Italian Sausage Eggplant Rollatini
A great make ahead family meal, Italian Sausage Rollatini can be made now and baked off later.
Also known as Involtini di Melanzane, this Italian comfort food is just 40 minutes away that rivals anything you could order in a restaurant.
This is a meat version of my grilled eggplant rollatini that is filled with ricotta, lemon, basil and Parmesan cheese. A delicious vegetarian option.
Store bought Italian sausage makes a quick and delicious filling because it’s already seasoned. Sweet or spicy Italian sausage both work very well in this recipe. The meat does not need to be pre-cooked, again making this easy and it’s one less step.
You can see the attached step-by-step video of how easy this Italian Sausage Eggplant Rollatini recipe is. The eggplant is partially cooked (more just warmed up really) to make them soft enough to roll around the sausage meat. You can use your favorite marinara sauce, or you can make my easy marinara sauce.
How to choose an eggplant
Look for firm, glossy skin and should feel heavy. This means it has not lost its liquid. If you choose a wide eggplant, you’ll yield more slices.
This eggplant rollatini is low carb and keto, so it’s great for different eating plans. Serve with a side of sautéed zucchini, which you can make while it bakes and dinner is done.
How to slice the eggplant
The skin can be tough, so you will need a sharp knife. Cut the ends off an eggplant, stand up on one end and slice a thin layer of the skin, from the top down. Then start the slices you’ll use. 1/4 -inch (1/2 cm) thick slices which makes them easy to roll and withstand the baking.
Eggplant is such a versatile vegetable. As well as being able to stuff it with so many things and roll, like this Italian Sausage Eggplant Rollatini, it also makes for a creamy dip when roasted and blended.
More Eggplant Recipes:
If you’ve made this or any other recipe leave a comment below. I love to hear from my readers!
- 2 large eggplants, 1 pound (453 grams) each
- 1 pound (453 grams) Italian sausage of your choice
- 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped plus more for garnish
- 2 cups (450 grams) marinara sauce
- 6 ounces (170 grams) mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
- Remove the sausage meat from the casings and add to a mixing bowl. Add the Parmesan cheese, egg and basil. Mix well using a fork until combined, set aside.
- Trim the top and bottom off the eggplants. Stand the eggplant on its end and trim a thin slice off the skin. Cut 5 slices, ¼-inch (1/2 cm) thick from each eggplant to yield a total of 12 slices. Lay the slices onto a board and sprinkle lightly with salt. Let sit for 20 minutes to draw out the moisture.
- Preheat a heavy or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Dry the eggplant slices and place in the pan (no need for oil). Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, just until they start to soften. Remove and allow to cool.
- Add a thin layer of marinara sauce to the bottom of an 8 x 8-inch (20 x 20cm) casserole dish.
- Divide the sausage into 12. Place the sausage 1/3 of the way into the center an eggplant slice. Roll the eggplant over the meat and place, seam-side down into the dish. Repeat with all of the eggplant slices and sausage, arranged an even layer.
- Pour the rest of the marinara sauce on and around the eggplant. Top with mozzarella, cover tightly with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 20 more minutes until the temperature of the sausage is 165°F/73°C when a meat thermometer is inserted.
- Serve warm topped with grated Parmesan and basil.