Eggplant Cannelloni with Pine Nut Romesco Sauce

This vegan version of the classic Italian dish wraps a flavorful quinoa and vegetable blend in tender slices of baked eggplant.


  • For the Eggplant:
  • 2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced lengthwise 1/2-inch (1.3 cm) thick
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, seeded, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (128 g) chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) chopped celery
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 8 ounces (227 g) baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon no-salt Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 cup (185 g) cooked quinoa, kamut, barley or spelt brown rice
  • 2 cups (480 ml) no-salt-added or low-sodium pasta sauce
  • 6 ounces (170 g) nondairy Mozzarella-type cheese, divided
  • For the Sauce:
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup (170 g) roasted red bell peppers, in water
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) water
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons (17 g) pine nuts or almonds (see note)
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons (16 g) nutritional yeast


  1. To make the eggplant, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly oil a non-stick baking pan. Arrange eggplant in a single layer in the pan. Bake about 20 minutes or until eggplant is flexible enough to roll up easily. Set aside.
  2. Heat 2 Tablespoons water in a large pan. Add bell pepper, onion, celery, and garlic. Sauté until just tender, adding more water if needed. Add spinach and Italian seasoning and cook until spinach is wilted. Add cooked quinoa.
  3. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Mix in 2-3 Tablespoons pasta sauce and all of the shredded cheese. Spread about 1/4 cup of the pasta sauce in a baking pan. Put some of the vegetable mixture on each eggplant slice, roll up and place in pan. Pour remaining sauce over the eggplant rolls. Bake for 20 minutes, until heated through.
  4. To make romesco sauce, place garlic, red peppers, water, vinegar, chili powder, pine nuts, tomato and yeast into the Vitamix container and secure lid.
  5. Select Variable 1.
  6. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 2 or 3.
  7. Blend for 15 to 20 seconds or until chunky, using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades.
  8. Serve eggplant topped with romesco sauce.

Mediterranean pine nuts are best.

This recipe has been written for the C-Series machines with Variable Speed control and Standard 64-ounce container. If you are using a different Vitamix machine or container size, you may need to make adjustments to the Variable Speed, processing time, and/or ingredient quantities.