Eggplant and Pine Nut Rolled Lasagna

Eggplant and Pinenut Rolled Lasagna

I tend to get my fresh vegetables on Tuesday, so by the time Sunday rolls around, I’m down a lot of produce. I wanted to make something yummy for dinner, but the only fresh veggie I had was an eggplant. My husband has undertaken a massive pantry operation (we have synched eLists and everything now), so I knew I had lasagna noodles, canned tomatoes, and pine nuts in with our non-perishables.

I’ve been wanting to play around with the idea of rolled lasagna for a while. It’s fun, easy, and not as messy to serve. I’ve found that vegan lasagna falls apart even more readily than its dairy counterpart since it doesn’t have solidifying cheese to keep it together. Rolled lasagna holds its shape marvelously and it’s attractive. It’s also a great way to make smaller portions of lasagna, if you don’t want a huge casserole dish full of it.

I baked mine in gratin dishes (you know me and individually portioned food). You can just as easily bake this in one large dish; there shouldn’t be a difference. You can also fill them with whatever you like. I think sundried tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, roasted peppers… any of those would be a fabulous addition. I’ll add some possible variations to the recipe below.

Eggplant and Pine Nut Rolled Lasagna
Serves 4 (easily adapted)

8 Lasagna Noodles
1 Eggplant
Olive Oil
Black Pepper
2+ Cups Marinara Sauce (your favorite)
2 Slices Bread, toasted (or prepared breadcrumbs)

Pine Nut Spread
1 Cup Pine Nuts
1 Tbs Water
1/2 tsp White Wine Vinegar, or lemon juice
1 tsp Dried Italian Herbs
1/4 – 1/2 tsp Salt

Variation Ideas:
Add 1/3 Cup of Sun Dried tomatoes to pine nut spread
Add 1 Cup of sauteed spinach when filling
Add fresh baby spinach leaves when filling
Add 1 Cup of sauteed mushrooms when filling
Add strips of sauteed summer squash when filling

Lasagna NoodlesBoil noodles in salted water until al dente. Drain and lay out the noodles on a cookie sheet, lightly spraying with oil so that they do not stick. Set aside.

Peel eggplant. I find the easiest way to do this is to cut off both ends and use the edge provided to get your vegetable peeler started. I’ve found it difficult to get the peeler to cut the skin otherwise.

Place the eggplant upright on the cutting board. Slice the eggplant in long, thin vertical slices. Then slice each of these in half again, also vertically. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Sliced Eggplant

In a large non-stick or cast-iron skillet, begin browning the eggplant strips in olive oil, 2-3 Tbs a batch (or more). When strips are very tender and nicely browned on both sides, set aside.

Cooked Eggplant

In the hot skillet you cooked the eggplant in, add the pine nuts. Toast the pine nuts over medium-low heat until golden brown, being careful not to burn. Add the pine nuts to the work bowl of a food processor. Grind the nuts as well as you can, then add the remaining ingredients for the pine nut spread. Process until well combined.

Toast the bread and process into breadcrumbs.

Preheat oven to 400º F.


Spread a little pine nut spread ontp each noodle. You don’t need a lot, it’s very rich! Add eggplant strips, as well as any other filling.

Filling Rolled Lasagna

Roll up each noodle and place in your baking dish(es) seam-side down. Cover generously with sauce.

Eggplant and Pinenut Rolled Lasagna

Top with breadcrumbs and bake for 20-25 minutes. Since everything is already cooked, they just need to heat up and slightly brown. If you’re baking them in individual gratin dishes as shown here, place all the dishes on a baking sheet for easier removal from the oven. Serve immediately!

Eggplant and Pinenut Rolled Lasagna


  1. Sarah

    Any reason these can’t be made and frozen before baking? It’d be a great dish to just pop in the oven after work without all the prep. Thoughts?

  2. veggiegirl66

    i made this last night and it was AWESOME! came out better than expected and was really easy to do. i echo the earlier comment about reducing the recipe…i cut it in half and wished i hadn’t. keep up the great work!!

  3. ACrook

    I made this last night and it was ridiculously delicious. I added sliced, grilled zucchini and used garlic marinara. Oh my goodness. My mouth is watering just writing about it! Three cheers to your recipe!

  4. Carrie Gonzalez

    This was the most decadent, delicious meal I have eaten since I don’t know when! I had family over for dinner – I made them non-vegan lasagna and this for me – I caught them in the kitchen eating mine!! LOL I hope this puts to rest the ribbing I get about vegan food being boring.

  5. Holly

    Oh WOW! I just made this for dinner, and it turned out awesome! I had a bit of a problem with the pine nut sauce, because it wouldn’t spread properly on the noodles, but I worked it out. The omnis loved it too, and my mom said it was the best meal I’ve made yet.

  6. Celina

    Thank you for the inspirational idea! I had never cooked with eggplant before, but tried this recipe tonight. I substituted pesto for the pine nut spread and used Parmesan cheese instead of bread crumbs and it turned out SO good. My boyfriend–a consummate carnivore–even liked it and went back for seconds.
    Thank you so much! Keep up the great work.
    :) CQ

  7. Elizabeth

    These look delicious! We may have to give these a try at our house!

    The photographs are beautiful. I am a novice at food photography at . I love the way you light everything.

    I’ve been a fan of your blog since last July when I discovered it!

    Thank you for the great recipes!

  8. Cheryl

    Yowza! I have no idea how I stumbled on your site, but I’m very happy to have arrived. The light in your photos is astonishingly lovely, and your lasagna looks scrumptious.

  9. Philippa O

    i made these for dinner for my parents who were visiting from overseas and my partner’s parents. they are so delicious!!! it’s amazing how such simple ingredients can make such sensational flavours. and it’s a great way to make a ‘meet the inlaws’ dinner a hit

  10. River (aka Pat)

    This is such a good – and such an attractive – idea! I like to have lasagna now and then, but when I want it I don’t want to be eating it for the next week (and freezing some fillings doesn’t work as well as it might). This is the perfect answer for one or two people who are watching their calorie intake AND who love to eat good food all the time! Thank you for this. I’ll be back!!!! Hugs.

  11. Lizzy

    are you planning on doing a post for valentines day? i want to make something for my boyfriend and need ideeeeas.

  12. ania

    i just made this last night with a friend. it was delicious and didn’t make us feel stuffed in a bad way. much easier than regular lasagna. thanks!

  13. Elaine

    Made this for dinner on the weekend and it had a fabulous reception. I used roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and kale for the filling and added a few sun-dried tomatoes with the pine nut spread. It tasted amazing. Definitely going into the keeper pile.

    Next time I’ll try adding a bit more liquid to the spread… it didn’t spread so easily. Also, rolled up it is way easier and neater for serving, but I found it a little harder to keep it together while eating. Not that it stayed on my plate long anyway.

  14. Robin

    Very tasty! I added sauteed mushrooms as well as crumbled tempeh which I steamed, then browned with fennel and crushed red pepper. Also added some fresh basil to the spread, since I had it on hand. My boyfriend is horrified at any adaptation of a usually dairy-ful dish and refused to eat this, so I picked a night he’d be out at dinner. Of course, then he tastes the pine nut paste as I’m making it and wants more.

    I prepared everything the day beforehand and refrigerated it, so it did end up drying out a bit before the center got hot. I think next time if I do that, I’ll use a lower heat and a longer time… any other ideas?

  15. Rob Mac

    We made this as a layered lasagna and added sautéed spinach and mushrooms instead of eggplant. It was outstanding! Thanks for a the great recipe idea.

  16. Kristin

    Hi Lolo,

    I made this lasagna and my family loved it!

    Also, I’m dying to know what synched e-lists means? I would love to have an e-list of the things in my pantry, can you elaborate on that?

    My husband and I use an iPhone application called Zenbe. You can share and sync lists with it, so I can add soymilk to my list, and it pops up on his! Really helpful for grocery shopping. :)

  17. Lisa H

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I made it with zucchini, no eggplant, and added mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. Amazing! I really miss lasagna since my husband stopped eating dairy, but now I don’t have to miss it anymore!

  18. Kat

    I made this tonight and it’s amazing! We had trouble saving the pine nut paste for the lasagna. I added some sauteed mushrooms and used Asian eggplant. The only minus is that the only vegan lasagna noodles I can get here in China are much wider and shorter than yours – and without the ruffled edges. Mine came out looking more like cannelloni, but still yum even if not so pretty.

  19. Al

    I made a vegetarian version for myself and 2 meat versions for my hubby and son. We all enjoyed and their yucky beef didn’t have to fraternize with my veggies. What a simple idea to make everyone their own!! I used little 2 cup glass pyrex bowls and they worked beautifully. I didn’t have eggplant so I put in zucchini and yellow peppers (in my vegetarian version). Thanks for your wonderful site!

  20. dm

    i just made this for dinner tonight and i’m very excited! i’ll give you feedback later, so far your recipes have been great and delicious!!! keep it up :)

  21. Al

    Wow. For a non-professional who didn’t go to culinary school, you have a natural ability to know flavors, colors and ingredients.

    Bravo for your wonderful, great and tasty creations!!

  22. williamgeorge

    Peel the Eggplant (the easiest way is to cut off both ends and use the edge provided to get your peeler started; it’s hard to get it to cut the skin otherwise). Slice it in half lengthwise, then lay each half face-down and slice it in thin lengthwise strips (you will need approximately 18 strips). Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper.

  23. Sophie

    I’ve made this several times since this was posted purely because it’s sooo darn good and my non vegan/vegetarian friends LOVED IT.

    I love the fact that it’s so simple and there are very few ingredients that can also sit in the cupboard for a while there’s no rush to use them.

    Can you PLEASE post more recipes like this it was prefect!

  24. Cecelia

    This was a good recipe, I in fact, am eating it right now. I find that this is one of those recipes that is much better as leftovers, when the flavors have really had time to develop. If you plan on eating this dish the night of, you may want to add some garlic to the pine nut sauce.

    But as always, you’re recipes are great. Thank you so much for sharing this one.

  25. Julie

    I made your rolled lasagna yesterday night. Wow! It was soooo good!
    I didn’t have time to make my own Marinara sauce so I used a jar of Antiquo organic sauce, it was ok but next time I’ll try to make my own as it is usually less intense and acidic than jarred sauce.
    I also sauteed mushrooms with some Earth Balance margarine and one big minced garlic clove (I looooove garlic), than I added about 1/4 cup of white wine and let it reduced. It completed the taste of the toasted pine nuts very nicely.
    So thanks for this wonderful recipe, it’s easy and can be prepared in advance, so I’ll make it next time I have people over for supper.
    By the way, I also made your blueberry grunt last night (I used 3 cups blueberries and 1 cup raspberries). My husband thought it was ok, but I found it incredibly delicious and not too sweet at all. Will make it again. Often. :0)

  26. Michelle

    I made this the other night for my boyfriend and I for dinner. Delicious!!! The lightly fried eggplant was perfect. Thank you for a great idea!!

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  28. polishedtoes

    Thank you! So clever! Even my super-picky non-vegan boyfriend liked this! (I added mozzarella to his)
    non-chef chef’s notes:
    I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to spray the noodles, or spray the cookie sheet? So, I sprayed the noodles. I’m pretty sure you mean the cookie sheet. I tried adding the sun dried tomatoes, but I had a hard time processing them with the pine nuts. I would either leave out the tomatoes or process them separately and then mix together. As it says in the recipe, you don’t need much spread and mine looked nowhere near as pretty as the pictures. Mine was more like small clumps versus an actual “spread.” Perhaps because I sprayed the noodles. Oh, and, “standard” homemade sauce – huh? That’s called a “jar.” I don’t have “gratin dishes” whatever they are. I put them all in a quiche dish; a casserole dish would work great too.
    I think there are lots of possibilities with this. In spite of the clumps versus spread issue, it turned out rather nice looking. I really like the idea of individual portions of lasagna.
    You are inspiring to an aspiring vegan!

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  31. Cindy

    My husband made these last week and they were spectacular! Eating the leftovers for workday lunches brightened up our days too. Thank you. :-)

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