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!
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Why you’ll love this eggplant rollatini recipe
Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly dinner or a new weeknight staple, baked eggplant rollatini is the right answer!
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.
- Super cheesy. You’ll find not one, but two kinds of cheese stuffed in the eggplant rolls.
- Baked, not fried. Like with eggplant meatballs or cauliflower steak, 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 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.
- Olive oil – A must before roasting eggplant. It provides fat and flavor to the typically bland vegetable.
To make the ricotta filling:
- 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.
- 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.
How to make eggplant rollatini
- Prepare the eggplant. Slice the eggplant and sprinkle both sides with salt. Let it sit for 30 minutes to release excess liquid.
- Make the filling. Stir the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper together in a mixing bowl until it’s combined.
- 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 the dish. Repeat until you run out of eggplant/ricotta.
- Cheese it up. Spoon the rest of the tomato sauce over the eggplant rolls. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and parmesan.
- Bake. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue cooking until the cheese melts.
- 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.
- Add prosciutto. For an umami, meaty flavor throughout, add some slices of this fancy deli meat.
- Add spinach to the filling. Fresh or frozen spinach will give the filling more body and nutrition.
- 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.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Mixing bowl. To make the various fillings.
- Baking dish. Always opt for a larger-than-expected baking dish to allow room for the involtini to expand.
- Chef’s knife. A must for any good kitchen.
Recipe tips and tricks
- 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.
- Don’t use pre-shredded mozzarella or parmesan. They’re packaged with additives and anti-caking agents that prevent them from melting and stretching as nicely as the cheese you shred yourself.
- Both whole milk (full fat) and skim milk ricotta can be used in this recipe. I recommend using whole milk ricotta because it’s rich in flavor and extra creamy.
- 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.
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.
Absolutely. Prepare and assemble the rollatini as directed. Then, instead of baking, keep the baking dish covered and store it in the freezer. Thaw it in the fridge before baking as normal.
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