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Instant Pot Eggplant Caponata

Updated: Oct 24, 2018

I admit that my experiences with my Instant Pot have been mostly based on trail and error, as I am not too keen on instruction manuals. While there have been errors along the way, there have also been success stories. One of my proudest accomplishments to date has to be Eggplant Caponata.

If you're not familiar with this traditional Sicilian dish, it is a robust, sweet and sour blend of stewed eggplant, tomatoes, basil, and vinegar. It can be served warm or cold, and is best atop of crusty or grilled bread.

Typically, achieving tender eggplant may require some time (especially when cooking it with the skin on) but here's where the Instant Pot comes in handy. The gadget certainly has its pluses and minuses, but what I like most about it is the limited mess. You can sauté in the pot and develop flavor without splatter. And although cooking times specified in the manual of 2-3 minutes, 5-6 minutes, and so forth may not take into account preheat and pressure- release time, the instant pot pressure cooker feature generally accomplishes tender food in a shorter period of time.

Here's how I made Eggplant Caponata...

I started by sautéing onions and garlic in the instant pot. Once that was translucent and slightly golden, I added chopped eggplant (skin on), crushed tomatoes, red wine vinegar, honey, and basil.

8 minutes of cooking time with a natural pressure release did the trick.

Here's a useful tip I've gathered along the way: use the natural release feature for soups, stews, and moist foods. This tends to keep the food moist and prevent too much steam and splatter.

This will definitely be one of my go-to instant pot recipes.


Instant Pot Eggplant Caponata

yield: 8-10 servings

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 medium eggplant, medium dice

1 small onion, small dice

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup crushed tomatoes

3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 Tablespoon honey

2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place olive oil in Instant Pot and press Sauté.

Once oil has heated, 1-2 minutes, add onion and cook until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook additional minute. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Cover with lid and pressure cook for 8 minutes.

Once cooking time is complete, press Cancel and utilize natural pressure release (10-15 minutes).

*Serve with:

-crusty whole grain bread

-vegetable crudité

-as a condiment for proteins like chicken, fish, meat

-in a sandwich

-on a spoon

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