How To Make This Gluten-Free Eggplant Lasagna

Who said lasagna needs pasta? This gluten-free version uses eggplant in its place

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2 Minutes Read

A plate of gluten-free aubergine lasagna Eggplant is a great addition to lasagna - Media Credit: Amber Asakura

Lasagna is a hugely popular Italian dish made all over the world, and this new vegan and gluten-free take on a traditional lasagna recipe makes aubergine the star of the show.

Read more: 10 Vegan Dinners That Prioritize Whole Foods

Most lasagnas consist of layers of pasta sheets, cheese, sauce, and meat. The dish’s popularity lies in its rich flavors and hearty texture, making it a comfort food favorite around the world. It’s very easy to make vegan lasagna, as all you need to do is substitute the meat and dairy for vegan alternatives like plant-based meat, lentils, vegan cheese, and vegan cream. To make it gluten-free, you could either use gluten-free pasta or substitute the pasta for another ingredient. This Clean Food Dirty Girl recipe uses eggplant.

Why eggplant?

Eggplant, also known as aubergine, is often used as a pasta replacement in lasagna. Its texture and size make it ideal for layering in a similar way to traditional pasta sheets. When thinly sliced and cooked, eggplant becomes tender and can hold layers of sauce and filling effectively.

Read more: 20 Easy Tofu Recipes To Up Your Daily Protein

Eggplant is not only versatile in the kitchen but also offers various health benefits. It’s high in dietary fiber, meaning it’s good for aiding digestion. Eggplants are rich in antioxidants, particularly nasunin found in the skin, which can protect cells from damage. Moreover, they contain a good range of vitamins, such as vitamin C, vitamin K, and B vitamins, and minerals like potassium, which are essential for overall health and wellness.

Eggplant lasagna recipe

This plant based lasagna is as wholesome as it is delightful. Layers of velvety eggplant, sautéed veggies, vibrant homemade marinara sauce, and simple dairy-free ricotta cheese all come together for a dish that’s perfect for date nights or weeknight meals
A plate of gluten-free aubergine lasagna
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Servings8

Ingredients

Marinara sauce
  • cups marinara sauce
Roasted eggplant
  • 2 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise into ¼-inch thick slices
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Dairy-free ricotta cheese
  • 1 14-oz package extra firm tofu, drained, rinsed, and pressed (395 g)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast (25g)
  • ¼ cup water (65ml)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • ¾  tsp salt
Sautéed veggies
  • 1 cup red onion, chopped (140 g)
  • 5 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced (385 g / can sub with button or baby bellas)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½  cup parsley, chopped (10 g / any variety)
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped into large pieces (60 g)

Instructions

Bake the eggplant

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Place the eggplant slices in a single layer on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven, and set aside.

Make the dairy-free ricotta cheese

  • Using your preferred method, press your tofu for 10–15 minutes
  • Crumble the tofu in a mixing bowl until there are no big pieces, and then add the nutritional yeast, water, vinegar, garlic powder, dried dill, and salt. Stir until everything is well combined and set aside. 

Make the sautéed veggies

  • Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, adding a splash of water if they start to stick. 
  • Stir in the mushrooms, salt, and parsley and saute for an additional 3 minutes. Add the spinach, turn off the heat, and stir until the spinach is combined. Set aside.

Assemble your lasagna

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C) if it's not already.
  • Evenly spread ½ cup of Marinara Sauce on the bottom of your baking dish. Follow with a single layer of roasted eggplant slices over the sauce. Then, spread ½ of the sautéed veggies on top.
  • Layer another ½ cup of Marinara Sauce over the veggies, followed by another layer of roasted eggplant slices, and all of the remaining veggies.
  • Spread another ½ cup of Marinara Sauce on top, then the remaining eggplant, all of the dairy-free ricotta, and the final 2 cups of the Marinara Sauce.
  • Place your lasagna in the oven uncovered and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 5–10 minutes, then slice and serve.

Serving suggestions 

This sweetheart of a recipe makes one 9×13-inch Gluten-Free Eggplant Lasagna, enough to serve eight to 10 people. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. 
This yummy, filling lasagna is great on its own, but you can dress up your meal by serving it with a side salad. 

This recipe was created by Clean Food Dirty GirlStart a trial to Plant Fueled Life for more plant-based and oil-free recipes like this. Photos by Amber Asakura.

Read more: 5 Nutritious Vegan Meal Prep Recipes

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