A quick 20 minute dinner, this Healthy Instant Pot Eggplant Parmesan isn’t breaded or fried, only calls for 4 ingredients, and makes a delicious, comforting, and low carb meal!
HEALTHY INSTANT POT EGGPLANT PARMESAN!! I am like so, so excited for this recipe!
What is one meal that reminds you of your mom? While I could probably name a few, one thing that sticks out in my head is eggplant parmesan. My mom would make it pretty often in our house. She never went off a recipe and changed it up each time, and never actually “fried” the eggplant.
She would either sauté the eggplant up on the stove and cover with sauce and cheese or lightly coat it with breadcrumbs and bake it. I think even a few times she made it into a casserole type dish with long slices of eggplant.
Whatever way she made it, it was one of my favorites. It was always comforting and hearty, while still light. So today I am making my spin it on and making a quick and healthy instant pot eggplant parmesan!
You guys have been asking for more Instant Pot recipes so what better way than having one in 30 Minute Meal Solutions. If you missed it, this month is dedicated to quick and easy, one pan, 30 minute meals! This Instant Pot eggplant parmesan fits into description perfectly. We’ve made this a few time and each time I love it even more.
It’s cheesy, hearty, and comforting, while still being on the lighter side. It’s packed with veggies, is low carb, and just makes a delicious easy meal.
How to make Healthy Instant Pot Eggplant Parmesan
The reason I love this recipe so freakin’ much is because it’s so so easy. All you need is 4 ingredients, 5 minutes of prep time, and then 20 minutes of cook time. Half of that time is the Instant Pot heating up. I’m sure you can guess the ingredients, but this is what you need:
- pasta/marinara sauce – Victoria is my favorite
- mozzarella cheese
To start, you want to cut your eggplant into long 1/2 inch thick strips. I like to cut both the top and bottom off so I can stand it up straight. Then will run my knife down lengthwise making long pieces. Not every piece will be the same shape and thickness, but that is okay. This size works best for layering in your Instant Pot.
Next salt your eggplant. Then you begin the layering process. Place 1/2 cup sauce to cover the bottom of the pot. Layer with a few slices of eggplant, covering the bottom, another 1/2 cup of sauce, and cheese. Continue until you no longer have anymore eggplant. I had 3 layers of eggplant, but have also used smaller eggplants getting 5 layers. The amount of layers don’t matter, you just want to make sure you have enough cheese and sauce.
You need to make sure you fully cover the bottom of the pan with sauce. If you don’t you run the risk of burning your IP and your eggplant. You want a more watery based sauce as well. I found that 1/2 cup worked perfectly for my 8QT Instant Pot each time I tested the recipe.
Set your Instant Pot to manual mode on high pressure for 10 minutes. You can either release pressure manually or let it naturally release, I found that the pressure naturally releases in about 5 minutes anyways. Open it up and dinner is served!
What can I serve with Instant Pot Eggplant Parmesan?
For the ultimate experience, I would serve eggplant parmesan with a side of crusty bread, some pasta, and a side salad. This dish is naturally low carb due to the fact it isn’t breaded. If you wanted to keep it low carb, you could serve it with some cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles to help absorb the sauce.
You could also use white rice to keep it gluten free. We’ve served it with anything from gluten free pasta, rice, salad, bread, and more veggies. Anything will work!
Can I bake healthy eggplant parmesan/make it in the oven?
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, I think this recipe would work just fine to be baked. Follow the direction as it, just use a glass baking dish instead of your Instant Pot. I would bake it at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes until eggplant is tender and cheese is melted.
If your sauce looks watery
If you open up your Instant Pot and it looks like there is a lot of liquid in the pot, don’t be alarmed. The eggplant gives off some water and combined with the sauce, there will be liquid in the pot. Once you cut into the eggplant parmesan and remove it, there really isn’t much left. We love to spoon the sauce over the top of the eggplant or pasta, because who doesn’t love sauce?!
If needed, you could place your Instant Pot on sauté mode for a couple minutes to help absorb the liquid. Just be careful not to burn the bottom of the eggplant. Also, as the eggplant cools, the sauce will thicken up some.
Can you make this dairy free?
While I haven’t tried it, you could sub a dairy free and vegan cheese if you want. I would just make sure it melts as you want to get the gooey and melty consistency of the cheese on the eggplant.
More 30 minute One Pot meals:
Healthy Instant Pot Eggplant Parmesan
- 2 large eggplants (780 grams)
- 2 cups marinara sauce, divided
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups)
- for servings: fresh basil, red pepper flakes, parmesan cheese...
- Prepare eggplant. Cut off the top and the bottom of the eggplant and stand up straight. Slice eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-1/2 inch slices. Salt eggplant slices on both sides.
- In your Instant Pot, add 1/2 cup of marinara sauce and spread out evenly on the bottom*. Cover sauce with a layer of eggplant, covering the bottom as best you can. Add 1/2 cup of sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Continue layering the eggplant, sauce, and cheese (I had 3 layers).
- Close Instant Pot lid, make sure vent is set to sealed, and set to manual mode on high pressure for 10 minutes. Manually or naturally release pressure when done (pressure releases natually in about 4-5 minutes). Cut into 4 equal pieces and top with optional toppings. Enjoy!
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