Cottage Cheese

Eggplant Lasagna

March 28, 2012
0 Ratings
  • Serves approx. 9
Author Notes

The idea for this literally came to me one night while sitting on the couch. I had been thinking about what I could make with eggplant besides eggplant parmesan. I'd never really made much else with it. So, I thought about doing a lasagna but using the eggplant as the noodles. We tend to eat a lot of carbs so I thought this would be a different take on traditional lasagna. I topped our pieces with some leftover eggplant pieces which added a little bit of crunchiness. —Harper's Homemade

What You'll Need
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 small zuchinni
  • 16 ounces lowfat cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons basil pesto
  • 1 1/2 cups mozarella cheese
  • 3 eggs mixed with a little water
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups italian style panko
  • 1 1/2-2 cups favorite tomato sauce
  • dash salt
  • dash pepper
  1. Cut the ends off the eggplant and then peel off the skin using a potato/vegetable peeler. Cut in half widthwise and then cut into about 1/2 think slices (they won't all be the exact same size-but you can trim them to be more consistent)
  2. Prepare a bowl of flour, a bowl with the eggs, and a bowl with the panko. Dip the eggplant slices in that order then place all the eggplant slices onto a baking sheet. Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes or until the panko starts to turn golden brown and eggplant is crispy
  3. While eggplant is baking, mix together the pesto, cottage cheese, and a little salt and pepper.
  4. Spray a piece of foil with non stick cooking spray, cover the lasagna and bake for about 40 minutes.
  5. Cover the eggplant slices with the cottage cheese mixture. Top with grated zuchinni, then sprinkle on some mozzarella. Then top with 6 more eggplant slices and mozarella cheese

See what other Food52ers are saying.

1 Review

Arianna W. October 5, 2015
I recently attempted to re-create this recipe with a new friend. We got together to cook because of a shared love of food and because she wanted to practice adapting recipes (which I do often and well). We chose this recipe based on the picture, and it turned out to be the perfect recipe to use because it needed a lot of adapting. I never follow recipes step-by-step or word-for-word because I feel like doing so limits the opportunity for creative impulse and discovery. Not everyone is like me, however, and sometimes it's reassuring and enjoyable to follow a recipe exactly and produce a highly enjoyable finished product. This recipe, as written, is impossible to follow exactly because it has too many gaps a less carefree cook would have trouble filling. So, for those of you who don't just read ingredients lists and wing it from there, here's what I did. I hope it helps you create something delicious and incredible!

-2 (not 1) medium eggplants OR 1 medium eggplant and 1 medium zucchini
-Whole milk cottage cheese (16 oz)
-Dried basil flakes
-2 tbsp Basil pesto OR ~15 fresh basil leaves, 2 cloves garlic, & 1 tbsp olive oil
-Tomato sauce OR 1 large can diced tomatoes, 1 small can tomato paste, 1/4 lb ground beef, olive oil, salt, fresh cracked black pepper, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, 2-4 cloves fresh garlic.
-Mozzarella cheese (pre-shredded or fresh to be shredded/grated by hand)
-Panko breadcrumbs (unseasoned), ~8 oz
-Flour (~1/2 cup)
-Eggs (~3)

Instructions for Basil Pesto (if you aren't using canned pesto):
1) Chop the basil fine. I like to chiffonade the basil first and then chop fine from there to get very even pieces.
2) Mince the garlic
3) Combine the chopped basil and minced garlic in a bowl
3) Add the ~1 tbsp olive oil to the basil/garlic mixture
4) Stir. Voila, pesto! (Minus the pine nuts and salt that go into larger batches for pasta)

Instructions for Tomato Sauce (if you aren't using canned tomato sauce)
1) In a medium or large saucepan, heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil (or use butter, heck). Turn the heat to medium-high.
2) While the olive oil is heating, mince more garlic (I used 3 cloves because garlic is my life). Have the garlic minced before you heat the olive oil if you can't chop it before the oil gets too hot.
3) Add the 1/4 lb ground beef (or meat of your choice: ground pork would work well too)
4) Sautée the meat on medium-high until it is mostly brown with just a few pink spots left
5) Add the large can of diced tomatoes
6) Add 3-4 tbsp tomato paste
7) Stir until combined
8) Add 1-2 tbsp soy sauce
9) Add salt (~1 tsp)
10) Sprinkle red pepper flakes over the mixture
11) Add a sprinkle of fresh-cracked black pepper to the mixture
12) Cover with a mesh pan cover (to prevent oil from burning you as the sauce cooks down)
13) Let the sauce boil, stirring occasionally, until the sauce looks much less watery and the oil from the pan and meat rises to the top of the mixture.
14) Do not cook the sauce for more than about 12-14 minutes

Instructions for assembling lasagna:
The lasagna has three parts:
A) The "noodles" (i.e., eggplant/zucchini slices)
B) The "ricotta" (i.e., the cottage cheese)
C) The sauce (whatever you chose to use, either canned or homemade)

For part A:
1) Peel the eggplant
1a) If you're using a zucchini as well, wash and partially peel the zucchini so it has vertical (long) stripes
2) Put the flour, panko breadcrumbs, and eggs in separate bowls
3) Beat the eggs
4) Add a generous amount of salt to the flour
5) Slice the eggplant into ~1/2 inch round sections. Eggplants are usually smaller in diameter toward the stem. I usually alter the thickness of the slices based on how large in diameter the eggplant is, so that the slices, if weighed, would all be about equal. The closer to the stem I get, the thicker I make the slices (with no slice exceeding 3/4 inch). If the thickness of the slices weren't altered, the smaller diameter slices would cook faster than the larger diameter slices.
5a) If using zucchini, slice the zucchini into ~1/2 inch slices. Zucchinis are usually pretty uniformly cylindrical, so I keep all the thicknesses relatively equal.
6) Prepare a baking sheet: rub butter all over the bottom. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
7) Select a slice of eggplant/zucchini. Coat the slice in flour (bury it in the flour in the bowl, unbury it, then tap off the excess). Take the floured slice and dunk it in the egg mixture. Make sure every floured surface is covered in eggy surface. Then take the eggy slice and cover it with breadcrumbs (again, bury it in the breadcrumbs in the bowl, unbury it, and tap off the excess). This process always reminds me of elementary school and trying to get loose glitter to stick to/evenly cover liquid elmer's glue. #GlitterArt.
8) Place the now breaded slice on the prepared baking sheet.
9) Repeat steps 7 and 8 for each slice of eggplant and/or zucchini.
10) When each slice is breaded and on the baking sheet, bake the slices for about 7 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and toasted.
11) Remove the sheet from the oven and set aside.

For part B:
1) Put the 16 oz of cottage cheese in a bowl
2) Add the 2 tbsp pesto to the cottage cheese: either store-bought or freshly prepared (see above instructions)
3) Add a healthy amount of basil flakes to the cottage cheese
4) Mix
5) Add salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

For part C:
1) Open the jar of sauce you're going to use OR find the homemade sauce you prepared (see above instructions)

To assemble lasagna:
1) Find two 5x9" glass baking pans (the ones that look perfect for banana bread)
2) Grease the pans with butter
2a) Preheat (de-heat?) the oven to 350
3) Cover the bottom with eggplant/zucchini slices
4) Cover the slices with cottage cheese mixture
5) Cover the cottage cheese mixture with sauce
6) Cover the sauce with shredded mozzarella cheese
7) Cover the mozzarella cheese with another layer of eggplant/zucchini slices
8) Repeat steps 3-6 so that you have added eggplant/zucchini slices to the pan twice and ended with a layer of shredded mozzarella on top
9) Do this process again for the second pan
10) Bake at 375 for about 35 minutes (the cheese on top will be crispy and golden)

11) Let cool and then eat and enjoy!

I hope this helps those of you who felt a little lost when reading the original instructions. The finished product is very tasty and definitely worth the time!