Ok, so I know what you're thinking. "Eggplant? As in the vegetable?" Yes, eggplant. It might seem like an odd ingredient to use in an appetizer or main dish, but trust me when I say this vegan eggplant involtini is delicious! The eggplant is roasted until it's soft and then filled with a creamy white sauce and garlic spinach. It's like a healthier version of eggplant Parmesan and it's perfect for a meat-free meal. Give this recipe a try – I promise you won't be disappointed, as it is one of our favorite vegan eggplant recipes!
This Vegan Eggplant Involtini (aubergine involtini) recipe is the veganized version of the classic Italian dish.
This dish is the definition of comfort food. This eggplant involtini recipe is very creamy, soft on the inside, and full of flavor. We love that this recipe doesn't require a roasted eggplant, grilled eggplant, or baked eggplant but simply salting it, so the eggplant flesh loses its bitterness.
To make this gluten-free dish, you need to make a Vegan Bechamel Sauce (10 minutes) and optionally a Vegan Parmesan Cheese for the finishing (5 minutes). Make's a perfect Valentine's dinner appetizer!
The Eggplant is the Queen of this Recipe; get a nice, firm one so you can cut the slices easily!
- Dry porcini mushrooms
- Cauliflower head
- Extra-firm tofu
- Fresh garlic
- Nutritional Yeast
See quantities and full instructions in the recipe card.
Tip: to choose eggplant make sure it is firm, so they are fresher and easier to slice.
Slice the eggplant and sprinkle sea salt.
Make the filling
Put all the filling's ingredients in a food processor and mix until you get a smooth texture.
Tip: try to use fresh herbs so the stuffing is richer.
Lay the salted eggplant slices add some filling in one edge and roll.
Add some extra virgin olive oil to a skillet and place the stuffed eggplant in a skillet, next to each other.
Add the Vegan Bechamel Sauce on top plus some vegan parmesan cheese.
Cook in a skillet at a medium-low temperature for about 10 minutes, serve, and top the cooked eggplant with vegan cheese. Ready!
Serve vegan eggplant involtini with crusty bread such as an Italian Pagnotta bread.
Sauce - instead of bechamel sauce you can use a rich tomato sauce, such as a simple marinara sauce (see our marinara recipe). If you choose to make it with marinara, I recommend switching the fresh herbs for fresh basil.
Mushroom bechamel - add some sliced and tender mushrooms to the bechamel sauce.
More texture - after micing the stuffing add some toasted pine nuts, before rolling the eggplant slices.
How to serve
You can serve this vegetarian stuffed eggplant recipe as a side dish or a main course. This is because the stuffed eggplants ingredients are carefully balanced, so you have protein from tofu and just the right amount of complex carbohydrates from the veggies. Absolutely delicious!
If you plan to eat this eggplant meal as the main course, we recommend having two or three pieces and serving it with a simple and healthy Brussels sprouts recipe, maybe green beans with toasted almonds, or a fresh green salad with a delicious homemade vinaigrette.
Benefits of eating eggplant
- According to Healthline, the benefits of Eggplant are:
- They are high in fiber
- They are low in calories
Eggplants are rich in nutrients and minerals.
Eggplants have many more potential health benefits, including promoting blood sugar control and aiding in weight loss.
From reducing the risk of heart disease to blood sugar control and weight loss, eggplants are a simple and tasty addition to any healthy diet.
More vegan eggplant recipes
We love making our favorite eggplant dip, the famous Babaganoush, a traditional Middle-Eastern dish made with tahini sauce.
Try out our no-fry and vegan eggplant parmesan, a crowd pleaser.
Another house favorite is our vegan eggplant pie, quickly made it also works both as a main course and side dish.
See our collection of vegan eggplant recipes.Jump to Recipe
Eggplant Involtini Wine Pairing
Wine Pairing by our Sommelier Ramón Barreiro @pejo_barreiro
The harmonies between the wines and the foods are nothing other than the coincidence of the aromatic compounds between the drink and the food. Flavors and textures also play an important role in harmonizing food and wine and must be considered.
However, we always have to start from the aromas because it is the most complex variable in this gastronomic relationship, and without a doubt, the one that can give us the most exciting and delicious options.
It is in the Wine Culture where you will genuinely find quality wines and support sustainability. For this reason, in this blog, when we recommend wines, we do not want you to go to a supermarket shelf to buy wines for the usual varietals resulting from monoculture. Instead, we recommend wines taking you to the places where they come from. Thus, we advocate for living wines, with Culture, with Terroir.
Deciding on Harmony
Whenever I decide on harmony, I ask myself how I am seasoning my food: what spices and herbs I am using. For our Eggplant Involtini, the essential seasoning comes in the filling, rosemary. The other condiments, or ingredients with dominant flavors, are nutritional yeast, reminding us of nuts, bread, or even cheese, and vegan béchamel, with its touch of nutmeg.
Creamy sauces have the particularity of enhancing herbaceous aroma to count on the aromatic complexity of rosemary having an additional vehicle.
From this sensory analysis of the recipe, we have a seasoning that stands out, the rosemary. From there, we will look for possible pairings. A rosemary sprig has a powerful smell that we always recognize as rosemary, but its complex notes can remind us of wood, conifers, eucalyptus, cloves, and flowers.
What wines have these aromas? We usually find them in white wines.
And from there I will choose two of my three suggestions.
When choosing wines, if you live in a producing area, always choose local, find out about your producers, the history of your location, and the winemaking practices, and explore all the styles available in your area.
If you do not live in a producing area (or close to one of them), support the specialized stores near you, just as you would support your local farmers' market. Talk to the specialists, and ask them about their wine's selection, the wine's origins, their production practices, and the reasons that led to their inclusion in their selection.
With wine, as with any food on our table, it is always good to think about the path it went through before reaching us. It is also essential to consider the kilometers and the means of transportation used. Be aware of the carbon footprint of the food and wine you consume, and you will make your small contribution to sustainability.
The traditional suggestion, which I base on enhancing cultural harmonies, is the locals' choices between their cuisine and regional wines. Eggplant Parmigiana, the dish on which our Involtini recipe is based, is typical of Italy's entire southern region. Among the various options of white wine in this vast area, I recommend a Greco di, Tufo. This one is a fresh white typical of the Campania area, which will enhance very well the fresh origin of the Mediterranean garden of our dish.
A second traditional suggestion follows in the footsteps of the classic harmonies of Mediterranean cuisine. This one is why we chose a rosé wine, and why not, the rosé that is most associated with the Mediterranean, a Cotes de Provence Rosé.
This is a fresh and light wine whose coupage the ever-present Grenache stands out, a grape that often recalls the herbaceous aroma that we associate with rosemary. Also, rosé is a cultural choice in Mediterranean gastronomy for garden dishes.
The third suggestion is the playful and unexpected one. The white grape that I associate most with conifers and flowers is Riesling. Therefore, to seek maximum harmony with our dish, we chose a Riesling Troken. This one is the driest style of German white wines made with this wonderful variety.
Our last suggestion is to be adventurous and experiment. First, of course, you can choose one of the three wines we hand-picked. But why not try the dish by tasting the three of them and comparing the different harmonies they produce with this delicious Eggplant Involtini dish.
Wine Pairing Recap
- Italian - Fresh White - Greco di Tufo
- French - Rosé - Grenache, Cotes de Provence
- German - White - Riesling Troken
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag a photo #ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Vegan Eggplant Involtini
- 2 medium eggplants
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Slice Egglant. Start by finely slice the Eggplant lengthways and spread the slices in a trey.
- Sprinkle salt on top of them and let them "sweat" for 30 minutes (this will remove the Eggplant's bitter flavor).
- Steam the cauliflower head or boil it in 5 cups of water and cook it for 10 minutes.
- Soak the porcini mushrooms in 2 cups of warm water for 5 minutes.
- Crumble the tofu with your hands.
- Chop and stir fry. Chop the parsley, onion, and garlic and stir fry them with the tofu on medium heat until the mix is fragrant and pale golden, approximately 5 minutes.
- Coarsely chop the steamed cauliflower and hydrated mushrooms and add them to the onion mix. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Blend. In a food processor or blender, mix the stir fry mixture, the cauliflower, mushrooms, plus the nutritional yeast, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
- Remove any excess salt from the eggplant layers.
- Grill. Lightly grill the eggplant layers on a skillet and reserve them on a plate to start preparing the involtinis.
- Roll. Add the tofu filling to the narrow end of the eggplant slices, roll them up and place them in a skillet with some Vegan bechamel sauce on the bottom.
- Top. After finishing the rolls, top them with the rest of the bechamel sauce.
- Cook in a skillet at a medium-low temperature for about 10 minutes until they are meltingly tender.
Vegan Bechamel Sauce Recipe
- Melt the vegan butter or add the olive oil to a saucepan on medium heat.
- Add the flour of choice, little by little, as you stir with a wooden spoon.
- Start adding the milk. When it starts to brown, cook it for 1 minute more and start adding the unsweetened milk.
- Stir constantly with a whisk until it starts to get creamy and a thick sauce starts to form. Add salt, nutritional yeast, nutmeg, and pepper. Continue stirring and use immediately.
We sometimes take for granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience that the average visitor may not. Add to, or remove from, the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking points to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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