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This eggplant rollatini recipe is an Italian classic that is full of flavor and a healthy dinner that’s easy to make ahead or prep. The rolls of eggplant with a cheesy spinach filling are baked together with marinara sauce and some more cheese. The method is very similar to making zucchini roll ups.
What Is Eggplant Rollatini?
Eggplant rollatini is an Italian dish made of thin slices of eggplant that are cooked and then rolled around a cheese filling and baked.
Is Eggplant Rollatini Healthy?
Yes! This eggplant dish is healthy, gluten-free, low carb, and loaded with vegetables.
Why You’ll Love This Eggplant Rollatini Recipe
- Cheesy, Italian flavors
- Soft eggplant and creamy cheese
- Just 15 minutes to prep
- Healthy and loaded with vegetables
Ingredients You’ll Need
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
For The Manicotti Eggplant Noodles:
- Eggplant – Look for deep purple eggplant that’s firm, without soft spots or dents.
- Olive Oil – Use a classic extra virgin olive oil for best Italian flavor.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
For The Filling:
- Ricotta Cheese – Use whole milk ricotta for the best flavor and texture.
- Frozen Spinach – Buy already chopped frozen spinach if you can.
- Grated Parmesan Cheese – Use grated, not shredded for this eggplant rollatini recipe.
- Egg – Use a large egg.
- Italian Seasoning – Use one from the store or make your own Italian seasoning.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
VARIATION: Add garlic!
Fresh minced garlic goes great inside the filling — about 4 cloves is a good amount. Alternatively, garlic powder to taste also works well.
For The Assembly:
- Marinara Sauce – Use your favorite marinara, I prefer using a sugar-free version, but any type will work. This is my favorite homemade marinara sauce recipe. You can also simply use tomato sauce if that’s what you have on hand.
- Mozzarella Cheese – Buy pre-shredded for convenience or shred it yourself.
- Fresh Basil – Optional, but a delicious and fresh garnish.
How To Make Eggplant Rollatini
This section shows how to make the best eggplant rollatini with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Make eggplant sheets. To cut eggplant for rollatini, use a mandoline to slice the eggplant into long, thin sheets.
TIP: Choose the center slices. You’ll use about half of the total slices for the rollatini, but can roast the eggplant slices that you won’t use.
- Roast. Brush eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil, and roast until soft and mostly dry. (Roasting gets rid of excess moisture and also brings out the flavor in the eggplant.)
- Pat dry. Use paper towels to soak up any extra moisture.
- Mix filling. In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, frozen spinach, parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Assemble eggplant rollatini with spinach. Spoon the ricotta mixture onto the eggplant sheets (a couple tablespoons in each, depending on the size of your eggplant) and roll up.
- Transfer. Spread 1/2 cup marinara over bottom of a large baking dish. Place the eggplant rollatini on top of the marinara, seam side down.
- Add topping. Spread the rolls with the rest of the marinara and top with mozzarella cheese.
TIP: Use a flat turner to transfer eggplant. This will help to carefully transfer the eggplant rolls to the baking dish.
- Bake. First you’ll bake until the cheese is melted and filling is hot, then broil until golden brown.
- Store: Keep leftover rollatini in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- Make ahead: This dish is best baked fresh, but you can prep a few things in advance to make it come together really quickly: roast eggplant, mix filling, and assemble until ready to bake.
- Reheat: Warm up rollatini in the oven at 350 degrees F, until hot.
Can You Freeze Eggplant Rollatini?
Yes, you can freeze eggplant rollatini for 2-3 months, either before OR after baking. Then, you can cook rollatini right from frozen — simply bake at 350 degrees F. It will take longer to bake, around 30 to 45 minutes. I recommend putting the baking dish into the oven while it preheats, to avoid sudden temperature changes.
What To Serve With Eggplant Rollatini
This dish makes a great vegetarian meal on its own, with a salad on the side, or it can be a side dish itself with an Italian entree:
More Healthy Eggplant Recipes
Easy Healthy Eggplant Rollatini Recipe
Eggplant Rollatini Recipe (Easy & Healthy!)
This is the perfect baked eggplant rollatini recipe! Roasted eggplant sheets are stuffed with spinach filling, then topped with marinara and melty cheese.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Use a mandoline to slice the eggplant lengthwise into long, thin sheets, 1/4 inch (.64 cm) thick. Choose 12 center slices, totaling about 12 ounces. (You won't use the rest for the rollatini, but can roast those separately with olive oil, salt, and pepper.)
Arrange eggplant in a single layer on the baking sheet. Brush the eggplant with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast the eggplant in the oven for 15 minutes, until soft and mostly dry.
Pat the eggplant with paper towels to soak up any extra moisture.
In a medium bowl, stir together the filling ingredients.
Spread 1/2 cup (118 ml) marinara sauce over the bottom of a 9×13 stoneware baking dish.
Divide the filling evenly between all 12 eggplant sheets, then roll up and use a flat turner to carefully place into the baking dish.
Spread the remaining 1/2 cup (118 ml) of marinara sauce and 1 cup of mozzarella (112 grams) over the rolled eggplant.
Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F (204 degrees C), until the cheese is melted and the filling is hot, then broil for 3-4 additional minutes, until browned on top. Garnish with fresh basil ribbons, if desired.
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Serving size: 2 rollatini
Nutrition info includes half of the eggplant amount, because only the center slices are used for the rollatini.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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