I recent received an air fryer from a friend who was upgrading to a larger one, I’ve been intrigued by all the rave reviews I’ve heard about air fryers. After making this eggplant parmesan, I’m pretty impressed with what the air fryer can do! Husband also really enjoyed this meal. The eggplant was crispy without the usual greasiness that can happen with eggplant. Since the air fryer needs good air flow, foods need to be in a single layer to properly crisp up.
Eggplant can be a bit intimidating for new cooks. There are several varieties of eggplant, for this recipe I had a huge Italian eggplant from Hungry Harvest. Italian eggplants usually benefit from a bit of salt on the cut eggplant to bring out some water, then pat dry before cooking. This helps remove some of the bitterness that large Italian eggplants can have. (The thinner, longer Japanese eggplants, or the round Indian eggplants tend not to need salting).
Since I worked in batches to cook the eggplant in the air fryer, I used the broiler to heat and broil the mozzarella on top of the eggplant. The leftovers also held up pretty well, so this was a delicious, filling meal to be able to take to work.
Eggplant Parmesan in the Air Fryer
Adapted from All Recipes
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup flour
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 large eggplant, sliced
- 1 large jar marinara
- 1/2 lb spaghetti noodles, cooked
- sliced mozzarella
Wash hands with soap and water before starting.
Slice the eggplant and place in a colander, sprinkle with Kosher salt, and set aside to drain.
In a large shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, parmesan, oregano, thyme, garlic and onion powder. In another large shallow bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper. And in a third bowl, lightly beat the eggs.
Using a clean towel or paper towels, pat the eggplant dry. Dip the eggplant first in the flour, coating evenly; then dip in the egg; then dip in the crumb mixture. Repeat the 3 steps until all the eggplant is coated.
Cook in the air fryer at 370ºF for 8 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 6 minutes or until at the desired crispiness. Cook in batches until all the eggplant is cooked. Placing finished slices on a baking sheet.
**If you don’t have an air fryer you could likely achieve a delicious dinner by baking the slices for about 15-20 minutes at 350ºF. However, it will be much harder to obtain the same crispiness.
Heat the marinara in a small pot or microwave until warm. Place about 1 Tbsp of marinara on the cooked eggplant and then top with a slice of mozzarella. Place baking sheet under the broiler and broil for about 4-6 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Mix the remaining marinara with cooked spaghetti and serve with 1-2 slices of eggplant.