Eggplant Parmesan in the Instant Pot

By Alexandra Caspero on July 21, 2017

Eggplant Parmesan in the Instant Pot! Ready in just 15 minutes. Vegetarian and Gluten-Free. Perfect on its own or over pasta.

Well, I’m finally the proud new owner of an Instant Pot.

I broke down during last week’s Amazon prime day and finally bought one. The magical appliance that seems to do it all: slow cook, saute, pressure cook, rice cook and even makes yogurt.

Like with any new toy, I spent most of last Saturday sifting through manuals, recipe ideas and testing some of my favorite recipes. While I’ve been a fan of pressure cooking for years, there’s something a lot more sleek and trendy about using the Instant Pot. My old pressure cooker seemed like a kitchen disaster waiting to happen, as it dangerously jiggled across the stove every time it reached pressure.

Having already used the Instant Pot a dozen times over the past week, I can safely say this is one purchase I should have made a while ago.

Eggplant Parmesan that you can make in the Instant pot! This side dish is ready in just 15 minutes. Layers of eggplant, tomato sauce, basil and mozzerella cheese. Vegetarian and Gluten-Free | www.delishknowledge.com

15 minutes friends! That’s all you need to bring creamy, cheesy eggplant parmesan to your table. I think eggplant is one of those foods that you either love or hate. Personally, I’m a big fan. I love the meaty, tender texture it takes on when it’s prepared right.

When it’s prepared right being the operative words.

Why you need an Instant Pot for this recipe

Eggplant contains saponins, bitter yet healthful compounds, that make cooking it until done essential. Otherwise, you end up with a sharp, unpleasant taste that makes you never want to cook eggplant again.

I think the pressure cooker solves this dilemma perfectly as it ensures that the eggplant is poached in a flavorful marinara sauce, without the additional need for oils to keep it from going dry. With a little cheese and fresh basil for good measure, this is the perfect side dish (or main dish) of summer.

Eggplant Parmesan that you can make in the Instant pot! This side dish is ready in just 15 minutes. Layers of eggplant, tomato sauce, basil and mozzerella cheese. Vegetarian and Gluten-Free | www.delishknowledge.com

To ensure success, make sure your eggplant is sliced fairly thin and that the slices are as uniform as possible. This way, the eggplant cooks at the same rate and you aren’t left with overcooked and undercooked pieces. I aimed for a 1/4-1/2″ slice, which was timed perfectly for 11 minutes in the Instant pot.

If you have larger pieces, you might need to bump up the cooking time by a few minutes.

Lastly, I’m calling for enough sauce here to be able to serve over pasta, if desired. You can see in the photo below that you should have more then enough liquid to cover the eggplant with. Depending on the size of your eggplant, you may need to add a bit more sauce or water.

Then, if you’d like, serve the eggplant (and the yummy sauce) over spaghetti or your favorite grain.

Eggplant Parmesan that you can make in the Instant pot! This side dish is ready in just 15 minutes. Layers of eggplant, tomato sauce, basil and mozzerella cheese. Vegetarian and Gluten-Free | www.delishknowledge.com

Looking for more beat the heat recipes? Click here for more healthy recipes using the slow cooker, instant pot or pressure cooker recipes from The Recipe Redux.

If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking! 

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Eggplant Parmesan that you can make in the Instapot! This side dish is ready in just 15 minutes. Layers of eggplant, tomato sauce, basil and mozzerella cheese. Vegetarian and Gluten-Free | www.delishknowledge.com

Eggplant Parmesan made in the Instant Pot

  • Author: Alex

Description

Eggplant Parmesan that you can make in the Instant Pot! This side dish is ready in just 15 minutes. Layers of eggplant, tomato sauce, basil and mozzerella cheese. Vegetarian and Gluten-Free.


  • Author: Alex
  • Author: Alex
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants, sliced into 1/4″ rings (the eggplant needs to be uniform in slices so it cooks evenly)
  • 4 cups marinara sauce (homemade or jarred)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup shredded mozzerella cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • fresh basil, for serving

Instructions

  1. Place 1 cup of the water in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Layer with a few slices of eggplant, a sprinkle of cheese and cover with a very thin layer of sauce. Repeat, layering eggplant, cheese and a thin layer of sauce until all the eggplant is in the pot, ending with the remaining sauce and then a sprinkle of cheese. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if using.
  2. Cover and bring the pressure to high (using the manual setting) and cook for 10 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally or use a quick-release method after 3 minutes.
  3. Serve, garnish with fresh basil. You will likely have extra sauce, so serve this one over pasta if you’d like!

Notes

  • If you read the comments you’ll see that 1/2 of the people LOVE this recipe and 1/2 had it scorch on them. Here’s how to prevent that:
    • Make sure you have enough water in the bottom of the Instant Pot.  I’ve tested this recipe a few times and this amount works for me. I have the smaller Instant Pot, so if you are using a larger one then you might need to add more. The first layer of eggplant should almost float so that the eggplant doesn’t stick. The only downside is that you will end up with more sauce than you need so do what I do: make some pasta to put the eggplant and sauce over! It’s delicious.
    • The KEY is not letting the sauce touch the bottom of the pot. So, make sure your first few layers are thin and then add the rest at the end and DON’T stir.
    • Make sure your Instant Pot is set to sealing when you cook it; if it’s not then it won’t come to pressure and the sauce will burn.
    • You’ll want fairly thin slices of eggplant; too thick and they won’t cook through.
    • For more detailed information on why some recipes burn and why some don’t, read this post.
  • No Instapot? No problem. A regular pressure cooker should work the same way.
  • None of the above? Layer the eggplant, sauce and shredded cheese in a casserole dish and roast at 375F for 35-40 minutes until golden browned and eggplant is tender.
  • Feel free to alternate layers of zucchini and eggplant in this dish as well- works great!

did you make this?

Tag @delishknowledge on Instagram and hashtag it #delishknowledge

Eggplant Parmesan that you can make in the Instant Pot! This side dish is ready in just 15 minutes. Layers of eggplant, tomato sauce, basil and mozzerella cheese. Vegetarian and Gluten-Free | www.delishknowledge.com

 

Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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    1. Pete
      June 3, 2019 AT 4:02 pm

      Happened on this recipe through a Google search. As a newbie to pressure cooking, I just thought I’d share some info……maybe ! Just finished eating and this recipe was good. If anything, the sauce was watered down. I’ll try it next week with 1/2 cup of water. I have an “off” brand “Insta Pot”…..an “Insignia”. It’s a 6 quart. One Med.-Lrg. Eggplant filled the pot more than 1/2 way so I used one. I also don’t skimp on sauce or cheese on the layers. Loaded it right up. I did notice that most of the people I know with these cookers have bare metal pots…….whether Stainless or some other metal. Mine is a Non Stick. Could that be the reason for scorching for some ? Anyways, it turned out good. I just miss the breading. Next time I’ll do the egg wash and bread crumbs in a pan then put it in the pot with 1/2 cup of water !

      1. Alex
        June 4, 2019 AT 5:38 am

        Thanks so much for the feedback Pete!

    2. Mary Paisley
      March 30, 2019 AT 6:31 pm

      Just put your rack on the bottom of your Instant Pot after putting in the cup of water, add a tiny bit of water to the bottom of a metal pie plate (I used an 8″ Wilton cake pan) that works inside your instant pot, then add all the ingredients and it comes out well, like it’s like an eggplant casserole/pie. i.e. you will be slicing the raw eggplant starting at one end to create thin circular slices versus attempting long lasagne noodle type slices. I have not experimented with adding foil around the pie plate and over the top to allow the top to brown, but it could possibly make it look like a more traditional eggplant parm with a browned cheese topping. It’s good for you and beats frying it up in a pan and the extra carbs from the breading.”

    3. Michelle G
      March 24, 2019 AT 1:06 pm

      One more thing.. I wish your readers would read how easy it is to deglaze the pot. Anything burnt on comes right off. No soaking!! People stop wasting your time scrubbing. I use apple cider vinegar on sauté .. few scrapes of a wooden spoon. Done!

    4. Michelle G
      March 24, 2019 AT 1:02 pm

      Loved this recipe. I even had my friends over. They said it was the best eggplant parm they ever had. The only thing I changed.. added a bit more water and I sprinkled parm on the top of each plate served. I’m making this weekly!

      Thanks for the burn info as well.

      1. Alex
        March 25, 2019 AT 6:37 am

        So glad you liked it, thanks Michelle!

    5. Sue Tweedie
      February 24, 2019 AT 5:54 pm

      I made this tonight in a pip. I’ve made it before in the inner pan and it worked. I started it this way because of the reviews and how hard cheese is to clean. I am making it for 2 so I used only one pan and one eggplant. First I line the pan with parchment paper. I slice it thin and into small pieces. Layer the sauce , eggplant , cheese. I add a little water in the inner pan. Covered with full cover. Place on a trivet and add a cup of water in the pot. Never burns. I added 3 minutes to the cooking. I thought it was fine. My husband says cook a little longer. I served it over some noodles. Very good. I’ve made this a few times and no problems. I guess you could adjust to your liking. Because of the parchment paper, very easy to clean up.

      1. Alex
        February 25, 2019 AT 8:12 am

        The parchment paper is GENIUS! Going to try that and the trivet. Thank you!!!

    6. Adeline
      January 30, 2019 AT 6:03 pm

      I am really annoyed. It burnt, though I doubled the water and my tomato sauce was really liquid to begin with. I’m currently cleaning the mess at the bottom of the Instant pot while fighting melted cheese in huge bundles. Never again.

    7. Marsha
      September 24, 2018 AT 10:54 am

      My try at this didn’t work in the 3qt. Never came to pressure even after changing the rings and then took out some of the eggplant.
      So, I added the eggplant back in the 3 quart pot and put in my 8 Quart with water in bottom and cooked pot in pot. No issues.

      I added Trader Joe’s everything Bagel seasoning and veggie crumbles and Italian seasoning to the different layers.

    8. Nina
      September 17, 2018 AT 2:52 pm

      I made this in a spring pan and it was yummy. I do agree it was runny I think next time I’m going to mix half sauce half paste to give it a thicker consistency.

    9. LF
      August 2, 2018 AT 4:31 pm

      I made this twice; the first time it burned on me. I had used the exact same ingredients, too. I thought about the burning quite a bit and figured out the possible cause. I was right and the second time I made this, it came out perfect.

      For cooking time, the instructions say to do High Pressure. On my IP, I have the option to do Low or High Pressure then sub-settings of Less-Normal-More. To make this recipe work, I did High Pressure, with Less for the sub-setting. I also like my eggplant very well cooked, so I added 2 more minutes to the cooking time. A new favorite and easy dish. 🙂

      1. Alex
        August 3, 2018 AT 7:15 am

        I’m so sorry you had issues with the burn issue- I just got a new IP to test this on one… I’m planning on doing it this weekend and will try this method. I know that with 1/2 the comments, it works perfectly and with the other 1/2… they get the burn notice. Would like to make this more foolproof!

    10. Carin Hales
      July 10, 2018 AT 6:26 pm

      I followed the recipe and just added a half cup more water to the bottom. It worked perfectly, no burning or anything. Loved this!