Home Recipes Crispy Air Fryer Eggplant (Easy Recipe)

Crispy Air Fryer Eggplant (Easy Recipe)

This air fryer eggplant recipe turns the humble vegetable into a crispy, creamy sensation!

This dish is a delightful blend of textures and flavors. Slices of eggplant are transformed in the air fryer into crispy treats with a tender center.

It’s a quick, easy, and healthy way to enjoy this versatile vegetable!

Bunch of breaded eggplant in a plate.
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Ingredients for Air Fryer Eggplant

The air fryer offers a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods. You barely need any oil, yet the eggplant comes out ultra crisp and crunchy.

Here’s what you need to make some delicious air fryer eggplant. You’ll find the full list with exact measurements at the bottom of the page.

  • Eggplant – Globe eggplants are perfect for their meaty texture and mild flavor. They should be smooth-skinned, without dents or bruises.
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese – Parmesan adds a rich, savory flavor to the eggplant.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs – They add a light, crispy texture, making each bite delightfully crunchy.
  • All-Purpose Flour – It helps the other breading ingredients stick to the eggplant, creating a crispy coating.
  • Eggs – They act as a binder, ensuring the breadcrumbs and Parmesan adhere to the eggplant slices.
  • Olive Oil Spray – Using olive oil helps the eggplant crisp up in the air fryer, giving it that lovely golden brown color. Extra virgin is great, but light olive oil or avocado oil works, too.
  • Italian Seasoning – The flavor booster. You can use either homemade or store-bought.
  • Salt and Pepper – To season the breading.
Breaded egg plant in a n air fryer.

How to Cook Eggplant in the Air Fryer

Follow these simple steps to make easy and tasty air fryer eggplant.

1. Slice and salt the eggplant. Slice off the top and base of the eggplant, then cut it into even slices. Salt them and leave them in a colander for about 30 minutes to draw out moisture.

2. Set up the breading station. Arrange three bowls for breading: flour in the first, beaten eggs in the second, and a mix of breadcrumbs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in the third.

3. Coat the eggplant slices in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. Ensure each slice is well coated at every stage.

4. Air fry the eggplant. Lay the eggplant slices in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Lightly spray them with olive oil and cook for 8 minutes. Flip, spray again, and cook for another 6-7 minutes until golden.

5. Serve and enjoy!

Round sliced eggplant breaded in a white plate.

Tips for Success

Here are some top tips to get the best out of your air fryer eggplant, making it a hit every time.

  • Be pick with the eggplant. Look for firm, glossy eggplants for the best flavor and texture.
  • Keep things nice and even. Make sure your slices or cubes are uniform for even cooking.
  • To salt or not to salt? Salting helps remove extra liquid and bitterness when eggplants are not in their peak season. During peak season, this step can be skipped.
  • Don’t crowd them. Keep eggplant slices spaced apart in the air fryer basket for better airflow and even cooking.
  • Get flipping! Flip the eggplant halfway through. This ensures that both sides of the eggplant get that desirable crisp-tender texture and golden color.
  • Keep a watchful eye. Different air fryers and slice thicknesses mean cooking times can vary. Keep an eye on your eggplant after the 15-minute mark.
  • Let it chill. Cooking with eggplant straight from the fridge helps achieve a crispy exterior before it softens too much.
  • Kick up the crispiness. Cook it a little longer to get you those irresistible crispy edges, a silky middle, and crunchy skin.

How to Store

Here’s how to keep your air fryer eggplant delicious for later.

To Store: Keep your leftover eggplant in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. It should stay good for 3-4 days.

To Reheat: For that just-cooked crispiness, reheat in the air fryer or give slices a quick pan fry. The microwave might make them soggy.

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Note: Freezing isn’t ideal for this dish. It tends to get soggy when thawed.

Serving Suggestions

Air Fryer eggplant is super versatile and can jazz up a variety of meals.

  • TikTok Baked Feta Pasta – The eggplant adds a delightful twist to the creamy, tangy pasta.
  • Greek Pasta Salad – It pairs perfectly, offering a crispy contrast to the fresh, zesty flavors of the salad.
  • Lemon Chicken – It complements the citrusy, savory notes of the chicken, making for a well-rounded meal.
  • Air Fryer Salmon – The crispiness of the eggplant goes great with the tender, flaky texture of the salmon.
  • T-Bone Steak – A hearty, satisfying side that stands up to the robust flavor of a juicy steak.

More Air Fryer Recipes

Air Fryer Hush Puppies
Air Fryer Quesadillas
Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
Air Fryer Sausage
Air Fryer Okra

Crispy Air Fryer Eggplant (Easy Recipe)

Course: SidesCuisine: American
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

45

minutes
Cooking time

15

minutes

This air fryer eggplant will quickly become a new favorite! It’s crispy, crunchy, and full of tasty Italian flavor.

Ingredients

  • Eggplant
  • 1 large globe eggplant (or 2 small)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Breading
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • olive oil spray

Instructions

  • Cut off the top and base of the eggplant, then cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt over both sides and leave to drain in a colander for about 30 minutes.
  • Set up three bowls for the breading station. Place the flour in one and beat the eggs in the second. In the third, mix the breadcrumbs with the Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190°C).
  • Pat the eggplant slices dry, then dredge (coat) them in the flour on both sides. Dip them in the egg mixture next and then the breadcrumbs. Coat well on both sides in every step.
  • Arrange the eggplant in a single layer in the air fryer basket and spray lightly on top with olive oil. Cook for 8 minutes, flip them over, and spray with more oil. Cook for another 6-7 minutes until golden and crispy.
  • Repeat with the remaining slices. Serve with salad, pasta, or marinara sauce, and enjoy.

Notes

  • After 12 minutes in the air fryer, top each piece with a spoonful of marinara and a slice of mozzarella. Cook for 3-4 minutes, and serve the mini eggplant parmesan slices for dinner.
  • Choose firm, unbruised eggplants for the best results.
  • Don’t skip salting the slices. It draws out excess moisture and cuts down on some of the bitterness.
  • Cut the slices evenly for even cooking. Work in batches so they don’t overcrowd in the basket.
Air fryer eggplant.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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