This vegetarian-friendly Italian dish is so comforting!
We’re all about creating healthy and flavorful meals that can be made with relative ease, and this slow cooker eggplant lasagna is the perfect example! Not only is it easy and delicious, but it’s also good for you! We’ve used eggplant in place of noodles to make it low-carb. Additionally, we chose low-fat cheese and sugar-free tomato sauce to keep it skinny. Then, we added in some veggies for extra flavor and nutrients. Just layer everything in a slow cooker and let it cook until the cheese melts and the veggies cook through. So easy!
Make it Your Own
This version is meat-free, but you could certainly add ground beef, turkey, or Italian sausage to amp up the protein! Just be sure to cook your proteins thoroughly in a separate skillet before adding them to the slow cooker.
If you want to boost the veggie hit, or add some volume to this vegetarian dish without the meat, you can even throw in squash, spinach, or zucchini. Cooked mushrooms or olives can be tasty, too. The point is, this recipe is super easy to make your own!
Who Need Noodles?
You may not believe it’s possible until you try it, but our eggplant lasagna uses the actual eggplant in place of lasagna noodles. We take the eggplant, slice it up so that it has a noodle-like shape. A sharp knife is key to getting through the eggplant skin without mangling it, but a mandolin would work, too. We salt both sides of the eggplant slices and let them sit on paper towels for about 15 minutes. This not only allows the excess moisture to weep out of the eggplant, but it also reduces the bitter edge that some people don’t like about eggplant.
But We DO Need Cheese!
Lasagna would not be lasagna without cheese. And our slow cooker eggplant lasagna certainly has cheese. But rather than load up our dish with gobs of fat, we will substitute low-fat cottage cheese for the traditional ricotta and low-fat mozzarella for the full-fat kind. To help the mixture combine well, we’ll add a whole egg to our cheese mixture and mix thoroughly.
We will also add some more veggies to our recipe to boost flavor, add texture, and increase nutrients. Red bell pepper is not only tasty but full of Vitamins A and C, as well. And, besides tasting good, onions, too, are full of antioxidants and other compounds that fight inflammation. And here you thought we just added them for the taste!
Put ’em All Together…
Now, we will assemble our lasagna. Starting with a base of a high-quality, sugar-free marinara, spread a little on the bottom of the slow cooker. Add a layer of eggplant as the “noodles,” then top with red bell pepper, onions and some of the cheese mixture. Repeat that marinara, eggplant, pepper, onion layer three more times. Now, all you have to do is turn the slow cooker on low, let it cook away for about 5 to 6 hours (or, if you need it faster, 2-3 hours on high will work too), and then you’re ready to dig in and enjoy!
While you already have tons of veggie goodness in our slow cooker eggplant lasagna, you may be looking for a side to round out your meal. Salads are always a good option, and we have a list of 6 Plant-Based Salad Dressings you may want to try. They are all quick, easy, and sure to be a hit with the family! We also think our Classic Italian Meatballs pair wonderfully with this veggie-rich dish!
Slow Cooker Eggplant Lasagna
- 2 eggplants peeled and sliced thin to resemble lasagna noodles
- 1 cup cottage cheese low-fat
- 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese low-fat
- 1 egg
- 24 ounces spaghetti sauce jar, sugar-free
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 bell pepper diced
- 1 onion diced
- Lay the eggplants out on paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and allow excess moisture in eggplants to drain for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese and egg in a bowl.
- Cover the bottom of the slow cooker with ¼ of the tomato sauce. Layer ¼ the eggplant slices, peppers, onions and cheese on top. Repeat the layer three more times (layering is as follows: sauce, eggplant, peppers, onions cheese).
- Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours or high for 2 to 3 hours.
Have you made this recipe?
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How do you cut down carbs in your favorite Italian recipes? Let us know in the comments section below!
If you enjoyed this slow cooker eggplant lasagna, we think you might also like to try:
- Italian Spaghetti Squash Casserole
- Low-Carb Eggplant Pizza Recipe
- Vegetarian Spinach Mushroom Lasagna