These eggplant appetizer roll-ups are stuffed with a garlicky mixture of carrots, onions, mayo, and tomato paste. A classic Slavic finger food!
In Slavic culture, you can always expect these eggplant roll-ups to make an appearance at everything from weddings to important family get-togethers. Served cold, they are a refreshing mouthful of garlic and texture. You’re going to love them!
Naturally gluten-free and low-carb, you can also enjoy them as a healthy snack whenever a craving hits. For those of you out there that are obsessed with eggplant, you’ll soon find these a part of your regular appetizer rotation!
How to Make This Eggplant Appetizer
Making these eggplant roll-ups requires under 10 ingredients and is a super fun process. Who doesn’t like stuffing and rolling? Below, find a quick rundown of the recipe before you get started.
- Clean and Slice the Eggplants: First, rinse the eggplants under cool water. Using a mandolin slicer or sharp knife, cut them into circles and strips.
- Bake the Eggplant: Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and brush each slice with oil on both sides. Next, bake them at 450°F for about 5 minutes, or until they soften slightly.
- Make the Stuffing: Clean and grate the carrot. Next, dice the onions and clean the garlic cloves. In a skillet preheated with a bit of oil, cook the carrots and onions until they soften. Add the tomato paste and mayo, stirring until well-combined. Finally, press the garlic into the mixture and season it to taste with salt and pepper.
- Assemble the Roll-Ups: Place a spoonful of the veggie stuffing at the end of each eggplant strip and roll it up. For the circular pieces, place the veggie mixture in the center and fold up both sides. Keep the roll-ups refrigerated until you’re ready to serve them. Enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
Below, find a handful of tips and tricks to help you make the best eggplant appetizer roll-ups.
- Use a mandolin slicer to cut the eggplant. If you want beautiful, consistent slices, use a mandolin slicer on a 1/4-inch thick setting to cut the eggplant.
- Don’t overbake the eggplant. You want the eggplant to soften slightly, not roast. If you overcook it, it will be hard to work with and roll.
- Don’t overstuff the eggplant. Resist the temptation of overstuffing the eggplant, or they’ll be super hard to roll. You also don’t want to overstuff them so much that they don’t stay sealed.
Serving Eggplant Appetizers
Eggplant roll-ups are an amazing starter for special occasions. In Slavic communities, they are almost always served as weddings, holidays, and birthday celebrations. Add them to your appetizer spread of crab mushroom canapés and mushroom and bell pepper canapés, or place them right next to your charcuterie board. If you want to keep things traditional, serve them as a starter before a meal of cabbage rolls and creamy herbed potatoes.
If you’re planning to eat the eggplant roll-ups within a week, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. This will keep them from turning stale, while also preventing them from soaking up any lingering smells in your refrigerator.
Can I make this appetizer a day ahead?
Yes, you can make eggplant roll-ups a day ahead of time. However, don’t prep them more than a day ahead, as they are prone to turning soggy.
Does this recipe call for a whole garlic head or just a single garlic clove?
Yes, this recipe does indeed call for an entire head of garlic. If that is too much for you to handle, feel free to use half or just a couple of cloves.
How long do these eggplant appetizers keep for?
Eggplant roll-ups should be eaten within 2 days. Any longer and the eggplant will turn soggy.
Are these considered low-carb and gluten-free?
Yes, these eggplant appetizer bites are naturally low-carb and gluten-free.
Could I use a different veggie than eggplant?
Potentially, you could use par-boiled zucchini. However, we’ve only tested this recipe with eggplant and can’t vouch for how it would work.
Other Tasty Finger Foods
- Egg and Sprats Canapés 9 (Easy Appetizer) – Fish and hardboiled egg toasts
- Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings – No-guilt chicken wings
- Pigs in a Blanket – Quick! (Only 4 Ingredients) – Mini hot dogs in puff pastry
- Air Fryer Cheesy Jalapeño Poppers (Only 5 Ingredients) – Bacon-wrapped, cream-cheese jalapeños
- 2 medium eggplants
- 2 large carrot grated
- 1 small yellow onion
- 8 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp oil
- 5 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp salt adjust to taste
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Rinse the eggplants under cold water. Slice them into 1/4-inch thick circles or lengthwise strips.
- Preheat oven to 450°F or low broil. Place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet. Brush each one with oil on both sides. Next, bake the eggplant until it softens (about 5 minutes). Alternatively, you can use the grill to cook the eggplant if you want a smokier flavor.
- Preheat a skillet over medium-heat with tablespoons of oil. Cook the carrots and onions until they soften. Next, add the tomato paste and mayonnaise, continually stirring the mixture to prevent it from burning. Add the pressed garlic and season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place a spoonful of the sautéed veggie mixture at the end of each of the eggplant strips and roll them up. For the round pieces, place a spoonful of the veggie mixture in the center and fold both sides over.
- Keep the eggplant roll-ups refrigerated until you're ready to serve them. Enjoy!
I was skeptical about making this dish. But oh boy it was delicious. I am glad I did. I literally eat it on top of eggs, my salad and pasta. Garlic is the kicker in this. Thank you for the recipe.
Jolanta- I'm so happy to hear that; thank you for taking a chance and giving it a try. 😀
It's the first time for me to try this recipe and it was a success! My family loved this appetizer, these are so good.
Thank you, Natasha! Glad you gave it a try and that your entire family loved it.
This appetizer sounds really interesting, and I can't wait to make it next time I have guests over. What is this dish called locally? I'd love to know more about its history!
Hi Nova- ah, I'm not even sure of the exact name for this slavic dish, but I do know that it's served at SO many slavic weddings!! We sure love our eggplant dishes! 😀
I love this appetizer recipe for eggplant rolls! I've never made anything like this before, and it's really good! I can assure you that it is a kid-friendly appetizer because my children enjoyed it.
That's a win! Thanks for giving it a try!
yum! this is an amazing eggplant recipe, thank you for sharing!
Hi Jess, glad you enjoyed it!
Can the eggplant appetizer be made a day before serving?
Yes for sure. This can be made ahead of time.
Are you sure the recipe calls for 1 garlic head? Maybe it's 1 garlic clove.. It just seems way too much garlic for 1 carrot and a small onion 🙂
yes, a while garlic head, you can see all that garlic in step 3 🙂 It taste very good with all that garlic in it (unless you cant stand garlic)