Alright ya’ll, eggplant season is upon us! And you want to know my favorite thing to do with a surplus of eggplant (besides making eggplant parm, of course)? Cooking up this healthier Spinach Mushroom Eggplant Rollatini.
I recently began a techniques cooking class at a local culinary school. It’s just once a week for 6 weeks. I figured it would be a good way to get the techniques of cooking down, which would allow me to get more creative and better in the kitchen!
My first recipe I cooked in that class was eggplant rollatini. This classic eggplant rollatini had angel hair pasta stuffed in the middle. With myself being a health nut, I decided to make a version of the eggplant rollatini that is low carb and adds in some more vegetables. And that is where I came up with this recipe, inspired by the eggplant rollatini I made in my cooking class!
Unlike other versions, this eggplant rollatini is grilled. And trust me, you don’t have to own a grill to accomplish this. I live in the heart of Boston in a tiny apartment with no backyard and no grill. Instead, I grilled them inside on my stove on a Grill Pan. You won’t get as much flavor as grilling it over charcoal, but it does the job for a city-person like myself!
Grilling these eggplant slices adds another level of flavor to the eggplant rollatini than roasting them. Slightly charred eggplant is pure amazingness. It’s so freaking good. So go ahead and get your grill or your grill pan ready for this grilled eggplant heaven in a dish.
Once you have successfully grilled all of your eggplant slices, you roll them up in a mixture of creamy ricotta, spinach and mushrooms and place them into a baking dish or a Cast Iron Skillet. I used a 12.5 inch Cast Iron Skillet and it worked out perfectly. But you can use any sized baking dish that will fit.
Stuffing the eggplant with spinach and mushrooms makes for a healthier version of eggplant rollatini because it is low-carb and veggie packed. As of late, I am trying to eat less carbohydrates and abiding by more high-fat way of eating. And this eggplant dish falls right under that way of eating but tastes like a cheat meal! Win-win!
This recipe also calls for a delicious, homemade red sauce to pour on top of the eggplant rollatini. The great thing about homemade sauces is that you have control over what goes in it. Most of the sauces that you buy from the store have added sugar and other processed ingredients that are not so good for you. This recipe for the sauce has none of that processed stuff in it and consists of completely whole foods making it an extremely healthy red sauce for you!
Then, of course, the dish would not be complete without topping it with some cheese! Throw it in the oven and voila, you have a super cheesy, healthier eggplant rollatini!
Make yourself a happy camper and try out my recipe below!
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Yellow Onion
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves
- 2 teaspoons dried Basil
- 28 ounce can of Crushed Tomatoes
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 1 large Eggplant or 2 medium Eggplants
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 cups Mushrooms, sliced
- 5 ounces Spinach
- 1½ cups Ricotta
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Red Sauce (see recipe)
- ½ cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
- Add the Olive Oil into a medium saucepan over medium heat
- Chop the onion and add into the saucepan, sauteeing until onion becomes translucent and slightly golden brown
- Mince the garlic cloves and add in the garlic and the dried basil with the onion
- Saute the garlic with the onion just until the garlic becomes golden brown and fragrant, about 1 minute
- Pour in the can of crushed tomatoes to the saucepan
- Allow to simmer for 25-30 minutes
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
- When finished, pour sauce on top of eggplant rollatini
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Slice the eggplant lengthwise into ¼ inch thick slices
- Brush each slice with the olive oil
- Heat a grill on medium-high and grill eggplant for about 2 minutes each side until eggplant is tender enough to roll
- Once eggplants are grilled, place on a plate and set aside while you prepare the filling
- Heat a medium-sized frying pan on medium heat and add in about a tablespoon of olive oil
- Saute the mushrooms and spinach until the mushrooms are tender and the spinach has wilted
- Place mushrooms and spinach into a paper towel and squeeze out any excess water
- Mix the mushrooms and spinach in a mixing bowl with the ricotta and garlic powder
- Salt and pepper the ricotta mixture to taste
- Place a spoonful of the ricotta mixture in the center of each eggplant slice
- Roll each eggplant slice into a roll with the ricotta mixture in the middle
- Place all of the eggplant rolls a cast iron skillet or a baking dish
- Pour the red sauce on top of the eggplant rolls
- Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top
- Place the dish into the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling on the top and the ricotta mixture in the middle is warm throughout
- Serve and enjoy