Pat and I both love lasagna, but if I eat a heavy load of carbs and cheese together, I have digestive issues. So I wanted to have the cheesy-warm goodness of lasagna but in a low-carb way. I’ve seen a lot of recipes for zucchini lasagna roll-ups. I’ve tried making those, but a problem I ran into is that the zucchini gives off a lot of water and the lasagna ends up being really wet. One way to get around that is to cook the zucchini a little before hand by either boiling it or doing a quick bake in the oven. Another downside of using zucchini is that it is not very sturdy and starts to break. So I decided to use eggplant instead because it is sturdied and actually absorbs moisture. Also, eggplant was on sale for 33 cents each so Pat bought 9 eggplants and I had to figure out what to do with them all.
To make an eggplant lasagna roll-up, first slice the eggplant longwise into ~1/2-1/4 inch slices. Then you first have to cook the eggplant a little bit because it is not pliable enough if you don’t soften it up in the oven first. Be careful not to cut the eggplant slices too thin because when you bake them, they shrivel up into paper-thin sheets that are unusable (I’ve done this). Since the baking step here is to get the eggplant flexible, it’s not necessary to cook the eggplant all the way through.
When you’re making the filling, you absolutely want to cook the spinach first. Spinach can give off a lot of water and a wet lasagna is just no good. After you cook the spinach, you want to let it cool until you can handle it to 1) squeeze out the excess water and 2) not cook the egg that’s in the filling when you add it to it.
Once you’ve made all the roll-ups, add the sauce and top with as little or as much cheese as your heart desires. I put A LOT of cheese on this the last time I made it and it was amazing.
Low carb eggplant lasagna roll-ups
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
2 large eggplant, cut into ~1/2-1/4 inch slices along the length of the eggplant
Salt and pepper
For the filling:
16oz. bag spinach
15oz. container ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Handful of basil, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
For the sauce:
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp dried oregano
Squeeze of honey
1-2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the eggplant down, drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the eggplant start to brown and get soft. Remove from the oven and set aside.
While the eggplant are cooking, cook down the bag of spinach in a skillet with a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. Combine everything else for the filling. When the spinach has cooled, squeeze out the excess liquid with your hands and then roughly chop it. Add to the filling and mix well.
To make the sauce, heat some olive oil in a pan and cook the onion until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, oregano and honey. Reduce to a simmer until everything is ready to assemble.
Spread a spoonful of sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. To make the roll-ups, spread some filling (about a tablespoon) along the eggplant. Roll it up and place in a small-medium baking dish. Repeat with all of the eggplant slices. If you have leftover filling, spread it on top. Pour the sauce on top and sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese on top. Bake in the 425 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until the cheese has browned and the sauce is bubbling.
Serve in a bowl with some shredded parmesan cheese on top.