If you are like me, you are looking for ways to use your air fryer to justify its space in your kitchen. Use this air fryer eggplant recipe to make crispy eggplant without using extra oil.
While it might not be the most popular nightshade at mealtimes, making it in an air fryer is easy. So many times I would buy eggplant with its rich, purple color beckoning, “Come try me!” However, I didn’t know how to prepare it correctly. It was usually either too dry or too oily.
We avoid palm oil in my household which means I cook most everything from scratch. Incorporating eggplant into our rotation keeps things interesting.
Eggplant, Solanum melongena, also called aubergine or Guinea squash, is delicious when prepared correctly. In the United States, you will typically find it available in stores freshest from July through September.
If you’ve never tried eggplant or are looking for more uses for your appliance, this air fryer eggplant recipe is a great place to start. It’s easy to prepare, tastes fantastic, and gets you accustomed to preparing eggplant for optimal cooking.
Eggplant is an underrated fruit. With its mild flavor, it can be mashed, roasted or fried to have a crunchy exterior with a creamy, soft interior. If you are looking for an easy way to prepare this delicious fruit, look no further than this eggplant in air fryer recipe.
Air Fryer Eggplant
Table of Contents
The little bit of prep is well worth the time and effort – and really, it isn’t all that much – because it’s just that good. Even your pickiest eater will like this dish. My family eats it with the peel on. Get your kids used to eating eggplant this way for extra nutrients.
Letting it dry out a bit will prevent mushy roasted eggplant. Crispy eggplant is so much better!
Use these step-by-step directions to make air fryer eggplant.
Ingredients to Make Eggplant in Air Fryer
- Large Eggplant
- Seasoned Breadcrumbs or Panko
- All-Purpose Flour
- Eggs – Use organic eggs when it fits your budget
- Himalayan Sea Salt
- Olive Oil or Avocado Oil Spray
- Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Italian Herbs or Italian Seasoning
- Roasted Garlic Powder
How to Make Air Fryer Eggplant
- Slice eggplant into medallions that are all the same thickness. There is no need to peel eggplant.
Lay the eggplant slices in a single layer on a pan or plate. Sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 20 minutes. This draws out some of the moisture and gives the eggplant a very nice, firmer texture.
Preheat air fryer to 380 degrees F.
While you are waiting on the eggplant, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian herbs, and roasted garlic powder in a bowl that is large enough for the biggest piece of eggplant to lay flat in the bottom.
In another bowl of about equal size, whisk the egg (for a creamier texture, add a dash of milk).
Put the flour in a third bowl.
Rinse the eggplant well and pat dry with a paper towel.
Dip each slice of eggplant into the flour first, then the egg, and then the breadcrumbs. Lightly spray both sides of each eggplant slice with the olive oil.
Place the eggplant slices in a single layer on the air fryer rack, an oven safe sheet, or in the bottom of the air fryer itself. Cook at 380 degrees F for 5 minutes. Turn them and cook the other side for about 5 – 7 minutes until crisp.
Air Fryer Eggplant Recipes
There are lots of ways to change the flavor and texture of this roasted eggplant. You can easily omit the eggs and breadcrumbs or panko. Just toss the eggplant slices in 2 tablespoons of avocado oil or olive oil and add the seasonings.
Adding a dash of parmesan helps give it a nice crispy crust with flavors that pop. You can also use a little smoked honey for another layer of flavor.
This eggplant dish makes for a delish side dish with dinner. Sprinkle salt and pepper, and you’re all set. Or you can serve it with a side of marinara. (Or in my household, ketchup!) You can also serve eggplant with ricotta and roasted garlic.
Air Frying Eggplant
Using an air fryer to make eggplant will result in less soggy eggplant. This is because the air fryer fan wicks away excess moisture, almost dehydrating food. The pieces become dried and crunchy on the outside and tender but not soggy on the inside.
Air fryers work well for making eggplant and other wetter fruits and vegetables such as summer squash, okra and zucchini.
There are many different types of eggplant:
You can choose any color and shape (long, narrow globe or a broad globe) and it will taste great in the air fryer. In addition, using an air fryer to make eggplant is easier and less messy than frying them.
Eating Healthy Eggplant
My family evolved into healthier eating as we were working our way through my son’s palm oil allergy and palm oil intolerance. Palm oil is common in processed foods and premade foods. Once a novice cook, I gradually started learning how to cook most all of our foods at home. Eating palm oil free is second nature to us now.
In the process, I bought some kitchen gadgets which really helped. I learned that having the right tools made cooking and baking much easier. I used to cook eggplant on the stovetop, and it was soggy and mushy. Now I make eggplant in the air fryer along with lots of other things such as hash browns in air fryer and air fryer popcorn.
For me, having an air fryer is worth it to make foods without as much oil. It’s also helpful to make foods that we once bought processed. Making air fryer home fries is an example of this.
Should you peel eggplant before frying or cooking?
Wash the eggplant but there is not need to peel the eggplant before cooking it or putting it in an air fryer.
How do you cook eggplant without getting soggy?
We love using an air fryer to cook eggplant because it firms up the eggplant. It is less watery and soggy than other methods such as steaming, baking and roasting.
How to prevent eggplant from absorbing too much oil?
One way to prevent eggplant slices from absorbing too much oil before cooking in the air fryer is to brush each slice of eggplant with the oil. Brush each piece instead of dipping the pieces into the oil or pouring the oil over the pieces.
Final Thoughts on This Recipe
In conclusion, eggplants are healthy, tasty fruits that can provide some variety to your diet. They are low in calories and high in fiber. The key to cooking with this type of fruit is patience and using a unique recipe for air fryers.
If you make this air fryer eggplant recipe, please let me know in the Comments below how you prepared it and how it was. Eating more fruits and vegetables is a great thing to do whether or not you give up palm oil, are vegan, or are vegetarian.
Air Fryer Eggplant
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
- ⅔ cup seasoned breadcrumbs or panko
- 2 tbsp parmesan grated
- 2 tsp aromatic Italian herbs or Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp roasted garlic powder
- 2 large eggs beaten
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- olive oil spray
- 1 tbsp optional: milk
- Slice eggplant. Lay slices in a single layer in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 20 minutes. This draws out some of the moisture and gives the eggplant a firmer texture.
- Preheat air fryer to 380 degrees F.
- While waiting on the eggplant, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian herbs, and roasted garlic powder in a bowl that is large enough for the biggest piece of eggplant to lay flat in the bottom.
- In another bowl of about equal size, whisk the egg. For a creamier texture, add a dash of milk.
- Put the flour in a third bowl.
- Rinse eggplant slices well. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Dip each slice of eggplant into the flour, then the egg, and then the breadcrumbs. Lightly spray both sides of each eggplant slice with the olive oil.
- Place eggplant slices in a single layer on the air fryer rack or oven safe sheet. You can also put them on the bottom of the air fryer itself.
- Cook eggplant at 380 degrees F for 5 minutes. Turn them and cook the other side for 5 - 7 minutes until crisp.
- Remove and serve immediately.