Air Fryer Eggplant is tossed in soy sauce, lemon juice, and lots of herbs and spices before getting air-fried to golden, crispy perfection. Simple and flavorful, it can be ready in 20 minutes!
Air Fryer Eggplant Recipe
Air Fryer Eggplant became an instant favorite the moment we tried it. Not everyone likes this veggie because if you don’t cook it right, it ends up mushy and unappetizing, especially if you fry it because it naturally absorbs so much oil.
Instead, air-frying the eggplant gave us a crispy crust while keeping the inside soft and tender. We also coat it with lots of seasonings and spices, so every bite is incredibly flavorful. Dip it into homemade tzatziki sauce for a winning appetizer or side!
Is eggplant healthy?
Yes, it’s a very nutritious vegetable. High in fiber but low in calories, it will keep you full while helping with digestion, lowering the risk of heart disease, improved blood sugar control, and even weight loss.
Furthermore, it’s also very high in vitamins and minerals. In one serving, you get vitamins B6, K, C, plus potassium, folic acid, magnesium, thiamine, and many more.
What You Need:
- Eggplant: Rinsed, sliced evenly into rounds, and salted for 30mins. The process of salting – sprinkling salt on the pieces – pulls out any bitterness from this vegetable. It also eliminates any excess moisture so it crisps up nicely in the air-fryer. Don’t forget to pat as dry as you can.
- Seasoning sauces: The classic combo of sesame oil and umami-packed soy sauce gives this dish a subtle Asian flair. Finally, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to brighten things up!
- Herbs and spices: To build flavor, we’re mixing up garlic powder with smoked paprika, a dash of onion powder plus dried herbs like oregano, parsley, and a nice Italian blend.
How to make Air fryer eggplant
- Season. Take your prepared vegetable slices, and mix them up with your seasonings, spices, and dried herbs.
- Air-fry. Arrange the seasoned vegetables in a single layer inside the air-fryer basket. Cook at 380F for about 15-20 mins. Flip at the halfway mark, continuing to air-fry until tender and golden-brown.
- Serve. Plate up with more lemon, a sprinkle of fresh dill, plus this refreshing tzatziki sauce!
Recipe variations and substitutions:
- Cajun: Toss in some homemade Cajun seasoning with a squeeze of lime plus salt and pepper.
- Garlic parmesan: Cover in a mix of grated parmesan, garlic powder, and paprika, plus dried Italian herbs.
- Crispy: Use the breading technique we use for our Air-fryer Onion Rings. You’re going to love that crunchy parmesan-panko crust!
- Crispy coconut lime: The crunchy, spiced coconut breading in this Air-fryer Coconut Shrimp will work for this vegetable, too!
- Spicy: Add heat with cayenne, chili powder, or dried chili flakes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to cut eggplant?
After washing it well, set it on your cutting board. Chop off the top, with the stem part. Then, chop off the bottom. From here, you can slice it as needed for your recipe.
Tip: You don’t have to peel it for most recipes, because the skin gets incredibly soft once it’s cooked.
What type of air fryer is best to use?
Whatever air-fryer you have will work for this recipe. However, different brands and units do vary in wattage, so we suggest checking the veggies from time to time. This way, you’re sure they’re done to your liking.
What to serve with:
You’ll want to cool these down first before transferring to an air-tight container, so the condensation doesn’t make them soggy. Place in the refrigerator, and consume within 2 days or earlier for best texture.
To reheat, pop it into a 400F air-fryer for a few minutes until hot.
More delicious Air Fryer Recipes:
Air Fryer Eggplant
- 2 medium eggplants (cut into half-inch rounds)
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
- Wash, dry, and cut the eggplant.
- Place the pieces in a large colander and place the colander inside a bowl.
- Generously sprinkle with salt and let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Transfer the pieces to a dry kitchen towel, arranging them in one layer. Using paper towels, press and pat them dry.
- Preheat air fryer to 380 degrees F.
- Add the eggplant rounds to a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Toss well to combine.
- Arrange eggplant in the air fryer basket in one layer and cook for 15-20 minutes, turning once at the halfway point. Cook until nicely golden, crispy, and fork-tender.
- Serve warm with a sprinkle of fresh dill, lemon wedges on the side, and tzatziki sauce for dipping.
- Remember to salt the slices for 30 minutes. Don’t worry, it won’t be salty, because you’ll be removing the salt as you pat them down.
- You can replace the sesame oil with olive if you want a more neutral flavor.
- Try to slice the vegetables into similar sizes so they cook at the same time.
- Air-fry in ONE layer, so that the surfaces crisp up evenly. If you’re doing a lot of slices, air-fry in batches.
- Preheat the air-fryer for about 5-10 minutes before you pop your veggies in, so they immediately start cooking when you close the lid.
- You can also slice the vegetables into strips instead of rounds.