Best-Ever Eggplant Lasagna with Turkey Bolognese

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE SALES LINKS. PLEASE SEE MY FULL DISCLAIMER POLICY FOR DETAILS.
A veggie-loaded classic with a few feel-good twists, this is the ULTIMATE recipe for Eggplant Lasagna! Layer roasted eggplant with rich turkey bolognese sauce, creamy ricotta, melty mozzarella, & just a few lasagna noodles. Bake until bubbling & cheesy, then pop it under the broiler for a crave-worthy golden brown finish. This eggplant lasagna recipe is great for date night, girl’s night, or dinner parties with friends & it's also an epic meal prep dish for the easiest weeknight dinner.

Easily vegetarian, vegan, & gluten-free recipe variations included!

A single piece of lasagna with eggplant sits atop a white ceramic plate. A small wooden bowl filled with a mixed greens salad sits atop the plate and a gold spoon rests atop the plate alongside the lasagna. The plate sits atop a creamy white textured surface with a plaid linen napkin in the background rests out of focus.

I Taught Myself How to Make Eggplant Lasagna 10+ Years Ago & I STILL Can’t Get Enough of It!

Eggplant lasagna is one of the first things I ever figured out how to cook & I’ve been making it ever since. In fact, this particular eggplant lasagna recipe is one of the very first posts we ever published here on PWWB. It’s a recipe I turn to again & again, especially during the late summer months when eggplant is abundant. After all, it’s basically a mash-up of all the best things: cheesy lasagna, hearty bolognese, & deliciously seasonal veggies. 😋

I seriously can’t resist fresh summer eggplant at the farmer’s market & always end up bringing home more than I know what to do with. That’s exactly how this recipe was born – those are the best days to make eggplant lasagna! Not only is seasonal eggplant full of feel-good flavor but it’s also a great hearty substitute for pasta.

This eggplant lasagna recipe still sneaks a few noodles in for structure, along with my go-to turkey bolognese (another OG PWWB recipe!), creamy herbed ricotta cheese, & plenty of gooey mozzarella. Every layer has been tested to perfection over 10+ years. Even if you don’t consider yourself a big eggplant fan, I think you’ll LOVE this recipe – it’s super hearty, crazy flavorful, veggie-loaded, & totally feel-good.

Eggplant Lasagna Recipe Highlights

Everyone needs an epic lasagna recipe in their back pocket & this one totally delivers. It’s…

VEGGIE-FORWARD. This recipe is loaded with end-of-summer eggplant – one of my favorite farmer’s market finds! Plenty of veggies make for a totally feel-good meal.

HEARTY GOODNESS. Layers of rich + flavorful turkey bolognese & plenty of cheese create a lasagna with tons of flavor. Cozy, cheesy lasagna vibes to the max!

THE ULTIMATE MEAL PREP. This eggplant lasagna is perfect to assemble on a Sunday & bake later for simple & satisfying weeknight dinners. The perfect treat for your future self!

It is NOT your average roasted eggplant lasagna! ♡ Read on to learn more about how to make Eggplant Lasagna, or jump straight to the recipe & get cooking!

5 Key Components for Lasagna Assembly

This eggplant lasagna recipe is layered with all the best things in life: tender roasted eggplant, al dente pasta, hearty bolognese sauce, creamy ricotta, & melty cheese. What’s not to love?!

Note: Full ingredients list & measurements provided in the Recipe Card, below.

There are 5 key components you need for lasagna assembly:

  • Eggplant – I love shopping for eggplant at the farmer’s market in late summer. You need 2 medium eggplants for this recipe, about 2 pounds total.
  • Turkey bolognese – This is my tried & true recipe, though you can feel free to swap turkey for another ground meat, like chicken or beef. You can even use a meatless crumble for a vegetarian bolognese. (See below for vegetarian & vegan recipe variations!)
  • Herbed ricotta – A simple mixture of ricotta cheese & fresh thyme layers the lasagna with fragrant flavor & creamy texture.
  • Dried lasagna – I like to make eggplant lasagna with noodles – just a few! – since the pasta adds extra structure. If you’re carb-conscious, know that we’re only using 3 total noodles for the entire lasagna. Plus, there’s no need to pre-cook them! The pasta soaks up the eggplant’s natural moisture as the lasagna bakes, cooking to a perfect al dente.
  • Cheese – Layers of shredded mozzarella & grated parmesan add plenty of melty cheesiness for a classic gooey lasagna cheese pull.

Simple Recipe Variations – Vegetarian, Vegan, & Gluten-Free

A few quick ingredient substitutions easily make this eggplant lasagna recipe vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free. Feel free to modify to make this dish suit you!

Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna ⇢ Use plant-based crumbles in the bolognese instead of ground turkey & skip the parmesan or use a rennet-free version.

Vegan Eggplant Lasagna ⇢ Take the vegetarian bolognese above to the next level by swapping ricotta for a vegan-friendly substitute (this homemade vegan ricotta recipe is great for lasagna) & omitting the egg, then layer the eggplant lasagna with your favorite dairy-free mozzarella.

Gluten-Free Eggplant Lasagna ⇢ Use gluten-free lasagna noodles (these are great!) or skip the pasta altogether & roast up an extra eggplant instead.

How to Prepare Eggplant for Lasagna

I love adding a feel-good veggie to lasagna, & the nice thing about eggplant is it also adds some pretty irresistible flavor. In order to ensure it’s lasagna-ready, you need to roast the eggplant first.

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

How to roast eggplant for lasagna. ⇢ Simply season thinly sliced eggplant with olive oil & salt. Roast at a high temperature for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until each side is nice & golden brown. Be sure to arrange the sliced eggplant in a single layer so it has some room to breathe & brown up as it roasts.

An easy, time-saving method. ⇢ While this eggplant lasagna recipe calls for roasting the eggplant, grilling is another great option during the summer months. Grilled eggplant achieves very similar golden-brown results in a fraction of the time. Check out the Recipe Notes, below, for a full walk-through.

A few more eggplant prep tips…

How to slice eggplant for lasagna? ⇢ For this eggplant lasagna recipe, slice each medium eggplant crosswise into ¼-inch rounds.

Do you peel eggplant for lasagna? ⇢ No need! Eggplant skin is totally edible, & I personally love texture it adds to a baked dish like lasagna. Plus, skipping peeling saves time!

How to make eggplant lasagna not watery? ⇢ Pre-roasting the eggplant is key! Most of its natural moisture evaporates as the eggplant roasts, & what’s left gets absorbed by the pasta as the lasagna bakes. No soggy eggplant lasagna here! 😝

Our Go-To Turkey Bolognese

To make the dish a bit heartier, I like making my eggplant lasagna with meat. Plus, I honestly can’t resist a reason to make bolognese – it’s one of my all-time favorite foods! This component is the most time-consuming part of prepping this recipe, but it’s the key to tons of flavor.

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

1

Brown soffritto & turkey. Start by browning the soffritto (aka, carrots, celery, & onion) very well, then add ground turkey & let everything cook together. Tip! ⇢ These steps build the entire foundation of flavor of the bolognese sauce. It takes a solid 20-25 minutes to get everything deeply browned. Don’t rush through it – the payoff in flavor is worth it!

2

Add aromatics & deglaze the pan. Once the base veggies & turkey are browned well, stir in generous amounts of garlic & tomato paste, cooking until fragrant, then deglaze the pan with a little white wine. Why? ⇢ The wine simmers immediately upon hitting the hot pan, creating steam that releases the browned bits that developed on the bottom of the pan. This fond is where all of the flavor is, so you want to scrape it up to incorporate it into the bolognese sauce.

3

Build & simmer the turkey bolognese. Add San Marzano tomatoes, fresh rosemary & thyme, bay leaves, chicken stock, & a parmesan rind to the pot, then bring everything to a simmer & cook, partially covered, for 15-20 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Finishing touch! ⇢ Once simmered, stir in a little half & half & grated parmesan to round out all the flavors of the sauce. At this point, you’re ready for eggplant lasagna assembly!

Switch It Up!

While I love this trusty turkey bolognese recipe, you could easily make our Weeknight Bolognese recipe instead; it comes together a little more quickly thanks to a secret ingredient you probably already have in your pantry! If you want to go all out with a super decadent eggplant lasagna, try our Best-Ever Bolognese; it’s made with pancetta, beef & pork, & simmers for a full 90 minutes to develop the best rich flavor.

How to Layer Lasagna with Eggplant (& Other Goodness!)

Once all the components are ready to go, layering the roasted eggplant lasagna with meat, cheese, & pasta is a fun process. Smart layers are key to any lasagna, & this recipe is no exception – each component complements the layers above & below it beautifully.

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

Start by spooning a small amount of bolognese into your baking dish to prevent sticking. From there, I suggest layering the components of the eggplant lasagna in the following order:

  • Layer #1: Roasted eggplant. Arrange the roasted eggplant all across the baking dish, ensuring you create a good layer without gaps by overlapping the individual pieces of eggplant.
  • Layer #2: Turkey bolognese. Spoon the turkey bolognese over the roasted eggplant. The eggplant absorbs all of its rich flavor as it bakes!
  • Layer #3: Cheese. Spread the herbed ricotta cheese over the bolognese – its creaminess helps mellow the richness of the sauce – then sprinkle a good amount of shredded mozzarella over top.
  • Repeat layers #1-3, swapping out the roasted eggplant with a few pieces of lasagna noodles to help create good structure, then repeat once more using the last of your roasted eggplant, turkey bolognese, & cheese.

The end result is a roasted eggplant lasagna with 3 hearty layers that are a dream to slice through. Each slice is layered with so much cheesy, veggie, bolognese goodness – absolutely irresistible!

A few more layering tips & tricks…

Start with a thin layer of bolognese at the bottom of the pan – just enough to coat the bottom – to help prevent sticking.

Layer the roasted eggplant so the slices have a bit of overlap to create more structure for the eggplant lasagna.

Position the uncooked lasagna noodles in an even layer without overlapping. If the pasta overlaps, it won’t cook to a proper al dente as the lasagna bakes. Still yet, you want to arrange the pasta to ensure there are minimal gaps for good structure – it’s totally ok to break the noodles to create a layer that fills your baking dish!

Finish with a sprinkling of grated parmesan. When you finish the lasagna under the broiler, the parmesan gets especially golden brown & perfect. 😍

Assembly Tips & Tricks

Eggplant Lasagna Meal Prep

With 3 components to prepare from scratch, this lasagna is admittedly a little time consuming.

An easy way to save time with assembly & break up the overall prep time a little bit is to prep the components in advance: roast the eggplant, cook the turkey bolognese, mix the herbed ricotta cheese, & store everything separately in the fridge. When you’re ready to assemble the eggplant lasagna, simply take out the components & get started – easy!

Make-Ahead Eggplant Lasagna

I love to assemble this eggplant lasagna on a slow Sunday afternoon & bake it off later in the week. Not only does it save a ton of time during the week, the lasagna gets even more flavorful as it sits. Check the Recipe Notes, below, for more make-ahead guidance.

This eggplant lasagna recipe is also easy to double – all you need is a second baking dish! You can store the second eggplant lasagna in your freezer for later or gift it to a friend who needs an easy weeknight treat.

Baking Eggplant Lasagna

Full Recipe Directions, including step-by-step photos, are included in the Recipe Card, below.

My #1 Lasagna Assembly Tip!

For a sturdy lasagna that slices like a dream, let the assembled eggplant lasagna rest overnight before baking it off. As it rests, the pasta & eggplant soak up excess moisture in the baking dish, helping prevent the eggplant lasagna from getting too watery. This step isn’t necessary but it makes a big difference in holding everything together. The result is a picture-perfect slice!

1

Preparing the eggplant lasagna for the oven. At dinnertime, cover the baking dish with foil, working carefully to avoid pressing against the cheesy topping. Place the baking dish on top of a baking sheet & transfer to the oven. Why? ⇢ The foil holds in the heat so the eggplant lasagna bakes through without losing moisture, while the baking sheet will capture any sauce that may bubble over as the lasagna bakes, keeping your oven nice & clean.

2

Bake the lasagna for about an hour, until it’s bubbling & the cheese is nice & melty. At this point, I absolutely LOVE to finish it with a quick broil. Carefully remove the foil & turn the broiler on high, cooking the eggplant lasagna for just a few minutes until the top is golden brown. The perfect finishing touch!

Serving Suggestions, Storage, & Other Tips & Tricks

Be sure to rest the eggplant lasagna for at least 15 minutes before slicing & serving. Doing so helps everything meld together, making it much easier to cut a beautiful slice. At this point, I guarantee you’ll be ready to dig right in!

Serve alongside some crusty bread, a roasted veggie, or a simple green salad with PWWB’s All-Purpose Vinaigrette. You really don’t need much – eggplant lasagna with meat & noodles is a filling & well-balanced meal on its own!

A lasagna is also perfect for feeding a crowd! This eggplant lasagna recipe yields about 9 generous-sized slices, making it great for a dinner party with friends, Sunday supper with family, or girls’ night. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as sharing a big lasagna with people you love. 🥰

I can’t wait for you to try this Eggplant Lasagna recipe! It’s been a favorite here at the PWWB House for over 10 years, & as soon as you try it, I think you’ll understand why. ☺️

If you do give it a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @playswellwithbutter on Instagram. I LOVE hearing about & seeing your PWWB creations! ♡ Happy cooking!

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
A single piece of eggplant lasagna sits atop a white ceramic plate. A small wooden bowl filled with a mixed greens salad sits atop the plate and a gold spoon rests atop the plate. The plate sits atop a creamy white textured surface with a plaid linen napkin in the background rests out of focus.

Best-Ever Eggplant Lasagna with Turkey Bolognese

  • Author: Jess Larson
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Optional Overnight Rest: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: serves 9
  • Category: Pasta Recipes, Main Dishes
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian

Description

This roasted eggplant lasagna recipe is one of the first recipes we ever shared here on PWWB. It’s one of my all-time favorites & everyone who tries it raves about it. If you’ve never tried making lasagna with eggplant – you’re in very good hands here! What makes this recipe stand out is its layers of flavor & texture. Every slice has gorgeous layers of roasted eggplant, rich & meaty bolognese sauce, a creamy herbed ricotta filling, &, of course, plenty of melty cheese. 

The secret to building a perfect eggplant lasagna – one that has hearty pieces of eggplant without being watery – is pre-roasting the eggplant. Slice it thin, brush it with oil, & roast with really high heat to draw out excess water & concentrate its beautiful flavor. This step takes some time but it’s mostly hands-off & yields absolutely perfect results. If you’d like to speed things up a bit, try cooking the eggplant on the grill, which creates a similar effect in a fraction of the time. 

The other great thing about this recipe is it’s pretty flexible. As written, this eggplant lasagna is made with meat, cheese, & noodles, but you can easily make some swaps & adjustments to accommodate a vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free diet. Check the Recipe Notes, below, for some guidance to get you started!


Ingredients

Scale
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • turkey bolognese sauce, below
  • 34 sheets dried lasagna
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 pounds eggplant (approx 2 medium eggplants), sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (roughly 1012 sprigs or substitute with a generous pinch of dried thyme)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season

for the turkey bolognese sauce: 

  • 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
  • one 28-ounce can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, roughly chopped or crushed by hand
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 810 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • optional: 1 parmesan rind
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano
  • kosher salt & ground black pepper, to season

Instructions

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F, ensuring racks are positioned in the upper & lower thirds of the oven. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper & set aside. Slice the eggplant & prepare the bolognese veggies (carrot, celery, onion, garlic, San Marzano tomatoes) according to the Ingredients List, above. Eggplant lasagna ingredients arranged on a creamy white textured surface: eggplant, olive oil, while milk ricotta, dried lasagna, fresh thyme, shredded mozzarella, grated parmesan, ground turkey, carrots, celery, yellow onion, garlic, San Marzano tomatoes, tomato paste, dry white wine, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, bay leaves, parmesan rind, chicken stock, and half & half.
  2. Roast the eggplant: Arrange the sliced eggplant on the prepared baking sheets. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat both sides of the sliced eggplant with olive oil, seasoning with about 2 teaspoons kosher salt as you go. Transfer to the oven. Roast the eggplant 30 minutes, flipping the eggplant & rotating the sheet pans halfway through, until nicely browned. Remove from the oven & set aside for eggplant lasagna assembly, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. (Alternately, if you have access to an outdoor grill, you can grill the sliced & seasoned eggplant over medium-high direct heat (450-500 degrees F) for 3-4 minutes per side.)
  3. Prepare the ricotta cheese mixture: Meanwhile, as the eggplant roasts, prepare the ricotta cheese mixture. Add the ricotta, egg, & fresh thyme to a medium mixing bowl, seasoning with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt & ground black pepper as desired. Stir until combined. Set aside for eggplant lasagna assembly, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.How to make lasagna with eggplant, step 3: Prepare the ricotta cheese mixture. Ricotta cheese, egg, fresh thyme, kosher salt, and pepper fill a small glass mixing bowl. The mixing bowl sits atop a creamy white textured surface with a gold spoon rests inside the mixing bowl.
  4. Begin the turkey bolognese sauce – brown the soffritto: Meanwhile, as the eggplant roasts, prep the turkey bolognese. Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven (or large, heavy-bottomed pot with lid) over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot & shimmering, add the carrots, celery, & onion. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt & stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until deeply browned & fragrant, 15-20 minutes. If the veggies begin to brown too quickly, reduce the heat to medium or medium-low. Once browned, push the soffritto mixture to the outer edges of the pot.Soffrito browns inside of a large white Dutch oven for turkey bolognese. A wooden turner rests inside of the pot for stirring and the pot sits atop a creamy white textured surface.
  5. Brown the turkey: Add the ground turkey to the center of the pot, such that it’s surrounded by the soffritto mixture, & season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Reduce heat to medium. Let the turkey brown 2-3 minutes without touching it, then turn it over & brown the second side 2-3 minutes before using a wooden spoon to break it apart into bite-sized pieces. Stir to combine with the soffritto mixture.Browned soffrito veggies and crumbled ground turkey fill a large white Dutch oven. A wooden turner rests inside the pot for stirring and the Dutch oven sits atop a creamy white textured surface.
  6. Build the turkey bolognese sauce: Add the garlic & tomato paste to the Dutch oven, stirring to coat the ground turkey soffritto mixture. Cook 2-3 minutes, until browned & fragrant, then build the bolognese sauce. Deglaze the pan by slowly pouring in the white wine, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pan. Once the wine is almost completely cooked off, add in the chopped San Marzano tomatoes & their juices, fresh rosemary & thyme, bay leaves, parmesan rind (if using), & chicken stock or water. Stir to combine. Bring the bolognese to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover the pot (place the lid on the pot such that it’s just partially covered, allowing some steam to escape as the sauce simmers) & simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until thickened.A close up and macro shot of a rich turkey bolognese sauce being built inside of a large white Dutch oven that sits atop a creamy white textured surface. Crushed tomatoes have been added along with fresh herbs, bay leaves, and a parmesan rind. A wooden turner rests inside the pot for stirring.
  7. Finish the turkey bolognese sauce: Remove the lid, increasing heat to medium-high to maintain a steady simmer. Stir the half & half and grated parmesan into the bolognese. Cook 1-2 minutes, allowing everything to meld together. Remove from the heat & set aside for eggplant lasagna assembly, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.Finished turkey bolognese sauce fills a large white Dutch oven that sits atop a creamy white textured surface. A wooden turner rests inside of the pot for stirring.
  8. Prepare for eggplant lasagna assembly: Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees F, rearranging the oven racks such that a rack is positioned in the center of the oven. Spray a large piece of foil with nonstick cooking spray & set aside. Spray a 9×9 pan with nonstick cooking spray. Ladle a little of the turkey bolognese sauce into the baking dish – just enough to coat the bottom & prevent sticking – & spread it out to create an evenly coat the bottom. 
  9. Eggplant lasagna assembly: This eggplant lasagna consists of 3 key layers:
    1. Layer 1: Arrange half the roasted eggplant such that it covers the bottom of the pan. Be sure to overlap to create a nice, even layer. Ladle 1/3 of the remaining bolognese over top, spreading into an even layer. Spoon 1/3 of the ricotta mixture over top, spreading into an even layer. Sprinkle 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella over top in an even layer. 
    2. Layer 2: Arrange the uncooked lasagna noodles in an even layer, positioning them such that there are minimal gaps in between without overlapping them – you may need to get crafty & break the noodles to fill your baking dish nicely (see photos, above, for reference). Ladle 1/2 of the remaining bolognese over top, spreading into an even layer. Spoon 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over top, spreading into an even layer. Sprinkle 1/2 of the shredded mozzarella over top in an even layer. 
    3. Layer 3: Repeat Layer 1, using all remaining ingredients. Finish the lasagna by sprinkling the grated parmesan in an even layer over top. Cover the baking sheet with the prepared foil, taking care to avoid pressing it against the cheesy top of the lasagna. 
  10. Bake the eggplant lasagna: Place the pan on top of a small baking sheet, then transfer to the oven & bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the eggplant lasagna is bubbling & the cheese appears well melted. Carefully remove the foil & turn the oven’s broiler on high. Broil the lasagna on the center rack for about 5 minutes, keeping a close eye on it as it broiled to make sure it doesn’t burn, until it’s as bubbly & golden brown as you like.A finished eggplant lasagna inside of a metal 9x9 baking dish sits atop a creamy white textured surface. The baking dish is surrounded by a small ceramic bowl filled with fresh basil, a small wooden pinch bowl filled with kosher salt, and a white and black window pane patterned linen napkin.
  11. Rest, slice, & serve: Carefully remove the lasagna from the oven. Set aside to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing into 9 pieces & serving. Enjoy! A single piece of eggplant lasagna sits atop a white ceramic plate. A small wooden bowl filled with a mixed greens salad sits atop the plate and a gold spoon rests atop the plate. The plate sits atop a creamy white textured surface with a plaid linen napkin in the background rests out of focus.

Notes

  • Ingredient Notes:
    • Ground turkey: To make the best turkey bolognese sauce possible, the ground turkey you use decent fat content, otherwise the meat will dry out as the sauce simmers. Look for at most 93% lean, though if you can find 85-90% or ground dark meat/turkey thighs that’s even better! If you prefer to use a different protein – go for it! Try chicken or beef &/or pork!
    • San Marzano tomatoes are a special Italian plum tomato grown in the San Marzano region near Naples, Italy, where the volcanic soil produces sweeter, less acidic tomatoes. They are picked at peak ripeness to preserve the best flavor throughout the canning process. They are readily available in the canned tomato aisle in most conventional grocery stores, though you can typically be sure to find them at an Italian market. Be sure to look for DOP certification noted on the label, which ensures the tomatoes are authentic San Marzano tomatoes. If you cannot find authentic San Marzano tomatoes at the store, regular whole peeled tomatoes will work great as a quick substitute – even better if they’re “San Marzano-style” tomatoes!
  • Make-Ahead Eggplant Lasagna: Since there are a number of different components involved in this eggplant lasagna recipe, prepping it ahead of time is a great option for weeknight cooking or entertaining. There are 2 make-ahead approaches you can take depending on the amount of time you  have to prep:
    • Make-Ahead Approach #1 – Prepping components in advance. If you prefer to prep individual components & assemble the lasagna later, this approach is for you. Roast the eggplant (Step 2), mix the ricotta (Step 3) &/or prepare the turkey bolognese (Steps 4-7). Store the components in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, until you’d like to assemble & bake your eggplant lasagna.
    • Make-Ahead Approach #2 – Assemble the lasagna in advance. Assemble the eggplant lasagna in full (Steps 1-9), then store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. (As a bonus, the eggplant soaks up any excess liquid in the lasagna as it sits, making it much easier to slice & serve picture-perfect pieces!) At dinnertime, simply preheat & bake according to Steps 8 & 10, noting you may have to add 5-10 minutes of baking time to ensure the lasagna warms through.
  • Storage, Reheating, & Freezing:
    • Eggplant Lasagna Storage & Reheating: Store any leftover eggplant lasagna in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave until warmed through.
    • Eggplant Lasagna Freezer Instructions: This eggplant lasagna is also incredibly freezer-friendly. Transfer cooled leftovers to a freezer container or divide between multiple freezer containers for smaller portions – these are my absolute favorite freezer containers!  – & freeze for up to 3 months. To thaw, place the frozen eggplant in the refrigerator overnight or submerge the freezer container in room temperature water for a quicker thaw. Easily reheat in the microwave until warmed through.
  • Other tips & tricks: 
    • Eliminate the pasta altogether: While I like the structure the pasta adds to the lasagna, you can eliminate this layer altogether by replacing it with another eggplant layer. Just prep 1 additional eggplant.
    • Double it up & freeze it for later: This recipe is SO easy to double up, you just need one additional baking dish. Assemble both lasagnas at the same time & when you throw one into the oven, toss the other into the freezer (or give it to a neighbor, friend, etc.). If covered well with foil, it will keep for about 2 months. Pull it out the night before you’d like to serve it & let it thaw in the fridge.

Keywords: eggplant lasagna recipes, eggplant recipe, roasted eggplant lasagna, eggplant and bolognese lasagna

Recipe by Jess Larson, Plays Well With Butter | Photography by KJ & Company, Kate Poskochil

Follow along with Plays Well With Butter on Instagram, Facebook, & Pinterest for more easy, modern recipes & fun!

Hi there, I'm Jess!

If there’s 1 thing to know about me, it’s this: I am head-over-heels in love with food. I’m on a mission to make weeknight cooking flavorful, fast, & fun for other foodies, & PWWB is where I share foolproof recipes that deliver major flavor with minimal effort. Other true loves: pretty shoes, puppies, Grey’s Anatomy, & my cozy kitchen in Minneapolis, MN.

Topics

Sign up for our newsletter

Comments

  1. 9.23.16

    This looks like real lasagna, aka gooey and cheesy deliciousness! Love that you added eggplant, yum!

Comments are closed.