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Air Fryer Eggplant has that magical crispy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside quality to it, making this an eggplant side dish everyone will want to eat. Eggplant, enjoy your moment in the spotlight!

Cooked eggplant slices in air fryer basket

Why You’ll Love This Air Fryer Eggplant Slices Recipe

  • Eggplant In Its Most Delicious Form. Eggplant can be a difficult vegetable to love. It doesn’t have all that much flavor to it, and while some people delight in its almost silky texture when cooked on the stovetop, others deem it slimy. With its crispy edges and tender middles, air fryer eggplant is eggplant everyone can agree on!
  • A Goes-With-Everything Side Dish. Make it with the Italian seasoning and Parmesan and this air fryer eggplant is ready to toss with your favorite pasta dish. But skip the seasonings and you can serve it with Indian dishes, or add za’atar and it’s a fitting side for Lamb Meatballs.
  • The Easiest Eggplant. Eggplant Parmesan? It takes some work! Grilled Eggplant? You gotta fire up the grill! Roasted Eggplant? It’s easy, but it takes 30 minutes in the oven. Cooking eggplant in the air fryer is low effort and fast.
Overhead view of air fryer eggplant on plate

How to Make Air Fryer Eggplant

The Ingredients

  • Eggplant. A medium globe eggplant (AKA your standard, everyday grocery store eggplant) is perfect here, but this is also a recipe where you can use some of the sassier varieties that show up at the farmers’ market.
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Here’s the thing about eggplant—it soaks up oil like whoa. So you’ve always got to add a little more than you would for other vegetables. 
  • Mandatory Seasonings. Salt and pepper are a must.
  • Optional Seasonings. Italian seasoning, Parmesan, and fresh parsley or basil are a nice-to-have.

The Directions

Eggplant sliced into rounds on cutting board
  1. Slice the Eggplant. Cut it into 1/4-inch-thick rounds.
Seasoned eggplant rounds on parchment-lined sheet pan
  1. Season. Place the rounds on a baking sheet and brush both sides with oil, then sprinkle the seasonings on one side.
Eggplant slices in air fryer basket
  1. Cook the First Side. Place them in the basket of a 375 degree F air fryer.
Overhead view of air fryer eggplant in basket
  1. Finish. Flip and continue cooking until the eggplant is crisp (12 to 15 minutes total). Sprinkle the air fryer eggplant with Parmesan and fresh herbs, if desired, and ENJOY!

Some More Flavor and Garnish Ideas

  • Experiment With Different Spices. Cumin, smoked paprika, seasoning salt, garlic powder—basically, since eggplant is kind of a blank slate, it works with just about any seasoning.
  • Try Different Herbs. Cilantro works well if you’re pairing this eggplant with Indian dishes, while fresh thyme gives it some French flair.
  • Add a Sauce. For Mediterranean vibes, serve air fryer eggplant with plain yogurt mixed with a squeeze of lemon juice and lots of fresh mint. You can never go wrong with marinara sauce spooned over the top, and Basil Pesto or Chimichurri are also delish.
Finished air fryer eggplant in basket

Ways to Use Air Fryer Eggplant

Air fryer eggplant slices on plate

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t Try to Toss the Eggplant With the Oil. Eggplant is basically a sponge, so the eggplant that first comes into contact with the oil will soak it all up. Brushing is the best way to make sure every round gets the same amount of oil for crispy cooking.
  • Cook in a Single Layer-ish. You can overlap the slices a little bit, but not too much, or the eggplant will steam instead of getting crispy. You kind of have to resign yourself to the fact that you’re going to have to cook multiple batches, but trust and believe, it will be worth it.
  • No Salting and Waiting Needed. The old advice used to be that you always needed to salt eggplant and let it sit to pull the bitterness out. In all my years of cooking eggplant, I’ve never found this to be true. Don’t buy a huge eggplant and you don’t have to worry about it being bitter. (And you don’t want a huge eggplant for air fryer eggplant anyway, because you’ll have to make an absurd number of batches.)

Air Fryer Eggplant

5 from 3 votes
With crispy edges and tender insides, these air fryer eggplant slices are the best way to enjoy eggplant as a side dish. So quick and easy!

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 18 minutes

Servings: 3 -4 servings

Ingredients
  


Instructions
 

  • Cut the eggplant into 1/4-inch rounds (no need to peel it). Arrange the slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet or similar work surface. Brush the first side lightly with oil, then flip, brush the other side, and sprinkle the Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper evenly over the top.
  • Preheat your air fryer to 375°F. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer*— you will very likely need to cook it in batches. Air fry until the eggplant is crisp, about 12 to 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Repeat with the remaining slices. Sprinkle immediately with parmesan and parsley (if using).

Notes

  • *You can overlap the slices a bit at the ends with good results, but note that the more you overlap them, the less likely they are to be crisp.
  • You DO NOT need to salt the eggplant and let it sit; save time and cook it right away. As long as you cut it thin and described and don’t overlap the slices, it will become crisp, not soggy. I also have never had issues with average-sized eggplant being bitter, so unless you eggplant is truly giant, salting and letting it sit isn’t needed.
  • TO STORE: Refrigerate air fryer eggplant in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Reheat in the air fryer at 375 degrees F or in the microwave. You can also eat the leftovers cold.
  • TO FREEZE: I don’t recommend freezing this recipe, as it will be soggy after thawing. If that’s not a deal-breaker, you can freeze in a zip-top bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 3)Calories: 122kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 2gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gPotassium: 353mgFiber: 5gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 41IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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5 Comments

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  1. Oh yum! I love trying new recipes in my air fryer. We love this air fryer eggplant especially for my hubby’s breakfast omelet, so delicious and very tasty! It had a great texture and my kids couldn’t get enough of it too. I can’t wait to make this again. Definitely one of our favorites!5 stars

  2. This was delicious and healthy. I had no idea you could make eggplant in the air fryer. An old dog learns a new trick today thanks to you! I added a bit of chili powder to have some extra kick. Delish!5 stars

  3. This was much more delicately tasty than I imagined! One of the best things I’ve made in my air fryer. Served it with marinara sauce and a side of roasted broccoli, zucchini, and brussel sprouts.5 stars