Vetri Cooking Lab

Eggplant Parmesan with Lentil Mushroom Bolognese


For the Lentil Mushroom Bolognese:

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 large carrot, diced small

1 large stick celery, diced small

1 medium onion, diced small

2 bay leaves

½ teaspoon salt

8 ounces mushrooms, diced small

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tablespoons tomato paste

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried basil

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 -28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 -32 ounce carton vegetable broth, divided

1 cup lentils

For the eggplant:

1 large eggplant, peeled in stripes and sliced into ½-inch thick rounds 1

Tablespoon salt (for draining)

2 eggs

3 Tablespoons water

1½ cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs(or plain with added seasoning)

Vegetable oil or spray

4 ounces low-moisture mozzarella, grated

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan

½ cup fresh basil, chopped



For the Lentil Mushroom Bolognese:

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, onion, bay leaves and salt to the skillet and sauté for 5 to 7minutes or until onion is translucent.
  2. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for 4 minutes or until soft.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste, black pepper, oregano, thyme, basil, and red pepper flakes and stir for 1 to 2 minutes to build flavor.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, and lentils. Stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until lentils are soft.
  5. For the eggplant, peel in alternating stripes, for easy cutting later. Evenly sprinkle salt on both sides of the rounds and let sit for 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the egg wash by whisking water and eggs together in a bowl. Place breadcrumbs onto a plate for coating.
  7. Preheat a griddle to medium high. Pat eggplant with a clean paper towel to remove excess water and salt. Dip the rounds into the egg wash, then coat with breadcrumbs. Continue until all pieces are breaded.
  8. Evenly coat or spray griddle with vegetable oil and cook the breaded eggplant for about 3 minutes per side or until golden brown, adding more oil, if needed. Transfer to a paper towel to drain.
  9. To build and finish: When lentils are tender and the sauce has reduced, remove bay leaves. Lay the griddled eggplant rounds across the surface of the sauce. Sprinkle with grated cheeses and cover. Cook on low for 5to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. (Alternatively, you can layer eggplant, sauce, and cheese in a casserole dish and bake at 400⁰ F for about 10 minutes.)
  10. Serve over a bed of zucchini noodles, sprinkle with basil, and enjoy!


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