Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan

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Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan is a fresh new way to make classic eggplant parm. Crispy, lightly breaded slices of eggplant don’t get too soft in this recipe process, and they form delicious layers between all that sauce and cheese.

sliced eggplant parm on white plate

Air Fried Eggplant Parmesan

Want to know a secret? I’ve never liked eggplant or eggplant Parmesan until I tried making it this way. And now? It’s a solid keeper for family dinners.

Thanks to my brother Miles and his wife Cristina for the original recipe inspiration here. I couldn’t resist trying air fryer eggplant after they told me about it this summer. I’ve changed their recipe a bit, to work with what I had on hand, and the whole family enjoyed it.

If you caught yesterday’s recipe for the above-mentioned Air Fryer Eggplant, you’ve had a sneak peek at the deliciousness that is this Eggplant Parmesan.

Whether you just choose to air fry the eggplant and snack on it with warm marinara sauce or assemble the full recipe and bake it to melted cheese deliciousness, you’re in for a treat.

Air Fried Eggplant Parm on plate

My husband Sean really likes eggplant and he is so very happy about this eggplant parmesan. I’ve made it a couple of times already and he’s raved each time.

Does it take a little while to air fry the eggplant for a larger recipe? Yes, but it is worth it and the mess is minimal. Classic recipes often call for deep-fried or pan-fried eggplant. While tasty, it risks becoming oil-logged if you aren’t careful with it.

This version uses air-fried eggplant layered between cheese and marinara sauce. Quick homemade sauce is my go-to but store-bought is fine as well. Fresh basil and mozzarella make this a perfect, classic dish.

crispy air fried eggplant

Air Fryer Eggplant Parm

Air Fried Eggplant Ingredients
  • eggplant
  • eggs
  • milk
  • Parmesan
  • all-purpose flour
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • dried Italian seasoning
  • garlic powder
  • Olive oil spray
Eggplant Parmesan Ingredients
  • pasta sauce or marinara, store-bought or homemade
  • basil leaves 
  • mozzarella cheese
  • fresh Italian parsley
Cheesy Eggplant Parm in white baker

Air Fried Eggplant Parm

To Air Fry the Eggplant

  1. Preheat the air fryer to 375°F. Peel the eggplant and slice into very thin 1/4″ slices. Lay the eggplant slices out on a wire rack or on paper towels and sprinkle liberally with salt. Let the eggplant sit for about 30 minutes then soak up any excess water that comes out by patting them with paper towels. (Step-by-step photos for salting eggplant can be found in this post.)
  2. Using two shallow bowls, add eggs and milk to one and whisk to combine. In the second bowl, combine Parmesan, flour, Panko bread crumbs, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic. Stir to combine.
  3. Dip an eggplant slice in the egg until fully coated then dip in the dry mixture pressing firmly to make sure to fully coat both sides. Place the coated slice on a clean tray or platter. Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices.
  4. Spray the basket of your air fryer with nonstick spray and place eggplant slices in an even layer in the basket. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to do this in multiple batches. Air fry for 6-8 minutes, flip the slices over, and air fry again for another 6-8 minutes, until golden and crispy.

To Assemble the Eggplant Parmesan

  1. Coat the bottom of a small casserole dish (choose one that fits inside your air fryer – see below for alternatives) with about 1/2 cup of marinara sauce and layer with eggplant slices. Sprinkle with sliced basil and then top those slices with more marinara and mozzarella cheese, and then repeat with another layer of eggplant, basil, marinara, and mozzarella cheese. 
  2. Air fry (or bake in the oven) for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle with additional basil, parsley, and Parmesan before serving.
Cheesy Baked Eggplant Parm

Air Fryer Vegetables

I am loving the air fryer for small servings of vegetables. They fry up so crispy and delicious in no time at all. Air fryer sweet potatoes are the perfect little crispy bite with a soft interior. They are great as a side, tossed into hash, or tucked into tacos.

Air Fryer Cabbage is tender, crisp, and flavorful and best of all, you can make it in just a few minutes! This is a great side for feeding just a few people and it couldn’t be easier to prepare.

Air Fryer Carrots are a quick and easy way to enjoy roasted carrots without heating up your entire oven or if you just need a single serving. The sweetness of carrots is enhanced when air frying – just like you get when roasting.

eggplant parm on square plate next to baking dish

I use the COSORI Air Fryer pictured in these posts. I’m partial to a square basket air fryer as I find it easier to fit more food into the basket. This is a 5.8QT air fryer, one of the largest machines I’ve found that works effectively.

The machine is a bit retro with simple knob controls. It turns out that I really like the basic settings and ability to set the time and temp like a traditional appliance. I’ve used a few different air fryers with pre-programmed settings and I found I was still tweaking the times.

This machine is surprisingly easy to clean and the two-part basket locks together (it’s literally impossible for it to detach the way some do) until you open the latch and then push the button to release it. I simply wipe down the baskets with a sudsy dish scrub brush or sponge, rinse and let them air dry on the counter.

crispy air fried eggplant

Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan

Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan is a fresh new way to make classic eggplant parm.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

Air Fried Eggplant Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • cup grated Parmesan plus 2 tablespoons for serving
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cups Panko bread crumbs
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Olive oil spray

Eggplant Parmesan Ingredients

  • 2 cups pasta sauce or marinara, store-bought or homemade
  • 8 fresh basil leaves sliced very thin
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley chopped small

Instructions

To Air Fry the Eggplant

  • Preheat the air fryer to 375°F. Peel the eggplant and slice into very thin 1/4" slices. Lay the eggplant slices out on a wire rack or on paper towels and sprinkle liberally with salt. Let the eggplant sit for about 30 minutes then soak up any excess water that comes out by patting them with paper towels. (Step-by-step photos for salting eggplant can be found in this post.)
  • Using two shallow bowls, add eggs and milk to one and whisk to combine. In the second bowl, combine Parmesan, flour, Panko bread crumbs, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and garlic. Stir to combine.
  • Dip an eggplant slice in the egg until fully coated then dip in the dry mixture pressing firmly to make sure to fully coat both sides. Place the coated slice on a clean tray or platter. Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices.
  • Spray the basket of your air fryer with nonstick spray and place eggplant slices in an even layer in the basket. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to do this in multiple batches. Air fry for 6-8 minutes, flip the slices over, and air fry again for another 6-8 minutes, until golden and crispy.

To Assemble the Eggplant Parmesan

  • Coat the bottom of a small casserole dish (choose one that fits inside your air fryer – see below for alternatives) with about 1/2 cup of marinara sauce and layer with eggplant slices. Sprinkle with sliced basil and then top those slices with more marinara and mozzarella cheese, and then repeat with another layer of eggplant, basil, marinara, and mozzarella cheese. 
  • Air fry (or bake in the oven) for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven. Sprinkle with additional basil, parsley, and Parmesan before serving.

Notes

This recipe is written for the small 6″ pan that fits inside my air-fryer. However, once you’ve air fried the eggplant, you can assemble and bake this in any pan you like. A doubled recipe can be baked in a 10″ pan at  375°F for about 5-10 minutes, until the cheese has melted.

Nutrition

Calories: 620kcal · Carbohydrates: 42g · Protein: 39g · Fat: 34g · Saturated Fat: 19g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g · Monounsaturated Fat: 10g · Trans Fat: 0.01g · Cholesterol: 187mg · Sodium: 2281mg · Potassium: 903mg · Fiber: 8g · Sugar: 11g · Vitamin A: 1855IU · Vitamin C: 14mg · Calcium: 840mg · Iron: 5mg
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Eggplant parm made in the air fryer
Eggplant Parmesan made in the Air Fryer

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