When you want to make your family feel cozy and comforted, there is no better way than with this cheesy Eggplant Rollatini recipe. The ingredients are simple but pairing them together creates unique flavors that will have you wanting seconds!
The pine nuts add that extra touch of buttery goodness, while the eggplant acts as the recipe’s backbone and provides just enough texture without being too heavy on your taste buds. It has a hearty marinara sauce that will have everyone eating till they’re full!
- Medium Eggplant: Italian or American works best.
- Kosher Salt: To season the eggplant and cheese mixture!
- Marinara Sauce: We highly recommend Rao’s.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: To soften and brown the eggplant while it roasts.
- Ricotta: A creamy cheese with a mildly sweet taste and thick in texture. If you’ve never made homemade ricotta, it’s easy, creamy, and so much better than store-bought!
- Mozzarella: A tangy and semi-soft cheese with a milky flavor and dense consistency.
- Grated Parmesan: A classic sharp cheese with a nutty flavor profile.
- Eggs: Binds the ingredients together and gives them a rich texture.
- Garlic Cloves: Adds a kick of flavor to the entire meal.
- Fresh Basil: A staple in Italian recipes!
- Toasted Pine Nuts: A buttery nut that adds a little crunch.
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper: A spice with a warm flavor profile to season the filling.
This homemade eggplant rollatini is the perfect combination of sweet, savory, and cheesy. We just love it!
How To Make Homemade Eggplant Rollatini
- Sweat the eggplant. Preheat your oven and cut the eggplant. Sweat with Kosher salt for 10-15 minutes to remove excess moisture, then pat dry with a paper towel.
- Roast the eggplant. Cook thin slices of eggplant in the oven, on a skillet, or grill pan, just until tender and pliable.
- Make the filling. Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl, then stir to mix well.
- Assemble the eggplant rollatini. Assembling is really easy! First, add a little marinara or tomato sauce to the bottom of a skillet or baking dish. Next, spoon a few tablespoons of the ricotta mixture near the large end of the eggplant. Roll the eggplant over the filling and place it seam side down into the sauce. Repeat with remaining eggplant so that they’re in a single layer.
- Add remaining sauce. Pour the rest of the marinara sauce over the eggplant rolls, then sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella and grated Parmesan.
- Bake the eggplant. Covering your skillet or dish with aluminum foil will allow the food to cook more evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, remove the foil and cook for another 8-10 minutes. Drizzle with virgin olive oil and garnish with basil or parsley and cool for ~5 minutes before serving.
Yes, this recipe is naturally gluten-free.
You can store eggplant rollatini for up to 4 days in a refrigerator in an airtight container.
This eggplant rollatini is the perfect dish to make ahead of time and freeze! Tightly wrap in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and freeze; it will keep for 3 months. Remove from the freezer the night before and thaw in the refrigerator. Once it’s thawed, bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until the cheese is brown and bubbles up.
How To Serve
These are some of our favorite Italian dishes to serve alongside!
- Arancini (Italian Rice Balls)
- Sicilian Cauliflower
- Ricotta Meatballs
- Chicken Marsala Pasta
- Cannoli Cream Parfaits
Even just a big bowl of perfectly cooked pasta and a peppery arugula salad would be delicious!
If you are a lover of classic Italian recipes, be sure to try this easy, flavorful weeknight dinner. It can be served as the main course or side to any Italian meal—perfect either way because it’s that good!
If you make this Cheesy Eggplant Rollatini recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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More eggplant recipes to try!
Eggplant Rollatini Recipe
For the eggplant
- 2-3 medium eggplant Italian or American
- 1½ Tbsp Kosher salt
- 2½ cups marinara sauce recommended brand: Rao’s
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the filling
- 15 oz ricotta cheese whole milk or part-skim
- 1½ cups mozzarella shredded, divided
- ¾ cups grated Parmesan divided
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh basil julienned or finely chopped, plus more for garnish
- 3 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Sweat the eggplant. Cut off the top and bottom of the eggplant, then cut into ¼” thick slices – this can be done with a knife or a mandoline. Do not peel. Place eggplant slices on a wire rack, then sprinkle with 1 Tbsp Kosher salt. Allow the eggplant to sweat for 10-15 minutes, then pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess salt.
- Roast the eggplant. Preheat oven to 425F. Place the eggplant slices on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Cook for 10 minutes, or until softened, then set aside to cool slightly. Alternatively, eggplant can be cooked in a skillet or grill pan for 3-4 minutes per side over medium-high heat.
- Make the filling. Combine 15oz ricotta cheese in a large mixing bowl with 1 cup shredded mozzarella, ½ cup grated Parmesan, 2 large beaten eggs, 2 chopped garlic cloves, ¼ cup chopped basil, 3 Tbsp toasted pine nuts, ½ tsp Kosher salt, and ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper. Stir until very well mixed.
- Assemble the eggplant rollatini. Spoon about 1 cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a large skillet or baking dish. Place a slice of eggplant on a cutting board, then spoon on about 1½ – 2 Tbsp of the ricotta filling near the large end. Roll the eggplant over the filling, then place seam side down in the skillet. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices.
- Add remaining sauce. Pour the remaining marinara sauce on top of the eggplant rollatini, then sprinkle with remaining ½ cup mozzarella and ¼ cup grated Parmesan.
- Bake the eggplant. Cover the skillet or dish with aluminum foil, then bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove the foil, then bake for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and browned. Drizzle the entire dish with 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, then garnish with additional basil, if using. Allow to cool for ~5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
- Eggplant rollatini can be assembled 1 day in advance, then refrigerated overnight. Allow to come to room temperature before baking.
- Eggplant rollatini can be frozen for up to 3 months. Can be baked from frozen — remove from freezer the night before and thaw in the refrigerator. Once thawed, bake at 350F for 45 minutes.
Photography by: Cambrea of Cambrea Bakes
This is a winner for sure!! Better than I’ve had in restaurants. Super easy and amazingly delish! I doubled the recipe and made a second one that’s in the freezer ready to go. I broiled for the last 2 min to get the bubbly cheese on top. Highly recommend! This will be a staple in my house for sure! Thank you!! 🙂
Ari Laing says
Thanks, Alli! The pine nuts are my favorite part too! Broiling is DEF the way to go for an extra melted, bubbly top! xo, Ari
Ann Banti says
Just clarifying that once assembled, dish should be baked at 425 degrees? If cooking after being thawed from frozen you state to bake at 350 degrees. Thanks
Ari Laing says
Hi Ann! Yes, correct to bake at 425F. It takes longer to cook if it’s cold (frozen, thawed, having spent hours in the fridge, etc), and you risk over cooking or drying out if you cook it for longer at a higher heat, so we adjusted for that with the lower temperature. You’ll know it’s done when the cheese and sauce are melted and bubbly! xo, Ari