After eating this zucchini and eggplant lasagna, you may never go back to using noodles. Seriously, hear me out! This recipe all started with my desire to create a satisfying lasagna that my carb-hating husband could get behind. He’s been on a seriously health kick lately, and that means cutting out pasta, bread, and basically everything else that makes life worth living.
I love eggplant parmesan, so that was my starting point for this recipe. I’ve seen lots of different recipes out there on the interwebs swapping out noodles with zucchini and the like, but I wanted to add a bit of interest to this lasagna by using both zucchini AND eggplant. Then, to up the protein content and slash the fat, I decided to use a secret ingredient that I happen to hate: COTTAGE CHEESE. I know, I know, who loves cottage cheese, honestly? No one, that’s who! The texture, the blandness, it’s just…odd. But let me tell you, it add a luscious texture to this dish, and contains about half the calories of ricotta cheese, so it’s a win-win! My husband, who happens to despise eggplant, zucchini AND cottage cheese had three servings of this lasagna…I think that pretty much says it all.
1 Japanese eggplant, sliced into 1/8″ thick slices
1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/8″ thick slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
16 ounces low-fat cottage cheese, drained
1 whole egg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1 cup shredded carrots
1 1/2 cups jarred marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
First thing’s first, you’ll need a mandoline for this recipe, there’s just no realistic way to get uniform slices of the eggplant and zucchini with a knife. Plus, a mandoline is a smart thing to have in your kitchen anyway, it’s useful for so many things, like slicing lemons for lemonade, making perfectly cut french fries, and even making crinkle cut chips!
So, slice the stems off the eggplant and zucchini, and slice them up into thin, long strips.
Place the strips into a bowl and toss them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper.
Heat a grill or grill pan to high heat, then grill the veggies for 3-5 minutes, until they’re tender. What’s the point of cooking these ahead of time? Great question! You want to get as much moisture out of them as possible before building the lasagna, otherwise it’ll will end up soupy.
Once the veggies are grilled, set them on a plate to cool.
Now, it’s time to build the lasagna. Add the drained cottage cheese into a bowl, and add the egg, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Stir the mixture together until it’s well blended.
So first, we layer a 1/2 cup of the sauce on the bottom. Then lay down a layer of eggplant.
Top the eggplant slices with 1/2 cup of shredded carrot, half of the cottage cheese mixture and 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella.
Next, add a layer of zucchini, and repeat the process: 1/2 cup sauce, the rest of the carrots and cottage cheese and a 1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella.
Finally, top the lasagna with the remaining slices of eggplant and zucchini.
Top the lasagna with the remaining pasta sauce (1 cup) and the rest of the cheese (1 cup).
Cover the lasagna with aluminum foil, then bake the lasagna at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover the lasagna and cook for another 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven, and allow it to set for 15 minutes prior to serving.
This one’s a keeper!
Zucchini and Eggplant Lasagna
- 1 japanese eggplant sliced into 1/8" thick slices
- 1 medium zucchini sliced into 1/8" thick slices
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 16 ounces low-fat cottage cheese drained
- 1 whole egg
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1 1/2 cups jarred marinara sauce
- 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste