Already have an account?
Get back to the
Food & Recipes

This 15-Minute Eggplant and Zoodle Bolognese Is the Plant-Based Weeknight Dinner You Need


Love pasta, but trying to cut carbs while boosting your veggie intake? Confused on where to start when it comes to filling but healthy plant-based dinners? Try our simple, foolproof Eggplant and Zoodle Bolognese recipe. It’s a nutrient-rich twist on your classic spaghetti Bolognese and features a hearty tomato meat sauce that’ll transport you back to grandma’s dinner table. Crunchy zoodles add just enough cool refreshment to balance out the richness of the meat sauce and the smokiness of the eggplant. But to create the perfect version of this dish, you need to make sure you’re preparing your veggies just right.

How to Avoid Soggy Zoodles

Summer squash and zucchini noodles make a great low-carb base for sauces, but their high water content can quickly create a soggy mess the longer they sit.

The Save: Place noodles in a colander and sprinkle with 1 to 2 tsp. of salt. Let drain for 5 minutes. The mineral will draw out excess moisture, ensuring the veggies stay crisp.

How to Choose a Sweet Eggplant

Our test kitchen director learned an easy secret to picking an eggplant that comes out sweet and caramelized instead of bitter.

The Trick: Look at the bottom indentation on the vegetable. If the mark is shaped like a dash, it’s female; if it’s round, it’s male. Male eggplants typically contain fewer bitter seeds than the female variety.

Now you’re ready to get cooking. To make our Eggplant and Zoodle Bolognese, check out the recipe below.


  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini 1 (24 oz.)
  • Jar of prepared Bolognese sauce (or 4 cups homemade meat sauce)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves


  1. Heat grill for indirect cooking. Brush eggplant slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the eggplant for four minutes on each side.
  2. Using spiralizer, cut zucchini into noodles.
  3. Meanwhile, in a heatproof dish, microwave Bolognese sauce for five minutes or until heated through.
  4. Add zoodles, grilled eggplant, and basil to your sauce. Toss well to coat and serve.

More From FIRST

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Curly Kale, Bacon, and Chestnuts Is Our New Favorite Savory Breakfast

13 Creative Ways to Use Basil This Summer

Creamy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese With Hazelnuts Is Quick and Easy Low-Carb Dinner

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.