Perfectly seasoned and delicious air fryer eggplant is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside just like fried eggplant should be. It's an easy side dish for just about any main course.
This recipe is so simple to make in an air fryer, and it has the same flavor as fried eggplant with less mess. There is very oil used and so easy to clean up. If you like this recipe you might also like these avocado fries.
Why you will love this recipe
- It's a simple recipe to make and ready in 30 minutes!
- Air-fried eggplant is a healthier way to enjoy fried crispy eggplant.
Here is what you will need
This is an overview of the ingredients and steps to make this recipe; scroll down for a printable recipe card with exact measurements and instructions.
- Bread crumbs
- Parmesan cheese
- Dried oregano
- Garlic powder
- Avocado oil cooking spray
How to make air fryer eggplant
Prepare the dredging station: Crack the egg into a shallow bowl and whisk it, set it aside. In a second shallow bowl, mix together bread crumbs, oregano, and garlic powder.
Slice the eggplant into ¼ inch slices, and pat them dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
Preheat the air fryer.
Step 1. Dip the eggplant into the egg wash
Dip a slice of eggplant into the egg, and turn it to coat all sides.
Step 2. Next, the crumbs
Dip the egg-coated slice of eggplant into the bowl with the bread crumb mixture.
Step 3. Add to air fryer tray
Place each coated slice of eggplant in a single layer in an air fryer basket or tray.
Step 4. Air Fry
Air fry eggplant slices until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside.
Note: Cooking times can vary, depending on the thickness of the eggplant and the type of air fryer you have. The eggplant is done when the outside is golden brown and the inside feels soft.
Ingredient Notes & Substitutions
The full list of ingredients to make air fryer eggplant is above. Below are notes about some of the ingredients along with ideas for substitutes.
Eggplant - This recipe is for one small to medium purple eggplant which weighs about 8 ounces. If the eggplant is larger, you may need to use another egg.
Purple eggplant can be substituted with any variety of eggplant in this recipe.
Parmesan cheese - Freshly grated parmesan cheese is the best option. There are fewer additives and preservatives in a block of cheese.
Breadcrumbs - Any type of unseasoned breadcrumbs will work. I like to use whole wheat bread crumbs when I can find them. Panko breadcrumbs are also a good choice, they add a nice crispy texture to air fryer recipes.
Avocado oil spray - Spray oil helps to crisp up the eggplant. Avocado oil spray can be replaced with olive oil spray.
As with just about every recipe, there are ways to change up air fryer eggplant, here are some suggestions:
- Gluten-free - You can easily make crispy eggplant slices gluten-free by replacing the breadcrumbs with gluten-free breadcrumbs.
- Low-carb - For low-carb air-fried eggplant, try coating the eggplant in an almond meal or almond flour.
- Vegan air-fried eggplant - Dip the eggplant slices in dairy-free milk and replace the parmesan cheese with an equal amount of nutritional yeast.
- Spicy air-fryer eggplant - Add ½ teaspoon or more to taste to the breadcrumb mixture.
- Cajun air-fryer eggplant - Instead of oregano or Italian seasoning, add cajun spice blend to the breadcrumb mixture.
- Crispy air fryer eggplant fries - Cut the eggplant into spears instead of rounds, and serve them with a side of pasta sauce, salsa or dip.
Serve air-fried eggplant parmesan style, with homemade marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese on top of the eggplant for a main dish.
It also tastes great as a tasty side dish garnished with fresh basil or fresh parsley and sliced tomatoes, or cut into chunks and tossed into a salad or pasta.
How to store leftover crispy air fryer eggplant
Store leftover air fryer eggplant in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Freeze leftover cooked breaded eggplant rounds for up to three months. Place them on a baking sheet in a single layer, and pop it in the freezer.
Once the eggplant slices are frozen, remove them from the baking sheet and place them in a freezer-safe bag such as a stasher bag.
Reheat leftovers in the oven or air fryer, no need to defrost frozen air fryer eggplant.
Tips & Questions
- Make the dredging of eggplant slices easy, and set up your dredging station so that everything is ready before coating the eggplant in crumbs.
- The thickness of the eggplant can be ¼ to ½ inch in size depending on your preference. Be sure to cut them all of the same thickness to ensure even cooking.
It is not necessary to peel the eggplant before cooking it. In fact, it's better to leave the skin in because that is where most of the nutrients are. If you choose smaller and younger eggplants the skin will be more tender than larger eggplants which can be tough and can have a bitter flavor.
It is not necessary to salt the eggplant before cooking it, unless you are using a large or older eggplant which can sometimes become bitter.
Yes, you can. Place the coated eggplant slices on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425-degrees f oven for approximately 10 minutes, flip over and bake for 10 minutes longer or until golden and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
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Click on serving size to scale this recipe
- 1 medium eggplant about 8 ounces
- 1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- ¼ up grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg
- Avocado spray oil
- Slice the eggplant into ¼ inch slices and pat them dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
- Crack the egg into a shallow bowl and whisk it with a little bit of water, and set it aside.
- In a second shallow bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, shredded parmesan cheese, oregano and garlic.
- Dip a slice of eggplant into the egg and turn it to coat all sides.
- Dip the egg-coated slice of eggplant into the bread crumb bowl and turn it to coat all sides with the bread crumbs.
- Place each coated slice of eggplant in a single layer in an air fryer basket or tray.
- Air fry the eggplant slices in a preheated 415 degree air fryer until golden and crispy, about 15 minutes.
- Air fry the eggplant slices until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside.
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