Eggplant Lasagna
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5 from 3 votes

Layered Eggplant Lasagna (Instant Pot)

Layers of eggplant and ricotta with tomato sauce make this a tasty, impressive recipe to serve for your family and friends.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Rest20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: comfort, foodie, italian, lasagna, tomato, vegetable
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 391kcal
Author: BlakOpal

Ingredients

  • 2 large Eggplants Italian
  • Sea salt
  • 2 cups Italian style bread crumbs
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 Tbsp Milk
  • Olive oil extra virgin
  • 16 oz Ricotta whole milk
  • 8 oz Mozzarella low moisture, part skim
  • 1/2 cup Grana Padano cheese
  • 16 oz Tomato sauce tomato-basil or meat
  • 1 Tbsp Parsley fresh or dried

Tools

Instructions

  • Gather your ingredients and tools.
    Eggplant Lasagna

Eggplant Prep

  • Slice eggplant into 1/4" thick slices lengthwise. If you are using two eggplants, select the best 8 slices to use for layering.
    Lay the eggplant slices on a cooling rack set over a cookie sheet. Sprinkle slices with salt and let sit for 10 minutes. With a paper towel, pat the moisture off of them. Then flip and salt the other side, let sit 10 minutes. Pat moisture off again.
    Note: I cook up all the eggplant slices even though I only use half for layering. The rest I save after frying to use for other recipes. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Filling Prep

  • In the meantime, prepare the ricotta filling
    Shredding the mozzarella using a large shred. You can grate by hand or with a food processor. You will need 1 cup for the filling, and some set aside for sprinkling on the top at the end.
    Eggplant Lasagna
  • Shred the Grana Padano (or other hard Italian cheese, like parmesan) using a finer grater.
    Eggplant Lasagna
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1 egg, parsley, and the grated cheeses.
    Eggplant Lasagna
  • Mix well with silicone spatula, turning it over, and scraping up from the bottom often.
    Eggplant Lasagna

Bread the Eggplant

  • Set up your work space for breading: with two pie plates, the drained eggplant, and a large platter for the breaded eggplant. You want to be able to move easily from one to the other in an assembly-line style.
    In one pie plate put the bread crumbs. In the other whisk with a fork: 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons milk.
    Eggplant Lasagna
  • One by one, take a slice of eggplant and lay it in the egg, flipping it over to coat well. Then lift the slice, let it drain for a second, and then drop it into the bread crumbs. Flip it over. We want it to be lightly breaded on all sides. Remove from the breadcrumbs and give it a shake to remove loose crumbs, and set on the platter. Continue with all slices
    Eggplant Lasagna

Fry the Eggplant

  • Set up your stove area for frying: your platter of breaded eggplant on one side, and the cookie sheet and cooling rack on the other side. Place paper towels or a brown paper bag in the cookie sheet to soak up the draining oil.
    Eggplant Lasagna
  • In a frying pan large enough to accommodate two slices side by side without crowding, pour about a 1/2" of olive oil. Heat the oil until is begins to shimmer. Do not add the eggplant until the oil is hot. You can test by putting a small slice of the breaded eggplant in. It should begin to bubble furiously right away. If it doesn't, give it another minute.
    Note: eggplant is a notorious oil sponge! If the oil is not hot enough, it will absorb the oil. However if the oil is hot, you will get perfectly cooked eggplant without the excess. Be patient.
  • When the oil is hot, lower two eggplant slices into the hot oil. Lay the slices away from you, so you don't get splattered by hot oil. When the edges start looking browned, carefully flip them over using your silicone tongs and a spatula. They are big, and will want to splash, so take care. Remove to drip rack when the second side is browned sightly. Do not over-brown. They will finish cooking in the lasagna.
    Note: Be very careful when frying, as the oil is extremely hot. Use your stovetop ventilation fans to keep from setting off smoke alarms (lesson learned the hard way, lol).
    Eggplant Lasagna

Assemble the Layers

  • Set up your area for assembly. Alongside your casserole dish, you'll want your ricotta mixture, sauce, and the drained fried eggplant slices.
    Eggplant Lasagna
  • Start with a good layer of the tomato sauce.
    Eggplant Lasagna
  • Layer two slices of eggplant, side-by-side. If they are very long, you can cut them to fit. I just let them fold up. You will be alternating the direction of the following rows, so those ends will help fill in along the sides.
    Note: if you have only sliced-up one eggplant, use the smaller slices in the middle two layers. Use large slices for the bottom, and the two best-looking slices for the top.
    Eggplant Lasagna
  • On top of the eggplant put a good layer of the ricotta mixture. You will have three layers of ricotta, so you can use a third of the mixture per layer.
    Eggplant Lasagna
  • Repeat with sauce, eggplant, ricotta. Sauce, eggplant, ricotta. Finishing with a layer of eggplant, sauce, and the reserved shredded mozzarella.
    Eggplant Lasagna
  • Don't be afraid to layer above the edge of the bowl. My lasagna almost always is taller than my pans! It's a sturdy construction, so it will hold itself up, tho it may spill some sauce over the edge.
    Eggplant Lasagna

Cook the lasagna

  • Cover loosely with foil. I like to make a pouf, like a shower cap over the top of the dish. You don't want the foil to touch the cheese on top or it will stick.
    Put the casserole dish on the trivet with handles. Put a cup of water in the Instant Pot, and lower the trivet into the pot.
    Eggplant Lasagna
  • Close the vent on the Instant Pot, and cook manual on high for 20 minutes. Then do a natural pressure release until the pin drops.
    Eggplant Lasagna
  • Remove the trivet and casserole dish, remove foil. Leave to cool for 20 minutes to set.
    Eggplant Lasagna
  • Note: you can eat it sooner, if you are impatient. The layers will slide, but it will still be delish!
    Eggplant Lasagna
  • Slice the lasagna and lift it out of the casserole dish with a spoon or spatula. Marvel at the layers!
    You can cover the casserole dish and store the leftover in the fridge. Slices can be reheated in the microwave. Enjoy!
    Eggplant Lasagna

Nutrition

Serving: 1portion | Calories: 391kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 1051mg | Potassium: 633mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 950IU | Vitamin C: 7.9mg | Calcium: 420mg | Iron: 3mg