This air fryer eggplant will be your new favorite way to enjoy eggplant! Crispy and tender on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside!
Air Fryer Eggplant
When it comes to eggplant recipes, our favorites to make are pan fried eggplant, eggplant lasagna, and this air fried eggplant.
Eggplant has got to be one of the most underrated vegetables out there. It’s so versatile and holds onto flavors unlike other vegetables out there. It can be used in more extravagant dishes or made simply with one of my favorite kitchen gadgets- The air fryer!
Why make eggplant in the air fryer?
- Extra crispy. Vegetables cooked in the air fryer are guaranteed to have an extra crispy exterior, but still remaining soft in the middle. This is exactly what happens when you air fry eggplant too!
- Minimal clean-up. No messy dishes or multiple mixing bowls. All you do is add it to the air fryer!
- 10 minutes! Traditional oven baked eggplant would take at least 30 minutes but when made in the air fryer, it takes less than 10 minutes!
- Healthy and low fat. No excessive use of oil or butter is needed but you’ll still get that golden and crunchy exterior.
The texture ticks all the boxes- Crispy and tender on the outside while being soft in the middle. The beauty of eggplant is that it is like a blank canvas that can be flavored any way you like!
This eggplant is perfect as a side dish to plenty of delicious main dishes, like tofu bacon, salt and pepper tofu, or a BLT!
How do you make eggplant in the air fryer?
- Eggplant– Sliced into one-inch coins. Avoid using overripe eggplant, as they can be quite soggy (use those eggplants for lasagna instead!).
- Olive oil– Just a small amount to give the eggplant the crispy exterior and soft interior.
- Garlic salt– Gives the salty flavor with a hint of garlic.
- Cayenne pepper– Optional, but gives the eggplant some lovely flavor.
Start by adding the sliced eggplant into a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper, and mix until combined. Next, transfer the eggplant into the air fryer basket and cook for 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Tips to make the best air fryer eggplant
- Ensure your eggplant is sliced in equal thickness. This will ensure they all cook evenly and are ready to eat at the same time.
- When choosing an eggplant to use, pick one that is firm and tender on the outside, not soft in the middle.
- Feel free to change up the spices and seasonings. Onion salt, Chinese five spice, and smoked paprika are all fantastic additions.
Storing and freezing fried eggplant
- To store: Leftover eggplant should be stored in the refrigerator, covered. It will keep well for up to 5 days.
- To freeze: Place slices of the air fried eggplant in a ziplock bag and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- Reheating: Either microwave the eggplant for 20-30 seconds or reheat it in the air fryer at 200C/400F for two minutes.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Air fryer. The creme de la creme of all air fryers.
- Non-stick tongs. No one wants an air fryer with scratches in it!
- Mixing bowl. One that is microwave safe AND easy to clean.
Air Fryer Eggplant
- 1 large eggplant sliced into 1-inch coins
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper optional
- Add your eggplant into a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper, and mix until combined.
- Transfer into an air fryer basket and cook at 200C/400F for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Transfer the air fried eggplant onto a plate and serve immediately.
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