This dish was dreamt up while flying home from a restful vacation to close out 2020. Not always does a dish come out as perfect as I had imagined, but this one certainly did! You can make it a day in advance by assembling all 3 components, and then cook it the next night for dinner!
There are 3 components to this dish but they're all very easy and manageable.
First Component: Eggplant "Noodles"
There are no noodles in this dish, instead, I used eggplant to act as the noodle.
2 eggplants, sliced into 1/4 inch thick rounds
Avocado Oil Spray
Lay the eggplant out on 2 baking sheets and generously salt both sides of each round. Allow them to sit at room temperature for an hour to allow the moisture to sweat out.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Pat each eggplant round completely dry with paper towels. Season both sides with pepper and spray with avocado oil. Place the rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet and allow to roast for 30-45 minutes until browned, flipping halfway.
Set aside until you're ready to assemble Tip: This portion can be made up to a day ahead and stored in the fridge until you're ready to assemble your lasagna.
Second Component: Meat Filling
1 lb of ground turkey
2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
1/2 cup of mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
2 cups of Rao's Marinara Sauce
3 cups of baby spinach
1/4 cup of fresh basil, julienned
Pat the outside of the ground turkey dry and season all over with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.
Heat olive oil in a large 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, for 5-7 minutes until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown.
Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute.
Pour the marinara sauce into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 10 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, add the baby spinach and fresh basil and stir until the spinach has wilted into the sauce.
Once the meat sauce is done, set it aside until you're ready to assemble. Tip: This can be made up to a day ahead and stored in the fridge until ready to assemble your lasagna.
Third Component: Cheese filling
1/2 cup of Ricotta
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup of cottage cheese
1/4 cup of freshly cut basil, julienned
Stir until combined. Set aside until you're ready to assemble.
That was a tough component, treat yourself to a glass of wine!
Assembling your Lasagna
Now you're ready to combine the 3 components to assemble your lasagna! If you're baking it now, preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Additional ingredients for assembly:
More Rao's marinara sauce
Chickpea or Panko breadcrumbs
First, add about 1 cup of Rao's marinara to the bottom of the dish. Then cover the sauce with a single layer of each of your eggplant, ground turkey mixture, and the cheese mixture.
Repeat those layers a second time and then top with a layer of eggplant, Rao's marinara, a sprinkle of mozzarella shreds, and chickpea breadcrumbs or Panko for crunch. You can place this in the fridge to cook the next day or go ahead and put it in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Top with fresh basil and enjoy!