Baked Eggplant Rollatini

Updated: Dec 4th, 2023 · By Bethany Kramer
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Fall in love with the flavors of this cheesy eggplant rollatini! No breading, no oils, just cooked eggplant stuffed with ricotta, parmesan cheese, and lots of fresh basil. Then baked to perfection with freshly grated cheese and rich tomato sauce – the most delicious meatless dinner that the whole family will love.

A white dish with eggplant rollatini in it, topped with fresh herbs. The dish is sitting on a wooden background with a cheese rind, napkin, and a small bowl of red pepper flakes arranged around it.

Over the years I have fallen in love with using eggplant in my recipes – especially in Italian dishes. And today, I’m serving up one of my favorites!

If you’ve never had it before, eggplant rollatini is an Italian dish that consists of thinly sliced eggplant that is traditionally dusted with flour and then “rolled” up with ricotta cheese and an herb filling. The word rollatini in Italy is also known as “involtini” and it refers to food that can be eaten in small bites, or that has been rolled up with a filling.

You’ll find this recipe is a little different than the traditional Italian method. Instead of coating the eggplant in flour and pan-frying before rolling up and baking, the eggplant slices are baked rather than fried without any breading or oils. The results are absolutely delicious and may surprise some who are used to traditional rollatini!

Get ready to serve this one up at your next family gathering. I’m certain it’ll be a hit!

Ingredients – What You Need

This meal requires only 8 ingredients and takes only a few simple steps to make. See the full list of ingredients below!

Ingredients for eggplant rollatini arranged on a wooden board.

Eggplant: use two large eggplants or several smaller eggplants. Be sure they are wide enough to hold your filling when rolled up!
Ricotta cheese: a creamy cheese that is used for the filling that gets rolled up into the eggplant.
Marinara: we love using homemade marinara or Rao’s for store-bought!
Parmesan: freshly grated is recommended! This salty cheese is used in both the filling and on top of the rollatini for flavor.
Egg: to help bind the ricotta filling ingredients together.
Garlic cloves: fresh garlic is best to flavor the cheese filling, but you can also use garlic powder!
Basil: fresh basil is used in the ricotta filling, and it’s a must! I don’t recommend swapping for dried basil, the flavor will not be the same.
Mozzarella cheese: a fresh cheese that is creamy and mild in flavor. This cheese is for sprinkling over top of the rollatini for a melty top!

How to Make Baked Eggplant Rollatini – Step by Step

Preheat oven to 400F

  1. 1

    Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick pieces.

  2. 2

    Salt the eggplant on both sides with a small pinch of coarse salt. Let it “sweat” the excess moisture out for 10 minutes – then pat dry with paper towels and wipe off the remaining salt.

Two photos in a collage showing make eggplant rollatini. The first photo is showing eggplant slices into thin pieces laying on top of one another. The second photo is the eggplant slices laying on a sheet pan.
  1. 3

    Lay eggplant on a lightly greased pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.

  2. 4

    In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, parmesan, egg, salt & pepper, minced garlic, and fresh basil.

Two photos in a collage showing how to prepare eggplant rollatini. The first photo is eggplant slices cooked on a sheet pan. The second photo is a white bowl with herb ricotta filling ingredients in it on a wooden board.
  1. 5

    Then spoon 1-2 Tablespoons of the ricotta filling onto the bottom of the eggplant slice. Roll it up and repeat until the ricotta filling is finished.

  2. 6

    In a baking dish, spoon half the sauce onto the bottom and then place the eggplant rolls in the dish.

Two photos in a collage showing how to make eggplant rollatini. The first photo are two hands rolling up a slice of eggplant with cheesing filling in it. The second photo is a white dish with the rolled up eggplant and red sauce in it.

  1. 7

    Spoon the remaining sauce over the top of the dish.

  2. 8

    Then top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes covered, then remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes uncovered. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Two photos in a collage showing how to make eggplant rollatini. The first photo is a spoon pouring red sauce over rolled up eggplant in a white dish. The second photo is a hand sprinkling cheese over the same dish.

Tips for Success

Make sure the eggplant is sliced thin enough. If the eggplant is sliced too thick or unevenly, it will cause the rollatini to bake unevenly, leaving some pieces to be tougher and under-cooked. To ensure the eggplant is evenly cut and properly cooked, your best bet is to use a mandoline and slice each at 1/4 inch thickness.

Additional herbs you can use. What makes this recipe shine is using a ton of fresh basil! But that’s not the only herb you can use. This recipe also tastes wonderful with fresh oregano! And even fresh thyme or Italian parsley. If you’d like to add a little heat, you can also toss in a pinch of red pepper flakes to the herb filling too!

Our favorite tomato sauce to use. Choosing a quality tomato sauce for your rollatini matters, because it’s a huge source of the dish’s flavor. If you want to use a store-bought tomato sauce, we recommend Raos! But if you want to make your own sauce, we love serving this with our San Marzano tomato sauce, or, our spicy arrabbiata tomato sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you salt the eggplant? Eggplant is known to have a high water content, so the excess moisture will need to be “sweated” from the eggplant using salt before assembling the dish. If this step is not taken, the water from the eggplant will pour into the whole dish while it bakes, making it a soupy mess, which we want to avoid!

How do you slice eggplant for rollatini? You can cut the eggplant two ways! One by hand with a chef’s knife, this is if you are experienced with a knife and can accurately make precise 1/4 inch cuts. The second way, which I recommend the most, is to use a mandoline slicer.

Do I need to peel the eggplant? Nope! Even though eggplant skin seems tough when it’s uncooked the skin becomes tender and adds so much flavor to this dish once it is cooked.

Is this recipe gluten-free? Yes, it’s naturally gluten-free because it doesn’t use any flour or breadcrumbs for coating the eggplant.

How long do leftovers keep? Leftover rollatini should keep for about 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Make sure leftovers are stored in an air-tight container to keep them fresh.

How to Freeze and Reheat

Reheating tips: preheat oven to 350F, place the rollatini in an oven-safe dish and cover with foil. Heat until warm (about 10-15 minutes).

Freezing tips: Prepare rollatini as directed, but don’t bake. Cover completely with plastic wrap first and then foil. Freeze for up to 1-2 months, then let thaw at room temperature and bake as the recipe instructs.

Serving Suggestions

Eggplant rollatini goes perfectly with pasta! We love to serve it with shells, radiatore pasta, or rigatoni. For greens, we recommend Italian-themed salads such as our Tuscan artichoke salad, or this Italian salad! And don’t forget crusty Italian bread for dipping into that cheesy sauce!

Eggplant rollatini with fresh herbs sprinkled over top in a white dish. Next to the dish is a parmesan cheese rind and fresh herbs.

More Italian Eggplant Recipes

Love eggplant as much as I do? Then you may also be a fan of these delicious recipes as well.

Baked Eggplant Rollatini

4.99 from 52 votes
Fall in love with the flavors of this cheesy eggplant rollatini! No breading, no oils, just cooked eggplant stuffed with ricotta, parmesan cheese, and lots of fresh basil. Then baked to perfection with freshly grated cheese and rich tomato sauce – the most perfect, low carb, Italian dish that the whole family will enjoy. 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Serves 5

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Slice and salt eggplant: First, remove the stems from the eggplant. Cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices. Salt on both sides and let sit to "sweat" for 10 minutes. Pat dry with paper towel and wipe off remaining salt. Note: this process removes excess moisture from the eggplant and prevents a watery rollatini.
  • Bake eggplant: Lay eggplant on a lightly greased pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Note: this softens the eggplant so you can easily roll it with the filling.
  • Mix filling together: While eggplant is baking, add to a bowl: ricotta cheese, parmesan, egg, salt & pepper, minced garlic, and fresh basil. Mix together.
  • Prepare rollatini: Then spread a layer of half the marinara on the bottom of your casserole or baking dish. After the eggplant has cooled spoon 1-2 Tablespoons of ricotta filling on the eggplant, then roll it up and lay the rollatini in the baking dish with sauce. Repeat until finished.
  • Bake: Spoon the remainder of the marinara sauce over the rolled-up eggplant, and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and a light dusting of parmesan cheese. Cover with foil or lid and bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for 10 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Reheating tips: preheat oven to 350F, place the rollatini in an oven-safe dish and cover with foil. Heat until warm (about 10-15 minutes).
Freezing tips: Prepare rollatini as directed, but don’t bake. Cover completely with plastic wrap first and then foil. Freeze for up to 1-2 months, then let thaw at room temperature and bake as the recipe instructs.

 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword baked eggplant rollatini, how to make eggplant rollatini, what is eggplant rollatini
Freezer Friendly Yes
Author Bethany Kramer

Nutrition

Calories: 263kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 18.3g | Fat: 10.7g | Cholesterol: 70.3mg | Sodium: 538.9mg | Sugar: 11.7g | Vitamin A: 600IU | Vitamin C: 46.2mg

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152 Comments

  • Pam Dugan says:

    Looks amazing!! Going to make this tomorrow night for my girls group as an appetizer since we only do apps! Wonder if I toothpick it after it cooks, if I can cut into 2” length pieces? We will see!:)

    • Bethany Kramer says:

      Hi Pam, love that idea!! A toothpick MIGHT work, just depends how wide the eggplant is haha:) But eitherway it’s a great appetizer! Hope everyone enjoys it!

  • Patricia says:

    5 stars
    This recipe was very easy to follow, and it came out delicious! I liked that there was no breading or frying involved! Definitely ♥️ healthy! Highly recommended!

  • Barbara says:

    So easy and absolutely delicious
    My go to eggplant meal
    Takes minutes not hours

  • Melissa says:

    Awesome recipe. We used vegan cheeses. A cookie scoop makes a perfect filling portion.

    • Bethany Kramer says:

      So glad to hear it worked out vegan for you, Melissa! Thank you for sharing!

  • Ashley says:

    This recipe was amazing !! Will make again !

  • Anners says:

    5 stars
    Made this for our weekly Sunday Italian dinner night. It was delicious 😋. (I added about 1 1/2 ounces of extra sharp provolone to the cheese mixture). My husband said it was the best eggplant rollatini he ever had! He couldn’t wait to eat the leftovers the next day!

    • Bethany Kramer says:

      Such a compliment! So happy to hear it turned out so well. Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

  • Deb Aiana says:

    Fantastic recipe! I used a jarred sauce, to save time. And i had no fresh basil, so i added italian seasoning and it came out spectacular!

  • Diane says:

    My 2 eggplants made 18 slices. What do I do?

  • Anita says:

    Hi What can you substitute for egg if you want to make it vegan?

  • D says:

    Today made this dish and I was shocked how good it was…thank you for sharing! The fresh basil was so yummy. Keeper!

  • Krystyna says:

    5 stars
    It come out amazing

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