Eggplant Lasagna (Gluten Free, Vegan, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Corn Free)

eggplantLasagna

Maybe I should start with telling you what IS in this lasagna, because that list is possibly shorter than all the things its ‘free’ from. I am so excited about this lasagna because it’s made of pretty much all vegetables. The recipe uses homemade pasta sauce (although you can use bottled if you want) and a béchamel sauce that is vegan (dairy free), but has no beans or tofu/soy in it (hoorah!).

Eggplant Slices

Because of the different components of the recipe that have to be made (pasta sauce, béchamel sauce and parmesan cheese) this is probably a recipe thats better for a lazy Sunday or for a dinner party.

The pasta sauce is quick to prep but takes an hour in the oven. The béchamel sauce needs a quick wiz in the blender and then heated over the stove for about 10 minutes. The parmesan cheeze is just throw in the blender or nut grinder.

All the elements are pretty quick to make, but you will need to allow the time for cooking as well. You will need about 2.5 – 3 hours (not all active, 1 hr 40 min of that is oven time – 1 hour for marinara sauce and 40 mins for lasanga). You can also make the sauces and cheeze ahead of time, no longer than the day before would be best.

Mushrooms

The veggie layers of this recipe don’t require too much flavoring because of the garlic that’s in the pasta sauce and béchamel sauce, and the basil thats packed into the pasta sauce! But feel free to add extra if you really like garlic or basil (who doesn’t?!).

Lasagna Layers

What’s the best way to make a gluten free lasagna? Use eggplant for the noodle sheets, of course! I have tried using gluten free pasta sheets before with mixed results. But eggplant noodles are definitely a winner. They have the same texture as cooked noodles and eggplant doesn’t have a really strong flavor (unlike some not-so-nice gluten free noodles I’ve tried). My Mum tried this and said the eggplant tasted great as the noodles, and she’s not gluten free or vegetarian.

Whole Lasagna

The béchamel sauce actually works really well as the top layer and looks quite cheesy and golden brown after cooking. Look at that golden brown bubbling deliciousness! I’m lucky I got this photo in, because a minute later half the pan of lasagna was gone and I had a slightly burn tongue because of my impatience. Ah well, that’s just the risk you take with lasagna!

Eggplant Lasagna (Gluten Free, Vegan, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Corn Free)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A healthier version of classic lasagna that uses eggplant slices as the noodles and is packed with veggies.
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients:
Method:
  1. Make pasta sauce, white sauce and parmesan cheese in advance. All can be made the day before.
  2. Pre heat oven to 175°C / 350F°.
  3. In a non stick pan, add a small amount of oil and lay eggplant sizes down. Cook for 2-5 minutes each side, until lightly browned and softened. Repeat this for all eggplant slices. Set aside. (You can also bake these for 10 minutes each side with a little oil sprayed on, but I like how the eggplant stays soft from cooking in the pan).
  4. In the same pan, add a little more oil and add in mushrooms and onion slices. Cook for about 5 minutes, until mushrooms are done. Set aside.
  5. In a large baking dish (use a glass tray for non stick), follow this order for layers:
  6. Spread a layer of tomato pasta sauce on the bottom of the dish.
  7. Add a layer of eggplant slices.
  8. Spread a layer of béchamel sauce on the eggplant slices.
  9. Add a layer of zucchini slices
  10. Spread the mushroom and onion mixture over.
  11. Spread a layer of tomato pasta sauce over the mushrooms.
  12. Add a layer of eggplant
  13. Add a layer of béchamel sauce
  14. You can repeat the tomato pasta sauce, eggplant and béchamel sauce layers until you run out of room in your dish, or until you run out of sauces or eggplant.
  15. Sprinkle a handful of parmesan cheese over the top of the béchamel sauce layer (alternatively, you could sprinkle over almond meal + nutritional yeast).
  16. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes, removing foil half way through. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes for easier slicing (and no burnt tongue).

Whats your trick for sneaking extra veggies into meals? Leave a comment below.

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31 comments on “Eggplant Lasagna (Gluten Free, Vegan, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Corn Free)

  1. Made this yesterday and everybody (8 people) loved it….vegans and nonvegans! My meat eating husband said that this is a keeper! I seasoned the eggplant slices and baked them. I also used sauce from a jar to save a bit of time. This is one of the best things I have ever made! Shae…you rock!

    • Hi Mags, Woohoo! Don’t you love sneaking in veggies (especially eggplant!) to nonvegans. Thanks so much for the awesome feedback, so glad it worked out. You made my day :)

  2. Oh my heavens. This lasagna is one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. While I was preparing it, I was gobbling up béchamel white sauce by the spoonful and was worried I might not have enough left for the dish! Our non-vegan friends could not believe there was no dairy in this dish and no “fakey” substitutes. I love your blog and every recipe I’ve tried so far has been absolutely scrumptious. Oh and I will never make another tomato sauce again since making your roasted tomato marinara. Keep ‘em coming Shae. This blog is my new favorite!

    • Oh Debbie, I have a smile from ear to ear after reading your comment! Thank you so much for your sweet words :). I was doing that too with the bechamel sauce haha! Nice to know its not just me that can’t wait.

  3. I just made this recipe and I LOVE it. I did want to point out a typo… the recipe card says to bake for 40 minutes, whereas the blog post says 1 hour 40 minutes. I baked for 40 minutes and realized the sauces weren’t cooked down and there was still a great deal of water so I went back to your post. I baked it for another 70 minutes and it came out perfect. I really look forward to your recipes! Thanks for keeping such an awesome blog!!!

    • Hi Fabienne, I did bake mine for 40 minutes, although my oven tends to run very hot so not too surprised you had to cook yours a little longer. Thanks for the feedback and so glad you like the recipes! :)

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  5. I made this recipe tonight and it’s very soupy. Is there something I did wrong? I even cooked it 20 mins more than the suggested time. Thank you!

    • Hi Jessica, oh I’m sorry thats no good. If may be that your tomatoes were very watery when you made the sauce (Roma’s work best), or the eggplant didn’t cook enough of the juices out of it. Mine was very slightly watery when it came out of the oven, but soon soaked the extra liquid up, hopefully yours will do the same :)

  6. I thought this was absolutely delicious and will make again for sure! But, mine was also very watery and the zucchini a little on the tough side. I also baked for 40 minutes as well. Did you, or anyone else cook the zucchini prior to adding it to the lasagna? My sauce was not watery at all and I definitely purged all the eggplant prior to adding, but there was no mention of doing anything to the zucchini. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! :)

    • Awesome, so glad you like it! Baking for longer would soften the zucchini more, and remove extra water content. You could also try slicing the zucchini thinner, or even cooking it with the eggplant (and cook them dry a little longer). Hopefully that helps next time you make it! :)

  7. Hello out of curiosity how would this come out without the béchamel white sauce. I dont really cook much but im trying to cook for my girlfriend whom is pretty much everything in the title lol.

    • Hi Randy, I think it would still be pretty good myself. If you like tofu you could always crumble that up to use as the cream cheese. Let me know how it turns out!

  8. This is amazing! I made this yesterday and my non-vegan parents also loved it and were surprised that this was made without animal products and gluten!! Love your site and your recipes!!! Keep up the great work!! :)

  9. Hi, I’m looking forward to making this! Two questions-how thick/thin are the eggplant slices? Also, is there only one layer of zucchini? Will the dish hold together if I omit the zucchini altogether?
    Thanks!

    • Hi Megan! You want the eggplant slices fairly thin – think the width of a normal lasagna sheet, they will shrink down when you bake or grill them, so don’t worry too much about that. Yes from memory just the one layer – it will be fine without zucchini, perhaps use a little extra eggplant? Let me know how you go!

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  11. Made this the other night & it came out very soupy & didnt cut into nice lasagna-like squares, it just fell apart. Other than that problem, the flavor was excellent! I’ve been using the leftover Bechamel on everything!

  12. Any chance this could be made ahead and frozen? Also comment of Vegan4Life said she “purged” the eggplant -what does this mean!

    My first Vegan dish and I am pretty psyched to be making it!

    • Hi Linda, I have had one person message me to say they froze it with success, although I haven’t tried it. Here was their feedback: “I cooked the lasagna the first 30 minutes. Froze it; took it out a few days later and cooked it for almost an hour to completely thaw and get hot. I would hold the “cheese” until the last 30 minutes or so of cooking. Then the visual image would be more palatable!” Hope that helps x

    • Hi Linda,
      Purging means compressing and removing the juices from the eggplant that can cause it to taste bitter as well as cause it to soak up too much oil when frying. It’s really a personal preference as not all varieties of eggplants really need to be purged, but I usually always purge any of the ones I am going to fry in oil as most eggplants you find in your local supermarkets are like sponges and without purging and compressing can soak up a lot more oil than I personally want and/or like and end up soupy/soggy like. I usually just cut them into slices then generously salt both sides of the slices, place them back on top of one another, place them into a colander in the sink with a heavy plate/weight of some sort on top of them for an hour or longer, then rinse them all off to remove the salt and dry them individually by placing them between sheets of paper towels or cloths and pressing the excess liquid out. They will become discolored after a while of leaving them out, so if color/presentation is important to you, you may need to stop the purging after 30 minutes. I have sometimes purged for well over 2 hours and 30 minutes and they are just fine. So again, it’s more personal preference. Either way, This eggplant recipe was absolutely delicious and worth making again and again!! (Thanks Shae!!) :)
      Please let us know how yours turned out as well as the outcome of the freezing should you decide to go that route. Good Luck and have a pleasant day! :)

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