Eggplant Lasagna with Ricotta and Cashew Cheese

This dish was totes inspired by my desire to start liking eggplant. I don’t hate eggplant. But if someone said–here, you can have this eggplant for dinner or you can have this *insert almost any other plant here*.  I would no doubt choose the other plant.eggplantlasagna-7588-1 Part of my indifference to eggplant is that I just don’t know what to do with the big purple bulby plant. So my first, yes first, foray into cooking with it was to make the most clichéd eggplant-y dish ever. Cheesy eggplant lasagna. This dish is stacks on stacks of earthy, tender eggplant with basil ricotta, cashew cheese and tomato marinara sauce stuffed in between. A crusty layer of panko crumbs offers a nice textural contrast to the tender eggplant. eggplantlasagna-7521-2 Since I already had my cashew cheese made and used store bought marinara sauce, it wasn’t too difficult or time consuming to put this together.  And layering lasagna is always fun!

eggplantlasagna-7544-3

Eggplant Lasagna with Ricotta and Cashew Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • about 5 1/4 cups of tofu ricotta (I did 1.5X the basil-ricotta recipe in Isa’s Veganomicon. Don’t have Veganomicon? Just google “tofu ricotta” and pick a recipe that looks good!)
  • 1/2 cup of cashew cheese
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • oil (for sauteeing eggplant)
  • 1 jar of marinara sauce
  • panko bread crumbs for sprinkling on top
  • 3 tomato slices (optional)

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Directions

Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare the tofu ricotta. Stir the cashew cheese and spinach leaves into the ricotta. Next slice the eggplant lengthwise into thin layers. In a pan lightly coated with oil, cook the eggplant slices until lightly browned and mostly soft on each side (~5 minutes each side). Now it’s time to layer everything in a 2.2 qt glass baking dish (7×11). This is how I did the layers: marinara on the bottom, eggplant, ricotta-cashew cheese, eggplant, ricotta-cashew cheese, marinara, eggplant, ricotta-cashew cheese, eggplant, lots of marinara and panko bread crumbs. eggplantlasagna-7573-5 Then I placed three slices of tomatoes brushed with a little oil on top. I baked this for 30 minutes covered with foil and then about another 30 minutes without foil. Cooking times may vary depending on your oven and how thick your eggplants are sliced. I checked the tenderness by sticking a bamboo skewer in the eggplant slices. I considered it done when the skewer easily went through all the layers. eggplantlasagna-7593-6 Was this dish enough to change my mind about eggplant? Well I bought another purple beauty this week and I’ve got my mind set on some eggplant fries.

What’s your favorite way to cook eggplant?

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86 thoughts on “Eggplant Lasagna with Ricotta and Cashew Cheese

  1. veganmiam.com

    What a beautiful dish! I love the way you placed the cashews against the dark wood. I’m not a huge fan of eggplants, but I like them hidden in dishes such as lasagna, plus love Asian dishes that involve eggplants (maybe the garlicky black bean sauce).

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Oh, gawsh, eggplants in garlicky black bean sauce sound divine. I think I’m beginning to like eggplant as long as it’s cooked nice and tender and like soaked to death in some amazing sauce or flavor :-)

      Reply
  2. Hannah

    Obviously everything about this lasagna sounds and looks incredible. However, I feel like it *needs* to be mentioned again that the eggplant, spinach and cashew photo is effing gorgeous!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Aww, thanks!!! And I’m glad that I can comment on your deliciousness over at housevegan finally! I had been wanting to comment on those cronuts for ages. Good lookin’ stuff.

      Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      I’m beginning to realize that there are actually a lot of us that are kinda “enh” about eggplant. This lasagna was delicious (I mean, smothered in ricotta and cashew cheese right?), but I’m still not head over heels in love with eggplant. It was enough to want me to continue experimenting with it though. I’ve got some eggplant “fries” going in the oven.

      Reply
  3. Maggie Muggins

    Yeah, I’m with you on the eggplant, it’s not that I hate it, it’s just that it’s a vile vegetable that I want nothing to do with ;) But then again, I will eat just about anything if you smother it in ricotta and cashew cheese, this may just convert me.

    Reply
  4. Cadry's Kitchen

    Eggplant fries?! I’m so intrigued! I’ve never heard of those. My main eggplant delivery system is baba ganoush. I eat that multiple times a week, but I usually buy it already made. (Cheating!) I still don’t feel I have adequately mastered eggplant. Sometimes it turns out beautifully, and other times, not so much. Your lasagna looks so gorgeous, though. I may need to take another stab at it!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thanks Cadry! Ooh, I forgot that baba ganoush is eggplant. I love that stuff, but don’t eat it that often. And buying it made is totally not cheating! I am not in love with eggplant yet, but after this lasagna I’m willing to experiment more with it.

      Reply
  5. Pingback: A Little of This & A Little of That: Tuesday MoFo RoundUp | VeganMoFo

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Cool beans! I am beginning to see that actually many people do not like eggplant, but I’m glad your mom does! I’m still on the fence about it. The lasagna was delicious though so I’m wanting to try out more eggplant dishes. Do you or your mom have any suggestions?

      Reply
  6. Susmitha - Veganosaurus

    Oh wow! That is the most beautiful dish I have seen on MoFo so far!!!

    I like eggplant a lot but I’ve never cooked with it because hubby can’t stand it and I never see a point in cooking just for one. But your lasagne makes me think, this’ll be worth cooking just for myself.

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thank you!! Sometimes cooking for one is not fun, but sometimes if Neal is out of town I just wanna eat good food so I gotta cook! Plus, I get all the good foods to myself then :-P

      Reply
  7. Mel

    This looks so delicious and such gorgeous photos! I’m a big fan of eggplant when it’s soft and velvety but don’t love it as much if it’s just thrown into a stew.

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Aw, thank you!!I absolutely agree with you about the texture thing.Texture is a big deal for me and I love things to be soft and tender. Basically, I hate chewing my food :-P

      Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Dinners are great when you can just grab the ingredients from a garden. Do you have your own? I so want one of my own one day but I totally suck at growing plants. I don’t suck at eating them though :-)

      Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thanks Seth! I can’t believe I ended up on the vegan mofo page. How awesome! There are sooooo many great blogs participating that it is getting a little overwhelming so I’ve been using randomofo.com to peruse them.

      Reply
  8. Ariel

    This looks fantastic! I’ll try making it and it will be my first venture into a vegan lasagna, but I am not a big fan of tofu. It has nothing to do with its lack of taste…I do not like the product in general. I also have not tried cashew cheese on its own (YET) but would it be too much without the ricotta and just layering with some grain pasta? Thank you!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Hmmm, it might be a bit too rich just to have cashew cheese filling which I can’t believe I’m saying given my love for cashew cheese. However, you could try mixing the cashew cheese with something else like roasted butternut squash or even pumpkin. I have used both! Check out my recipe tab and look for “cheesy butternut squash stuffed shells” and “pumpkin cheese ravioli” to see what I am talking about. I think this might be a better alternative to just using cashew cheese. I hope this helps! Let me know how it goes and thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! Gives me warm fuzzies!

      Reply
      1. Ariel

        thank you for the suggestions. the other recipes look great. while looking around the idea of roasted cauliflower also popped into my mind for a more crumbly texture. i’ll give it a whirl this weekend. thanks again!

        Reply
  9. veganadian

    Lucky for me, I have all of the ingredients listed! Expect the cashew cheese which I will be preparing tomorrow! How exciting! :) Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!
    oxo,
    Holly

    Reply
  10. Autumn

    I feel the same way about eggplant and I always get a ton in my CSA box! Blergh! Your lasagna looks delicious though and you can never go wrong with cashew cheese, so I’m definitely bookmarking this for my next CSA eggplant!

    Reply
  11. cookeasyvegan

    This looks like the perfect casserole to serve at our next family dinner. It looks beautiful and sounds delicious.

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Awesome! I hope they like eggplant. I’m beginning to realize that not everybody does. The lasagna was delicious (as Maggie Muffins pointed out, how could it not be when it’s smothered in ricotta and cashew cheese), but I’m still not over the moon about eggplant. It was enough for me to want to continue experiment cooking with it though.

      Reply
  12. Tobias Milton

    This looks delicious!

    Eggplant takes a while to get in to, if you have a texture issue. A few suggestions: 1) Try a moussaka, it’s not that far off of this, actually. 2) Slice and marinate your eggplant in olive oil for an hour (it’ll soak it up like a sponge) and then grill with some sea salt and a bit of cayenne or pepper. I like to do a stack of grilled sweet potato slices marinated in oil, chili powder, brown sugar and cayenne and alternate sweet potato/eggplant. 3) Also, try asian or ‘oriental’ eggplant, as it’s smaller and the ratio of yummy skin to mucousy middle is much lower.

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Hi Tobias! Yes, it is most definitely a texture issue. But, surprisingly I like the mucousy middle more than the skin. It’s just that the eggplant has to be cooked just right to get that melt in my mouth tenderness that I like. I am still trying out different ways to prepare it so THANKS so much for all the wonderful suggestions! The stacks on stacks of grilled sweet potato with the eggplant sounds divine! I made eggplant “fries” the other night and I really liked those (I did peel the skin off) so I’m definitely coming around to the aubergine. Thank you for dropping by the blog and commenting! I love hearing and learning from readers so much!

      ~Ketty

      Reply
  13. flickingthevs

    I have a bit of a love hate thing with eggplant, but nowadays, it’s love! (Anything that makes it go that weird grey colour = hate!) Your lasagne looks delicious – I bet it could make anyone forgive eggplant all its sins!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      I’m beginning to love eggplant more and more as I experiment with it. It has found it’s way into my shopping cart twice more since making the lasagna! And I agree that color can be a huge turnoff in a dish even if it doesn’t affect the taste at all.

      Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      I’m totally coming around to the plant as well. I’ve bought it twice more since making the lasagna. I am becoming a bit obsessed with it and Neal is telling me “you know you don’t have to put eggplant in everything”. lol.

      Reply
  14. mrsnikkiv

    I’ve been meaning to figure out how to cook with eggplant and this looks awesome! I also haven’t attempted a cashew cheese before, so I have to give this a try.

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Since this first foray into aubergine territory, I’m becoming a bit obsessed with the purple plant. The cashew cheese is definitely something I eat on a regular basis, because it gives me my creamy cheesy fix.

      Reply
  15. Oil City Vegan

    My wife used your recipe, with a slight twist, and it was amazing. This recipe will change the minds of those that aren’t down with the eggplant. She didn’t have tofu, but used daiya vegan cheese instead and it made a creamy sticky layer that contrasted with the thick cashew layer. The tomatoes on top were so nice. I’ll make this again! Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      This gives me such warm fuzzies! Thanks for letting me know you tried it out. And I can only imagine how amazingly cheesy and comforting it must have been with that Daiya! Since making the lasagna, I’ve been experimenting more and more with eggplant and I’m beginning to fall in love with it.

      Reply
  16. Iryna

    Hi, I just have a quick question – I googled the recipe for the tofu ricotta cheese and found one from Veganomicon- and it seems that you need to use 3lbs of tofu to create 6 cups of tofu ricotta cheese, which seems like a lot of tofu for one recipe – is that how much tofu you have used in yours? Looking forward to making this tonight.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Oh my geez, I really need an editor! I just looked back at my notes and realized that I did 1.5X the tofu ricotta recipe (not 2x). So it should roughly make about 5 cups of ricotta (not 7!). I just corrected it. Oh man, I hope that doesn’t trip up too many people. Thanks for bringing it to my attention :-)

      I used that much ricotta because I wanted my layers to be super thick :-) I am not sure if 5 cups of ricotta is equal to 3 lbs of tofu or not. I followed the Veganomicon recipe exactly. I hope this helps, but if it doesn’t please don’t hesitate to ask more questions. Thanks for stopping by and let me know how it goes!

      Reply
  17. Unprocessed People

    Holy Popular post. I had to take quite the stroll down scroll-ville to leave a comment! This. Looks. Amaze-balls. I have never made anything eggplant, because, quite frankly, it intimidates the heck out of me. But this might be a reason to try!

    Reply
    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Thank you!! This, as mentioned in the post, was my first time cooking eggplant myself. Since then, I have experimented with eggplant at home at least four more times. I even ate eggplant like for three meals in a row. So that meal was the starter for my slight obsession with the stuff. :-)

      Reply
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