Lasagna without the noodles. It’s a thing in my life. A very delicious thing that I needed to share with you just in time for eggplant season!
Let’s back up a sec though. Before I share the recipe details with you, I must tell you about my lasagna obsession. Flashback to around my 21st birthday when I asked my Mom to make me lasagna. First of all, three days prior to my birthday I had returned to America from my adventures wine drinking and traveling around in the land of Oz, so my 21st birthday didn’t seem all that exciting.
On the other hand, my Mom was THRILLED. She wanted to make me something special for my birthday and asked for requests. I think she was expecting me to say enchiladas (I always request them), so when I asked for a vegetarian lasagna she was shocked. However, being the lovely mother she is, she ended up making me the BEST LASAGNA EVER. It was a giant 9×13 inch pan loaded with spinach, butternut squash, mozzarella, parmesan and whole wheat noodles. I ate two slices and refused to share with anyone else. Seriously refused. I kept the leftovers in my freezer and ate the rest every day for a week.
This story needed to be shared because it’s what started my lasagna obsession. From that moment forward, I started remembering every time I ate lasagna. From the first time I met Tony’s parents to the last family Christmas party, I never forget a lasagna.
And now we’ve got this eggplant lasagna to remember! This particular recipe is based off my no noodle zucchini lasagna, which is basically layer upon layer of zucchini, cheese, meat and sauce.
Oh me likey. Me likey a lot.
Eggplant lasagna could be my new favorite though, mostly because of the insanely good turkey meat sauce. OH MY GOD. Just make the sauce and ladle it in your mouth. (Or of course you can make the actual recipe.) I am declaring this my famous turkey meat sauce. Hopefully you’ll agree.
Anyway let me quit jabbering and explain the whole lasagna process here!
First we’ll make the epic most famous Ambitious Kitchen turkey meat sauce. Yes, you’re going to put on your fancy pants and make your own sauce. It’s a game changer in the lasagna world.
While that’s simmering up, you’ll bake the eggplant. I highly recommend peeling the eggplant after you bake it, or just cut off the skin because it can be tough to cut through in the lasagna. As you can see I didn’t cut it off, but I noted in the ingredients that you should.
After that’s done, you’ll do a layer of meat sauce, eggplant, ricotta and burrata. The burrata makes things incredibly creamy, but if it’s not your thing, fresh mozzarella is an excellent substitute!
Bake until bubbly. Broil at the end to get the cheese on top nice and golden brown. DIG IN!
If you make this recipe, be sure to upload a photo to Instagram and tag #ambitiouskitchen! Thank you for being here with me, I love you guys!
- Serves: 6 servings
- Serving size: 1/6th of recipe
- Calories: 390
- Fat: 20g
- Saturated fat: 9.6g
- Carbohydrates: 18.8g
- Sugar: 3.8g
- Fiber: 4.4g
- Protein: 30.6g
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean 93% ground turkey
- 1/2 yellow onion, minced
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (15 oz) can no salt added diced tomatoes
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons fresh minced basil (about 8 large leaves)
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus more if necessary
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices (about 6-8 large slices)
- 1 cup part skim ricotta
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- 8 oz burrata (can also use fresh mozzarella)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place olive oil a large dutch oven or pot over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add in turkey, onion, bell pepper and garlic. Break up the turkey and cook for 5-8 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink.
- Next add in diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, basil, dried oregano, fennel seeds, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer. Stir every few minutes.
- Place sliced eggplant on large baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with salt and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes to help dry out the eggplant a bit. This is a critical step. After eggplant is done cooking, remove or cut off it's skin.
- While eggplant is cooking, you can mix together the ricotta, parmesan and egg in a medium bowl until well combined. Once eggplant is done cooking, remove the turkey meat sauce from the heat and allow to cool a bit. After it has cooled off for a few minutes, add 1/2 cup of meat sauce to the ricotta mixture.
- To assemble lasagna, spread 1/2 of the turkey meat sauce into the bottom of a 9x9 inch baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Place half of eggplant slices evenly over meat sauce, spread on 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, then break apart half of the burrata and drop on top (I just cut up the burrata with a knife). Repeat layers again starting with the meat sauce, eggplant slices and ricotta mixture and finishing with burrata on top. Cover with foil and bake for 40 min. Remove foil and broil for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and bubbly on top. Serve with a side salad. Serves 6.