Paleo Eggplant Lasagna

You know those recipes that take a little longer to make but are oh-so worth it? The ones your family or friends ask you to make time and time again? The ones you just CRAVE? Yeah, go ahead and consider this Paleo Eggplant Lasagna recipe from nutritionist Cassy Joy Garcia to be one of those recipes.

eggplant-lasagna

The recipe is from her new book, which has the same title as her website, Fed & Fit, and it’s — rather deliciously — nut-free, egg-free and Paleo. She swaps out the usual noodles for eggplant slices (smart sub!) and uses coconut milk and coconut butter to make a really decadent-tasting béchamel (genius!).

Guys, set aside a Sunday afternoon and try it!

Paleo Eggplant Lasagna

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6

Calories: 739

Fat: 57

Well, it looks really good, but is it worth all that effort? YES. Yes it is. Take my word for it. In After you make this lasagna for the fifth time (because your family keeps requesting it), it’s not going to feel like any effort at all. With eggplant slices for “noodles,” the meaty Italian red sauce and creamy coconut milk “béchamel” make this one of the dishes I’m the most proud of in the whole entire book. Enjoy!
Ingredients
  • For the red sauce
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter or ghee
  • ½ small onion, diced (about ½ cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds hot Italian sausage (bulk or link)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained*
  • 12 ounces tomato puree or tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided use
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • For the béchamel
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter or ghee
  • 1 (13½-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, chilled*
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • For assembly
  • 2 large eggplants (about 2 pounds), peeled and sliced lengthwise into ¼-inch-thick planks (for the lasagna “noodles”)
  • 5 medium tomatoes, sliced about ¼-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, for garnish
Instructions
  1. To make the red sauce: Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, then add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Transfer the onion, garlic, and butter into a bowl.
  2. If using link sausage, remove the sausage from the links. Add the sausage to the pot, break it up with a spoon, and cook over high heat until the sausage starts to crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain the fat by pouring the sausage into a colander and return the meat to the pot.
  3. Return the onion garlic mixture to the pot with the sausage. Add the drained diced tomato, tomato puree, balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the Italian seasoning and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine, lower heat to a simmer, then cover and set aside over low heat until ready for assembly.
  4. To make the béchamel sauce: Melt the tablespoon of butter in a sauté pan. Once melted, whisk in the coconut milk, coconut butter, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, and then set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  6. To assemble the lasagna: Place a layer of eggplant noodles in the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch, or similar sized, casserole dish. Cover the eggplant noodles with about ¼ cup of the béchamel sauce followed by several full ladles of the meat sauce. Repeat until all the noodles are used. For the final layer, add the sliced tomatoes across the top and then drizzle any remaining béchamel sauce over top. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes, or until bubbly. Let the lasagna sit for at least 15 minutes, so that the juices can settle back into the lasagna. Serve warm, garnished with fresh basil.

Have you ever tried subbing out noodles for a veggie like eggplant or zucchini? You guys know how I feel about zoodles! —Jenn

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