Today I’m sharing my vegan eggplant roll ups recipe that features a delicious and healthy potato-based filling, and can be easily made gluten-free by using tamari instead of soy sauce.
These vegan eggplant roll ups are the kind of dish that looks quite fancy for a special occasion, yet can be made without putting in lots of effort for a casual dinner.
Not only are these roll ups fully vegan, they also have no added oil in the recipe. My only wish was that I had bought two eggplants instead of one to have some leftovers!
UPDATE July 2015: This recipe has been approved by Dr. Michael Greger of Nutrition Facts.org to be a part of his healthy plant-based recipe directory!
I’ll admit that the idea of using roasted eggplant instead of lasagna noodles in Italian-inspired dishes is not new. I’ve seen some recipes online, but never got enough courage to try them because it seemed like too much work.
I have to admit: not all of my recipe inventions come out great the first time I make them, but these wowed my family from the first bite 🙂
A couple weeks ago I made delicious filling for my veggie-loaded vegan enchilada recipe with potatoes, black beans, and bell peppers. It was only logical to try that stuffing in other dishes!
I had a medium-sized eggplant that I sliced lengthwise and roasted in the oven until it was soft. Little did I know that it would shrink so much during roasting! Thankfully, I only had two people to feed (my husband and myself), so those 7 roll ups were just enough.
There was some leftover stuffing which I gladly wolfed down while the roll ups were baking, so I suggest that you use a LARGE eggplant instead of medium when making this dish, and if you’ve got more than two people to feed, definitely double or triple the recipe!
It’s awesome if you have some homemade marinara sauce on hand, but if you don’t (like me that fateful night), feel free to use some store-bought marinara. Make sure it has no high-fructose corn syrup though!
Another shortcut: use leftover vegan mashed potatoes instead of cooking potatoes specifically for this recipe!
I think these roll ups came out pretty good-looking, no? Maybe I’ll make them some day when we have company over for dinner – you know how valuable some recipes can be in those cases!
The best part? My husband declared them so good that they are worth being included into our regular dinner rotation! I have no problem with that, especially since these rollups are (almost) pretty simple to make 🙂
UPDATE 2019: This recipe has become one of our 2 year old daughter’s favorite recipes from the blog! Here’s a list of 15 kid friendly recipes from the blog that she has approved.
If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out! Give it a star rating below, pin it to Pinterest, tag @vegan_runner_eats on Instagram, or leave a comment.
- 1 LARGE eggplant
- 1 cup prepared marinara sauce (or more, to taste), preferably with no oil added
- 2-3 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch dice (about 1 1/2 cups cubed)
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced into 1-inch-long strips
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- Low sodium soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free), to taste if needed
- 1 Tbsp oregano
- 1/2 Tbsp thyme
- 1/4 Tbsp sage
- 1/2 Tbsp paprika
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
To Prepare Eggplant:
- Slice eggplant lengthwise into 1/3 to 1/4 inch-thick slices. Sprinkle salt on both sides of each slice, put all slices in a bowl, and let sit for 15-20 min, until eggplant slices release their bitter juices. Most of the salt will be wiped away later.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F. Pat each slice dry with paper towels to absorb the bitter juices and salt. Lightly spray both sides of each eggplant slice with cooking spray. Arrange slices on a baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for 15 min, then flip each slice and bake for another 5-10 min, until eggplant is soft. It doesn't need to be completely done at this point, just soft enough to roll up. Remove eggplant from the stove and set aside to cool. Reduce the heat of the oven to 375°F.
- Alternatively, you can grill eggplant for about 5 min per side.
To Prepare the Filling:
- If you have a steamer pot or a separate steamer insert (kind of like a colander), set it up on stovetop and steam cubed potatoes until they are soft, about 10-15 min. If you don't have a steamer, boil potatoes until done, drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat 1-2 Tbsp of water or vegetable broth in a nonstick pan on medium heat. When the liquid is bubbling, add chopped onions and saute them for 5 min until soft, stirring occasionally. Add minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add sliced bell pepper, saute for 3 min.
- Add drained and rinsed black beans along with oregano, thyme, sage, and paprika. Stir well and let the beans heat through, about 3 min. Add steamed or boiled potatoes, stir the mixture breaking up potatoes slightly.
- Put the potato-bean mixture into a large bowl, add nutritional yeast, mix well and taste. If you prefer a saltier taste, add low sodium soy sauce.
To Make the Roll Ups:
- Add 1-2 Tbsp of marinara sauce to the bottom of an ovenproof baking dish (I used an 8 by 8-inch Pyrex glass pan).
- Take a slice of baked eggplant, put a large spoonful (about 1/3 cup or more) of potato-bean stuffing on one end of the slice, and cover it with the remaining part of the slice. Ideally, the ends just need to touch. If they overlap, you may add more stuffing; if they don't touch, remove some. Put your roll up into the baking dish with the seam facing down.
- Proceed with the rest of the eggplant pieces. You may have some extra stuffing left if your eggplant wasn't big enough.
- Once all of the roll ups are in the baking dish, pour the rest of marinara sauce over them, spreading to cover all roll ups evenly.
- Bake uncovered for 20 min at 375°F. Once done, let cool for 5-10 min before serving.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 159Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 1mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 8gSugar: 6gProtein: 7g
Nutritional information numbers will vary based on serving size, pasta sauce ingredients, eggplant size, etc. These numbers are approximate.
Question for you: What’s your favorite eggplant recipe? Extra brownie points if it’s vegan 😉
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