Breaded Eggplant in Air Fryer Recipe - Crispy Air Fryer Eggplant Guide

Breaded Eggplant in Air Fryer

Are you tired of the same, old eggplant dishes? It's time to try something new and exciting with this mouthwatering air fryer eggplant recipe! This guide will walk you through the simple steps to create delicious, crispy eggplant rounds that are perfect as a snack, appetizer, or even a main course.

By using an air fryer, you'll be able to enjoy the scrumptious taste of breaded eggplant without the guilt that comes with deep-frying. This air-fried eggplant is not only healthier, but it's also incredibly easy to make. You'll be amazed at how simple it is to cook eggplant in the air fryer and achieve that perfect crispy texture.

This crispy air fryer eggplant recipe is versatile, allowing you to customize it to your liking with different spices and dipping sauces. Plus, it's a great way to introduce more vegetables into your meal plan in a fun and tasty way.

So, are you ready to give your taste buds a treat and elevate your cooking game? Keep reading to uncover the secrets to making the most irresistible air-fried eggplant you've ever tasted!

The Benefits of Cooking Your Breaded Eggplant Slices in an Air Fryer

Before we go to the step-by-step guide on how to make this scrumptious dish, let's first explore the numerous benefits of cooking your breaded eggplant slices in an air fryer. This modern kitchen appliance has taken the culinary world by storm, and for good reason! Here's why this recipe makes for a healthier and tastier alternative to traditional frying methods.

Less Oil, Less Guilt

One of the most significant advantages of using an air fryer is that your fried eggplant doesn't have to be submerged in oil. Instead, the air fry method uses hot air circulation to cook the eggplant evenly, resulting in a crispy texture with only a fraction of the oil. This means fewer calories and less guilt when indulging in your favorite fried foods.

Crispy on the Outside, Tender on the Inside

The air fryer is designed to cook food evenly, ensuring that your breaded eggplant slices are crispy on the outside while remaining tender and juicy on the inside. This perfect balance of textures makes for a truly delectable dish that will leave you craving more.

Quick and Easy Cooking

The air fryer's rapid cooking time means you can have your delicious air fryer eggplant ready to serve in just a matter of minutes. Gone are the days of waiting for oil to heat up or dealing with messy splatters on your stovetop. Simply set the timer and let the air fryer work its magic.


The air fryer is not just limited to cooking breaded eggplant slices. You can use it to prepare a wide variety of dishes, from crispy french fries to juicy chicken wings. This versatile appliance will quickly become your go-to for all your cooking needs.

Easy Cleanup

Since the air fryer requires significantly less oil than traditional frying methods, you won't have to deal with greasy pans or oil splatters. Most air fryer components are dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze.

Healthier Alternative

By using an air fryer to cook the eggplant, you're not only cutting back on calories from oil, but you're also reducing the formation of harmful compounds that can result from deep-frying. This makes air-fried eggplant a healthier option for those looking to enjoy their favorite fried foods without compromising their well-being.

To sum up, cooking your breaded eggplant slices in an air fryer offers numerous benefits, from a healthier cooking method to easier cleanup.

The result is a delicious air fryer eggplant dish that is crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and bursting with flavor.

How to Air Fry Breaded Eggplant Step-by-Step Guide

Now let's go through the process of making this mouthwatering air fryer eggplant parmesan. We'll start with a list of ingredients and tools, followed by step-by-step instructions to ensure you get the most out of your air-fried eggplant experience.


  • 1 large eggplant

  • Salt for drawing out moisture

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs

  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

  • Olive oil spray

  • Optional: marinara sauce and additional parmesan cheese for serving


  • Air fryer

  • Wood cutting board

  • Knife

  • 3 shallow plates or bowls for breading station

  • Baking sheet

  • Paper towels

  • Tongs or a fork


  1. Prep the eggplant: On a wood cutting board, slice eggplant into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Salt the eggplant slices generously on both sides and place them on a baking sheet or plate lined with paper towels. Allow the eggplant to sit for 20-30 minutes. This will draw out excess moisture and prevent sogginess.

  2. Set up breading station: While the eggplant is resting, set up your breading station. In the first shallow plate, place the flour. In the second, beat the eggs. In the third, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.

  3. Bread the eggplant: After the eggplant has rested, use paper towels to pat the slices dry, removing any excess moisture. Dip each slice first into the flour, then the beaten eggs, and finally the breadcrumb mixture, ensuring each slice is evenly coated.

  4. Preheat the air fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C). While it's heating, spray the air fryer basket lightly with olive oil spray to prevent sticking.

  5. Arrange the eggplant: Place the breaded eggplant slices in a single layer in the air fryer basket, making sure not to overcrowd them. You may need to cook the eggplant in multiple batches, depending on the size of your air fryer.

  6. Cook the eggplant: Spray the tops of the eggplant slices with olive oil and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Flip the slices, spray with more olive oil, and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes.

  7. Serve: Once the eggplant is cooked, remove it from the air fryer and place it on a serving plate. If desired, sprinkle additional parmesan cheese on top and serve with marinara sauce on the side.

Now you're ready to enjoy your delicious air fryer eggplant parmesan! This step-by-step guide will help you make eggplant that is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, perfect for a satisfying and healthier alternative to traditional fried eggplant.

Useful Tips When Cooking Air Fried Eggplant

Useful Tips When Cooking Air Fried Eggplant

To ensure that your air fried eggplant turns out perfectly every time, consider these helpful tips. These suggestions will guide you in achieving the ideal texture and flavor for your fried eggplant slices, whether you're making them as a standalone dish or for an eggplant parm recipe.

  1. Choose the right bread crumbs: The type of bread crumb you use can make a significant difference in the final texture of your air fried eggplant. Panko breadcrumbs are an excellent choice for a lighter, crispier crust, while traditional Italian breadcrumbs provide a more robust flavor. Experiment with different types to find the one that suits your taste buds best.

  2. Ensure even coating: When you dip each eggplant slice into the flour, egg, and breadcrumb mixture, make sure to coat them evenly. This will help the eggplant cook uniformly, resulting in a consistent texture throughout. Gently press the breadcrumbs onto the coated eggplant to help them adhere better.

  3. Don't skip the salting step: It's essential to salt on both sides of the eggplant and let it rest before cooking, as this draws out excess moisture and prevents sogginess. Skipping this step may result in a less crispy final product.

  4. Preheat the air fryer: To achieve the best results, always preheat your air fryer before cooking. This ensures that the appliance reaches the optimal temperature, allowing your eggplant slices to cook evenly and become perfectly crispy.

  5. Flip the eggplant: When you are halfway through the cooking time, flip the eggplant slices to ensure they cook evenly on both sides. This will also help them achieve a uniform golden-brown color.

  6. Don't overcrowd the air fryer: To prevent the eggplant slices from sticking together or becoming soggy, place them in a single layer with some space between each slice. Cook in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding.

  7. Adjust the cooking time: Depending on the thickness of your eggplant slices and the specific model of your air fryer, you may need to adjust the cooking time. Keep an eye on your eggplant as it cooks, and adjust the time as needed to achieve the desired level of crispiness.

  8. Get creative with seasonings: While the suggested seasonings in the recipe are delicious, don't be afraid to experiment with other flavors. Try adding smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, or even a touch of nutritional yeast for a cheesy twist.

By following these useful tips, you'll be well on your way to creating delectable air fried eggplant that is sure to impress. So go ahead and fire up that air fryer and cook up a batch of crispy, mouthwatering eggplant slices for your next meal!


Why do you need to soak eggplant before frying?

Eggplants can absorb a significant amount of oil during cooking, especially when frying or sautéing. Soaking the eggplant in saltwater for 20-30 minutes before cooking can help to reduce oil absorption by breaking down the fruit's cell walls. This process not only prevents the eggplant from becoming overly greasy but also helps to draw out any bitterness that may be present in the fruit. Additionally, soaking the eggplant can improve its overall texture, making it more tender and enjoyable to eat. In summary, soaking the eggplant before frying is a crucial step for achieving a delicious, well-cooked dish with a pleasant texture and reduced oil content.

Should you salt eggplant before breading and frying?

Yes, taking the time to salt eggplant prior to frying yields perfectly seasoned fried eggplant with a silkier texture. Salting the eggplant helps to draw out excess moisture, which in turn prevents sogginess and ensures a crispier crust. Moreover, this process also helps to remove any bitterness that may be present in the eggplant. To salt the eggplant, simply sprinkle salt generously on both sides of the sliced eggplant and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes. Afterward, use paper towels to pat the slices dry, removing any excess moisture before proceeding with breading and frying.

What can I use instead of egg in breading eggplant?

Sometimes known as garbanzo bean flour, chickpea flour is incredible! It's a perfect egg replacement for this recipe, and mixed with water creates the perfect batter to coat the eggplant in. Chickpea flour is also healthy and nutritious, with virtually no saturated fats and fewer calories than eggs. To use chickpea flour as an egg substitute, mix equal parts of flour and water until you achieve a smooth, egg-like consistency. Then, dip the eggplant slices in the chickpea batter before coating them with breadcrumbs.

Can you use milk instead of egg for breading?

Milk is another good option to replace eggs for coating and breading. If you're not dairy-free, you can just use regular milk. Alternatively, you can opt for plant-based milk, such as almond, soy, or oat milk, for a vegan-friendly alternative. To use milk for breading, simply dip the eggplant slices in milk and then coat them in the breadcrumb mixture. While the final texture might be slightly different from using an egg wash, milk can still provide an adequate base for the breadcrumbs to adhere to the eggplant.

How do you keep eggplant from absorbing oil when frying?

If you are planning to fry eggplant, microwaving it first can help reduce oil absorption. To do this, place the eggplant slices on a microwave-safe plate and microwave them on high for about 3-4 minutes. This process helps to partially cook the eggplant, allowing it to fry more quickly and absorb less oil. Additionally, make sure to use a high heat when frying, as this will help to seal the surface of the eggplant, preventing excessive oil absorption. Finally, draining the fried eggplant slices on paper towels after cooking will help to remove any excess oil, ensuring a crispier and less greasy final product.


In conclusion, making crispy eggplant slices using an air fryer is a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods. By following the tips and techniques discussed in this guide, you can easily make air fried eggplant with a deliciously crispy exterior and tender interior.

This easy side dish recipe is perfect for those looking to enjoy the flavors of fried eggplant without the guilt of excessive oil consumption.

Related Products You Might Like

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