I've eaten a whole lotta eggplant this summer! We were constantly grilling because we had such a lovely summer and wanted to just BBQ everything, well, mostly eggplants. Now that the temps are cooling down, I still want to eat eggplant and was dreaming this up weeks ago. It came to fruition and Walker and I polished off this entire dish of plant-based goodness in about 2.5 days.
I decided to change up the classic eggplant lasagna with ricotta and create a plant-based version (which is deeelish!!) because I figured there are a gazillion and one eggplant recipes online with ricotta. And, selfishly, I'm dairy-free right now, so I wanted to create something for me to eat! Don't worry, I'm not dairy-free forever. I just like to take breaks from time to time.
This Easy Eggplant Lasagna checks all the boxes, but most importantly it tastes and smells absolutely incredible!
If you came here because you were expecting ricotta, don't leave! You can totally use regular ricotta in place of the cashew ricotta. However, I encourage you try something new because my cashew ricotta is super-duper flavourful and you just *might* like it better than regular ricotta. All you need is an open mind, like my hubby Walker for instance. He was skeptical but as soon as he took his first bite, his eyes lit up, and he said "wow, this is actually really good Joy". And I was like "duh, I know!!". Ha!
For the cashew ricotta, you'll need cashews, nutritional yeast (not the same as yeast in bread), lemon and sea salt. That's it!
I bought two large eggplants from the farmer's market. Just make sure you sweat them a little as you'll see in my video as this is an important step, so don't skip it! Eggplants are a wonderful source of anthocyanins which are phytonutrients concentrated in the skin. This particular anthocyanin in eggplant is called nasunin and it is a potent free radical scavenger which means it acts as an antioxidant in the body. This is why you do not want to peel it. The skin gets nice and tender once you cook it anyway!
After watching the video, here are some step-by-step photos of building your Easy Eggplant Lasagna and then the recipe card (which is printable) is just below.
The first layer of the dish should just be pasta sauce. This will prevent the eggplant from sticking and help it absorb some more flavour. Next up add eggplant slices and evenly spread in dish. Then add dollops of spinach cashew ricotta on top of each slice, add pasta sauce and keep repeating the layers until you're done!
And finally, not to be skipped even though it seems like a very simple step, is the Plant-based Parmesan! You might want to do this before you make your ricotta, but it takes all of 30 seconds so it doesn't really matter when you do it. You won't miss the dairy parm when you use this because it is packed with flavour!
This Plant-based Parm is super simple - nutritional yeast, pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts, sea salt and garlic powder. Blitz and then store in a glass jar in the fridge to top on this lasagna, avo toast, as a salad topper - so many wonderful uses to jazz up a dish!
Okay let's get to this recipe shall we?
I have put these into separate recipe cards to make things easier. Especially if you want to make the ricotta or the parm for a different dish than this lasagna.
Serves 6-8 people.
*If you want to make this with regular ricotta you can do that. Just follow the same instructions and swap cashew ricotta for regular ricotta.
Here's the recipe for the Plant-based Ricotta Cheese.
Here's the recipe for the Plant-based Parmesan.
So there you have it! Easy peasy Eggplant Lasagna - make ahead for the easiest weeknight dinner ever. This reheats nicely in the oven at 350F for about 10-15 minutes. Enjoy with my Creamy and Dreamy Kale Salad.
Enjoy! Be sure to share with me on social media if you make it! I love seeing your creations just be sure to tag me @joyoushealth.
Wishing you joyous health,