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This eggplant rollatini recipe is one of my favorite easy, healthy dinners in the summer. It’s an Italian dish featuring rolls of eggplant baked together with a cheesy spinach filling, marinara sauce, and even more cheese. The method is very similar to making zucchini roll ups, and creates a flavor similar to zucchini ravioli (but with eggplant!).
Why You’ll Love This Eggplant Rollatini Recipe
- Classic Italian flavors
- Soft, tender eggplant
- Creamy cheese filling
- Naturally sweet marinara sauce
- Simple, fresh ingredients
- Naturally low carb, gluten-free, and loaded with vegetables
- Easy, healthy vegetarian main dish
Ingredients & Substitutions
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.
Eggplant rollatini recipes have 3 components: roasted eggplant to make the “noodles”, cheesy ricotta filling, and marinara and mozzarella for topping.
Manicotti Eggplant Noodles:
- Eggplant – I made this eggplant rollatini using globe eggplant since it’s the most common here in the U.S., but you can also use Italian eggplant, which has a more intense flavor. Look for firm ones, without soft spots.
- Olive Oil – For roasting the eggplant slices. You can use classic extra virgin olive oil, regular olive oil, or even avocado oil.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Ricotta Cheese – Makes up the base of the creamy filling. I recommend whole milk ricotta for the best flavor, but 2% works as well.
- Frozen Spinach – Buy already chopped frozen spinach if you can, or chop it yourself. You’ll need 8 ounces of frozen spinach, or you can saute fresh spinach instead (you’ll need more, 12-13 ounces, if using fresh).
- Parmesan Cheese – Adds a cheesy flavor. I prefer grated parmesan cheese for this eggplant rollatini recipe, but shredded works, too.
- Egg – Helps hold the filling together. You’ll need a large egg. Egg substitutes don’t work well here, but you can probably omit the egg if you really need to.
- Italian Seasoning – Use one from the store or make your own Italian seasoning in 5 minutes.
- 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.
- Marinara Sauce – Use your favorite marinara, I prefer using a sugar-free version, but any type will work. Make a homemade marinara sauce recipe if you have time or just use store-bought. 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 recipe, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Make the 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 the larger slices (about half of the total slices) for the rollatini, but can still roast eggplant that you won’t use for this dish.
- Roast the eggplant. Brush the thin slices of eggplant with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place onto a baking sheet 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 a paper towel to soak up any extra moisture on the eggplant slices.
- Mix the filling. In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, (drained) frozen spinach, parmesan cheese, egg, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.
- Assemble the 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.
- Assemble. Spread 1/2 cup marinara over bottom of a large baking dish. Place the eggplant rollatini on top of the marinara, seam side down. Spread the rolls with the rest of the marinara and top with mozzarella cheese.
TIP: Transfer the eggplant rolls carefully, so they don’t fall apart.
A flat turner works great for this.
- Bake. First you’ll bake until the cheese is melted and filling is hot, then broil until golden brown.
- Store: Keep leftover rollatini eggplant in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
- Make ahead: This dish is best baked fresh, but you can assemble it in advance.
- Reheat: Warm up in the oven at 350 degrees F, until hot.
- Freeze: You can freeze eggplant rollatini for up to 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 placing 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. Try it with:
- Salads – Pair with a simple arugula salad, Italian artichoke salad, or summery Caprese salad. For a heartier dish, try antipasto salad.
- Chicken – Try simple lemon garlic chicken or saucy slow cooker chicken cacciatore. If it’s warm outside, fire up the grill and make grilled chicken legs!
- Pork – Baked pork chops cook at the same oven temperature, so you can cook them at the same time and rotate the pans.
- Seafood – Serve eggplant rollatini with flaky baked cod, simple broiled salmon, or quick pan seared scallops.
More Healthy Eggplant Recipes
If you like this eggplant rollatini recipe, you’ll like these other tasty ways to enjoy this summer staple:
Easy Healthy Eggplant Rollatini Recipe
Eggplant Rollatini (Easy & Healthy!)
You'll love this eggplant rollatini recipe with roasted eggplant, creamy spinach filling, sweet marinara, and melty cheese on top.
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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