Chicken-Eggplant Lasagna (Gluten- and Dairy-Free; Paleo-Friendly)

I’m human, so I love lasagna. Seriously, I think our church, which serves lunch every single Sunday, has frozen Stouffer’s lasagna about once a month, without complaint from anyone, at least not that I’ve heard of.

I’ve also made it quite a few times at home, which I love because I can make it the way I prefer, with a few health-oriented adjustments like whole-wheat lasagna noodles, lean ground turkey, and no ricotta cheese layer. Still delicious, but a little more wholesome. But even then, I have to say that I can’t help but feel a little guilty when I’m eating a lasagna. Because no matter what, you can’t really get around the fact that the base ingredients tend to be on the heavy side–pasta and meat.


This chicken-eggplant lasagna was my attempt to lighten up this favorite comfort food of ours. Using roasted eggplant slices instead of pasta is a delicious way to get around the heavy carbs and add a little more texture and flavor to this dish. And instead of ground meat, thinly-sliced chicken breast adds the protein here, a lean alternative that you can be sure doesn’t contain any strange animal parts or excess fat.

But the surprise hit for me with this dish was the bell pepper-mushroom-onion mixture that I concocted, inspired by the creamy ricotta layer traditionally present in lasagne. It was smooth and flavorful, and made all the difference for the success of this dish. I used enoki mushrooms here, and I was surprised at how much texture those little bits of mushroom added to the lasagna. I may even have had a “lick-the-plate” moment when we were eating this, thanks in large part to those delicious little veggies.

This dish was a hit: delicious and filling, but nutritious and healthy. Incidentally, it’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo-friendly, if any of those labels mean something to you. I could even envision leaving out the chicken for an edition of Meatless Monday.

So basically, this eggplant lasagna is pretty much guilt-free–which is probably why my husband and I polished off a whole 8 x 8 inch tray of this by ourselves the other night. And felt great afterwards. Now when can you ever say that about your usual lasagna?