Making eggplant in the air fryer results in deliciously crispy eggplant slices that are perfect for dipping in marinara sauce or serving over pasta.
This flavorful Air Fryer Eggplant recipe has a crunchy coating of Italian-style breadcrumbs and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Be sure to follow our tips below for maximum crispiness!
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Do I Need to Peel Eggplant?
You do not need to peel eggplant before cooking in the air fryer. The peel is edible and will soften some as the eggplant cooks.
How Long to Cook Eggplant in the Air Fryer
Cooking times could vary depending on which air fryer model you have, but for this recipe we cooked the eggplant slices for 15 minutes at 375°F, flipping halfway in between.
Related: 12 Easy Eggplant Recipes
What to Serve with Air Fryer Eggplant
This air fryer eggplant recipe is delicious as an appetizer with marinara sauce for dipping. Make a hearty vegetarian sandwich with any leftovers, or turn it into a vegetarian dinner and serve over pasta with marinara sauce, chopped cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella pieces and chopped fresh basil and parsley. This recipe would also work as the base for eggplant parmesan.
- italian seasoning
- All-purpose flour
- Italian style bread crumbs
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
- Marinara sauce, for dipping
How to Cook Eggplant in the Air Fryer
1. Cut the eggplant into 1/4-inch thick slices.
2. Sprinkle slices with salt and place on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Let rest for 15 minutes to draw out moisture from the eggplant.
3. Meanwhile, add the flour to a small bowl. In a second bowl, add the beaten eggs. In a third bowl, add the breadcrumbs, cheese, Italian seasoning and pepper, to taste; stir to combine.
4. Pat the eggplant slices dry with paper towels. Working one slice at a time, coat both sides of the eggplant in the flour, tapping to remove any excess.
5. Move the eggplant slice to the bowl with the eggs and flip to coat.
6. Lastly, add the eggplant to the bowl with the breadcrumb mixture and flip to coat. You may need to press the breadcrumb mixture onto the slice.
7. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F. Once preheated, lightly coat the air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray.
8. Add eggplant slices to the air fryer in a single layer (you’ll need to work in batches). Lightly coat the slices with cooking spray so they’ll be extra crispy. Cook for 15 minutes, flipping the slices halfway.
9. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping or with angel hair pasta, halved cherry tomatoes and pieces of fresh mozzarella.
Tips for Making Air Fryer Eggplant
- Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and allow them to rest before breading. This will draw out the moisture, resulting in crispier eggplant.
- Follow the “wet hand, dry hand” method to avoid globs of egg and breadcrumbs sticking to your fingers as you work. Use one hand to coat the eggplant slices in the dry ingredients, the flour and the breadcrumbs, and the other hand to coat the eggplant in the wet ingredient, the egg.
- Once you’ve added a layer of breaded eggplant to the air fryer, lightly coat them in cooking spray before cooking. This will make them extra crispy.
- Cooking the eggplant slices in a single layer in the air fryer basket will also maximize crispiness and help them cook evenly. You’ll need to work in two to three batches.