Eggplant Rollatini

Eggplant Rollatini is an immigrant-adapted recipe based on a traditional Italian dish.

 In the Old Country, rollatini was made with thin slices of tender meat (a.k.a. baby animals) wrapped around a cheese mixture.  But once in America, Italian immigrants found that they could not always afford to buy meat, so they tapped-in eggplant to complete the meal, making it cheaper and kinder!  If you order this dish in a restaurant, it will often be coated with bread crumbs and fried.  Instead, this is my vegan, gluten-free, no oil-added, just-as-delicious version of an old-time comfort food.  Enjoy!

Eggplant Rollatini

Eggplant Rollatini

  • Servings: 4-6
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  • 2 eggplants
  • 1 14 oz package light tofu
  • 2 c frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/2 c nutritional yeast
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp oregano
  • 3/4 tsp salt-free seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp spaghetti sauce seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • salt to taste
  • FOR THE MARINARA (or use a jar… up to you!)
  • 28 oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 c basil, minced
  • 2 heaping tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2-1 tsp crushed red peppers
  • 1/2 salt-free seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • salt to taste


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Thinly slice the eggplant using a mandolin or sharp knife. Place the larger slices on two parchment lined baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes or until softened and slightly golden. Set aside to cool. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. For the marinara, combine onion and garlic in a sauce pan and saute over medium heat (adding water a tbsp at a time to prevent sticking) for 7 minutes or until onion turns slightly translucent. Add remaining marinara ingredients to the pot and stir to combine. Use an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender) and blend until sauce is your preferred texture (chunky or smooth). Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow to simmer for 20-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Prepare the ric-not-ta. Press the tofu. Microwave the spinach in a microwave safe dish for 4 minutes at 60% power, or until fully thawed. Once, spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze out extra moisture over the sink and place spinach leafs in a large mixing bowl. Crumble in tofu and remaining “ric-not-ta” ingredients and stir to combine.
4. Spread a spoonful or two of the marinara in a parchment lined baking dish. Place a slice of eggplant in the bottom of the pan. Place a spoonful or two of the ric-not-ta at the widest end of the slice. Roll and arrange in pan. Repeat until pan is full. Pour remaining sauce over the rolls and use the back side of a spoon to make sure that all of the exposed parts of the eggplant slices are coated. Bake for 30 minutes.

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