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Gluten-free Vegan Eggplant Lasagna

This vegan eggplant lasagna is a satisfying and hearty gluten-free main course full of Italian flavor. Made with a handful of simple ingredients, this vegetable lasagna is full of flavor and nutrients and is just perfect for a cozy family dinner.

Vegan Eggplant Lasagna on a Plate.

Why This Is The Best Vegan Eggplant Lasagna Recipe

If you are looking for a lighten-up version of a classic lasagna, this delicious vegetarian lasagna with eggplant checks all the boxes! It has all the flavor and textures of a hearty classic Italian dish without any dairy, cheese or noodles.

 You found the best vegan eggplant lasagna recipe, that is approved and devoured by meat eaters.

  • vegan and vegetarian;
  • dairy-free;
  • gluten-free;
  • easy to make;
  • packed with vegetables;
  • nutritious;
  • low carb;
  • healthy;
  • savory;
  • cheesy;
  • saucy;
  • delicious;
  • freezable;
  • great for meal prep.

To make this eggplant lasagna vegan you have to replace meat filling with tempeh, traditional béchamel sauce with vegan béchamel, and traditional parmesan cheese with vegan parmesan.

And of course if you are making lasagna without noodles, you need to replace it with sliced eggplant. We will pre-bake the eggplant noodles to ensure that the lasagna doesn’t get mushy and watery.

It has a very tender and soft texture, similar to regular lasagna noodles but much more nutrient-dense.

 

A Serving of Vegan Eggplant Lasagna Garnished with Parsley.

This plant based eggplant lasagna recipe is highly adaptable. You can use vegan ricotta instead of vegan béchamel, or experiment with fillings and use vegan bolognese or sautéed spinach. You can also use lasagna noodles instead of eggplant if you wish.

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can double it, make two lasagnas, and freeze the second one to enjoy later.

This hearty yet healthy low carb lasagna looks spectacular and is great for gatherings, as well as for meal prep. Make it on the weekend and enjoy leftovers throughout the week or take it to work for lunch.

Ingredients

  • eggplants;
  • tempeh;
  • olive oil;
  • carrots;
  • onion;
  • garlic;
  • marinara sauce;
  • Italian seasoning;
  • salt and pepper;
  • vegan béchamel sauce;
  • vegan parmesan;
  • parsley.

Ingredients for Vegetarian Eggplant Lasagna.

How to Cook Vegan Eggplant Lasagna

You can have a quick peak through the process shots in this vegan eggplant lasagna story.

1. Make vegan parmesan and vegan white sauce

My favorite vegan parmesan is made from macadamia nuts and a few other ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry. It’s very easy and delicious. Use leftovers for pesto pasta, stuffed mushrooms, vegan casseroles and so much more!

Make vegan béchamel sauce. If you want to make it gluten-free, please use gluten free flour blend or 1.5 tbsp rice flour and 1.5 tbsp tapioca flour. You would need the whole batch of sauce for this vegetarian eggplant lasagna.

If you made the white sauce ahead of time, you would need to reheat it later on, when you are done with the filling.

Vegan Parmesan and White Sauce for Lasagna.

2. Prep the eggplants

Preheat the oven to 400F or 200C.

Overripe, old or too large eggplants might be bitter. If you are worried that that’s the case, slice them, then salt them and allow them to drain for an hour before cooking. Remove excess liquid with a paper towel. I usually skip this step if I’m using fresh unbruised eggplants.

The best eggplants for this recipe have smooth skin and are small in size, as they tend to be sweeter and more flavorful.

Slice 3 large eggplants lengthwise with a very sharp knife. The eggplant noodles should be around 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) thick.

Keep the sides, you will need them later for the filling.

Lay them in a single layer on a baking tray (or two) with heatproof cooling rack on top.

Alternatively, you can bake them on parchment paper. But I found that they are less watery if you use the cooling rack.

If they don’t fit on one baking tray, bake them in batches.

Sprinkle with salt and bake for about 12 minutes on each side.

Salted Eggplant Noodles on a Baking Tray.

3. Make the filling

Heat olive oil a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Alternatively, use a few tablespoons of veggie broth for sautéeing to make it oil-free. 

Add chopped onion, finely chopped carrots and eggplant sides and sautée for one or two minutes.

Add tempeh crumbles (you can break a block of tempeh with your fingers or grind with a grinder) and minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

Prepped Veggies for Vegan Lasagna with Eggplant.

Add marinara sauce, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, stir and cover with a lid. Let it all cook for 10 more minutes or until the liquid is mostly adsorbed. 

You want the filling to be on the dry side, because the eggplants will release some more liquid and balance it all out.

Tempeh Filling for Eggplant Lasagna.

4. Assemble vegetable lasagna with eggplant

Spread the rest of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. I used 9 x 6 inch (23 x 16 cm) rectangular dish but you also can use a 13 x 9 inch (33 x 23 cm) dish or similar.

Top the sauce with eggplant noodles,  followed by the filling, white sauce and vegan parmesan. Repeat the layering until everything has been used.

If you are using a 9 x 6 inch dish, you would probably need 3 eggplant noodles per layer. In this case, you would use 1/3 of the noodles, 1/3 of the filling and 1/3 of the béchamel per layer. You will end up with 3 layers of eggplant, 3 layers of filling and 3 layers of béchamel and parmesan.

Assembling Vegan Eggplant Lasagna.

5. Bake

Cover the baking dish with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes or until it is bubbling and golden brown. If after 30 minutes, the top isn’t golden brown, broil it for a few minutes, making sure it doesn’t burn.

Allow it to cool and settle for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Use a long sharp knife or a chef’s knife to cut through eggplant layers.

Take out a portion of the lasagna from the dish by sliding a rubber spatula under each piece and lifting it up.

Garnish with fresh chopped parsley (or basil). Enjoy!You can use vegan ricotta instead of vegan béchamel, or experiment with fillings and use vegan bolognese or sautéed spinach. You can also use lasagna noodles instead of eggplant if you wish.

Baked Eggplant Lasagna in a Baking Dish.

Can you make it ahead?

Yes. Roast the eggplant, make the filling and the white sauce and store it all in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days. When ready to make, assemble your lasagna, and bake.

Alternatively, assemble it, store for up to 5 days in the fridge in a tin foil covered baking dish, bring to a room temperature and bake it when you are ready to eat it.

Can eggplant lasagna be frozen?

Yes. You can cut it into single portions and freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake it until heated through.

How to store leftovers?

Store leftover eggplant lasagna in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven when ready to eat.

Serving Options

Cook’s Tips

  • This lighten-up version of a classic lasagna has all the flavor and textures of a hearty classic Italian dish without any dairy, cheese or noodles.
  • This hearty yet healthy eggplant lasagna looks spectacular and is perfect for guests, as well as for meal prep. Make it on the weekend and enjoy leftovers throughout the week or take it to work for lunch.
  • Double this recipe, make two lasagnas, and freeze the second one to devour later. 
  • Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake it until heated through.
  • To avoid bitterness, use small eggplants with smooth skin, as they tend to be sweeter and more flavorful.
  • Bake the eggplant noodles in a single layer on a baking tray (or two) with heatproof cooling rack on top to make them less watery. Alternatively, bake them on parchment paper. If they don’t fit on one baking tray, bake them in batches.
  • To crumble tempeh, break a block of tempeh with your fingers or grind with a grinder.  You want the filling to be on the dry side, because the eggplants will release some more liquid and balance it all out.
  • Use a chef’s knife to cut through eggplant lasagne layers. Take out a portion from the dish by sliding a rubber spatula under each piece and lifting it up.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven when ready to eat.
  • Serve it with a side salad, roasted, grilled or steamed veggies (balsamic-glazed Brussels sprouts); Italian soups like vegan minestrone or zuppa Toscana; pasta; cauliflower rice; antipasto platter; crusty bread/garlic bread, focaccia or bread sticks; bruschetta or mushroom crostini; appetizers like stuffed mushrooms or eggplant rolls.

Gluten-Free Eggplant Lasagna on a Plate.

Recipe Variations

  • To make this lasagna oil-free, use a few tablespoons of veggie broth for sautéeing instead of olive oil. 
  • To make it gluten-free, use gluten free flour blend or 1.5 tbsp rice flour and 1.5 tbsp tapioca flour when making vegan white sauce.
  • Use vegan ricotta instead of vegan béchamel if you wish.
  • Try vegan bolognese or sautéed spinach as a filling.
  • Replace eggplant with zucchini or regular lasagna noodles if you wish.
  • You can peel the eggplants if you prefer.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs of your choice instead of parsley. You can also serve it with vegan pesto on top for extra flavor.

Recipes similar to vegan eggplant lasagna

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5 from 1 vote

Gluten-free Vegan Eggplant Lasagna

This vegan eggplant lasagna is a hearty yet healthy gluten-free dish full of Italian flavor and nutrients and is just perfect for a family dinner, meal prep lunch or guest gathering.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword eggplant lasagna, gluten-free lasagna, low carb lasagna, vegan eggplant lasagna, vegan lasagna, vegetarian eggplant lasagna, vegetarian lasagna
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 189kcal
$8

Ingredients

  • 3 medium-sized eggplants
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 large white onion
  • 7 oz or 200 g tempeh
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 14 oz or 400 g can marinara sauce
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 batch vegan béchamel sauce
  • 1/2 batch vegan parmesan
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

Instructions

Make vegan parmesan and vegan white sauce

Prep the eggplants

  • Preheat the oven to 400F or 200C.
    Slice 3 large eggplants lengthwise with a very sharp knife. The eggplant noodles should be around 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) thick.
    Keep the sides, you will need them later for the filling.
    Lay them in a single layer on a baking tray (or two) with heatproof cooling rack on top.
    Alternatively, you can bake them on parchment paper. But I found that they are less watery if you use the cooling rack.
    If they don't fit on one baking tray, bake them in batches.
    Sprinkle with salt and bake for about 12 minutes on each side.

Make the filling

  • Heat olive oil a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat.Alternatively, use a few tablespoons of veggie broth for sautéeing to make it oil-free. 
    Add chopped onion, finely chopped carrots and eggplant sides and sautée for one or two minutes.
    Add tempeh crumbles (you can break a block of tempeh with your fingers or grind with a grinder) and minced garlic. Cook for about 5minutes, stirring occasionally.
    Add marinara sauce, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, stir and cover with a lid. Let it all cook for 10more minutes or until the liquid is mostly adsorbed. 
    You want the filling to be on the dry side, because the eggplants will release some more liquid and balance it all out.

Assemble vegetable lasagna with eggplant

  • Spread the rest of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. I used 9 x 6 inch (23 x 16 cm) rectangular dish but you also can use a 13 x 9 inch (33 x 23 cm) dish or similar.
    Top the sauce with eggplant noodles,  followed by the filling,white sauce and vegan parmesan. Repeat the layering until everything has been used.
    If you are using a 9 x 6 inch dish, you would probably need 3eggplant noodles per layer. In this case, you would use 1/3 of the noodles, 1/3of the filling and 1/3 of the béchamel per layer. You will end up with 3 layers of eggplant, 3 layers of filling and 3 layers of béchamel and parmesan.

Bake

  • Cover the baking dish with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes or until it is bubbling and golden brown. If after 30 minutes, the top isn’t golden brown, broil it for a few minutes, making sure it doesn't burn.
    Allow it to cool and settle for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Use a long sharp knife or a chef's knife to cut through eggplant layers.
    Take out a portion of the lasagna from the dish by sliding a rubber spatula under each piece and lifting it up.
    Garnish with fresh chopped parsley (or basil). Enjoy!

Notes

Cook's Tips

  • This lighten-up version of a classic lasagna has all the flavor and textures of a hearty classic Italian dish without any dairy, cheese or noodles.
  • This hearty yet healthy eggplant lasagna looks spectacular and is perfect for guests, as well as for meal prep. Make it on the weekend and enjoy leftovers throughout the week or take it to work for lunch.
  • Double this recipe, make two lasagnas, and freeze the second one to devour later. 
  • Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and bake it until heated through.
  • To avoid bitterness, use small eggplants with smooth skin, as they tend to be sweeter and more flavorful.
  • Bake the eggplant noodles in a single layer on a baking tray (or two) with heatproof cooling rack on top to make them less watery. Alternatively, bake them on parchment paper. If they don't fit on one baking tray, bake them in batches.
  • To crumble tempeh, break a block of tempeh with your fingers or grind with a grinder.  You want the filling to be on the dry side, because the eggplants will release some more liquid and balance it all out.
  • Use a chef's knife to cut through eggplant lasagne layers. Take out a portion from the dish by sliding a rubber spatula under each piece and lifting it up.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven when ready to eat.
  • Serve it with a side salad, roasted, grilled or steamed veggies (balsamic-glazed Brussels sprouts); Italian soups like vegan minestrone or zuppa Toscana; pasta; cauliflower rice; antipasto platter; crusty bread/garlic bread, focaccia or bread sticks; bruschetta or mushroom crostini; appetizers like stuffed mushrooms or eggplant rolls.

Recipe Variations

  • To make this lasagna oil-free, use a few tablespoons of veggie broth for sautéeing instead of olive oil. 
  • To make it gluten-free, use gluten free flour blend or 1.5 tbsp rice flour and 1.5 tbsp tapioca flour when making vegan white sauce.
  • Use vegan ricotta instead of vegan béchamel if you wish.
  • Try vegan bolognese or sautéed spinach as a filling.
  • Replace eggplant with zucchini or regular lasagna noodles if you wish.
  • You can peel the eggplants if you prefer.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs of your choice instead of parsley. You can also serve it with vegan pesto on top for extra flavor.

Equipment

cutting board
skillet
blender
rubber spatula
measuring spoons
baking tray

Nutrition

Calories: 189kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 797mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 3521IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 88mg | Iron: 2mg
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Vegan Eggplant Lasagna Pinterest Pin.
Recipe Rating




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About Elena Szeliga

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Elena Szeliga is the founder of Happy Kitchen.Rocks, where she shares delicious and healthy vegetarian and vegan food, from weeknight dinners to veganized classics and gourmet appetizers. Her recipes have been featured at Better Homes & Gardens, BuzzFeed, Country Living, The Kitchn and Reader’s Digest. Her mission is to help cook easy vegetarian and vegan meals with simple and fresh ingredients. Read more about Elena.

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