With my new job, I am excited to have lunch provided for me for free twice a week (Mondays and Fridays!). For other days however, I have been looking for some lunch (and even sometimes dinner) options that I can make myself at the beginning of the week, that are (relatively) healthy, that keep well, and don’t cost an arm and a leg.
This is my first attempt at pre-planning my lunches for the week – since lasagna freezes/keeps really well, I figured that this would be a great option. I love eggplant, and I’ve recently been really intrigued by how quick and painless it is to make ground turkey on the stovetop, which is why I decided to add meat (many of my recipes end up being unintentionally vegetarian).
So without further ado… healthy Eggplant Turkey Lasagna! I’ve now got ~7 healthy lunch and/or dinner alternatives to Chipotle/Noodles. But let’s be real – I will never hate on Chipotle or Noodles and Co. (separate post on these obsessions TBD).
- Olive Oil
- Garlic Salt
- 1 large Eggplant
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 small garlic cloves
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 package no-boil lasagna noodles
- 15 oz. Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
- 10 oz. Low Moisture, Part-Skim Shredded Mozzarella
- 15oz fresh ricotta cheese
- 3 Cups of your favorite pasta sauce (~1 jar)
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (if canned, then no salt added, or can do fresh tomatoes)
First, roast the eggplant:
- Heat oven to 350 degrees
- Cut the eggplant into slices, toss slices in salt, pepper, and olive oil
- Place on foil lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes (turning slices halfway through).
- Take eggplant out of the oven, set aside.
While the eggplant is in the oven, you can start prepping the meat sauce:
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add onions and heat until they are opaque and starting to brown
- Add freshly minced garlic
- Add garlic salt
- Sauté for 2 minutes
- Add ground turkey to pan, pushing apart meat until it starts to brown.
- Add 1/4 cup water and turn down heat to medium-low. Simmer for 5 minutes or until meat is fully cooked.
- Mix in 2 cups of pasta sauce (reserve the remaining 1 cup), and 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes.
- Turn off heat
In medium sized bowl, stir ricotta cheese, 3/4 of the mozzarella cheese, salt, and pepper.
At the bottom of your lasagna pan, spread the remaining cup of pasta sauce into a thin layer that covers the bottom of the pan.
Place the first layer of lasagna noodles lengthwise at the bottom of the pan, they can be slightly overlapping.
Spread half of the ricotta mixture in a thin, even layer over the noodles.
Spoon 1/3 of meat sauce mixture overtop of the ricotta mixture.
Layer half of your eggplant slices on top of the meat sauce.
Pro Tip: When you’re layering, make sure that no noodles are sticking out of the sides uncovered – since they are no-cook noodles, the edges will not cook and will turn out hard (since they are not boiling in any of the liquid, aka the sauce in this case). Make sure they are covered in sauce, or just place the noodles closer to the middle of the lasagna.
Add another layer of noodles, and repeat the previous process.
FYI: At this point, I would have put a third layer of noodles and then sauce/cheese, but I didn’t quite have enough sauce left to cover the noodle layer – so I left it out and just dumped the rest of the sauce on top with some more eggplant, and then topped it off with an even layer of the remaining mozzarella cheese. If you have enough sauce left, feel free to add an extra layer!
Cover in tin foil, bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove foil, bake for another 20 minutes, or until the cheese and edges start to brown.
Remove from oven and wait 10-15 minutes to cool, slice into pieces.
I am planning to save the majority of the lasagna to eat at a later date, so I’m going to freeze half of it and then put the other half in the refrigerator for this week.
I cut it into individual serving sized pieces, wrapped each one in plastic wrap, and then placed it in a little sandwich baggy and stuck it in the fridge (for this week) or freezer (for long term).
- Preheat Oven to 400 degrees
- Place lasagna in an oven-safe dish and cover with tin foil.
- Heat until it begins to sizzle internally (check every 15 min).
- Once the inside is sizzling, take the foil off and continue to bake for 10 minutes until the top is brown.
- Let cool for 10 minutes.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place on microwave-safe plate or bowl.
- Use the defrost setting on your microwave and defrost for ~3 minutes.
- Once thawed, put the lasagna back in the microwave and cook on high for 2-3 minutes.