom of a 9″x13″ casserole dish, followed by a layer of roasted eggplant slices (can overlap slightly).

Step 2: Cover eggplant with one cup of cottage cheese mixture.

Step 3: Sprinkle one cup of mozzarella over top.

Step 4: Repeat layers with another two cups ground beef mixture, another layer of eggplant, remaining one cup cottage cheese mixture, remaining ground beef mixture, and remaining one cup of mozzarella.

Cooking and reheating

Finally, I baked my lasagna at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes and it came out just perfect. So much melty goodness! Even though I am slightly lactose intolerant, this dish doesn’t seem to bother me. But again, you can use dairy-free cheese if you prefer! It keeps well in the fridge up to one week in an airtight container. You can also freeze it and reheat in the oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or microwave for 1-2 minutes.

Here’s the printable recipe for this Low Carb Eggplant Lasagna! I hope you’ll rate and/or comment below if you try it 😉

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Low Carb Eggplant Lasagna

This low carb eggplant lasagna is gluten-free, high in protein, full of flavor, and easily made dairy-free or vegan. Perfect to freeze for leftovers!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 388kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplants sliced 1/4” thick lengthwise
  • 2 lbs. 93% lean ground beef* or meatless crumbles
  • 1/2 cup onion chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup red pepper chopped (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced (optional)
  • 4 cups (32 fl. oz.) low sugar marinara sauce*
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley* optional
  • 1 1/2 cup 2% cottage cheese*
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese*
  • 2 large (1/4 cup) egg whites optional
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg optional
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) part skim mozzarella* can use dairy free

*See blog post above for substitutions.

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
    • Arrange eggplant slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment and lightly coat with olive oil cooking spray.
    • Bake for 10-15 minutes until tender not mushy, then remove from oven and set aside.
    • Set oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
    • While eggplant is roasting, brown ground beef over medium-high heat and drain fat.
    • Add onions, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté over medium heat until garlic is fragrant.
    • Add pasta sauce and fresh parsley; simmer with lid cracked over low heat for 10 minutes.
    • Meanwhile, combine cottage cheese, parmesan, egg white, and nutmeg in a medium mixing bowl. You can blend together if you want a texture more similar to ricotta!
    • To assemble lasagna: Layer 2 cups ground beef mixture, one layer of eggplant (slightly overlapping), 1 cup cottage cheese mixture, 1 cup mozzarella, another 2 cups ground beef mixture, second layer of eggplant, remaining 1 cup cottage cheese mixture, remaining 1 cup ground beef mixture, and remaining 1 cup mozzarella.
    • Bake for 30-40 minutes until cheese is melted and browned around edges.
    • Let sit for 15 minutes before slicing into eight equal pieces. Enjoy!
    • Store leftovers in fridge up to one week or in the freezer up to one month. To reheat, either microwave one serving for 1-2 minutes; or bake the entire lasagna at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

    Notes

    Calories (per serving): 388kcal, Fat: 16.4g, Sat fat: 7.6g, Carbs: 20g, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 10g, Protein: 43g, Sodium: 925mg

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