Slow Cooker Eggplant Lasagna is my newest creation and is perfect for busy weeknight dinner during the summer. Yes, you heard me right, this is a perfect dinner for the summer. Why? Because eggplant is in season and is most flavorful this time of the year. In that you don’t want to fire up your oven this time of year, the slow cooker will substitute perfectly for you. And if you’re like me, and like to grow your herbs over the summer, you’ll have plenty of fresh basil.
This dish comes together really quickly. For it, I used:
- Fresh eggplant;
- ‘No boil’ lasagna noodles;
- Store bought marinara sauce;
- Part skim, ricotta cheese;
- Shredded cheese blend;
- Parmesan cheese;
- Basil; and
- Salt & pepper.
It’s super simple. You’ll need to slice up the eggplant first and salt them on one side – wait 10 minutes – turn and salt on the other side – wait another 10 minutes – rinse it, and you are ready to assemble your Slow Cooker Lasagna. I provide a detailed description with step by step photos in the recipe below.
When Summer finally arrives I really like to utilize the seasonal ingredients which are so bountiful. One of my go-to dishes, using vegetables straight from the farmer’s market, is this Hungarian Lescho (Tomato and Peppers Stew), but I also love this wonderful Turkish Inspired Eggplant too, which is seasoned with cinnamon and topped with feta. As the summer winds on, and when tomatoes are ripest, I need to make my absolute favorite pasta dish: Penne Alla Vecchia Bettola. It’s an Italian pasta with vodka sauce – but I used fresh tomatoes from my garden. This is one of the most popular recipes on this blog so you may also want to check this out.
In addition to incorporating seasonal ingredients, I also love using slow cooker in the summer. It can accomplish the same tasks as the oven, but prevents the entire house from heating up too. Another awesome thing about a slow cooker is that you don’t have to watch it (& let me not trivialize this point….it’s huge!). Just set it up, and walk away. Whenever you come back, your dinner is ready to serve. Below I listed some other slow cooker recipes that are very popular on this blog (& in my house). Check them out! They will make your life easier during the busy weeknight meals.
Oh and you can read about the origin of lasagna on Wikipedia.
Slow Cooker Eggplant Lasagna
- 1 lb eggplant medium size
- 8 oz lasagna noodles - 12 noodles
- 15 oz Ricotta Cheese
- 1 egg
- 4 cups Marinara Sauce
- 1 cup cheese shredded, mozzarella or blend
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
- 2 tbsp basil fresh, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic small or 2 big ones
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- Cut up the eggplant in slices (1/4 inch thick) and arrange them in a single layer on a rack. Sprinkle with salt. Wait 10 minutes, turn and repeat the process. Rinse the eggplant slices and dry out with paper towel;
- In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, basil and 1/4 cup of Parmesan Cheese and taste. Add salt and pepper if needed. Add egg and mix well together;
- Spray the slow cooker (6 QT) with cooking spray, and begin layering by adding 3/4 cup of Marinara sauce first;
- Add 4 noodles, break them if needed;
- Add half of Ricotta cheese mixture;
- Add about 8 slices of eggplant;
- Add one cup of Marinara Sauce
- Add 4 noodles;
- Add the other half of Ricotta mixture; Sprinkle 1/3 cup of shredded cheese;
- Add 8 slices of eggplant;
- Add one cup of Marinara Sauce;
- Add 1/3 shredded cheese and Parmesan cheese
- Add 4 noodles;
- Add remaining Marinara sauce and cover;
- Cook on high for 2 to 2.5 hours or on low for 4-5 hours;
- Add the remaining shredded cheese, cover and let the cheese melt;
- Open and let stand for 15 minutes before serving; Sprinkle with fresh basil
- I used 1 cup of shredded cheese but if you like it cheesier feel free to add more on top.
You can accompany this summer recipe with my other summer staple: Horiatiki Salad with Golden Greek Peperoncini + you can enter to win Meal Kit for two, from CHEF’D.
Other amazing slow cooker recipes: