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This Zucchini, Eggplant and Ground Turkey Casserole is a delicious healthy dish made with layers of ground turkey meat sauce, eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers. This lasagna without noodles makes for a veggie-filled lunch or dinner.

A slice of Zucchini, Eggplant and Ground Turkey Casserole on a plate.

This casserole is an older recipe of mine, but a goodie! It is a lasagna without noodles where veggies are used to make the layers. There are alternating layers of sliced eggplant, bell pepper, and zucchini, which pairs so well with the delicious ground turkey meat sauce. It is topped in cheese that cooks until bubbly. Though it can easily be made without dairy.

Using veggies instead of noodles works so well in this type of recipe. My zucchini lasagna and zucchini pesto zoodles are other recipes that use veggies instead of noodles that I love.

Why this recipe works

  • It is a healthy way to get veggies in your diet.
  • It is a healthy lasagna alternative.
  • It is easy to customize to your tastes.
  • It is delicious! When it cooks in the oven, the eggplant softens, the peppers roast, and the zucchini melts.
  • It is naturally grain-free and gluten-free.
  • You can make it dairy-free easily. If you cut the dairy, you can make it Paleo and Whole30.

Recipe ingredients

Ingredients needed to make this eggplant ground turkey recipe.
  • eggplant– a medium to large eggplant so that large layers can be cut.
  • bell pepper– red, orange or yellow bell peppers work here.
  • zucchini– a medium or large zucchini works for this recipe.
  • onion– onion or shallot can be both be used. It helps flavor the meat sauce.
  • garlic– this helps flavor the meat sauce.
  • ground turkey– regular fat ground turkey works great here, but you can use low fat if you want.
  • oregano– dried oregano gives good flavor here.
  • paprika– a sweet paprika helps flavor the sauce.
  • dried basil– this also helps to flavor the sauce.
  • tomato paste– this helps boost the flavor of the sauce.
  • strained tomatoes– this is used for the base of the meat sauce.
  • shredded cheese– you can use shredded Parmesan.

See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.

Additions/ Substitutions

  • Instead of ground turkey, you can use ground beef.
  • Instead of strained tomatoes, you can use tomato sauce.
  • You can add a layer of ricotta or greek yogurt.

Step by step instructions

Sliced eggplant that is salted.
Step 1

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.

Meat sauce layer in the pan.
Step 2

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.

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

Then put a layer of it in a large pan.

Eggplant layer added to the pan.
Step 3

Step 3: Add the eggplant layer to the pan.

Red pepper and meat sauce layer added to the pan.
Step 4

Step 4: Add a layer of meat sauce and red peppers.

Zucchini layer added to the pan.
Step 5

Step 5: Add a layer of meat sauce and zucchini.

Cheese layer added and baked. Turkey eggplant casserole freshly baked.
Step 6

Step 6: Layer with cheese and bake until golden!

Recipe FAQs

Why do you salt eggplant before baking?

This helps remove excess moisture so your casserole isn’t soggy. The salt also helps enhance the eggplant flavor.

Do you have to add cheese?

No, it is up to you! It depends on your tastes or dietary needs.

How do you store this casserole?

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and refrigerate for 3-5 days.

Lasagna without noodles on a plate.

Other healthy casseroles you may enjoy:

Other recipes with zucchini you may enjoy:

These Zucchini Boats by Cooktoria are made with Mexican seasoning and look delicious!

These Vegan Zucchini Fries from Running to The Kitchen are crunchy and baked and look amazing!

This Zucchini Casserole by Tessa the Domestic Diva is full of rice and sausage for a flavorful zucchini dish!

Did you try this recipe? Please leave me a ⭐ review below!

4.37 from 19 votes

Zucchini, Eggplant and Ground Turkey Casserole

Servings: 6
Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 25 minutes
Ground Turkey, Bell Pepper, Zucchini, and Eggplant Casserole (Gluten-Free) | Perchance to Cook, www.perchancetocook.com
A healthy ground turkey casserole with zucchini, bell pepper and eggplant. A gluten free dinner meal the whole family will love.


  • 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 Parmesan, ( omit for Paleo or Whole30 compliance)


  • 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.


  • Instead of ground turkey, you can use ground beef.
  • Instead of strained tomatoes, you can use tomato sauce.
  • You can add a layer of ricotta or greek yogurt.


Calories: 270kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 26gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 993mgPotassium: 1046mgFiber: 6gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 1588IUVitamin C: 48mgCalcium: 211mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Tried this recipe?Mention @perchancetocook or tag #perchancetocook!

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  1. I made this delicious meal tonight. I was leery about not baking the eggplant before putting it into the casserole. But it was fine likewise with the zucchini. I added 3 ears of corn cut off the cob as I needed to use them. I layered the corn instead of the peppers. I sautéed the peppers with the onion and garlic and then with the ground turkey. Otherwise, I followed the recipe. Next time I would up the herbs and spices but everyone enjoyed the casserole as it wasn’t as spicy as I usually make. I like spicy! Not baking the eggplant ahead of time saved both time and mess and it still came out delicious.4 stars

  2. This recipe was amazing! The only thing I added (for my husband) is 1 diced jalapeño without seeds (sautéed with the onions and garlic).  I have already sent it to a few family members to try.5 stars

  3. sorry just saw this now can i use mushrooms instead as am a vegan can i skip bell pepper as am not a big fan of it i love eggplant soooooooooooooo much perfect for my after office meals will dm you if i make this and let you know how it goes Thanks Ramya

    1. If you make a sauce with mushrooms to use instead of meat, I don’t see why it can’t work! You can also skip the bellpepper as well. Let me know how it works out!

  4. Loved loved this recipe, thank you for sharing,  was able to get a crispy top with the way I laid  the zucchini and had fresh mozzarella to sprinkle. Thanks for the inspiration 

  5. I’m trying this recipe tonight and I can’t wait! After you let the eggplant “sweat”, did you rinse it off? I don’t want the dish to taste too salty.5 stars

    1. yes! You can take a paper towel and take it off with that. Sorry if I responded a day too late! I went to sleep early last night 🙂

  6. If made exactly as listed above, approximately what is the calorie/nutritional value in your opinion? I made this last night and it was AMAZING but i have no idea how to log it in my fitness pal!

    1. Your comment inspired me to add a nutrition label to this post. 🙂 Basically if this dish is divided into 4 servings, each serving is 325 calories. And if it’s divided into 6 servings, each serving is 217 calories. I’m so glad you liked it! 🙂

  7. You’re so right, Dominique, this recipe is so tasty! Made it last night and can’ t wait to have the leftovers today! I doubled your recipe and used two large organic peppers- 1 yellow & 1 red. This recipe is so easy to make with all organic ingredients, including the ground turkey. I wanted to make it look & taste like a veggie lasagna so I sprinkled a half bag of Daiya-brand dairy free shredded mozzarella on top; it browned slightly and made for a beautiful dish! (My wife & I can’t handle lactose and casein, so this cheese substitute is an excellent alternative. Buy it @ Whole Foods ). We froze enough for another meal so our grand kids can enjoy it, too. Thanks for another great recipe!5 stars

    1. Thanks so much for the comment! I will have to try adding some Daiya mozzarella on top the next time that I make it, that sounds delicious! 🙂

  8. Hi! This looks tasty, but the directions state to slice the eggplant longways. The pictures appear to have rounded slices. Which way or does it actually matter??5 stars

    1. I cut the eggplant longways and put them into the casserole first, and I cut the zucchini in round slices and topped the casserole with them. 🙂 I’m sure cutting them in either direction would work, I just found it easier to do it that way.