Sara's Eggplant and Four-Cheese Cannelloni

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whole grain
Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 6 appetizer servings

Recipe photo

Cannelloni is usually made with pasta, but it can also be made with thin pancakes called "crespelle," the Italian version of crêpes. They're not only easy to make (particularly with the right pan), but they're also so versatile you can use them as a wrapper for anything, sweet or savory. Our special thanks to Sara Moulton for this recipe. Catch her show, "Sara's Secrets for Weeknight Meals," on PBS. A video illustrating how to make this recipe is available on our YouTube channel.

Sara's Eggplant and Four-Cheese Cannelloni

star rating (7) rate this recipe »
whole grain
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 6 appetizer servings
Published: 01/01/2010




  • 1 medium eggplant peeled and cut crosswise, about 1/3" thick
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup coarsely grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup coarsely Italian fontina cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups homemade tomato sauce or your favorite store-bought tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil, for garnish

Tips from our bakers

  • If you watch the video for this recipe, you might notice that it doesn't mirror the recipe exactly. For instance, the video doesn't call for extra Parmesan to be sprinkled on top of the sauce before baking. Any differences are minor; please don't stress over them. You'll be fine using either the recipe or the video as a reference.


1) Make the crespelle: Blend together the eggs, water, flour, and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth.

2) Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.

3) Check the batter consistency; it should be lighter than pancake batter. If it seems thicker, whisk in 1 tablespoon water.

4) Lightly brush a 7 3/4" crêpe pan with melted butter and heat over moderate heat until hot but not smoking.

5) Ladle about 1/4 cup batter into the pan, tilting and rotating it to coat the bottom.

6) Cook until the bottom of the crespella is barely golden, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

7) Flip and cook until the bottom is set, about 30 seconds.

8) Transfer cooked crespelle to a rack to cool. (You can stack them as soon as they have cooled). You should have enough batter to make 6 crespelle.

9) Make the filling: Preheat the oven to 375°F.

10) Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

11) Arrange in one layer on a large sheet pan lined with parchment.

12) Bake until tender and starting to color, about 40 minutes.

13) Remove from the oven, gently loosen from the pan, and let cool.

14) Combine the cheeses and season lightly with salt and pepper.

15) Top each of the crespella with 2 to 3 eggplant slices (or 1/6 of the eggplant).

16) Spread 1/6 of the cheese mixture just inside the edge of the crespella closest to you.

17) Roll up each crespella to enclose the cheese and eggplant, and arrange it seam-side down in a gratin or shallow casserole dish.

18) Pour the tomato sauce over all the crespelle. Top with additional grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

19) Bake until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted, about 30 minutes.

20) For appetizer servings, transfer 1 stuffed crespella to each plate and top with some of the fresh basil.


  • star rating 03/10/2015
  • ogljo from KAF Community
  • This recipe is so easy, quick and delicious I'm sure it will become a regular meal anytime I'm in the mood for eggplant. I'll probably double it next time to test it's leftover potential. I highly recommend you try this dish.
  • star rating 07/19/2012
  • Cathy L. from KAF Community
  • This was delicious! I love the crepe recipe - it seems so versatile.
  • star rating 09/22/2008
  • Steve Thomas from Lewisburg, TN
  • An excellent dish! I had to make it twice because the family just demanded it. The crespelle were a new and welcome preparation. The roasted eggplant would make a believer out of the most veggie averse eater.
  • 09/04/2008
  • Essie from Homer Glen, IL
  • Easy and delicious!
  • star rating 08/21/2008
  • Carol Ambabo from Albuquerque, NM
  • Easy to make and very, very good. The eggplant was delicious!
  • star rating 08/15/2008

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