Caprese Eggplant Rolls

Caprese Eggplant Rolls

A twist on the traditional recipe, these caprese eggplant rolls can be served as an appetizer or a main meal. They are rich and creamy, yet light-tasting, all in each scrumptious morsel. Inspired by the Italian classic eggplant Parmesan, these are smothered in sweet tomato sauce, earthy basil, and creamy, gooey cheese! No breadcrumbs or frying means they are a lighter, gluten-free variation of the traditional recipe.

I’m a huge fan of eggplant Parmesan-but don’t care much for fried eggplant. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no stranger to fried foods (everyone needs to indulge every now and again, right?), but there’s something about how the eggplant soaks up all the oil, leaving it wilted and saturated, that makes it very unappealing to me. By grilling the eggplant in this recipe, they maintain their texture, meaning they have a slightly chewy bite. Not to mention that it facilitates rolling up all that rich, creamy cheese, since they don’t fall apart.

While the recipe requires some initial preparation, in terms of the time required to grill the eggplant, the remaining steps are quick and easy; simply spread the ricotta mixture onto each eggplant slice, roll up tightly, then place in a baking dish and smother with fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. These caprese eggplant rolls are definitely show-stoppers-rustic and easy enough to prepare for the family, yet elegant enough to serve to dinner party guests.

Caprese Eggplant Rolls

One of the best parts of making these caprese eggplant rolls, besides eating them, of course, is that moment when you peek into the oven just in time to see the top layer of mozzarella bubbling and browning and turning into a gooey mess! If traditional eggplant parmesan is your thing, this clean eating version might surprise you-in a good way! The traditional flavours are all still there, but in a lighter-tasting, and much healthier version.

Caprese Eggplant Rolls

If you try this recipe (and love it!) be sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram with #bitesforfoodies so I can see your creation!

Caprese Eggplant Rolls

2014-12-27
: About 16 rolls

A twist on the traditional recipe, these caprese eggplant rolls can be served as an appetizer or a main meal. They are rich and creamy, yet light-tasting, all in each scrumptious morsel. Inspired by the Italian classic eggplant Parmesan, these are smothered in sweet tomato sauce, earthy basil, and creamy, gooey cheese! No breadcrumbs or frying means they are …

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Caprese Eggplant Rolls
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Ingredients
    2 medium eggplant
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (plus 1 cup for garnish)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup homemade tomato sauce
  • 4-5 basil leaves, finely minced (1-2 tbs. reserved for garnish)
Directions

Preparation
Rinse the eggplant and pat dry. Remove the hard stem on both ends then slice lengthwise into about 1/4 inch slices. There are a few options to prepare these, on the BBQ, in the oven or on a grill pan. (For this recipe, I used a grill pan).

Oven Preparation:
Sprinkle salt on each eggplant slice and let sit for about 10 minutes. With a paper towel, blot the excess water on the eggplant slices then place in a single layer on a wire rack. Set the oven to broil and cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until lightly browned and fork tender. You will have to cook the eggplant in batches just as you would on a grill pan. Remove the eggplant and set aside until cool to the touch. In the meantime, turn off the broiler and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grilling Preparation:
Adjust setting on the grill pan to ‘sear’ then allow the grill pan to heat up for a few minutes until hot to the touch. Add the eggplant slices and grill for 4-5 minutes per side or until lightly browned and fork tender. Set aside on a plate to cool. In the meantime, mix all the ingredients (setting aside 1 cup of the mozzarella) in a large bowl until smooth and combined.

Line a medium-sized glass baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Spread about 1 tablespoon of the ricotta mixture down the middle of each eggplant slice, leaving a 1 inch border along all the sides.

Caprese Eggplant Rolls

Roll up the eggplant slices (from the narrow end to the wider end) and line up in the baking dish in a single layer.

Caprese Eggplant Rolls

Spread the tomato sauce evenly over the eggplant rolls then top with the remaining cup of mozzarella. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove the foil and broil on high for the last few minutes, or until the top layer of mozzarella cheese is bubbling and lightly browned.

Caprese Eggplant Rolls

Garnish with fresh basil before serving, if desired. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days in an air tight container. The leftovers can also be pureed into a delicious pasta sauce for baby!

 

38 thoughts on “Caprese Eggplant Rolls”

  • Leah S. 2 years ago

    I just came across this recipe and made it for dinner last night. What a hit! Delicious, and fun to make with the kids! It’s going in our favorite recipes file. Thanks for such a great recipe!!

    • Great to hear…glad you loved them, and I also love how you got the kids involved to prepare them! Hope you try some more recipes from the Blog in the future 😉

  • Save some for me! Those look absolutely mouth watering! I love the flavor.

  • Lisa Rios 5 years ago

    Ah! Looks so delicious! My girls are big fan of egg plant but I never tried this before at home. Your recipe seems to be easy to prepare as well. Will have to try this for sure. Thanks for sharing.

  • Oh man! This so good. I’m on a cleanse right now but I think this might be my treat for afterwards.

  • Jennifer Pritchard 5 years ago

    I never really think to make egg plant, and after reading this I definitely will! They look so delicious!

  • oh wow this looks so delicious and yummy, I have not had eggplants in a while now and never had it like this before but this is 2015 a new year to learn new things

  • Rebecca Swenor 5 years ago

    I have always loved egg plant since I was a kid and my kids do too. Might have something to do with being Italian. I am indeed going to be making these this weekend. They sound and look amazing. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  • Courtney 5 years ago

    Omg these look and sound absolutely delicious!!! I’m going to be dreaming about these eggplant rolls since I’m reading this post in bed lol… Definitely pinning 🙂

  • Rashell Abril 5 years ago

    I love eggplant. Actually, it’s one of my favorite dishes, but I haven’t tried this one. Looks really delicious and a must try recipe. Thanks for sharing

  • Now I’m not a big eggplant fan, but I’ve had eggplant before and liked and had it before and hated it. With that said, this looks really good and worth the try! 🙂

    • I can’t believe how many people have either never eaten eggplant or dislike it completely, lol! I grew up on it! This might be the perfect recipe for you because you’ll most likely only going to taste the cheese and sauce 😉

  • michele d 5 years ago

    I’m not a fan of eggplant but your meal looks mighty tasty. I wouldn’t mind trying it out. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Thank you! It does tend to have a bitter aftertaste. If you really don’t like the flavour this is a great recipe to start with because the cheese and sauce really take over the flavour of this dish!

  • This looks and sounds absolutely delicious. I’ve never tried eggplant before but I’m willing to for this recipe!

  • These look so delicious! I love eggplant dishes, I’ll have to try this one out!

  • Jennifer Juro 5 years ago

    I have never tried tried Eggplant before. All those pictures look yummy! I had no idea that you could grill egg plant

    • Hopefully, I convinced you to try eggplant now! Grilled eggplant is actually delicious…just drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, hot pepper flakes, salt and pepper and finely minced garlic. You’ll love it!

  • Mama to 5 Blessings 5 years ago

    I love eggplant, I had never tried it until recently and now I love it! Looks like a great recipe!

    • Really?! It’s a great veggie option for vegans since it has a really meaty texture! I actually made another eggplant dish tonight…coconut-curried lentil & eggplant stew! Yum! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Tracy Iglesias 5 years ago

    On a day where I skipped both breakfast and lunch these photos are pure torture! I am now starving and want caprese eggplant rolls for dinner now! NOM NOM NOM

    Happy Wordless (or not so wordless) Wednesday!

    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

  • jenlastinger 5 years ago

    What a fun and creative dish! I love eggplant, and these rollups look so good with all that gooey cheese! Great job!

  • Jennifer 5 years ago

    These look great! I can almost see putting the cheese on the eggplant rolls and then using the sauce as a dipper. Finger food city!

  • Look at that bubbly cheesee!!! Yummm! We’ve had all kind of lasagna over the Christmas. Now its time for healthy eggplant lasagna. Cheese & eggplant & tomato sauce= HAPPINESS! Can these be stored in a freezer you think?

  • You know I’m really not a fan of eggplant, but this looks really good. I’d probably eat it. I think its all in how its prepared sometimes and this looks awesome.

    • Lisa @bitesforbabies 5 years ago

      Is a textural thing? If not you might like this…the flavour of the eggplant is really subdued by the tomato sauce and cheese!

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