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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!

4.41 from 20 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.

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 Parmesan, ( omit for Paleo or Whole30 compliance)
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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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

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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22 Comments

  1. This meal was great the first time AND it froze well enough that my husband commented on how much he liked it. He is easy to cook for but rarely makes a comment like this.5 stars