Meat Lasagna with Eggplant and Spinach

Updated on March 19, 2016

Eggplant, Spinach, and Meat Lasagna

Rate it!

5 stars from 1 rating of Eggplant,Spinach and Meat Lasagna

Oh, Eggplant...

Eggplant is a truly beautiful fruit with deep purple, shiny skin and a creamy interior. It's lovely, that is, until you try to cook with it. Eggplant is full of what are called saponins - little devils that soak up fat like a dieter's nightmare. A common preparation technique is to "salt" the eggplant to remove excess fluids which adds extra time to your cooking. Not to mention that eggplant has a very distinctive texture and flavor that is an adjustment if you haven't grown up eating them. If your kids are like mine than any unusual food gets a critical and suspicious eye. I had tried eggplant parmesan and fried eggplant and I wanted to try a slightly different take than what I was used to doing. Lasagna is always a hit in my home and I was hoping that the rich taste and layers might let the eggplant pass relatively unnoticed.

Eggplant

Source

Eggplant Preparation

So, as mentioned above, most eggplant preparation calls for salting your eggplant. If you want to go that route (and it would certainly improve the amount of fluid that comes out of them) then check out the video at the bottom of the page. I decided to live dangerously and opted out of salting my eggplant.

Preheat your oven to 350ºF. To make layers with your eggplant you will have to slice it up into relatively thin pieces. If you want to hide them from your kids then peel them first. I chopped the head and tail off of two small eggplants and sliced them, lengthwise, into somewhat uniform pieces. Please note that my slices were thinner than what is shown in the video. Lay parchment paper down on your pan and lay out your slices. Drizzle with olive oil (or the oil of your choice) and sprinkle with garlic salt, pepper, and oregano. Slide your pan (or in my case, pans) into the oven for 20 minutes. Two small eggplants yielded two full pans for me.

Before and After Baking

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Meat Layer

While your eggplant is baking you can go ahead and prepare your meat. Dice up a medium onion and add it to a skillet with about 1 lb of ground pork sausage. Cook until your meat is browned and your onions are clear. Drain your grease.

Meat Layer

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Cheese Layer

Traditionally lasagna is made using ricotta cheese. I'm using small curd cottage cheese (poor man's ricotta) as a substitute. Empty one large container of cottage cheese into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle parsley flakes over the top (I used about 1 tsp). Add 1 egg and 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese to the bowl. Chop up about 1 cup of fresh spinach, add it to the bowl, and mix all of your ingredients together.

Cheese Mixture

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Building Your Lasagna

Normally I would mix my tomato sauce with my meat but I wanted to cut back on the acidic tomato sauce. (Heartburn is an issue for a few of mine.) For this lasagna I had a layer of sauce on the bottom and on the top. Admittedly, it made it look a bit like enchiladas but it worked for us. Either way, coat the bottom of the pan you are using with tomato sauce before adding more layers. Layer eggplant, meat, eggplant, cheese and repeat. Ideally you would end with a cheese layer though I added sauce as the top layer. If you have it you can top it with some freshly chopped basil and more of the shredded cheddar.

Layering Your Lasagna

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Cooking Your Lasagna

Bump your oven temperature up to 400°F and bake your lasagna, uncovered, for 25 minutes. To be honest, I was exceedingly speculative as to how this would turn out. The result was a wonderful surprise! The lasagna was very flavorful and the eggplant worked very well as a substitute "noodle." I would suggest peeling the lasagna if you don't want your kids asking about the "purple stuff" in the lasagna. Bonus - I was able to eat a decadent lasagna with a low calorie count. I'm still not sure I will make eggplant a regular part of my diet but I definitely like this as yummy use for eggplant.

Cook TIme

Prep time: 40 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 1 hour 5 min
Yields: About 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplants, small
  • 1 onion
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 large container cottage cheese, small curd
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • garlic salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • oregano, to taste
  • fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • Parsley, to taste
  • 1 container tomato sauce

Ingredients

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Nutritional Information

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1
Calories 297
Calories from Fat63
% Daily Value *
Fat 7 g11%
Saturated fat 3 g15%
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 21 g7%
Sugar 10 g
Fiber 8 g32%
Protein 39 g78%
Cholesterol 92 mg31%
Sodium 829 mg35%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Changes or Improvements

As noted above I would suggest adding sauce to the meat so that it is present at each meat layer. However, I honestly felt that the layer at the top and bottom provided the perfect amount of sauce.

The eggplant yielded a LOT of water after baking. This did nothing to detract from the flavor but it does affect presentation. I was able to pour off extra water relatively easily but salting the eggplant should fix that particular problem.

Lastly, ricotta cheese is more traditional for the cheese layer.

Salting Eggplant

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, delishably.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://delishably.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)