Lentil & Eggplant (or noodle) Lasagna (Minimalist Baker) GF

WOW. This recipe is absolutely amazing, and easy enough that my husband can make it by him self ;).

It tastes equally as good with pasta noodles as it does with eggplant! If you make it with eggplant the layers are more gooey and sooo good, but if you do it with pasta it feels more filling and it’s more sturdy. Both options are great! Just make sure that you don’t slice the eggplant too thin, or they’ll burn and you won’t be able to get them off the pan.

We make this very often in our house, and will do a double batch (one eggplant version, and one pasta version) so we can freeze it in individual potions to have for lunch and dinners later on. You can reheat it in either the oven or microwave, but actually the microwave works a bit better so the sauce doesn’t dry out.

When you make this you HAVE to make the ‘parm’, it’s so good and only three ingredients! I promise that you’ll want to put it on everything you ever make.

The recipe is by Minimalist Baker and you can find it below, or on their website here:

The first photo is with eggplant noodles, and the second one is with regular noodles.

EGGPLANT

  • 2 medium eggplants (sliced into 1/4-inch slices lengthwise // or 12 lasagna noodles, boiled)

  • Sea salt (for sweating)

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

SAUCE + LENTILS

  • 1 28-ounce jar favorite marinara sauce* (I like Trader Joe’s Basil Marinara)

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 3/4 cup rinsed and drained red lentils (can sub green, but will increase cooking time)

TOFU RICOTTA

  • 1 12-ounce block extra firm tofu (drained and pressed dry for 10 minutes)

  • 1 1/2 medium lemons, juiced (1 1/2 lemons yield ~1/4 cup or 60 ml)

  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil (finely chopped // plus more for serving)

  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano

  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt + black pepper

  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese (optional // plus more for serving)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 C). Also set out two baking sheets and one large (9x13-inch or similar) baking dish.

  2. Generously salt eggplant slices on both sides and arrange in a colander in the sink to remove excess water/bitterness for 15 minutes. (If using lasagna noodles, boil, drain and set aside.)

  3. Rinse salted eggplant slices well and dry thoroughly between two clean absorbent towels. Lay a baking sheet on top and place something heavy on top to absorb excess moisture.

  4. Arrange slices on 1-2 baking sheets in an even layer and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake in a 425 degree F oven for 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce oven heat to 375 degrees F .

  5. While eggplant is baking, add marinara sauce and water to a large saucepan and bring to a low boil over medium heat. Then add rinsed lentils and lower heat to a simmer (low) and cook loosely covered (to prevent splattering), stirring occasionally, for about 15-20 minutes or until lentils are tender.

  6. In the meantime, make tofu ricotta. Add all ricotta ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse to combine, scraping down sides as needed. You want a semi-puréed mixture with bits of basil still intact.

  7. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt and pepper for flavor, nutritional yeast for cheesiness, or lemon juice for brightness. I usually add a bit more of all three.

  8. Spread a thin layer of lentil marinara sauce into your baking dish. Then layer on a few pieces of eggplant.

  9. Spoon half of the ricotta filling over the eggplant slices and spread into an even layer. Then top with another layer of marinara sauce. Repeat until you have used up all the ricotta. NOTE: The top layers should be: Marinara, eggplant noodles, marinara.

  10. Sprinkle the top with vegan parmesan cheese (optional) and cover with foil. Bake at 375 F (190 C) for 30 minutes, then remove foil and bake for 10-15 minutes more, or until the sauce is bubbly and warm and the top layer is very slightly browned.

  11. Let rest for 10-15 minutes. Then slice with a serrated or very sharp knife, and serve with additional vegan parmesan cheese and fresh basil (optional).

  12. Leftovers keep covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat in the oven or the microwave until warm. You can freeze the dish up to 1 month: Prepare up until baking and then thaw slightly before baking at 375 F (190 C) until warmed through. To freeze individual slices, make the lasagna all the way through, and then portion out individual slices. Microwave when ready to eat (the oven works better for the eggplant version)