Eggplant is one of those foods that is either really delicious or not great, IMHO. Fried Eggplant sprinkled with parm and dipped in marinara is mouth watering – especially in the summer. Baba Ghanoush is one of my favorite dips and has a wonderful smoky flavor when done right. When it isn’t, its kind of weird tasting and a weird kind of slimy consistency? Eggplant parm, when not done right can be rubbery and just weird. Grilled eggplant can be that way, too! Its either awesome and mouth watering or just….weird!
Eggplant is a great Keto veggie so it is important to get it right so we can add it to our menus. This recipe absolutely, positively gets eggplant right. As a matter of fact, you will not even miss the pasta. I won’t say that the eggplant acts like the lasagna noodles -nope, but it just has so much flavor and is so hearty that you won’t miss them, I swear. I have found that with not eating carbs, I taste my food more. Even with Italian food when you would think you would be sad to not have pasta. This, coming from someone who would have eaten pasta every day of her life before…lol.
My daughter Ella tried this and liked it a lot. She is pretty open to eating low carb dishes, but she likes to have some garlic bread with it. That’s easy enough to accommodate, so that works for me!
Try this delicious Low-Carb Meaty Eggplant Lasagna soon! Let me know what you think if you do!
Low Carb Meaty Eggplant Lasagna
- 2 large eggplant peeled and sliced lengthwise
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 24 oz jar low sugar marinara (such as Rao’s)
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1.5 lbs ground beef 80-85%
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 15 oz container whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp onion salt I use Trader Joe’s
- 8 oz bag baby spinach chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1.5 cups mozzarella cheese
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Lay the eggplant out on 2 large baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Use a brush to ensure the slices are evenly covered with oil. Use a little more oil if you need to ensure coverage. Turn over and repeat. You may need to do this in 2 batches. bake for 5 minutes, turn over and bake for another 5. Reduce heat to 375 degrees.
- To prepare sauce, cook the ground beef along with the garlic, fennel seeds and salt and pepper to taste.
- When the meat is no longer pink, drain and then add the marinara and tomato sauce. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes or until it has cooked down quite a bit and it does not have a watery consistency. You want it to be somewhat of a thicker sauce. This way, you won’t have a watery lasagna.
- Saute the chopped spinach in olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Let it wilt and then add to the sauce. Stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, egg, 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/3 cup parmesan cheese. Stir to combine so that the egg is well mixed in.
- To make the lasagna lightly grease a 9X13 pan (I use Avocado Oil Spray). pour 1/3 cup of the tomato meat sauce on the bottom of the pan and spread evenly. Layer 1/2 of the eggplant noodles over the sauce. Dollop 1/2 of the ricotta mixture over eggplant (spread out a bit, but doesn’t have to perfectly cover) and then spread 1/2 of the remaining meat sauce gently over the cheese. Repeat one more time with each.
- Top with the remaining 1.5 cups of mozzarella and 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese.
- Cover dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil and then bake another 10 minutes. Should be nice and bubbly. You can throw it under the broiler for a minute or two if you like the cheese a little browned.
- Optionally when finished you can drizzle with a little EVOO, fresh basil and some crushed red pepper flakes. I usually add a little more parm as well!