Even though I am long finished my school years, I still get those butterflies in my stomach come labour day. In past years I chalked this up to simply some nostalgic feeling – missing my high school and university days. But this labour day was different. These anxious knots in my stomach were due to the start of a different kind of school year – the first day of day care for my almost one year old daughter.
After a wonderful year together, it is time she begins her school days. And soon after I will return to work – days will now be filled with a different kind of busy and I think getting dinner on the table for the whole family at the early hour of 5:30 will be even more challenging. And that is where this recipe comes in.
This lasagna stuffed eggplant is the perfect make ahead meal to help your back to school transition come and go with ease. Each of the components can be made a head of time and then assembled before eating or you can stuff and bake each lasagna boat and simply reheat it right before eating.
One of the best parts of this recipe is the roasted garlic topping. If you haven’t tasted the sweet flesh of roasted garlic, be ready to have your mind blown!
Just like our lasagna stuffed spaghetti squash, this meal takes a traditional dish and adds a creative and healthy spin to it. They are easy enough for the back to school rush and fancy enough for your first fall dinner party.
The back to school transition, or really any change for that matter is never easy. So make at least dinner time easier and cook up a batch of cheesy stuffed eggplant. It’s what I did!
Lasagna Stuffed Eggplant
||6 eggplant halves|
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest
- 3 eggplant (halved)
- 1 head garlic
- 2 Tbsp dried basil
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
- 1/8 Tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion (chopped)
- 2 zucchinis (chopped)
- 2 red peppers (chopped)
- 1 Tsp dried thyme
- 1 Package yves ground round
- 1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tsp dried oregano
- 1 Tsp dried basil
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 Ball fresh mozzarella (sliced)
This vegetarian dish is delicious on its own, but also pairs well with a side of pasta or salad. If you like things extra spicy, add an extra pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauce when you add the other spices. All of the components of this dish can be prepared ahead of time and assembled just before serving, making this a great make ahead meal.
||Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Cut off the top portion of the garlic head and wrap the whole head in foil. Season the eggplant with salt and pepper and place the eggplant cut side down on the baking sheet along with the wrapped head of garlic. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the eggplant and garlic are tender. |
||Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and add onion. Cook until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the red peppers, zucchini, dried thyme and cook until vegetables are soft, about another 5 minutes. |
||Add ground round and break it up with a spatula. Add tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, dried oregano, and basil and cook for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until slightly reduced and thickened, about 10-15 minutes. |
||Once garlic and eggplant are done, remove from oven and squeeze garlic pulp into a small bowl. Add 2 tbsp dried basil, parmesan, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. |
||Flip eggplants over and evenly spread with roasted garlic mixture. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes. Top eggplants evenly with tomato sauce and cover with slices of mozzarella cheese. Place in the oven until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly, about 10-15 minutes. |