Eggplant, ricotta and lentil stacks

Total Time
43 min
12 min
25 min
Flavorful eggplant, hearty lentils and creamy ricotta come together as a trinity of appetite-pleasing goodness in this Mediterranean inspired meal that's on the table in less than hour. An excellent al fresco lunch entree or perfect patio dinner dish, the tomato and garlic-laced lentils get sandwiched between eggplant slices and fresh spinach, then layered with a creamy herb-spiked ricotta that holds the stack together. If you have aged balsamic vinegar on hand, this recipe offers the perfect opportunity to use it. Since the vinegar is drizzled over the stacks just before serving and not mixed into a dressing, you'll be able to taste every delicious drop. Keep it consistent, by serving these hearty stacks alongside more spinach - a fresh, baby spinach salad with a sprinkling of golden raisins on top.


Olive oil cooking spray

2 spray(s)

Dry lentils

¾ cup(s), French green, picked over and rinsed

Uncooked eggplant(s)

3 large, each cut into 4 lengthwise slices

Table salt

1 tsp

Olive oil

2 tsp

Uncooked red onion(s)

1 medium, finely chopped


2 medium clove(s), minced

Fresh cherry tomato(es)

2 cup(s), mixed-color, halved


½ cup(s), chopped fresh

Black pepper

¼ tsp

Fat-free ricotta cheese

1 cup(s)

Fresh baby spinach

½ cup(s), leaves

Balsamic vinegar

1½ Tbsp


  1. Place lentils in medium saucepan and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer until lentils are tender and still hold their shape, 20 minutes. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat large ridged grill pan over medium-high heat. Lightly spray eggplant on both sides with olive oil nonstick spray. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place in pan in batches and cook, turning once, until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add lentils and cook until lentils are heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in basil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper.
  4. Spread 8 eggplant slices evenly with ricotta. Place 4 ricotta-topped eggplant slices on 4 plates. Top evenly with half of lentil mixture and half of spinach. Top with remaining 4 ricotta-topped eggplant slices, then with remaining lentil mixture and remaining spinach. Top with remaining eggplant slices. Drizzle evenly with vinegar.
  5. Per serving (1 stack)