Eggplant can be an intimidating vegetable to prep and cook, but it doesn’t get much easier than this casserole. Instead of deep-frying the eggplant, or coating individual slices in bread crumbs and cheese, cubes of eggplant cook to tender perfection in the Instant Pot, along with protein-rich quinoa and mushrooms. This has similar flavors to the classic Italian dish with just a fraction of the cheese and no refined flour for better health.
Prep: 15 minutes
Pressurize: 10 minutes
Cook: 9 minute
Natural Release: 15 minutes
Total: 49 minutes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup water
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
One 25-ounce jar marinara sauce
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
1 Press Sauté and add the olive oil to the Instant Pot. Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the onion and mushrooms and sauté until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Press Cancel , then add the garlic, eggplant, and salt while the pot is still hot. Stir briefly with a wooden spoon to distribute the salt.
2 Add the water and quinoa, then use the spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure nothing has stuck. Pour the marinara sauce over the top without stirring. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing . Select Manual/Pressure Cook to cook on high pressure for 1 minute.
3 When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes, then move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure. When the floating valve drops, remove the lid and stir in the Parmesan. Turn on your oven’s broiler.
4 Transfer the mixture to a 9 by 13-inch casserole dish or a 12-inch oven-safe skillet and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the top, place the dish under the broiler, and broil until the cheese is bubbly and lightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes.
5 Garnish with the parsley and serve warm. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week.
MAKE IT VEGAN Omit the cheese, or use your favorite vegan cheese, instead.