This is a favorite meal from Southern Living that we lightened up by adding in fresh chopped spinach and reducing the amount of cooking oil used. The eggplant works so well in place of a traditional pasta noodle and adds fiber and b-vitamins to this dish, boosting overall nutrient content.
This makes a great meatless meal on its own but you can add in lean ground turkey or beef to up the protein content of this meal.
Simple Eggplant Roll-Ups
Eggplant is a summer season vegetable and a great source of fiber and b-vitamins. Extra-virgin olive oil adds heart-healthy fats to this dish, while also making it satiating
- Yield: 6 Servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: Italian
- 2 eggplants, cut lengthwise into 12 (1/4 inch thick) slices
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 (10 ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/4 cups marinara sauce (I use Rao’s Marinara sauce)
- 1/3 cup shaved parmesan
- Preheat oven to 425F
- Sprinkle eggplant slices on both sides with 1/4 tsp salt and place in a colander to drain for 15 minutes. Rinse well and press between 2 paper towels to dry.
- Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer on greased baking sheets. Spray eggplant slices on both sides with olive oil cooking spray.
- Bake until just beginning to brown, about 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven, and reduce temperature to 375F.
- While eggplant is baking, stir together oil, ricotta, basil, spinach, pepper, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt in a medium bowl.
- Pour 1 cup of the marinara sauce into an 11 x 7 in baking dish. Place 1 tablespoon ricotta mixture on each eggplant slice and roll up from the short end.
- Place rollups, seam side down, in the baking dish. Cover evenly with remaining 1/4 cup marinara.
- Bake at 375F until sauce is bubbly and warm and tops of rollups are very lightly browned, about 15-20 minutes. Top with parmesan and basil. Serve immediately.
Variations: Try adding minced mushrooms, grated zucchini, or lean ground turkey/beef to your rollups
Keywords: Dinner, Quick & Easy, Vegetarian, Eggplant, Summer, Gluten-Free