Recipe: Eggplant Lasagna with Ground Beef

Eggplant Lasagna with Ground Beef, Courtesy:
Eggplant Lasagna with Ground Beef, Courtesy:

Broiled eggplant slices stand in for lasagna noodles in this low carb Atkins dish. I made this dish because although I love making my tried-and-true sausage lasagna recipe, I wanted to lighten the carb content a bit. The eggplant and the portobello mushrooms are so meaty and delicious that you don’t even miss the lasagna noodles!

Admittedly, the prep work is a bit labor intensive – so much so that one recipe card wasn’t enough to hold all the directions. Don’t let that scare you though – you’ll be glad you tried it!

1 1/2 lbs. eggplant (about 2 medium)
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup spicy no-sugar-added tomato sauce
4 pieces medium portobello mushroom caps (about 12 ounces), gills removed
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 cups ricotta cheese
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced


  1. Trim eggplant, discarding the stems, but leaving the peel on; then slice lengthwise ¼-inch to 1/3-inch thick.
  2. Layer eggplant slices in a colander, salting each layer. Let stand in the sink or over a bowl for 15 minutes to drain bitter juices.
  3. Meanwhile, in a heavy medium skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until browned and beginning to crisp, about 6 minutes.
  4. Drain liquid from skillet and stir in tomato sauce. Remove from heat; set aside to cool.
  5. With a small, sharp knife, scrape away the undersides of the mushrooms to remove the brown gills. Wipe mushrooms with a damp cloth.
  6. Brush mushrooms lightly with olive oil; season with salt and pepper.
  7. Cook mushrooms 4 minutes per side in a large skillet over medium heat until lightly browned. Cut them into 1/2-inch slices; set aside.
  8. Heat broiler. Pat eggplant dry. Brush olive oil on both sides. Broil 3 minutes per side until just beginning to char; set aside to cool slightly. Reduce oven temperature to 400°F.
  9. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine ricotta, spinach, eggs and Parmesan cheese. Pulse until blended. Add pepper.
  10. Lightly oil a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish. Arrange half the eggplant slices in an even layer on the bottom of the dish, overlapping slightly.
  11. Top the eggplant slices with half the mozzarella and all the mushrooms. Spoon on half the meat sauce, then spread all the ricotta mixture on top, in an even layer.
  12. Top with the remaining eggplant, followed by the remaining sauce and the mozzarella.
  13. Bake about 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.
  14. Let cool slightly before cutting and serving.

Food Mingle Blog Alternatives and Substitutions:

  • You’ll be tempted to substitute light versions of the cheeses to bring down the calories in this dish – don’t do it! I tried that and it made the lasagna too loose and almost watery.
  • Don’t skip the steps to salt the eggplant. The salting step removes some of the bitterness.
  • Go ahead and use your own homemade sauce if you prefer, to make this dish your own.
  • Be sure to squeeze dry the thawed spinach to reduce the liquid content in the dish.
  • If you don’t have a food processor (step 9), just use your blender like I did.

Yield: 8 servings

Adapted From:



3 thoughts on “Recipe: Eggplant Lasagna with Ground Beef

  1. Heather February 14, 2014 / 9:24 pm

    OMG Nancy!! as a gluten free eater i can not wait to try this one!! i may be making this for Sunday dinner!! what are you thought on cutting the ground beef in half and adding some sausage??


    • Nancy at Food Mingle Blog February 14, 2014 / 10:08 pm

      Heather – yes, you can! In fact, when I make my traditional lasagna, that is exactly what I do – half ground beef and half mild Italian sausage. I hope you enjoy it!


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