Our air fryer eggplant has a crispy breading that’ll keep you coming back for more! This makes a great appetizer or side dish – we like to dip ours in ranch and marinara!
Eggplant was never a heavily requested veggie (okay, but it’s actually a fruit – did you know??) in my house until I started breading it and popping it in the air fryer. Now it’s a definite favorite!
The kids love to dip slices of crispy fried eggplant in ranch dressing and I love serving it up as an easy side dish or an appetizer.
People love crispy breaded veggies and eggplant is no exception!
Serve this up with some ranch or warm marinara and you’ve got something tasty on your hands!
While we often equate fried foods with unhealthy foods, the air fryer definitely helps! And the eggplant is loaded with fiber and nutrients, making this a great choice.
Eggplant – In choosing your eggplant at the grocery store, you need to choose one that doesn’t have any green on it except for the stem. You should squeeze it a bit to see if it is firm. It shouldn’t be rock hard, but it should be nice and firm.
Bread crumbs and Panko– If you own an air fryer you are surely aware that these two ingredients are staples in air frying. Traditional bread crumbs coat the eggplant nicely while the Panko adds extra crispness.
How to Make Air Fryer Eggplant:
Slice it– Slice your eggplant into slices that are between 1/4 and 1/2″ thick slices. Lay the slices on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and sprinkle salt over the eggplant. Let this sit on your countertop for 20 minutes to draw out excess moisture. Then pat dry.
Bread it– You’ll need 3 shallow dishes for breading. In the first add the breadcrumbs, panko, parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. Stir these together to combine. In the second dish, add eggs and whisk until smooth. In the final dish add flour, garlic powder, and onion powder. Again stir this until combined.
Now grab your dried-up eggplant and dip in the flour mix, then the egg, then the breadcrumb dish. Make sure to get both sides fully coated in each dish.
Cook it- Brush oil onto your air fryer basket, or spritz it with oil spray. Then lay your coated eggplant in the basket in an even layer. Don’t let them touch at all, which will likely make you cook in batches. Cook at 380 degrees F for 10 minutes. Flip the eggplant after 5 minutes.
Keep them warm – If you need to work in batches, keep the eggplant in an oven on a baking sheet on the low setting. Serve them hot with your choice of dip.
We like them served with warm marinara. However, ranch dressing is a good option too.
No. Just wash, slice, and salt the eggplant to draw out excess moisture.
Yes! It will work perfectly for that. Just add cheese and marinara!
More Air Fryer Appetizer Recipes:
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Air Fryer Eggplant
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- ¼ cup panko
- ¼ cup powdered Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Slice the eggplant into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices and lay on a paper towel lined baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with the kosher salt and let sit for 20 minutes to allow the eggplant to release excess moisture.
- Add the breadcrumbs, panko, Parmesan, and Italian seasoning to a shallow dish and stir to combine.
- Add the eggs to a second dish and whisk well until smooth.
- Add the flour, garlic powder, and onion powder to a third dish and stir to combine.
- Dip each eggplant slice first in the flour, then the egg, and finally the bread crumbs, making sure to coat each slice fully.
- Spritz an air fryer basket with oil spray and lay the eggplant in an even layer. You will likely need to work in batches.
- Air fry at 380 degrees for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking. Keep the eggplant warm in a low oven on a baking sheet while cooking the other batches.