Looking for a relatively healthy alternative to traditional lasagna? This eggplant and zucchini lasagna is packed full of veggies and eliminates the noodles altogether, making this dish gluten-free!
I am sure you have all seen them; the zucchini lasagnas around Pinterest with no pasta noodles in them. They always look so delicious and inviting, and lasagna is one of my favorite meals of all-time... So why did it take me so long to create one of my own?!
Well, let me start off by saying I have made this eggplant and zucchini lasagna at least half a dozen times and I still end up with excess liquid in my pan!! I do not get it!!! I always slice my two vegetables and salt all sides, allowing them to sit for about an hour to draw out the water from inside the veggies. I then pat down the vegetables and place them into the lasagna. Another time I followed that step but instead of placing the vegetables into the lasagna in a raw state, I pre-baked them in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Still so much liquid! I have even lowered the amount of pasta sauce I use... Oh well, I actually really like the extra liquid because it is full of flavor and I can eat it over rice. But from a blogging point of view, you do not want to show pictures of a meal while it is swimming in water...
However, all the times I have made this eggplant and zucchini lasagna, I have included raw spinach in the recipe. Spinach produces a lot of water and I am starting to think that plays a big part in my excess liquid problem. Another excuse to make this recipe?! Oh no, whatever shall I do... Haha. I have to admit though, remaking this recipe so many times has allowed me to change up things I did not like originally. I used to slice the vegetables quite thick, but now I slice them on my mandolin as thin as possible. Almost paper thin. This way they cook through nicely and they are easier to slice through when serving. Some layers I will double up the veggies depending on how many slices each veggie produces, but it still works out better than cutting them too thick.
For the tomato sauce, canned stuff will work perfectly fine, but I am partial to a homemade sauce. I try to drain off as much liquid as possible when scooping the cooked sauce over the veggies to help with the liquid problem. I mean, once again, the liquid is so flavorful it is not really an issue, just an aesthetic thing.
I really love this eggplant and zucchini lasagna, as the concept is so neat and it is completely gluten-free! No pasta noodles, only vegetables! I assume you could make this lasagna vegan as well, but I do love cheese a little too much...
Eggplant and Zucchini Lasagna (No Pasta!)
This lasagna can be made using store-bought sauce! Add as many layers as you like: it always changes for me 🙂
- 1 small eggplant, skin removed
- 1 large zucchini
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes, one drained fully, the other partially drained.
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- ¼ tsp. red chili flakes
- ¼ tsp. dried thyme
- 1 large carrot, processed in food processor until very fine
- 4 oz fresh spinach
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- ½ cup cottage cheese
- ½ cup + 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese, sliced
- Place the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, sugar, chili flakes, basil, and thyme into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until most of your liquid has vanished. Stir in carrot and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.
- While the sauce is cooking, slice your zucchini and eggplant about ⅛th inch thick (I used a mandolin.) Lay on top of wire racks and sprinkle each side with salt. Allow the eggplant and zucchini to sit for 30-60 minutes, or until much of their water has sweat out. Pat dry with paper towel.
- In a small bowl, combine ricotta, cottage, and ½ cup of cheddar cheese. Stir to combine.
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- In a 9x13 baking dish, assemble your lasagna. Put a ladle full of sauce on the bottom of the pan and smooth out. Place a layer of eggplant, followed by a layer of zucchini. Top with half the sauce and then add the cheese mixture. Smooth until the layer is covered in cheese. Add another row of eggplant, then zucchini, and then the rest of the sauce. Top with the last of the eggplant and zucchini and smother in cheddar and mozzarella cheese!
- Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes. You may need more time depending on how thick you cut the veggies. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes and then serve.
- *If you have the excess moisture issue, just drain out the liquid the best you can. Readers have mentioned pre-roasting your veggies helps reduce liquid.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 354Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 504mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 19g
Kate @ Diethood
I can always do zucchini when it’s smothered in cheese! 😀 We’ve got to try this soon, looks absolutely awesome!
We can pretend it is still healthy, right? 🙂
Arcee Miranda @thesatastefiedchef.com
your photos makes me hungry! and I also copied your recipe so I can make a no pasta lasagna at home.
Thanks so much! I bet you will love it!
What a delicious dinner! I love all of these ingredients, especially the eggplant! I can't wait to try!
The eggplant was my favourite part and I really want to make this recipe again with just eggplant, no zucchini (which I also love, but there is something about eggplant!)
I'll be over for dinner, save me a plate! 🙂
Joanie @ ZagLeft
I try to limit my carbs and this would be a great way for me to enjoy lasagna without the pasta. The excess liquid wouldn't bother me at all. Looks delicious!
I agree, Joanie, I just know others are expecting perfect recipes when it comes to blogging 🙂
This is a gorgeous recipe and I love how healthy it is.
Alyssa @ Simply Quinoa
I've been gluten-free for over four years and have yet to make lasagna with eggplant or zucchini. You've totally convinced me. Gotta do it. Now!
It is so easy to make and you can customize it however you see fit 🙂
This looks amazing! And so weird about the excess liquid leftover! It still looks and I bet tastes amazing friend 🙂
I am wondering if anyone else suffers from the excess liquid in their recipes. Either way, still delicious 🙂
Ashlyn @ Belle of the Kitchen
Great minds think alike!!! I'm making Eggplant Parm this week for the blog. 🙂 I love your addition of the zucchini, totally takes the healthfulness up a big notch! Your pictures look like heaven!
Thanks, Ashlyn! I am a big eggplant lover, and eggplant Parmesan is definitely a favourite!
Meg @ The Housewife in Training Files
I love making lasagna with zucchini noodles as I don't really care for regular pasta. Weird I know! But whenever I make zucchini pasta I try to reduce the liquid in the other ingredients as much as possible. And good call on the spinach, I would have never thought of that!
The excess liquid is definitely a weird issue. Like you, I have begun reducing liquid in other ingredients (especially the sauce.) I am sure I will figure it out eventually!
Andi @ The Weary Chef
How strange about the excess liquid! But it sounds delicious - as anything you make undoubtedly will be! Must try this recipe!
Always such awesome and kind comments from you, Andi!
Hi I oven roasted the zucchini and eggplant slices before assembly. Did not have issues with extra liquid.
That's great to hear! I will have to give it a try again come the summer when zucchini and eggplant do not cost an arm and a leg 🙂
It is also called Greek Mousaka. As a greek its funny to me to see one of our regular and quite famous dishes renamed... It is delicious though!
Haha, can you tell I am a home chef? Good to know for the future (because is it ever good!)
Try adding a small amount of uncooked, presoaked rice to the tomatoe sauce just before layering......it cooks during baking and absorbs all the excess moisture in the process. I also added minced lamb to the rice mixture.....turned out purrfect !!!
Really?! I am so trying this! Thanks for the tip!
After you slice the eggplant, put a large amount of salt on it. Let it sit while making the rest. Just before assembling, squeeze out the moisture. You will be amazed by how much moisture comes out. Rinse the rest of the salt off and squeeze again. Then assemble the dish.
Thank you! I am going to give it a try 🙂 Never thought to squeeze the eggplant, lol.