Eggplant Rollatini is a classic Italian dish with baked eggplant stuffed with ricotta cheese, zucchini, and Parmesan and baked with marinara sauce. So good.
This Stuffed Eggplant Rollatini is a vegetarian dish that's packed with flavor and so comforting. It's one of our favorite ways to enjoy eggplant along with this Healthy Eggplant Parmesan and these Baked Eggplant Cutlets
When you've had a long day, sometimes all you want at the end of that day is comfort food. When I think of comfort food, I think of carbs, wine, and cheese, in no particular order. I think a lot of people would pick the same foods, at least the cheese and carbs part. Okay and probably also chocolate. A
It turns out though, that there is a reason for this carb attraction and it's that carbs make us feel good. No, really! They help our brains release serotonin, which makes us well all warm and snuggled and hugged and loved. The same can be said for cravings for fattening foods like cheese and chocolate.
Even though my brain might be saying, "Find the carbs, Kristen, and devour them NOW!" I can't just give in and wreck all my healthy eating plans. But, what I can do is trick my brain into thinking it's getting the comfort foods it craves, without letting me sabotage my diet. (Because, if you're anything like me, "one little taste" leads to 10 big tastes and then sometimes, oh well, I'll just add some more cheese and train's on the tracks now...might as well pour a glass of wine...)
It is with this deception in mind that I decided to make the classic Eggplant Rollatini but lightened up. There is no breading, it's baked instead of fried, and then stuffed with extra veggies to fill you up enough that your brain quiets down and accepts that it is comforted, and your pants still button the next day.
In addition, this recipe only uses mozzarella, but if you can easily use ricotta. If you don't like zucchini, you can use spinach as well. Find whatever makes you happy and go that route.
Side Dishes/Main Dishes to Serve with Eggplant Rollatini
What goes great with Eggplant Rollatini? I'm so glad you asked.
- I love a nice side salad. Go easy on the cheese and heavy dressing though — aim to keep it light.
- If you must give in to your carb cravings, try thin slices of sourdough or French bread. Other options I like include sprouted-grain bread and bread or bagel thins and flats.
- Roasted veggies such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and green beans go great with Italian dishes such as this. Sprinkle with Italian seasonings to make the dish really meld together.
- I love soup with "pasta" dishes. A cup is enough — just a little extra comfort on top of comfort. Reheat leftovers or make one of these to have on hand to snack on throughout the week.
- I know this isn't technically a side, but it could be! Try adding meatballs to your Eggplant Rollatini for a little extra protein and to fill you up in a healthy way.
Can you freeze Eggplant Rollatini?
Eggplant Rollatini freezes well. Because of this, I tend to make a double or even triple batch of these so I can freeze some for the next time a comfort food craving strikes. Make this dish as instructed and freeze any extras first on a sheet pan, then transfer to individual air-tight bags or containers for easy portion control.
You can also make this up through assembly, then freeze. When you are ready to eat them, simply thaw, and complete step 7 for baking times and instructions.
Recipe Tips and Ideas for Eggplant Rollatini
- During summer months, consider making this with grilled eggplant. All you have to do is throw the eggplant slices on the grill for 8-10 minutes instead of baking them in the oven.
- To add protein, you can add ground turkey, chicken, beef, or sausage to this dish. A little goes a long way, so you won't need too much. Brown it, season it, and add it to the filling of the eggplant.
- If eggplant isn't your thing, this will work with zucchini or summer squash as well. Look for larger zucchini for easier rolling and stuffing.
- To brighten up the flavor, add some lemon zest to your ricotta cheese mixture.
- If you don't have fresh basil, you can use dried basil or Italian seasoning with the ricotta cheese.
- For some crunch, add some toasted breadcrumbs on top of casserole.
How do you sweat eggplant?
Eggplant is a vegetable that contains a lot of water. You'll want to get this off (or "sweat") it before cooking or you'll end up with a watery mess at the bottom of your casserole dish.
It's easy to get the moisture out of the eggplant. Simply salt both sides of the eggplant (after it's cut/sliced) and wait for 15-30 minutes, or until it looks like it's sweat out enough/its extra water. Blot with a paper towel, or run eggplant under water, then dry with a paper towel to make sure it's not still slick with moisture and/or salt.
Do I need to peel eggplant before cooking?
Whether or not you peel your eggplant is up to you. The smaller or younger the eggplant, the less tough and bitter the skin will be and the less need there is for it to be taken off. If you are dealing with a large or older eggplant (or you don't like the skin) then you'll want to peel it before sweating and preparing it. It'll come off easily with a vegetable peeler or small paring knife.
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- 2 eggplants, sliced thinly (about 1/4 inch)
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 1 zucchini, grated or thinly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
- 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg white
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 4 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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