Instant Pot Eggplant Parmesan Pasta
Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Eggplant Parmesan Pasta is a fast dump and go dinner with eggplant in a cheesy Italian-flavored tomato sauce with penne pasta and crisp bread crumbs.
This easy eggplant parmesan recipe comes from the Instant Pot Miracle Vegetarian Cookbook by Urvashi Pitre. I adapted the recipe slightly by using panko for a crisp, golden crust on this cheesy and melty eggplant parm.
This is a must-try recipe for anyone looking for a fast and fuss-free weeknight dinner loved by kids and adults. It also happens to be vegetarian for meatless Monday!
We love all of Urvashi’s cookbooks—we’ve reviewed them here and here. And you can find more of her amazing recipes at twosleevers.com. Jump to the bottom to see our full cookbook review.
How to Make Instant Pot Eggplant Parmesan
This Instant Pot Eggplant Parmesan recipe works in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.
This is truly a dump-and-go recipe. You’ll add all of the ingredients to the pressure cooker, including the pasta, eggplant and tomato sauce ingredients.
Then seal on the lid and cook on high pressure for 7 minutes. When you remove the lid, your pasta will be fully cooked and the eggplant will be tender in a flavor-packed tomato sauce.
Add a crisp panko and cheese topping for a truly crowd-pleasing dish in minutes!
Getting a Crispy Crust on Instant Pot Eggplant Parmesan
Of course, everyone’s favorite part of eggplant parm is the cheesy, crispy crust. To complete the dish after pressure cooking, transfer it to a baking dish.
Cover the dish with grated parmesan and mozzarella cheese and panko breadcrumbs and set it under the broiler for a few minutes. Watch it crisp up to golden perfection and dig in!
How to Cut Eggplant
To ensure your eggplant cooks evenly, you want to dice it into even cubes.
- Start by peeling the vegetable with a peeler.
- Then trim off the ends and stand the eggplant up on the flat bottom.
- Slice the eggplant into 3-4 ½-inch planks, depending on the size of your eggplant.
- Stack the planks on your cutting board then cut them lengthwise into ½-inch sticks.
- Finally, divide the sticks into ½-inch cubes.
More One-Pot Instant Pot Dinners
Here are more fast and easy one-pot recipes to make in your Instant Pot:
- Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs is a classic dinner recipe made quick and easy by your pressure cooker.
- Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese is incredibly creamy and so fast to make, it will replace your mac and cheese from the box.
- Instant Pot Spicy Chicken Soup is a great option—use the dump and go directions when you’re short on time!
About the Instant Pot Miracle Vegetarian Cookbook
Again, this easy eggplant parmesan recipe comes from the cookbook Instant Pot Miracle Vegetarian Cookbook by Urvashi Pitre.
My first impression is that this cookbook is easy to read and full of gorgeous color photographs. The recipes are clear and there are helpful hints and discussions sprinkled throughout.
The cookbook is divided by major ingredients (Vegetables, Lentils and Beans, Rice and Grains, Eggs and Cheese, and Desserts), and nearly all recipes are 10 ingredients or less.
Also, If you’re trying to accommodate any major allergies or diet types (egg-free, nut-free, gluten-free), the back of the book contains a really useful Chart of Dietary Considerations that lists all the recipes by diet.
If you’re vegetarian—OR if you just want to add more delicious meatless meals to your diet—I absolutely recommend this cookbook.
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Instant Pot Eggplant Parmesan
Easy Instant Pot Eggplant Parmesan has tender eggplant and penne pasta in a flavorful tomato sauce with a crisp cheesy crust.
- 4 cups peeled and diced eggplant
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper*
- 9 ounces penne pasta (2 cups)
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1.5 cups (8-ounce tub) small mozzarella balls
Place eggplant, tomatoes, water, onions, butter, garlic, tomato paste, dried Italian seasoning, salt, and red pepper flakes in the pressure cooking pot and stir.
Add pasta, and stir. (I know it doesn’t look like there will be enough water to cook the pasta, because the vegetables will release a lot of water.)
Lock the lid in place and select High Pressure and a 7 minute cook time. When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes and finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
In a small bowl, use a fork to mix panko and shredded parmesan cheese. Add melted butter and stir to combine; set aside.
Preheat the broiler. Add the mozzarella balls to the pasta and transfer the pasta to a casserole dish. Sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture and broil for 2-3 minutes.
Slightly adapted from Instant Pot Miracle Vegetarian Cookbook.
*originally 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 366Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 1159mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 7gSugar: 9gProtein: 13g
Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.
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I made this again tonight to rave reviews, as always. If I wanted to add a pound of ground meat to the recipe, would I brown it first? Or just cook it in a skillet and add it to the vegetables when I add the cheese?
Tasted really good.
However the eggplant cooked to mush and the mozzarella balls stuck to the serving spoon.
Thanks Jerry – glad you enjoyed it. If you want the eggplant firmer, cut it into larger pieces or reduce the cook time. You can spray your spoon with non-stick spray 🙂
Hi! Trying this tonight but wondering if I’d increase time for whole wheat pasta?
Hi Joanna – the cook time for different types of pasta may be different. Check the cook time on the box, divide it in half and subtract 1 minute. There’s more info on our cooking pasta guide https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/how-to-cook-pasta-in-the-instant-pot/
Can you make this with pasta (marinara) sauce?
Hi Lisa – I haven’t tried it but that should work. You could eliminate the tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, garlic, salt, red pepper and Italian seasoning. Add the egg plant, pasta, water and pour the marinara sauce on top, and don’t stir it in.
*WOW* This recipe is fantastic. My family is not a fan of eggplant. I made this tonight for dinner. I substituted shredded mozzarella for the mozzarella balls. Mixed the mozzarella and parmesan into the mixture when done cooking. We sprinkled some bread crumbs on top and served. This was delicious and is being added to my recipe rotation. Thank you 🙂
Thanks for the rave review! Sounds like a delicious way to change it up.
I made this tonight and it was wonderful! I substituted a jar of roasted eggplant I had in the pantry, making the dish that much simpler. This is going into regular rotation.
The flavor was great but the eggplant melted away. A better title would have been pasta with creamy eggplant sauce,
Any suggestions to substitute the broiling step with an IP Duo Crisp?
Hi Stevo – I haven’t tried it with this recipe yet, but have used the Crisp lid with my au gratin potato recipe https://www.pressurecookingtoday.com/cheesy-potatoes-au-gratin/ Top with panko topping.
Place the crisping lid on top. Select Air Fry or Air Crisp, set temperature to 350ºF, and set the time to 5 minutes. Select Start to begin, and cook until golden brown, checking after 3 minutes.
I took many liberties with this recipe, but can say with confidence that the original would also be great! My 1” cubes shrank to 1/4” threads, perfect for introducing eggplant to kids. Thank you so much for this easy and tasty way to serve eggplant.
So fun that you made it already. Thanks for sharing Janet!
I’ve been making Urvashi’s recipe before it was published. (She shared it for testing on her FB group). It’s one of my family’s favorites. We like the spice of the included crushed red pepper and I cut the small mozzarella balls in half before adding to the pasta to more evenly spread the cheesy goodness. Yum!
Can you use the Ninja Foodie to brown the top with the air crisp feature? Thanks.
Hi Mary – yes, you can use the Ninja Foodie to brown the topping.
Is there a way to omit the pasta or to sub it with something else to lower the carbs? Thanx
Hi Cheryl – you could sub other cubed vegetables for the pasta. You’d reduce the cook time to the cook time of the vegetable you’re using, reduce the water, and layer the tomatoes on top without stirring them in. You may need to thicken the casserole after cooking with a thickening agent https://perfectketo.com/low-carb-cornstarch-substitute/
How would I adapt this to make a whole 16oz of pasta? 9oz not enough to feed my family. Thank you..
Hi Rhonda – I would double all of the ingredients and reduce the cook time to 6 minutes. Enjoy!
Aha! A great, sneaky way to get my other half to eat eggplant! Will try soon and save it for the summer harvest from my Asian eggplant bush which yields a ton of eggplant every year. I can’t stop myself from planting one each year as they are so pretty and productive. I give it away by the bucket.
Hi Cheryl – he’ll probably never even notice the eggplant if you don’t tell him it’s there 🙂