Ground Turkey, Bell Pepper, Zucchini, and Eggplant Casserole recipe. A delicious casserole made with layers of ground turkey paprika meat sauce, eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers.

Ground Turkey, Bell Pepper, Zucchini, and Eggplant Casserole (Gluten-Free) | Perchance to Cook, www.perchancetocook.com

This casserole is an older recipe of mine, but a goodie! It is naturally grain-free and full of veggies and made by alternating layers of sliced eggplant, bell pepper, and zucchini with scrumptious smokey paprika ground turkey meat sauce in-between each layer.

It is a yummy lasagna alternative and can easily be made dairy-free, Whole30, and Paleo ( by omitting the cheese!) .

Note: this recipe was originally published in January 2016, and the photos and post were updated in April 2021.

Ground Turkey, Bell Pepper, Zucchini, and Eggplant Casserole (Gluten-Free) | Perchance to Cook, www.perchancetocook.com

This casserole has an Italian and a Mediterranean feel to it.

When it cooks in the oven, the eggplant softens, the peppers roast, and the zucchini melts. It reminds me of a meat sauce ratatouille, now that I think about it.

So maybe this dish has a French feel to it too?

Ingredients needed to make this Ground Turkey, Bell Pepper, Zucchini, and Eggplant Casserole:

  • eggplant
  • bell pepper
  • zucchini
  • onion
  • garlic
  • olive oil
  • ground turkey
  • salt
  • pepper
  • oregano
  • paprika
  • dried basil
  • tomato paste
  • strained tomatoes
  • water

I love that this Ground Turkey, Bell Pepper, Zucchini, and Eggplant Casserole is a healthy lasagna alternative.

It is naturally grain-free, as it has no pasta inside. And it is made with ground turkey, which I find to be lighter than ground beef.

Plus I really like the flavor of ground turkey… there is a light sweetness to it that I find so satisfying.

Ground Turkey, Bell Pepper, Zucchini, and Eggplant Casserole (Gluten-Free) | Perchance to Cook, www.perchancetocook.com

How to make this ground turkey eggplant casserole:

This casserole comes together in steps.

Step 1: make the eggplant sweat

Once you slice your eggplant, place it on paper towels and sprinkle them with salt.

The salt will help to remove the excess moisture from the eggplant, which is important so that your dish isn’t too watery and so your eggplant cooks better.

This step is crucial and needs to be done first.

Ground Turkey, Bell Pepper, Zucchini, and Eggplant Casserole (Gluten-Free) | Perchance to Cook, www.perchancetocook.com

Step 2: make the meat sauce

To do this, start by cooking the onion and garlic.

Then add your ground turkey, season it, and cook until it is browned.

I like to season the meat while it browns so that the meat is extra flavorful. You add paprika, basil, oregano, salt and pepper here.

Add your tomato paste and strained tomatoes and let everything cook until thickened.

Step 3: layer

This step is my favorite!

It’s fun to see how each layer looks and I also enjoy pouring the meat sauce.

This is the order of the layers:

  • meat sauce layer
  • eggplant layer
  • meat sauce layer
  • bell pepper layer
  • meat sauce
  • zucchini layer
  • cheese layer

Step 4 bake!

Easy enough!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!

Other healthy casseroles you may enjoy:

Creamy Mustard Tomato Chicken Casserole (Paleo, Whole30, GF)

Creamy Mushroom and Chicken Spiralized Potato Casserole (Whole30, Paleo)

Keto Green Bean Casserole

Ground Turkey, Bell Pepper, Zucchini, and Eggplant Casserole (Gluten-Free) | Perchance to Cook, www.perchancetocook.com
A delicious casserole made with layers of ground turkey paprika meat sauce, eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers.
Ground Turkey, Bell Pepper, Zucchini, and Eggplant Casserole (Gluten-Free) | Perchance to Cook, www.perchancetocook.com
Print Recipe
4.5 from 4 votes
Rate this Recipe »

Ground Turkey, Bell Pepper, Zucchini, and Eggplant Casserole (Gluten-Free)

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant, sliced longways ( about 1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 cup diced white onion
  • 1 Tbs diced garlic
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1.5 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 tsp oregano, divided
  • 1.5-2 tsp sweet paprika, divided
  • 1 tsp dried basil, divided
  • a scant 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 cups strained tomatoes, (Pomi is my favorite)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of choice, ( optional, omit for Paleo or Whole30 compliance)

Instructions

  • Slice the eggplant longways. Place the sliced eggplant onto a tray or cookie sheet and generously sprinkle salt onto the eggplant slices. Let the eggplant sit and “sweat” for 25 minutes.
  • While the eggplant is set aside, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and start making the meat sauce.
  • Put the onion, garlic, and 1 Tbs of olive oil into a large pan and heat over medium heat for about 3 minutes, mixing every so often.
  • Add the ground turkey to the pan, and try to break it up into smaller pieces with a rubber spatula. Put 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1 tsp of paprika, and 1/2 tsp of basil onto the meat, and mix it all together. Let the meat cook for 7-8 minutes, until browned.
  • Add the tomato paste to the meat, and mix. Let the mixture cook for another minute.
  • Then, add the strained tomatoes and water to the dish, and mix. Top the sauce with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp of basil, and 1/2 tsp paprika (you could add 1 tsp of paprika here, but make sure you taste the sauce to see if you want more smokiness or not). Mix and let the mixture cook for 5 minutes.
  • Then take paper towels and remove the liquid from the eggplant.
  • Put 2 cups of meat sauce into an 11x 9 inch baking dish. Then layer the eggplant across the top of the sauce. Cover the eggplant in 1.5 cups of the meat sauce, and spread it around with a spatula, then layer all of the slices of bell pepper onto the surface of the sauce. Cover the pepper with 1.5 cups of the meat sauce, spread it around with a spatula, and then layer the zucchini slices on top of the sauce. (You should have used up all of the meat sauce and veggies at this point)
  • If you are using dairy, sprinkle the top with mozzarella or parmesan ( or both).
  • Bake for 40 minutes, or until you can easily stick a knife into the casserole and the veggies are all soft.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: ground turkey eggplant casserole
Author: Dominique | Perchance to Cook