These grilled eggplant rolls are first grilled to perfection then stuffed with arugula, bacon, goat cheese, and pine nuts for a little crunch! Enjoy with a balsamic glaze for the perfect weeknight meal or summer dish.
One of my favorite things about the summer is going and picking out fresh produce at the farmer’s market. Whether it’s fresh toppings to put on our favorite Instant Pot chicken tacos or something to make a main dish like these eggplant rolls – it’s definitely one of our summer highlights!
That and grilling all the food we pick up at the farmer’s market.
We typically put together our weekly menu based on what we get from our weekly co-op and things we pick up at the farmer’s market.
With eggplant season right around the corner, I thought I’d share one of our absolute favorite things to do with eggplant – eggplant rolls!
These are a bit different than the other eggplant rolls or eggplant roll ups you might see elsewhere. I’ve seen ones that are more like lasagna rolls or eggplant parmesan rolls with a good red sauce and baked in the oven.
These aren’t that.
These are grilled then stuffed with salt, crunch, and absolutely amazing flavor.
What’s in Eggplant Rolls?
We make these stuffed eggplant rolls with some of our favorite ingredients but you could easily stuff them with other things as well. It’s more about how you grill the eggplant and roll it up.
Just keep in mind what flavors would complement the eggplant then feel free to go crazy.
But if you want to stick with something you know will be good – here’s what we use!
- 1 large eggplant – I put large here because that part is important. You need to be able to slice the eggplant into large enough slices to stuff, roll, and eat. Those little eggplants won’t work.
- Bacon – You’ll want 8-12 slices depending on how big your eggplant is and how many slices you cut it into.
- Pine nuts
- Goat cheese – take it out the fridge about an hour before making this dish as you’ll want it at room temperature for easy spreading
- Kosher salt
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar – this is optional and used to make a balsamic glaze but takes the dish to a whole new level so highly recommended
How to Make Eggplant Rolls
One of the best things about these eggplant rolls is that they’re so easy to make. It’s really just grilling the eggplant then stuffing them with all sorts of goodies.
You could even have the kids help – let them stuff and roll their own!
1 – Prep the Eggplant
Just like having a large enough eggplant to slice, this part is incredibly important for the flavor.
Slice your eggplant then sprinkle those slices with salt on both sides, lay them on a cooling rack (with a piece of parchment or something to catch the liquid under), and let them sit for 45 to 60 minutes. Doing this takes the bitterness out of the eggplant.
2 – Make the Balsamic Glaze
While the eggplant is laying out, start your balsamic glaze if you’re going to use it.
All you need to do to make the balsamic glaze is put the balsamic vinegar in a pot oven medium heat on the stove. When it starts to bubble, reduce heat and simmer until it reduces in half.
This typically takes 30 minutes to an hour, which is why I recommend doing it while the eggplant is sitting.
Once reduced to your liking, remove from heat and let sauce cool.
3 – Prep Your Stuffing
These are stuffed eggplant rolls so while your eggplant and balsamic are going, it’s time to work on the stuffing!
Slice the bacon in small bite size pieces and cook on the stove in a hot pan until crispy then set aside.
Wash and dry the arugula then lightly toss with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and kosher salt.
Toast the pine nuts over medium heat on the stovetop. Make sure to watch carefully because they go from toasted to burnt quick!
Take the goat cheese out of the fridge (if you haven’t already) so it can come to room temperature for easy spreading.
4 – Grill the Eggplant
Heat grill or grill pan to high heat.
Brush both sides of the eggplant with olive oil and place directly on the hot grill.
Grill on one side for 3-4 minutes then flip to the other side and grill for 3-4 minutes or until it’s golden brown and has nice grill marks.
5 – Stuff the Eggplant
Top the grilled eggplant with crumbled goat cheese then spread it on top almost the entire length, leaving just a tiny portion at the front of the eggplant to allow for rolling.
Add bacon, pine nuts, and arugula on top of the goat cheese.
6 – Make the Eggplant Rolls
Starting at the skinny side of the eggplant, roll the eggplant up carefully until it’s completely rolled.
7 – Serve with Balsamic Glaze
Serve warm on top of a splash of the balsamic glaze and some drizzled on top. Top with extra bacon, goat cheese, arugula, and pine nuts.
What to Serve with Eggplant Rolls
You can either serve these eggplant rolls as a side dish or as a main dish. Either way, here are some of our favorite things to serve with this that complement the flavor of the eggplant rolls.
- Balsamic grilled chicken – if this is too much balsamic for you, try this almond chicken instead, but we like to use any extra balsamic glaze on top of the chicken
- Strawberry lemonade – a little sweet to counterbalance the savory flavor
- Peanut butter pie – if you need a dessert, this is a great one for a warm summer night. If you don’t like peanut butter, this striped delight is always a hit
Stuffed Eggplant Rolls
- 1 large eggplant
- 12 slices bacon
- ¼ cup pine nuts toasted
- 8 oz Goat cheese at room temperature
- 5 oz Arugula
- 1 cup balsamic vinegar + 1 tsp
- Kosher or coarse sea salt
- Olive oil
- Slice eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Lay slices of eggplant out on cooling rack and sprinkle with coarse salt on both sides. Let sit for 45 minutes to an hour to pull bitterness out of eggplant.
- Pour 1 cup of balsamic vinegar in small pot and cook over medium heat until it begins to bubble. Reduce heat and simmer until it reduces by about half. Remove from heat and let sauce cool.
- Slice bacon into small pieces and cook until crispy.
- While bacon is cooking, season arugula with a splash of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt. Toss lightly to coat.
- Heat grill or grill pan to high. Brush eggplant with olive oil and place on hot grill. Grill eggplant on one side for 3-4 minutes then flip and cook on the other side for 3-4 minutes or until it is golden brown and has well developed grill marks.
- Top the grilled eggplant with crumbled goat cheese, spread the goat cheese on top of the goat cheese then top with pine nuts, bacon, and arugula.
- Roll the eggplants, starting on the smaller skinny end of the eggplant slice.
- Top with balsamic drizzle and additional toppings as desired.
More Summer Recipes
- Strawberry soup
- Hawaiian pork and pineapple kebabs
- Strawberry fluff
- Snickers poke cake
- Strawberry spinach salad
- BBQ pulled pork sliders