Noodle-free Lasagna

Zucchini and Eggplant Lasagna

It’s finally fall here-which means it’s a frigid 63 degrees instead of a balmy 70-and after Big C’s softball game in Malibu (where it was FREEZING) I wanted to be able to come home to something warm and filling; cue the cravings for comfort food! One of Big C’s favorite all time foods is lasagna, but since we almost never eat gluten in our household, I’ve had to come up with a replacement for the carby goodness of noodles. Enter the mighty zucchini and it’s sidekick, the eggplant.  These veggies are packed with vitamins and nutrients and work as excellent substitutes for noodles, turning a once guilt-inducing food into a delicious, nutritious and HEALTHY option! Additionally, since this recipe does call for a lot of dairy, I went with fat-free ricotta and light mozzarella, but by all means go full-fat if you want! 

Benefits of zucchini:

  • Great source of vitamin B-9 (folate) which supports metabolism, cell growth, and tissue maintenance
  • Packed with dietary fiber 
  • Full of magnesium, which plays a central role in muscle contraction and helps to maintain strong bones

Benefits of eggplant:

  • Chock full of chlorogenic acid, a powerful antioxidant with both antiviral and antimutagenic properties which protect the body from free radicals and cell mutations-basically eggplant has fantastic cancer prevention properties 
  • Lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Excellent source of dietary fiber-which helps prevent type 2 diabetes
  • Great source of vitamins A, B, folate, and vitamin C, as well as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorous
OK. Now that you know why eating these veggies is so beneficial to your health, let’s get on with the recipe!

2 eggplants
5-6 zucchini (ideally organic, as peel is left on)
15 oz. fat free ricotta 
1 large jar marinara sauce (or make your own) 
2 cups light mozzarella cheese 
2 eggs
2 tbs dried basil
2 tbs dried oregano 

How to do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 450
  2. Wash and slice zucchini into 1/4″ thick slices. Lay on paper towels and sprinkle with salt to remove excess water-let rest for 5 minutes
  3. Peel and slice eggplant into 1/2” thick slices
  4. Place zucchini slices on oiled baking sheet-drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pepper
  5. Bake zucchini at 450 for 15 mins, then flip and cook for another 15 (each oven is different so check yours to make sure it isn’t burning)
  6. While zucchini is baking, rub eggplant with olive oil, salt and pepper, and grill both sides (takes about 10-15 mins)
  7. Mix ricotta, 2 eggs, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil in a bowl, set aside
  8. Ladle a thin layer of marinara sauce into your baking dish
  9. Place first layer of grilled eggplant on sauce, then layer with zucchini, ricotta mixture, mozzarella cheese, and more sauce in that order
  10. Continue layering until you are out of ingredients! Sprinkle the top of your masterpiece with more mozzarella
  11. Bake at 450 for 30 mins
  12. Slice it up and enjoy!
Zucchini ready to go into the oven. Gorgeous right? And oh so simple
Eggplant sizzling 
Ricotta goodness
First layer of grilled eggplant ready to go 
The finished product!