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Eggplant Rollatini

Eggplant Rollatini, a classic Italian dish, offers a delightful twist on traditional comfort food. Thin slices of eggplant, filled with a rich blend of ricotta cheese, herbs, and spices, form the base of this exquisite meal. Each roll, once covered in diced tomato and melted mozzarella, becomes a testament to the flavors of Italy. This dish celebrates texture and taste, perfect for a cozy dinner or a special occasion, sure to impress any palate.

a white plate with stuffed rolled eggplant and pasta with sauce
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

This classic recipe marries the smoky flavor of grilled or baked eggplant with the creamy, tangy taste of the cheese mixture. It is topped with vibrant tomatoes and melted mozzarella for an irresistible finish.

It is perfect for a cozy dinner or a sophisticated gathering. It stands out as a testament to the elegance and simplicity of Italian cooking.

Growing up, my mom didn’t make eggplant rollatini. We had eggplant parmesan, which we always loved. But the first time I had this dish was at a restaurant. It was served as an appetizer, and after Christopher and I tasted these cute vegetable rollups, I knew I wanted to make rollatini as a meal.

And so I did. And we’ve been eating this dish for years.

Do you need to salt the eggplant before making this dish?

Okay, I’ve experimented with this over the years. I’ve salted the eggplant and let it rest before making the dish (to make it sweat and not be bitter) and I’ve NOT salted the eggplant and just made the dish. Do I see a difference? No.

So, as I’m always looking for shortcuts when making any dish, I don’t salt my eggplant anymore. Try skipping it yourself to see – a) how much it shortens your prep time when making eggplant dishes and b) whether you notice a difference in the taste or texture.

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Helpful tips

  • To keep it on the cleaner side, use less oil than you think you are going to need. Add a little more after each time you put more eggplant in the pan.
  • You want the eggplant to be pliable so cook it until it is flexible enough to roll.
  • You may have extra ricotta filling but don’t stress, you can always dollop some in the baking dish for some extra cheesy fun or you can find other ways to use it up.
  • Use a small can of diced tomatoes and one sliced fresh tomato instead of a heavy sauce.  You want this dish to be light and flavorful where you can taste the eggplant and not heavy like a baked eggplant parmesan.
  • If you want a more “saucy” dish, use a good tomato sauce instead of the diced tomatoes.
  • Sometimes I use only fresh sliced tomatoes instead of a combination of fresh and diced tomatoes, but I had some leftover in my fridge that I wanted to use up – try to use what you have on hand even if it deviates from the recipe.

How to make eggplant rollatini

Pre-step

Take out a large baking dish and a sauté pan.

Step one

Get the eggplant. (A)

Step two

Slice eggplant thinly. Leave the skins on since they are a great source of fiber and other nutrients. (B)

On left - eggplant. On the right sliced eggplant on a wooden board
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step three

Heat a heavy sauté pan or skillet on medium heat and once it heats up, add olive oil to the pan. I try to use the oil sparingly but you do need enough to brown the eggplant. Add eggplant slices and sauté each side for 2 – 3 minutes.

You will have to sauté the eggplant in batches. As the eggplant is finished sautéing, remove from pan and set aside. (C)

Step four

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit when your last batch of eggplant goes into the sauté pan.

Step five

Get ricotta, egg, shredded mozzarella, parmesan, herbs and salt.  (D)

On left - sautéed eggplant on a blue plate. On right - ricotta and cheeses on the table
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step six

Place these ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and mix until combined. (E)

Step seven

Dollop ricotta filling on the fat end of the eggplant slices and roll them up. (F)

On left - Mixed ricotta with sautéed eggplant in the background and on the right - ricotta on the eggplant with baking dish in background
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step eight

Dollop a cup of diced tomatoes and one fresh sliced tomato in the baking dish. (G)

Step nine

Place all the rolled eggplant seam side down in the baking dish. (H)

On left - tomatoes in a baking dish with eggplant in the background. On right - eggplant rolled up and put in the baking dish
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step ten

Add the rest of the diced tomatoes on the eggplant. (I)

Step eleven

Slice mozzarella from a ball and lay it on the tomatoes. (J)

On the left - Tomatoes poured on the eggplant in the baking dish and on the right - cheese sliced on the eggplant in the baking dish
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Bake for 35 minutes.

Pan of rolled up eggplant fresh out of the oven with melty cheese on top
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

All that is left to do is to grab a spatula, a few plates and serve this eggplant dish.

I hope you enjoyed this eggplant rollatini recipe!

And as always, may all your dishes be delish!

If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog, I’d love the hear what you thought about it in the comments below.  I love hearing from you!  You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST  to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

two pieces of rolled up eggplant with ricotta in it on a plate with some pasta - square

Easy Eggplant Rollatini

This delicious easy eggplant rollatini is light and can be eaten as a main dish or a side dish.
5 from 22 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: easy eggplant rollatini, eggplant rollatini, rollatini
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 47 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes
Servings: 16
Calories: 120kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant (sliced thin)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 3 ounces mozzarella (ball) sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 large egg
  • 15 ounces diced tomato (divided)
  • 1 large tomato (sliced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional – or to taste)

Instructions

  • Thinly slice eggplants lengthwise.
    1 medium eggplant
  • Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add olive oil, and add as many slices of eggplant as you can once that heats up. Sauté for 3 minutes each side until eggplant is flexible. You'll most likely have to do the eggplant in batches.
    3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a medium bowl, add the ricotta, egg, parmesan, shredded mozzarella, basil, oregano, and salt, and mix until combined.
    1 cup ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 large egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Line baking dish with a cup of diced tomatoes and top with sliced tomatoes.
    15 ounces diced tomato, 1 large tomato
  • Put a dollop of ricotta mixture on the fat end of each slice of eggplant and roll from the fat end, capturing the cheese filling. Place seam side down in baking dish.
  • Top with diced tomatoes and sliced mozzarella. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes
    3 ounces mozzarella
  • Serve and enjoy.
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Notes

Helpful tips

  • To keep it on the healthy side, use less oil thank you think you are going to need.  Add more after each time you put more eggplant in the pan
  • You want the eggplant to be pliable, so cook it until it is flexible enough to roll
  • You may have extra ricotta filling, but don’t stress; you can always dollop some in the baking dish for some extra cheesy fun or you can find other ways to use it up
  • Use a small can of diced tomatoes and one sliced fresh tomato instead of a heavy sauce.  You want this dish to be light and flavorful where you can taste the eggplant and not heavy like a baked eggplant parmesan
  • Sometimes I use just fresh sliced tomatoes instead of a combination of fresh and diced tomatoes, but I had some leftovers in my fridge that I wanted to use up – try to use what you have on hand even if it deviates from the recipe

Nutrition

Serving: 2rollatini | Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 142mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 170IU | Vitamin C: 3.3mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 0.6mg
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This post was first published October 2015

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From lighting up stages with her BA in theater to food journalist, Elaine Benoit's journey is a testament to passion's transformative power. As the CEO of Dishes Delish, she offers a blend of healthy, comforting recipes and exquisitely crafted cocktails. Beyond the kitchen, Elaine voiced her culinary adventures on her podcast, "Dishing," and co-owns Food Blogger Help, extending her expertise to guide budding food bloggers to success. Whether it's for a heartwarming dish or insights into food blogging, Elaine's diverse experiences make her a beacon in the culinary digital landscape.

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46 Comments

  1. I always cook eggplant with the skin on, too. Love the extra nutrients! And this looks delicious, I had something similar at a local restaurant for a vegan feature (minus the cheese) and it was so tasty!

  2. I love that you didn’t put pasta sauce on it because sometimes I find it overwhelming. I tried this and the fresh tomatoes made this dish extra delicious!

  3. Love how fresh and flavourful this one is! Love eggplant and it’s something I don’t eat often enough, but when I do I always think I have to eat it more. Nice that it’s lighter than eggplant parm. With all the holidays coming up, it’s nice to keep things a little lighter 😉

  4. This really does look very tasty, with all the veggie goodness. Interesting that you no longer salt your egg plant, which is going to save time and use less salt. Not always easy to get an egg plant dish just right, but this certainly looks great and a perfect family meal.

  5. Such a lovely idea! I have all this aubergine at home, and was planning to use it in a lasagna. This is a great way to try something different. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Elaine, your eggplant rollatini looks absolutely dynamite. This is one of those things I never had as a kid, but love as an adult. I think yours is special because of the layer of fresh tomatoes in the casserole dish. Love that we don’t need to salt the eggplant for this, too. I think they typically do that in parmesan recipes so that the batter adheres to the eggplant more. Too much moisture and it would just come off in one bready piece.

    1. Thanks Lisa! I also have stopped salting the eggplant for my eggplant parm (when I use a batter) and so far so good!

  7. Yum! I love all that cheese! This eggplant dish sounds absolutely wonderful and I definitely appreciate all the tips you included.

  8. Oh, this is the perfect recipe for me, because I adore eggplants. I want to eat it every day! I’m sure this is very tasty. It really impresses! An interesting mix of ingredients. Thank you!

  9. This looks like a delicious way to enjoy eggplant. Thanks for the tip of not having to salt the eggplant. I am usually 1/2 through a recipe when I realize I forgot that step. Now I don’t have to worry about it anymore. I need to give this a try.

  10. Three cheers for something keto-friendly! I often scratch my head at which veggies will bake/cook and not turn to mush. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Thank you for this recipe! I bought eggplant at the farmer’s market once and I wasn’t really sure what to do with it! This recipe looks super tasty!

  12. I love eggplants but never thought of making this easy eggplant rollatini! Love your yummy version. Can’t wait to try it soon!

  13. Elaine, this is such a terrific post! Your process shots and detailed descriptions are great – I totally feel like I can replicate exactly your steps and method. And such great detail on the perfect way to make these – you’ve even tested whether or not it helps to salt the eggplant (and I sooooo agree with you – save time by cutting out unnecessary steps whenever you can!!!). And of course, you know I love that you found little ways to make these healthier, without sacrificing flavor! 😉

  14. I am so with you on not salting aubergine, I stopped doing that ages ago! This is such a great recipe, I’m going to add this to our weekly meal plan x

  15. We do love our eggplant but sometimes I hate the mess with the flour, breadcrumbs, etc. The rollatini have all the delicious taste without the additional work. Looks like something I’d love to make ahead and then bake right before we’re ready to eat. This recipe is a keeper.

  16. I am 100% with you on not salting my eggplant. I’ve never noticed a huge difference either! And the simpler and quicker I can get dinner finished the better! This dish looks super tasty!

  17. Wow, this dish looks amazing! I can’t believe I have never made an eggplant rollatini before! Looks like I am pinning this to try this week!

  18. Would love to give this a go. Looks so good! That’s interesting about the salt too. Will need to not salt the eggplants next time I cook with them.

  19. I absolutely LOVE eggplant and your rollatini looks fabulous! I love all your step-by-step directions and tips too…this looks like a perfect meal to make for my family this week <3

  20. I also never notice a difference in taste, texture, or moisture level from salting an eggplant. Who has those extra 30 minutes anyway?!

  21. This recipe is awesome and just right for a delicious easy to prepare mid-week meal for the whole family. It has so many of my favourite ingredients – the perfect combination of flavours and I love your pics!

  22. Rollatini is one of my favorite ways to eat eggplant. And this recipe looks especially simple and fresh!

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