This baked eggplant rollatini is easy to make and deliciously comforting. You won’t be able to resist the ricotta and basil-stuffed eggplant rolls!
Whenever I’m looking to make a family-friendly dinner that packs in tons of veggies, my eggplant rollatini recipe is my my go-to!
Think of eggplant rollatini as a mix of eggplant parmesan and eggplant lasagna. You’ll find the cheesy, herby, and tomato sauce-covered bites from these classics, but all rolled up in slices of baked eggplant.
Table of Contents
- Hearty and filling. If your family is like mine and claims that no dinner is complete without meat, this is the recipe to sway them. It keep you full and satisfied.
- Baked, not fried. Like with eggplant meatballs, each bite is packed with flavor but doesn’t feel heavy, thanks to the lack of excess oil.
- Gluten free and vegetarian. This recipe is naturally gluten-free and vegetarian, making it perfect for dinner parties and get-togethers! It’s also low carb.
- Delicious way to cook eggplant. We thought we nailed it with our sauteed eggplant recipe but this takes this glorious veggie to another level.
This recipe calls for simple ingredients that are similar to a traditional lasagna. I recommend using store-bought tomato sauce and ricotta to get this recipe on the table faster. Here is what you’ll need:
- Eggplant. Sliced, salted, and baked.
- Extra virgin olive oil – A must before roasting eggplant. It provides fat and flavor to the typically bland vegetable.
To make the ricotta mixture:
- Ricotta cheese – Try to find a low-moisture ricotta. The last thing you want is watery cheese!
- Parmesan cheese – For salty, extra cheesy bites.
- Egg – An egg will bind the cheesy filling together, preventing it from seeping out the sides of the eggplant while baking.
- Garlic – Fresh cloves are best.
- Basil – Fresh, preferably.
- Salt and pepper – For flavor.
To assemble the eggplant rolls:
- Tomato sauce – Use your favorite jarred tomato or marinara sauce, or try homemade pomodoro or sugo.
- Mozzarella cheese – It’s shredded and sprinkled on top of the assembled rolls. I recommend shredding your own cheese because it melts so much better (packaged shredded cheese has anti-caking agents in them to retain their shape).
- Parmesan cheese – Because why only add one type of cheese on top when you can have two?
- Fresh basil leaves – The flecks of green on top make the finished dish pop and also it complements anything tomato-based so well.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How to make eggplant rollatini
Step 1- Prepare the eggplant. Slice the eggplant and sprinkle both sides with salt. Let it sit for 30 minutes to release excess liquid. Once salted, bake them for 10 minutes until tender.
Step 2- Make the filling. Stir the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper together in a mixing bowl until it’s combined.
Step 3- Assemble the eggplant rolls. Add a small spoonful of the cheesy ricotta filling near the end of an eggplant slice. Roll it up tightly and place it in a casserole dish. Repeat until you run out of eggplant/ricotta.
Step 4- Cheese it up. Spoon the rest of the tomato sauce over the eggplant rolls. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and parmesan.
Step 5- Bake. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue cooking until the cheese melts.
Recipe tips and variations
- Don’t skip salting the eggplant. This process draws out excess moisture, helping you avoid watery eggplant rollatini!
- Save time by making the ricotta filling and baked eggplant 1 or 2 days ahead of time. Keep them in separate airtight containers in the fridge until it’s time to assemble the recipe.
- Use a sharp knife or a vegetable mandoline to cut the eggplant. You can control slices of eggplant and make sure they are all the same thickness.
- Use noodles instead of eggplant. To make lasagna roll-ups instead, swap the eggplant for cooked lasagna noodles.
- Use zucchini instead of eggplant. Make this recipe with baked zucchini if you have an abundance in your garden during late summer.
Storage and make-ahead instructions
To store: The baked or unbaked rollatini will keep well in an airtight container or covered baking dish for up to 5 days in the fridge. Bake it directly from the fridge when it’s time to eat.
To freeze: Either assemble the rollatini in the dish before freezing or bake it as normal, then freeze once it’s cool.
To make ahead: You can assemble the rollatini in the baking dish and keep it covered in the fridge up to 1 day ahead of baking.
Reheating: It’s best to reheat the eggplant rolls in a 350ºF oven until they’re warmed through. Reheat in a covered baking dish, then remove the foil during the last 5 to 10 minutes to get the cheese nice and bubbly again.
Frequently asked questions
I don’t recommend it. Frying sliced eggplant can involve flouring the pieces, then frying in excess oil. The eggplant won’t be as pliable for rolling and all of that oil will make the dish heavier.
More comforting meat-free dinners to try
- Vegan chili– So hearty, filling, and healthy. It cooks in no time at all.
- Sofritas– A copycat version of the famous vegetarian Chipotle option.
- Cauliflower steak– The BEST way to cook and enjoy this cruciferous vegetable.
- Smoked mac and cheese– Comfort food without a lick of meat.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
- Slice the eggplants into 1⁄4-inch slices and sprinkle both sides with salt. Let it sit for several minutes to release extra moisture.
- Line a large pan with parchment paper and spread the eggplant on it. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it cool completely.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, fresh basil, salt, and pepper.
- Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Add a thin layer of tomato sauce. To a single slice of eggplant, add a small spoonful of the cheese mixture to one side of it and roll it up tightly. Repeat the process until all the eggplant is rolled up.
- Spoon the remaining tomato sauce over the eggplant rolls and top with mozzarella cheese and a tablespoon of parmesan cheese.
- Cover the baking dish with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes before removing the foil and cooking uncovered for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden.
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