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Cook eggplant in microwave

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Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family, (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers etc.) but has a reputation all its own. Most recognized by it’s deep purple skin, eggplant is used to add flavor, texture, and vibrant color to dishes. Frying is a common way to cook eggplant, however if you’re looking to ditch the added fat, there are other ways to cook this veggie to perfection. Microwaving, is an option if frying is out, and you’re short on time.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Rinse the eggplant under lukewarm tap water and scrub the skin thoroughly to remove any excess dirt.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Next, using a sharp knife cut off the stem. (If removing the skin: use a paring knife for best results.)

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Lay each half down on a cutting board, with the flesh-side facing down. Slice the eggplant into one-inch cubes.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Place the cubed eggplant into a two-quart microwave-safe bowl. Place 2 tbsp. butter in the bowl and cover with a paper towel or microwave splatter-guard. Set the bowl in the microwave.

Sarah Vantassel/Demand Media

Microwave on high for seven to 10 minutes. Stop the microwave every two minutes during the cooking time and stir. Remove from microwave once eggplant reaches desired tenderness.

Tip

Replace the butter with olive oil for a lighter and healthier dish. Add bread crumbs, salt and oregano for a quick side dish.

Warning

Cooking times vary depending on the exact wattage of your microwave.

Food

Marinated and Microwaved Asian Eggplant

Adapted from Food 52
Serves 4

Ingredient

  • 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

  • 2 tablspoons rice wine or apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tabelspoon toasted sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons loosely packed cilantro leaves

  • 1 1/2 medium-size garlic gloves

  • 1 x 1/4″ fresh, peeled ginger, minced

  • 4 small Chinese eggplants

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients except the eggplant into a blender or food processor and combine until smooth.

  2. Cut the ends of the eggplant and slice down the middle. Prick with a fork throughout, and score the flesh using a diagonal cut in both directions.

  3. Place the eggplant skin side down in a microwave-safe dish large enough to fit all eggplant in a single layer, side by side.

  4. Spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons of the marinate over each eggplant half and work into the flesh. Flip the eggplant and put the remaining marinade into the dish. Let stand for 45 minutes.

  5. After marinading, place eggplant skin side down. Cover the dish tightly with a lid or plastic wrap that’s microwave friendly. Cook on full power for 10 minutes until done.

Slow Food Fast

After microwaving 10 minutes, the eggplant has collapsed

Eggplant is one of those warm-climate foods. It’s big, cheap, and plentiful, it goes with everything from garlicky oregano-and-fennel laden tomato sauce to nutmeg-tinged custard or cumin/cinnamon-scented Greek and North African dishes, to curries and darkly soy-glazed Chinese and Thai dishes. You can deep-fry it, panfry it, grill it and serve it room-temperature under a glossy layer of olive oil, marinate it, wrap it around other fillings, stuff it, roast it, make spreads with it… There’s even a Greek eggplant “spoon sweet” and at least one eggplant “jam” from Morocco. To say nothing of pink-tinged sour eggplant pickles, one of my favorite additions at the Israeli felafel stands.

The only thing you don’t really want to do with eggplant is eat it raw.

I NEVER bother with the usual cookbook directions for eggplant. All of them slavishly recopy instructions from their predecessors–salt it, drain it, fry it in tons of expensive olive oil, which it will soak up mercilessly, bake it for an hour only to find it still has spongy raw spots… They never bother to update, or even retest, the traditional assumptions that make eggplant such a pain.

You can forget most of that if you just nuke your eggplants first. Most of the stuff people do to their eggplants comes of just trying to get it cooked through. The salt’s to get rid of some of the water; the fat’s to cook it hotter and let the juices steam inside the slices.

Microwaving takes care of both, needs neither fat nor salt, and it’s very quick–10 minutes on HIGH on a pyrex pie plate for 1 or 2 decent-sized eggplants and you’ve got either collapsed whole eggplant(s) ready for baba ghanouj or a fan of slices or a mountain of bite-sized cubes. All of them cooked through and ready to do something more interesting with.

I used to think I was alone in the wilderness on this one, because NO ethnic cookbook–or any other cookbook with eggplant recipes–ever considers the existence of microwaving, much less condones it for cooking actual food. But an Indian friend says home cooks there have been nuking their eggplants for decades now. So I feel vindicated.

Just wash and stem the eggplant, then either leave it whole for pulp or cut it into whatever kind of slices you want-crosswise rounds, lengthwise slices for wrapping around ricotta or other fillings, cubes, wedges-whatever. If your recipe calls for other roasted or grilled vegetables, you could slice and layer them with the eggplant and microwave them all together before finishing under a broiler or in a frying pan for a few minutes. Put the pieces on a large Pyrex or other microwaveable dish-pie plate, mixing bowl, casserole, whatever works for you. Nuke them uncovered 10 minutes for 1-2 eggplants.

Once they’re cooked, you can do what you want with them: Lay them out on oiled foil and broil them, heat a little garlic and curry powder and/or other spices in a spoonful or so of olive oil and stir-fry the cooked cubes of eggplant to brown and flavor them, whatever your recipe calls for.

Microwave times, unlike conventional baking times, increase with the quantity of food in the oven. As long as you’re only cooking a batch of one or two eggplants, nuking for 10 minutes is more efficient than baking in a conventional oven for an hour. If you’re cooking 10 or more eggplants at a time, the time and quantity–even assuming you could fit them all into your microwave–will add up enough to make baking them all at once in a regular oven the better bet.

So anyway, here we go. First we’re going to nuke a whole eggplant or so for spreads, then we’ll take a look at setting up dishes that call for frying or grilling cubes or slices. The results are a lot more reliable than the traditional, and they taste just as good, but without all the waiting.

Update –I’ve finally posted a demonstration of how to squeeze out the pulp from a whole microwaved eggplant in one go. Once you get the hang of it, it’s more efficient and a lot quicker than trying to peel with a spoon or fork.

Whole Microwaved Eggplant(s) for Pulp– Baba Ghanouj etc.

  • 1-2 medium or large eggplants
  • table salt (optional)
  • Pyrex pie plate

Scrub the eggplants well and cut off the caps–watch out for thorns, they’re hard to see but really nasty. Sprinkle salt on the outside of the still-damp eggplants and the sliced end if you want–it toughens the skin a bit and makes it easier to scoop or squeeze the pulp out afterward. OR just peel the eggplants before nuking so you don’t have all the mess and bother afterward. Microwave uncovered 10 minutes on HIGH (1100 W or higher oven). Eggplants with the skin on should collapse and soften, and the skin will be wrinkled and saggy in places. Peeled eggplants should be fairly soft and show a “bruise” when you press them with a finger or a spoon. Let cool in a colander over a bowl so that some of the thick light brown juice drains out before you scoop or mash them.

Baba Ghanouj

  • Pulp from 1-2 medium-large eggplants
  • 2-3 heaping tablespoons tehina (pure ground sesame paste), or more according to taste, desired creaminess, and ambitions for waistline–if you want it less fatty, use less tehina or none and sub in 1/2 t Chinese toasted sesame oil
  • juice of 1-2 lemons
  • 1-2 big cloves of garlic, mashed or finely grated
  • 1/2-1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • large dollop of plain non- or low-fat yogurt, optional
  • 2-3 drops liquid smoke, optional, or 1/4 t ground caraway
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley or cilantro leaves, optional
  • salt to taste, optional–shouldn’t need much if any, especially if you use yogurt. Try without salt first.

Puree or hand-chop the cooked eggplant pulp with the other ingredients to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature with raw dipping vegetables (carrots, celery, cucumbers, broccoli and cauliflower) or toasted pita (but best of all on fresh home-made pita). Leftover baba ghanouj is also great stirred into hot whole-wheat spaghetti or fettucine as a kind of eggplant sesame noodles.

Quick Grilled Sliced Eggplant

Wash and stem the eggplant, then cut it into whatever kind of slices you want, microwave uncovered 10 minutes for 1-2 eggplants. Oil lightly and put slices in a toaster oven or under a broiler to grill the outsides, or brown lightly in a spoonful of olive oil with garlic and curry powder in a teflon-lined frying pan. If you sliced it lengthwise, you can wrap the grilled slices around rectangles of feta with basil leaves or dollops of herbed ricotta, and serve with marinara (sprinkle some fennel seeds into it).

Roasted Eggplant, Red Pepper, and Onion Appetizer (or sandwich filling…)

  • 1-2 sliced eggplants (crosswise, rounds or half-moons, or bite-sized cubes, as you prefer)
  • 1-2 sweet red peppers in bite-sized pieces or long thin slivers, as you prefer
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and either diced or sliced into quarter-inch or thinner wedges
  • big fat clove or so of garlic, mashed or grated, in 2-3 tablespoons or so extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch or more dry or fresh thyme

Layer or alternate the vegetable slices so that eggplants, peppers, and onions are all mixed together. Nuke for 10 minutes. Pour over the olive oil, garlic, and thyme, stir or distribute. If you want to, pan fry or or grill the mixture briefly to color, or roast for 15-20 minutes in a hot (~400 F) oven. Cool and chill in the fridge. This gets better, more mellow, after a day, and it lasts well over a week if you keep it refrigerated and closely wrapped (not in foil!) with the air squeezed out. It doesn’t need salt but pairs well in hearty sandwiches with feta, hummus, or gorgonzola-type cheeses.

Microwave Quick Eggplant for Two

(38 votes)

1 eggplant, about 1/2 pound
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Sprinkle the olive oil and a little salt over the top of each half.
Place on a plate and microwave on high for 4 minutes, turning once.
Sprinkle with the minced parsley. That’s all. It will serve two.

My husband and I enjoyed this. I sprinkled it with cajun seasoning instead of salt. So easy!
Simba, Long Island

thanks for this recepie, i really love eggplant.
jac, Location not stated.

Absolutely Fabulous!!
Anonymous, Location not stated.

Thank you Thank you and Thank you. Quite often I go to the store to try out a new vegetable in the microwave. I use the internet to find out how to cook it All I want to know how do I cook this one thing in the microwave Today it was eggplant The search engine comes up usually with The sights that have nothing to do with cooking trying to get me to their sight by using my search phrase And their are the recipes with like 25 ingredients made I think master chefs. Today I just wanted to know how to cook an eggplant in a microwave that’s it. So thank you for this very nice simple recipe. I had everything I needed on hand thank you.
J Smith , Location not stated.

I love eggplants, and this simple way to cook them brings out the essence of their creamy texture and unusual taste, without competing flavors, thank you!!
mai, nyc

Ditto… 5 eggplants.
Anonymous, MD

I like it! Very simple, quicker than grilling. Now I can eat all the extra egglants in my garden.
kaval, san jose, ca

Recipe is unclear.
Sandra, Location not stated.

I tried this and after 4 minutes the eggplant looked all dry with a texture like foam rubber. I then put the two halves face down (maybe this is what is meant by
Michael, Tucson, AZ

Soooooo good!! Simple and totally satisfying. Great summer food. Simply amazing!!
Jill, Toronto

I was looking for an easy way to cook eggplants. This recipe is perfect.
George, Georgia

It wasn’t clear whether turning the eggplant was turning the dish like a lot of foods require, or turning over the eggplant on the cut side after 2 minutes. And also the size of the eggplant might make a difference. Otherwise, it was a good start for quick meals. Thank you.
Anonymous, Location not stated.

Nice and easy… my family loved it… thanks
lareine, Dubai, UAe

Eggplant and olive oil: the perfect combination. I cooked the eggplant for 3 minutes at 1000 Watt, turned and another 1 minute at 1000 Watt again. Left it in the microwave for 20 minutes, cut it into small pieces and coated those in the olive oil. Delicious. Thank you!
Jan, Hiroshima

I added a zesty tang after cooking. coated with oil. added some Garlic powder, and some dried Pizza spices. Cooked three minutes at hi, then turned each half over in its dish for another 1 minute. cooled, and sliced. Then added a trace of white vinegar. Just a sprinkle. Wunderbar! 1/4 of the eggplant is enough for one portion. Serve with Teryacki noodles (Packaged) for a great summer meal!
Charlie, Whiting, NJ

YEAH! Great summer plan without heating up the kitchen!
Anonymous, Location not stated.

I used extra-virgin olive oil and substituted cracked black pepper for the salt and parsley. I did not turn it. Yummy!
George, Los Angeles

I cut the eggplant into dumpling-size (mouth-filling-size) pieces and then MWd, skin side down, for 4 minutes. I drizzled with Italian EVOO that had been pressed and bottled within 24h of harvest. I sprinkled with sea salt and cracked pepper and then allowed the covered MW bowl to sit overnight outside the frig. My breakfast of a 2-egg omelet and eggplant with coffee was the best I’ve ever had.
George, Los Angeles

This gave me the courage to try eggplant in the microwave. I used my Fasta Pasta dish…oblong with high sides, sliced my 2 lb eggplant into 2 inch slices then quartered them and peeled them, added at least if not more 1/4 C water and sprinkled the chunks with olive oil. Then nuked on high for 4 min turning in between. Then I mashed it up with about a Tblsp of Tahini and a Tblspn of premade Pesto. Ahh It was absolutely delicious.
Marianne, Location not stated.

I’m still working on texture. I want to use slices of eggplant as low-carb wraps for bacon etc. Chewy ‘like foam rubber’ would be fine. How to cook and dry it a little in the microwave without it going on to mush?
susan, Location not stated.

This recipe made the egg plant so tasty it’s great!!!!
Letty, Sanford,North Carolina

So easy and so delicious. I’m glad I found this online.
Joanne , Cincinnati

Followed instructions but scooped out the seeds prior to cooking then covered the eggplant with wax paper to prevent it from drying. When done, I drizzled with balsamic vinegar, put mozzarella cheese in the indentation, then baked in the oven until the cheese was melted. It was delicious.
Gingerbrooke, Clinton, NJ

I microwave eggplant (cubed) all the time in a covered microwave safe dish – till tender – for capanata. Once cooked, drain the juice from the eggplant – dry with a paper towel – and
Anonymous, Location not stated.

I use salad dressing instead of oil. I think it tastes great!
Anonymous, Location not stated.

Delicious and easy to make. Thank you!
Ziningi Nkosi, Johannesburg

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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!

Last updated on January 12, 2020.

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:

  • eggplant
  • pasta/marinara sauce
  • mozzarella cheese
  • water – if needed
  • salt

To start, you want to cut your eggplant into long 1/4 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. Try to get evenly cut pieces as this will ensure even cooking.

Next salt your eggplant and pat dry to remove liquid and salt. Then you begin the layering process. Place 1/2-1 cup sauce to cover the bottom of the pot.

If needed, mix the first layer of sauce with 1 cup water. You want a runny sauce and adding the water will help ensure it cooks and you don’t get the burn notice on your Instant 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.

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.

Troubleshooting Instant Pot Eggplant Parmesan

I have made this recipe countless times and have never had an issue with it not cooking or getting the burn notice on my Instant Pot. Unfortunately that is not the case for a lot of you. Here are some time to help:

Make sure you are using enough 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 Instant Pot and the eggplant. You want a more watery based sauce as well.

I found that a heaping 1/2 cup worked perfectly for my 8QT Instant Pot each time I tested and made this recipe. But if you feel like you need more, add more! Or mix your sauce with water as stated below.

Make sure your sauce is watery

You want a watery/runny sauce. This ensures there is enough liquid in the pot, it will come up to temperature and cook the eggplant, and you don’t get the burn notice on your Instant Pot.

Add water to your sauce

If you sauce is not runny enough, or if you are unsure if it is, add water. I suggest mixing the sauce that goes on the bottom layer with 1 cup of water. Again, this will help so you don’t get the burn notice.

Please note that I have never had this issue, but it was suggested by the Instant Pot team since people have trouble with this recipe.

If you are having trouble with this recipe, please watch this step by step video.

Unfortunately when I contacted Instant Pot to see if they could help, this is what they had to say. “Also, all Instant Pot are not the same and hence the results may vary depending on how some people are able to have it cooked perfect were as other’s can’t.”

This really baffles my mind as how can you make an appliance where you can’t guarantee the same results, but I guess you can.

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. Bake it at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes until eggplant is tender and cheese is melted.

If your sauce looks watery after cooking

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:

Shrimp Curry & Butternut Squash Noodles with Curry Peanut Sauce

Whole30 Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo

Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Pasta

One Pan Shrimp Fajitas

Pin 3.47 from 28 votes

Healthy Instant Pot Eggplant Parmesan

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! Course Main Course Cuisine Italian Keyword Easy Eggplant Parmesan, Healthy Eggplant Parmesan, Instant Pot Eggplant Parmesan Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 20 minutes Total Time 25 minutes Servings 4 Calories 279kcal Author Kelly

Ingredients

  • Prepare eggplant. Cut off the top and the bottom of the eggplant and stand up straight. Slice eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Salt eggplant slices on both sides and let sit for a few minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel to take off excess moisture and salt.
  • In your Instant Pot, add 1/2-1 cup of marinara sauce and spread out evenly on the bottom. Add with 1 cup of water and thoroughly mix with the sauce, spreading out evenly on the bottom.* This will also help ensure you don’t get the burn notice on your Instant Pot. 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). There will be a lot of liquid in the pot – use to top eggplant or if serving with pasta. After you cut into it and remove eggplant, there isn’t that much either. Cut into 4 equal pieces and top with optional toppings. Enjoy!

Notes

*you will want a more thin/runny marinara for this recipe. I suggest mixing the bottom layer of sauce with 1 cup water to help ensure it cooks evenly and you don’t the the burn notice. Troubleshooting Instant Pot Eggplant Parmesan I have made this recipe countless times and have never had an issue with it not cooking or getting the burn notice on my Instant Pot. Unfortunately that is not the case for a lot of you. Here are some time to help:

  1. Make sure you are using enough 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 Instant Pot and the eggplant. You want a more watery based sauce as well. I found that a heaping 1/2 cup worked perfectly for my 8QT Instant Pot each time I tested and made this recipe. But if you feel like you need more, add more! Or mix your sauce with water.
  2. Make sure your sauce is watery – you want a watery/runny sauce. This ensures there is enough liquid in the pot, it will come up to temperature and cook the eggplant, and you don’t get the burn notice on your Instant Pot.
  3. Add water to your sauce – if you sauce is not runny enough, or if you are unsure if it is, add water. Mix the sauce that goes on the bottom layer with 1 cup of water. Again, this will help so you don’t get the burn notice. Please note that I have never had this issue, but it was suggested by the Instant Pot team since people have trouble with this recipe.
  4. Make sure there is enough liquid in the pot – follow the steps above to make sure there is enough liquid.

I have also read that you can put parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, but I haven’t tried. If you are having trouble with this recipe, please watch this step by step video. Unfortunately when I contacted Instant Pot to see if they could help, this is what they had to say. “Also, all Instant Pot are not the same and hence the results may vary depending on how some people are able to have it cooked perfect were as other’s can’t.” This really baffles my mind as how can you make an appliance where you can’t guarantee the same results, but I guess you can. Please see troubleshooting tips in post above if having trouble. PLEASE NOTE – a lot of people have tried this recipe and it either works perfectly or the Instant Pot will give you a burn notice or not come up to temperature, hence not cooking the eggplant. Unfortunately, this has never happened to me during the countless times I have made it so it’s hard to try to troubleshoot. I am sorry if this recipe causes you trouble, but it doesn’t seem like all Instant Pots cook the same way.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts Healthy Instant Pot Eggplant Parmesan Amount Per Serving (1 /4 of recipe) Calories 279 Calories from Fat 144 % Daily Value* Fat 16g25% Saturated Fat 8g50% Carbohydrates 17g6% Fiber 7g29% Sugar 11g12% Protein 14g28% Vitamin A 1200IU24% Vitamin C 12.4mg15% Calcium 240mg24% Iron 1.1mg6% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Tried this recipe?If you make this recipe or anything from Eat the Gains, leave a comment and rating to let people know how you liked it! Also, make sure to post it and tag me so I can see all of your creations!! @eatthegains and #eatthegains on Instagram!

This post may contains affiliate links and I may make little bit of money if you click on and purchase the products that are linked. It doesn’t cost you any extra money. The compensation helps with expenses to keep ETG up and running. I truly appreciate your support!

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Pressure Cooker Chicken and Eggplant Bake

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Eggplant Bake is layered with thick slices of mozzarella cheese and smothered in tomato sauce. Serve over your favorite pasta for an easy Italian dinner!

It’s been quite a few minutes since I became a PC lover back in 2015. A solid 3 years of cooking with my favorite appliance and yet I still have so much to explore and create! Everyday, it seems like I stumble across a recipe or an idea pops into my mind and I think, “hmmm, I wonder if I could make that in my pressure cooker?” Most often, the answer is yes, although there are some definite recipes that should never grace the presence of a PC. **Cough** pizza **Cough**.

With this recipe, I set out to create a version of a traditional eggplant parmesan, but then quite honestly was too lazy to do the breading and frying of the eggplant and chicken cutlets, so we landed on a more naked, healthier version! It’s gluten free (without the noodles of course), and doesn’t have any added oil.

I also just stuck with fresh mozzarella rather than going the parmesan route, but if you’re a diehard parmigiano reggiano fan, by all means, add it in!

For me, this recipe is all about getting all the flavors of an authentic Italian dish with half the mess, half the time, and half the ingredients. That’s why I use pre-made pasta sauce, chicken breasts, pre-sliced mozzarella from Costco, and fresh eggplant! It’s necessary to let the eggplant sit before cooking to lose its liquid, but other than waiting on that, the rest of the recipe is a breeze to assemble and cook.

It’s a layered dish and the inner pot of the pressure cooker works perfectly to hold it all in place. You don’t have to dirty any other dishes and have a dinner that feels fancy but is quick and easy and sure to please the whole family!

Description

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Eggplant Bake is layered with thick slices of mozzarella cheese and smothered in tomato sauce. Serve over your favorite pasta for an easy Italian dinner!

Scale 1x2x3x

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise into ½ inch thick slices
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise into ½ inch cutlets
  • 12 ¼ inch thick fresh mozzarella slices
  • 1 jar your favorite pasta sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup fresh torn basil
  1. Lay slices of eggplant out on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt, and then cover with a dishtowel to soak up extra liquid. Let sit for about 45 minutes then blot extra liquid and gently brush to remove salt.
  2. Pour 1/3 of jarred pasta sauce into bottom of pressure cooker, then add 2 large slices of eggplant, side by side.
  3. Layer with 2 chicken breast cutlets, then sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  4. Place 4 mozzarella slices on top of the chicken, then repeat, starting with the pasta sauce, then eggplant, chicken breasts, s & p, and mozzarella.
  5. Finish by layering any extra eggplant, the last 1/3 of the pasta sauce, and the remaining 4 slices of mozzarella.
  6. Pour ½ cup of water into the pot, then lock lid and set to high pressure for 12 minutes.
  7. When time is up, let pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then release all remaining pressure.
  8. Place inner pot in oven on broil setting to crisp up cheese on top, or just cut, sprinkle with fresh basil, and serve immediately.

Other Pressure Cooker Chicken Recipes You’ll Love!

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Mushrooms

Pressure Cooker Cashew Chicken with Broccoli

Pressure Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

Pressure Cooker Cuban Chicken and Rice

It was 4:30am, and I was living on a barge in Alaska.

There hadn’t been enough time between my morning alarm and the beer and cigarettes from the night before. I was groggy from the early hour and not looking forward to the day ahead. I slowly got out of bed, got dressed and walked outside to put on my heavy black rain galoshes, before making the damp walk to the factory. We had to keep our work boots outside our room to avoid the rancid smell of wet, smelly feet and rubber. As I pulled my left galosh onto my foot, I felt cold liquid seep through my sock, engulfing my foot. I quickly took the boot off to inspect what had gone wrong.

It was pee.
It was 4:30 in the morning and there was pee in my fucking galosh.

It was the summer I turned 20 and my best friend and I had the bright idea to go to Alaska and spend the summer working at a salmon factory. We had a friend who had done it the year before and made bank. We had always wanted to see Alaska, and we thought we were being clever by going to see it while being paid at the same time. We knew the work would be tough, but we were 20 and up for anything.

No surprise, it turned out to be a disaster. Of course it did. I was a vegetarian going to work in a salmon factory. There was no way this was going to end well.

It was the first day on the job and we had on galoshes, waterproof overalls, raincoats and a hairnet. We were ready to roll. There were two sizes of cans that the factory packed. A big can and a small can. I was put on the big can assembly line. As soon as the conveyor belt turned on and started moving I got nervous. The big cans of salmon were coming my way and I couldn’t stop it from happening. I was in position on the assembly line and if I were to walk away, the whole line would be fucked. My stomach was in knots and my palms were sweaty. What was I doing here?

As the cans made their way down the assembly line they came into focus, and all I saw were salmon heads sticking up out of each can. Shit.

It was my job to push the heads down far enough so that the lid could be attached to the can. When I pushed the heads down, there was an awful squishing noise that I can only recreate with my mouth. It was terrible.

After my first day on the big can line my mind was made up. I needed to be transferred to the small can line right away. After my 11-hour shift I talked with my boss, and I told her that I couldn’t do it. I used the vegetarian card and told her that I could do the small cans, but I couldn’t work the salmon heads all day. The smaller cans were filled with salmon pieces that were pre-cut, not the whole fucking fish. This wasn’t any better for the fish, just for me.

My boss was an impatient woman from New Zealand. She told me that I should have thought about this before signing up for the job. With my most pitiful face, I nodded in agreement and she reluctantly made the transfer.

My new job on the small-can line was also terrible, but at least now I wasn’t crying and gagging every time a can passed by. I worked on the portion of the conveyor belt where the cans would come when their weight was off. I would either add salmon in or take salmon out until each can weighed the correct amount. The machine that transferred the salmon into the cans at the start of the assembly line wasn’t calibrated right because 9 out of 10 cans wouldn’t be the correct weight, and they would come down my line, for adjustment. I had to work fast because if too many cans backed up, the conveyor belt would jam and production would have to stop. And NO ONE liked it when production stopped.

At this point I should tell you that my best friend and I were the only white people who worked on the assembly line. There were other white people who worked at the production facility, but they worked in quality control and management. The only people working the line, apart from me and my friend, were Filipino women from L.A., and there were a lot of them.

They would came to Alaska every season to do this work. This is how they supported their families and it was their main source of income for the entire year. They were serious about it and worked with extreme gratitude and care.

And then there was me. A 20-year-old, white vegetarian who couldn’t deal with the big can line.

For all I knew, I took one of their friend’s job, someone who really needed it. And there I was, just wanting to be in Alaska for the summer while getting paid. From the get-go, I was not liked by my co-workers. And they let my privileged ass know by peeing in my galosh.

The summer proceeded to go downhill. Between the 11 – 15 hour workdays, the smell of dead fish, our co-workers hating us, our mean boss, a couple of unfortunate nights down at the local bar, and my moral dilemma of working in a salmon factory when I myself didn’t eat salmon, it was time to wrap it up and call it a summer.

Our boss was angry that we were leaving early. “You will never be able to work here again if you leave” she said, in her thick New Zealand accent. We told her that was exactly the point as we booked the next ferry out and made our way to Washington state. From Washington we rode a Greyhound bus all the way home to New Mexico. And that’s a story for another time.

I left Alaska with galosh rot and a new understanding of hard work. I also knew that I would continue eating a vegetarian diet (and eventually plant based) because a factory is no place for salmon.

5 from 2 votes

Easy Instant Pot Eggplant Marinara Sauce

Author Molly Patrick of Clean Food Dirty Girl

  • 1 cup red onion, sliced (100g)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped (6g)
  • 1 eggplant, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 1/2 cups / 270g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 small can tomato paste (6oz / 170g)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 cup water (235ml)
  • A few turns of black pepper
  1. Press the saute button on your Instant Pot (IP) and allow the inner pot to heat up for 2 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and parsley and saute for 1 minute, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn’t burn.

  2. Add the eggplant, salt and 1 tablespoon of water and cook for three minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomato paste, coconut aminos, water and black pepper and stir.

  3. Turn the IP off and lock the lid into place. Turn the nozzle to the “sealing” position and using the manual setting, set the timer for 20 minutes.

  4. When the timer goes off, use the quick release method.

  5. Serve over pasta, grains, bread or veggies.

Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with finding the humor in it all.

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