If you don’t have an air fryer, I have dozens of other eggplant recipes to satisfy your cravings. With my simple recipe for Roasted Eggplant Slices, you’ll have tender, savory veggies you’ll want to eat straight from the oven. Add a layer of panko breadcrumbs and mozzarella cheese, and you’ll have an irresistible appetizer of Crispy Oven-Baked Eggplant. Or, transform your tasty side into a rich, Healthy Baked Eggplant Parm that will disappear in minutes.
Ingredients You’ll Need for Air-Frying Eggplant
You only need a handful of pantry-ready ingredients to make eggplant in the air fryer. Healthy, fresh, and natural, this air-fried eggplant recipe won’t require any extra trip to the grocery store.
- Eggplant: I use globe eggplant in this crispy air fryer eggplant recipe, as it’s the most common type of eggplant found in grocery stores. However, many different types of eggplants would also work. Other types, such as Japanese eggplant, Japanese eggplant, and even Chinese eggplant, would all work in this recipe.
- Kosher salt: Though salting eggplant is optional, this step helps remove excess liquid and gives this easy recipe its exquisitely crisp texture. It may also be helpful if you’re buying eggplant out of season. You can learn more about this process in my simple guide to sweating eggplant.
- Oil: I recommend using high smoke point oils, like avocado oil or olive oil, when making eggplant in the air fryer.
- Seasonings: You can use countless delicious seasoning mixes when you air-fry eggplant. However, I recommend a robust, savory mixture of Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and paprika. Don’t have Italian seasoning at home? Make your own spice blend by mixing together ¼ teaspoon of dried oregano, ¼ teaspoon of dried rosemary, ¼ teaspoon of dried thyme, and ¼ teaspoon of dried basil.
- Optional toppings: If preferred, you can sprinkle them with fresh parsley (or any other fresh herbs you like) and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice right before serving.
How to Cook Eggplant in Air Fryer?
Air frying eggplant is easier than you think. And the best part, you ask? No messy oil or waiting in front of the stove for it to cook. With these easy instructions, your air fryer-fried eggplant will come out irresistibly tender in no time. Whether you like to air-fry sliced eggplant or cubed eggplant, simply follow the instructions below for my foolproof method:
- Cut the eggplant: Cut your eggplant into either ½-inch air fryer eggplant slices or into 1-inch cubes to make cubed eggplant. If you are new to slicing eggplant, check out my handy guide to cutting eggplant.
- Salt the slices of eggplant: If you want to salt the eggplant before cooking, line a sheet pan with a few sheets of paper towels, then layer the baking sheet with a single layer of your sliced eggplant. Sprinkle the veggies with ½ teaspoon of salt, covering all sides with equal seasoning. Let the salted eggplant rest for 15 minutes.
- Dry the eggplant: Use either paper towels or a clean kitchen towel to pat dry the surface of the eggplant. Try to remove any excess moisture.
- Season the eggplant: For sliced eggplant, brush both sides of the slices with oil. Then, sprinkle the top of the eggplant with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, paprika, and salt, being sure to coat each side evenly. For cubed eggplant, place the vegetables in a large bowl, drizzle them with oil, and toss the mixture until thoroughly combined. Then, sprinkle the oiled veggies with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, paprika, and salt.
- Preheat the air fryer: Set the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
- Transfer the seasoned slices: Place the eggplant in a single even layer in the air fryer, being sure not to overlap or overcrowd the basket. If necessary, roast eggplant in the air fryer in two batches to ensure even cooking.
- Cook eggplant in the air fryer: Air fry the pieces for 12 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Check for doneness by inserting a paring knife in one cube/slice. Remove the eggplant if the knife easily enters and exits its flesh. However, if there is resistance on the blade, continue to air fry the pieces in one-minute increments until tender.
- Serve: Transfer the air-fried eggplant slices or air fry eggplant cubes to a plate and serve while warm.
How to Store, Reheat, and Freeze This Recipe?
Once you make this vegan and gluten-free recipe for eggplant in the air fryer, you’ll want it every night of the week. With these simple storage tips, you’ll have toasty, savory eggplant whenever the craving strikes.
- Store: To store your air-fried eggplant cubes or slices, first let the veggies reach room temperature. Then, transfer the pieces to an airtight container and place them in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, place your eggplant in the air fryer for two minutes (or until heated thoroughly) at 400 degrees F. or in the oven for 5-8 minutes at 300 degrees F. I recommend draining excess liquid before serving, as your veggie pieces will likely become watery during storage.
- Freeze: After roasting the eggplant in the air fryer, place the room-temperature pieces in a freezer bag or airtight container. I recommend separating each layer with wax paper to prevent fusing during storage. Once you place the sealed container inside the freezer, your eggplant will stay fresh for up to 2 months.
- Thaw: Thaw your air fryer roasted eggplant by placing it in the fridge overnight. Remove the wax paper between slices/cubes, and reheat them in the air fryer at 400 degrees F. for two minutes or in the oven at 300 degrees F. for 5-8 minutes.
How to Serve Air Fryer Roasted Eggplant?
You can serve this healthy eggplant recipe in the air fryer in dozens of mouthwatering ways. From a great snack to a final dish, these tasty ideas will fill your menu with maximum flavor.
- Serve it as a vegetable side dish: Crispy eggplant slices make a delectable appetizer when served with a dip, such as your favorite marinara sauce, Basil Tomato Sauce, or creamy Tzatziki. These simple eggplant rounds are also a great way to complement a protein-packed main course. Serve them alongside Mediterranean dishes, like my Greek Yogurt Chicken and Mediterranean Lemon Chicken, or balance a hearty main, like my Classic Pot Roast, with light and healthy flavors.
- Incorporate it into cooked grains: This delicious air fryer eggplant recipe is just the thing to add to your favorite quinoa salad or other cooked grains. Savory air-fried eggplant makes a great addition to Cooked Bulgur or even pasta recipes, like my Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta—especially when topped with rich parmesan cheese, ground black pepper, and fresh parsley.
If you want to make air fryer roast eggplant that will have the whole family asking for seconds, these pro tips are just what you need. This guide has everything from slicing to seasoning and cooking pointers.
- Select good eggplants: The first step in air frying eggplant is to choose the right produce. I recommend using eggplants that are firm to the touch and have smooth, glossy skin. Though eggplants have a bad rap for bitterness, these riper veggies tend to have fewer seeds, a sweeter taste, and a less bitter flavor.
- Cut evenly: The key to this recipe is to cut your eggplants into evenly sized pieces (½-inch slices or 1-inch cubes). Similarly sized eggplants will cook more evenly, whether you slice them or cut them into cubes.
- A word about salting: Sweating eggplant isn’t necessary for this recipe, especially if you are using eggplant during its peak season (May through September.) However, if you’re making this dish out of season, you may want to remove extra liquid or unwanted bitterness from your slices by salting your eggplant before putting it in the air fryer.
- Don’t overcrowd the basket: When you layer your eggplant pieces into the air fryer basket, don’t overcrowd or layer them on top of one another. More space between slices will allow for better air circulation and limit the possibility of undercooked or unevenly cooked eggplant. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may find that air frying your eggplant in batches helps avoid partially cooked or soggy eggplant.
- Flip halfway through: The best thing about this vegan air fryer eggplant is its crisp-tender texture and golden brown exterior. Flipping your eggplant batches halfway through their air frying time will help give you these best results.
- Watch closely: Many factors contribute to how long it will take to make eggplant cooked in the air fryer, including your specific air fryer, the thickness of your slices, and how densely you pack the basket. Therefore, I recommend watching your pieces after the 10-minute mark to see whether they need more or less time.
Cooking eggplant is an easy recipe anyone can prepare (and post on Instagram!). With these helpful tips, this eggplant air fryer recipe will come out exquisitely crisp every time.
Yes! Not only is air frying the quickest method of cooking eggplant, but it’s also effortless. Cut your eggplant into ½-inch slices or 1-inch cubes, and your eggplant will only need about 12 minutes in the air fryer at 400 degrees F.
You’ll likely need 12 minutes in the air fryer set to 400 degrees F. to cook your eggplant pieces.
The ideal eggplant air fryer time is about 12 minutes at 400 degrees F. However, this cooking time depends on your specific air fryer and eggplant thickness, so keep an eye on your pieces to ensure they don’t come out over- or undercooked.
Yes, you can air-fry eggplant without any added oil. However, these eggplant pieces often come out drier than those cooked with oil. You can combat this dryness by making no-oil Breaded Eggplant in the Air Fryer, which uses an egg and flour and breadcrumb mixture to give your eggplant a rich tenderness instead of oil.
Other Air Fryer Recipes You Might Also Like
If you can’t get enough tasty eggplant recipes like this, you’ll fall head over heels for these other effortless air fryer dishes. Feel free to check out the recipes below and never be at a loss for a delicious recipe to complete your menu again!
If you try this Air Fryer Eggplant with no breadcrumbs recipe or any other recipe on Foolproof Living, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It is a great help to others who are thinking of making the recipe. And if you took some pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories.
Air Fryer Eggplant Recipe
- 1 large globe eggplant ~1 pound
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt divided
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon fresh parsley chopped finely
- A squeeze of lemon juice
- Cut the eggplant into your desired shape, either ½ inch slices or 1-inch cubes. You do not need to peel the eggplant as the skin is edible.
- Line a sheet pan with a few sheets of paper towels. Place the eggplant on top and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt, ensuring that all sides of the eggplant slices (or cubes) are evenly seasoned. Let rest for 15 minutes.
- Using a sheet of paper towel (or a clean kitchen towel), pat the surface of the eggplant dry to absorb moisture.
- Season the eggplant: For sliced eggplant: Brush eggplant slices with the oil on both sides and sprinkle each slice with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, paprika, and ¼ teaspoon of salt. For cubed eggplant: Place eggplant cubes in a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and toss until well combined. Sprinkle them with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, paprika, and ¼ teaspoon of salt.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F.
- Place the eggplant in an even layer in the air fryer. Be sure not to overcrowd the air fryer basket. If needed, it is best to air fry it in two batches to ensure even frying.
- Air fry for approximately 12 minutes flipping the eggplant halfway through the air frying process. To check doneness, insert a pairing knife in one of the eggplant cubes/slices, if it goes in and out easily, it should be done. If not, let it continue to air fry in one-minute increments until tender.
- Transfer to a plate. If preferred, sprinkle it with chopped parsley and a light squeeze of lemon juice. Serve while it is still warm.
- Yields: Depending on the size of your eggplant, this recipe yields 7-9 slices of eggplant or about 2 cups of cubed eggplant. This recipe can be multiplied as many times as you want.
- Evenly cut eggplant: The key to this recipe is to cut your eggplants into evenly sized pieces (½-inch slices or 1-inch cubes). Similarly sized eggplants will cook more evenly, whether you slice them or cut them into cubes.
- Storage: You can store leftovers in an airtight container (after they come to room temperature) for up to 3 days. To reheat, place your eggplant in the air fryer for two minutes (or until heated thoroughly) at 400 degrees F.
Leave a Reply