There was a period in my life when I made eggplant caponata weekly and found ways to integrate it into every meal. Somehow, the thought of a vegetarian eggplant lasagna never crossed my mind. Which means I have been missing out on an insanely delicious dish for far too many years.
When I asked you guys recently on my Instagram stories what recipes you wanted to see, there was an overwhelming request for low FODMAP vegetarian lasagna. In fact, plant-based SIBO recipes seems to be a big need in this community. Obviously, I got your back!
I always love using mushrooms or eggplant as an Italian meat sauce substitution (spy this bolognese). Since only the latter is low FODMAP, I thought it would be perfect to layer in a vegetarian lasagna to give it that fullness and heft.
The caponata itself has its own built-in flavor bombs that might seem weird in a lasagna, but you will thank me once you try it. A little balsamic vinegar and golden raisins gives the antipasti that perfect balance between sweet and sour. I promise every bite you get one of those raisins you will be pleasantly surprised.
For this version, since it’s low FODMAP and a little skimpier on the cheese, I wanted to add even more veggies to the eggplant lasagna. Frozen kale was the perfect background green for the caponata. You can easily use fresh kale, but I love the pantry hack of always having a bag of frozen spinach or kale around for dishes like this. The pre-chopped variety always melts away into sauces and fillings.
As for the lactose element of this low FODMAP lasagna, you can get away with a 1.4 ounce serving of shredded mozzarella. Most pre-shredded bags come in 5 or 6 ounce portions, so this actually works perfectly for a large lasagna, divided into 4-6 portions. I love the look of fresh mozzarella roughly torn on top of a lasagna, so I did a mix of the two.
Since they had it at the store, I used a almond-based ricotta to slather on the noodles. You can easily omit this if you can’t find it—I make lasagna all the time without the ricotta element and it always is delicious and hardy.
You can also use all lactose-free or plant-based cheese to make this vegan and dairy-free. Just avoid anything that’s cashew-based if staying low FODMAP. This brand is great for mozzarella.
Finally, for the gluten-free lasagna noodles, I love these no-bake paleo sheets that can be found in the freezer section. If you’re using another type of hard noodles, make sure to read the instructions on the back of the box as you may need to cook the whole lasagna for longer (or add more liquid) to satisfy the no-bake method.
I know there are some hard lines around lactose for certain people, and others that argue about its inflammatory qualities. But cheese is something that I keep in my life in moderation because of dishes like this vegetarian eggplant lasagna. If you don’t use too heavy a hand and moderate your portions, you don’t have to end up a bloated gassy mess. That is one of the beauties of the low FODMAP diet is teaching that type of moderation, even if remembering quantities like 1.4 ounces of mozzarella is annoying and unrealistic.
I hope that this low FODMAP vegetarian eggplant lasagna brings back a little comfort into your kitchen rotation. And when in doubt, feel free to make the caponata (with or without the kale) and slather it on everything you can get your hands on.
With health and hedonism,
Eggplant-Kale Caponata Lasagna (Gluten-Free, Low FODMAP)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium eggplant 3/4 pound, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 medium vine or Roma tomato diced
- 8 ounces frozen chopped kale or 1 bunch finely chopped
- 2 cups low FODMAP tomato sauce 16 ounces
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup torn basil leaves divided
- 9 ounces gluten-free no boil lasagna noodles about 6 sheets
- 8 ounces plant-based ricotta optional
- 5 ounces shredded mozzarella I used a combo of part-skim and fresh mozz
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Sauté the eggplant over medium-high heat until beginning to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the salt and red pepper flakes. Stir in the tomatoes, scrapping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Sauté until the tomatoes have softened, about 3 minutes. Add the kale and continue to sauté until very wilted and the liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes more.
Remove from the heat and add the raisins, balsamic and half the basil.
Spread 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Arrange your first layer of noodles on top, making sure they overlap slightly. Slather the noodles with half the ricotta, if using, followed by half the eggplant mixture, followed by another 1/2 cup sauce and ¼ cup mozzarella. Repeat the layers once more.
Finish the lasagna with a final layer of noodles, tomato sauce, the remaining cheese and basil leaves.
Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the noodles are tender and the top of the lasagna is beginning to brown.
Allow the lasagna to rest for 5 minutes before cutting it into slabs and serving.