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I tested out my new Le Creuset bakeware by preparing this delicious lasagna last week. The recipe is from an old Everyday Food, which listed out a light and rich way to make each lasagna. If only my diet could afford this:

But the light version was just as tasty, it was surprising how little cheese actually went into the dish. The eggplant really helped create that creamy texture you love about lasagna, and you didn’t even notice it didn’t have any ricotta!

It’s also a great make-ahead dish, I make two of these on a Tuesday–freezing one of them. It took less than an hour, and then the next night Chris was on hand to bake it while I worked out. Nothing is better than coming home from the gym to a delicious meal, and this is definitely a keeper.

Light Beef and Eggplant Lasagna

  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 5 cups prepared pasta sauce
  • 8 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan (3 1/4 ounces)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in middle and upper third. Divide eggplant between two rimmed baking sheets. Toss each with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until tender, 20 minutes, stirring eggplant and rotating sheets halfway through. Let sheets cool on wire racks.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through, 4 minutes. Add allspice, mint, and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 3 minutes. Transfer beef to a medium bowl.
  3. Spread 1 cup sauce in an 8-inch square baking dish. Top with 2 noodles. Layer with half the beef, then 1 cup sauce and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Top with 2 more noodles, half the eggplant, 1 cup sauce, and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients, reserving the last 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  4. Cover lasagna loosely with foil and bake on top rack until sauce is bubbling, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove lasagna from oven and heat broiler. Sprinkle with reserved Parmesan and broil until cheese is browned and bubbling, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before slicing.