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Roasted eggplant is one of my favorite things to make during the summer, and I’m always finding new ways to incorporate it into full meals. Come July, this eggplant lasagna recipe always comes calling my name… but I make it anytime of year when I can find good eggplant.
Let’s talk taste! Eggplant lasagna offers the comfort food factor of regular lasagna, but with layers of roasted eggplant instead of the noodles. And if you’re worried that you’ll miss the pasta, don’t be. This dish has all the flavors of a great “real” lasagna! (Still, if you prefer a “pasta feel” without the carbs, try my classic keto lasagna instead.)
During the summer, this healthy eggplant lasagna is the best way to enjoy those flavors and use seasonal veggies at the same time. Give it a try even if you don’t like eggplant! The eggplant taste is not strong in this dish. (But if you do like eggplant, make sure you also take sauteed eggplant and eggplant rollatini for a spin this season.)
Why You’ll Love This Eggplant Lasagna Recipe
- All the same flavors of regular lasagna, but healthier
- Tender eggplant, saucy beef, and gooey cheese
- Easy to make, with quick prep time
- Simple ingredients found at any grocery store
- Just 6 grams net carbs per serving
- Naturally low carb, keto-friendly, and gluten-free
- Great for meal prep
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for eggplant lasagna, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Eggplant – You’ll need about 20 ounces of eggplant, which may be one or two depending on the size. For prettier lasagna, you can use two eggplants instead of one, and only use the center cut slices. To avoid any bitterness, make sure you choose small-to-medium eggplants that are firm to the touch. Huge ones, or those that are too soft, tend to be more bitter.
- Olive Oil – This adds flavor and helps the eggplant caramelize when you roast it. I use extra virgin olive oil most often in this dish, but regular olive oil or avocado oil also works.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Olive Oil – For sauteing the garlic. Again, other types of heat-safe oil are fine to use.
- Garlic – I used 2 cloves, but feel free to use more if you love garlic (I do and sometimes add more!). You can mince it yourself, or use jarred garlic for convenience. If you like onions, you can also saute half an onion (diced) together with the garlic, which will take about 5-7 minutes.
- Ground Beef – I use 85/15 ground beef and don’t usually need to drain it, but you can drain yours after cooking (before adding the marinara) if you use 80/20. Alternatively, 90/10 is also fine to use if you want to lighten up this dish. Other types of ground meat, such as ground turkey, chicken, pork, or Italian sausage, also work.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper – You can also add crushed red pepper flakes if you want extra heat.
- Marinara Sauce – I used 1 1/2 cups to keep the carbs low for a keto eggplant lasagna, but you can increase the amount if that’s not important to you and you want the meat layer to be more saucy. Watch for added sugar if you use a store-bought marinara, or try my homemade sugar-free marinara sauce.
- Italian Seasoning – I often make my own Italian seasoning mix (takes just 5 minutes!), but store bought also works.
- Ricotta Cheese – If you’re not a fan of ricotta, you can substitute cottage cheese (run it through a blend to make it more smooth), or even farmer’s cheese.
- Grated Parmesan Cheese – I use the shelf-stable grated kind for convenience, but freshly grated is even better.
- Egg – To bind the filling together. You can omit this if you need an egg-free version. I haven’t tried egg substitutes to see if any would work.
- Mozzarella Cheese – Buy pre-shredded or shred it yourself. You can also use sliced fresh mozzarella instead.
How To Make Eggplant Lasagna
This section shows how to make low carb eggplant lasagna, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
The trick to making eggplant lasagna relatively quickly is to make the layers in parallel: Roast the eggplant, cook the meat marinara sauce, and make the cheese filling at the same time. Then, simply assemble the layers and bake.
- Slice the eggplant. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (or use foil and grease well). Slice the eggplant into thin sheets lengthwise. (I recommend a mandoline like this for thin, even slices, but a knife also works.)
- Roast the eggplant. Arrange the slices on the baking sheet in a single layer. Brush both sides with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast the eggplant until soft. If there is any excess moisture remaining, pat dry with a paper towel.
Why roast first?
Roasting the eggplant makes it deliciously caramelized and removes excess moisture, so your eggplant lasagna won’t be watery.
- Make the meat sauce. While eggplant is roasting, heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, breaking apart with a spoon or spatula. Stir in the marinara sauce and Italian seasonin, then reduce heat and let it gently simmer.
- Make the cheese filling. While the meat sauce simmers, mix together the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and egg in a small bowl.
- Assemble the eggplant lasagna. Now, you’ll alternate the layers: Line the bottom of a 9×13 glass or stoneware baking dish (this one is my fave) with a single layer of roasted eggplant slices. Top with the ground beef marinara mixture, spread the ricotta mixture on top, and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Repeat the layers a second time, with the final layer being the mozzarella on top.
- Bake in the oven. The dish is done when the cheese is melted and golden. I like to top with a little fresh basil.
- Store: Keep any leftovers from this eggplant lasagna recipe in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Meal prep: This dish is perfect for making ahead! You could prepare the layers ahead of time: roast the eggplant, mix together the cheese layer ingredients, and cook the meat sauce. Store these separately in the fridge for up to 4-6 days, then just assemble and bake the day-of. Alternatively, you can assemble the whole thing in advance, store in the fridge for 2-4 days, and just bake when ready. (I usually opt for the second option.)
- Freeze: Lasagna with eggplant will keep in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. If you are making it ahead, assemble the casserole as written but skip the last baking step and freeze. If you have leftovers, it’s fine to freeze those after baking, too. Let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator before heating if you can. While baking from frozen is possible, it would take a very long time to heat through.
- Reheat: If you previously baked this recipe for eggplant lasagna, you can reheat it in a 350 degree F oven, or in the microwave. If it was pre-assembled but not fully baked, you’d heat it the same way as the original, at 400 degrees F. The cheese will burn if it’s in there for longer than 10-15 minutes, though, so you may want to reduce heat or tent the top with foil if you are baking it for longer to get it warm enough.
What To Serve With Eggplant Lasagna
Eggplant lasagna is easily a complete meal in itself — that’s one of the things I love about it! But if you want to add something on the side, try a Caprese salad (or avocado Caprese salad), refreshing zucchini noodle salad, or some low carb dinner rolls.
More Low Carb Lasagna Recipes With Veggies
If you like this easy eggplant lasagna recipe, you might also like some of these other ways to enjoy lasagna flavors in a healthy way — loaded with vegetables!
Tools To Make Eggplant Lasagna
- Mandoline Slicer – This tool makes it easy to slice eggplant into sheets that will be uniform in thickness. (Plus, you’ll find so many ways to use it.)
- Baking Sheet – This one is extra large, to fit all the eggplant slices. Plus, it comes with a rack that’s great for air circulation for other foods that you want to get crispy, such as bacon in the oven.
- Large Skillet – For making the meat sauce.
- Meat Chopper – This masher breaks up ground meat super fast.
- Baking Dish – The perfect size for this eggplant lasagna recipe. It goes beautifully from oven to table, and comes with a lid in case you want to transport your casserole.
Easy Eggplant Lasagna Recipe
You'll love this eggplant lasagna recipe with layers of roasted eggplant, beef marinara, creamy ricotta, and melty cheese. Healthy & low carb!
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C). Line and grease a large baking sheet.
Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet (or two small ones). Brush both sides with olive oil. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
Roast the eggplant in the oven for about 15-25 minutes, until soft. When done, remove from the oven and leave the oven on at 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
While the eggplant is roasting, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
Increase heat to medium-high and add the ground beef. Season with sea salt and black pepper. Cook until browned (about 10 minutes), breaking apart the meat with a spoon or spatula.
Stir in marinara sauce and Italian seasoning. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
While the meat sauce simmers, make the cheese filling. In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, and egg.
Line the bottom of a large glass or stoneware baking dish (this one is my favorite and the perfect size) with a single layer of roasted eggplant slices (typically 6 slices for a layer). Top with the ground beef marinara mixture. Spread the ricotta mixture on top. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layers again, with shredded mozzarella last.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese on top is melted and golden.
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Serving size: 1/8 of entire recipe
- Nutrition info is based on 85/15 ground beef and will also vary depending on which marinara sauce you use.
- For “saucier” lasagna, increase marinara to 2 cups instead of 1 1/2.
- For prettier lasagna, you can use two eggplants instead of one, and only use the center cut slices.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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What Is Eggplant Lasagna?
Is Eggplant Lasagna Keto?
Yes, this simple eggplant lasagna recipe is keto friendly! Each filling serving has just 6 grams net carbs.