I almost always order Eggplant Parmesan when I eat at an Italian restaurant. It’s just so delicious and a dish I always enjoy. I also like ordering eggplant when I’m dining out because I’ve never had much success cooking it at home…until now. Through a little research online I learned how to make tender eggplant and the trick is simply to make sure the eggplant cooked thoroughly (otherwise it will be tough).
This Eggplant “Lasagna” is actually noodle-less and while I thought I’d miss the pasta (I love pasta!), I really didn’t. I call it lasagna because it’s built the same as the well-known Italian dish. Sauce, eggplant, cheese, spinach, onions…repeat. I got inspiration for this meal from one I saw in Real Simple. I was going to make that recipe but decided to add more veggies and switch out the cheese. This dish is made with cottage cheese in place of ricotta (I’m not a huge fan of ricotta and cottage cheese is a healthier alternative).
This is a quick dish to prepare and is especially tasty! It’s a great weeknight meal and it’s budget friendly, too.
1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/2″ slices
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 c. tomato/marinara sauce (I used store bought to save time)
1 c. reduced fat cottage cheese
1/2 c. reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
2 c. fresh spinach
1/2 c. sweet onion, chopped
1. Preheat over to 350*
2. Lay slices of eggplant flat on a plate or paper towel. Sprinkle lightly with salt and let stand 30 minutes or so. (This brings out the eggplant’s flavor)
3. Rinse eggplant with water and pat dry.
4. Using a pastry brush (if available), lightly coat each side of the eggplant with olive oil and place on a baking sheet.
5. Bake eggplant slices for 20 minutes.
6. In the meantime, coat glass baking dish with marinara sauce.
7. When eggplant is done, remove from oven and place two (or so) sliced on top of the sauce in the baking dish.
8. Top with layer of 1/3 c. cottage cheese then sprinkle with mozzarella.
9. Top the cheese with a handful of spinach and sprinkle with chopped onions.
10. Repeat steps 6-9 two more times. Top the final layer of spinach and onions with marinara then mozzarella.
11. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. The eggplant should be soft and tender.