Learn how to make perfectly roasted eggplant in the air fryer. This easy recipe is simple, quick and the eggplant rounds come out perfectly tender and carmelized.
Eggplant is one of the most delicious and versatile vegetables, in my opinion. Though it is very popular in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, cooking eggplant can be intimidating. Sometimes it turns out bitter, acidic or dry, especially when cooked without enough oil. Olive oil is essential to create the tender texture and carmelized roasted outside of the eggplant rounds or pieces.
In the summertime I love to grill eggplant outdise but in colder weather air frying is my favorite way of cooking eggplant because of short cooking time and the wonderful golden brown color and crispy edges that develop. I prefer air-fried eggplant slices to other shapes such as cubes, but you can cut it up according to your preferences. You can also turn this recipe into delicious eggplant fries.
If you prefer a more substantial eggplant-based dish, make sure to also check out this Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan made with crispy bread crumbs, mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Air frying eggplant is super easy and takes less time than roasting it in the oven
- Perfect healthy side dish for any meal or serve it as an appetizer with a side of Marinara for dipping
- Minimal prep time
- Sweet, carmelized flavor and velvety texture
- This easy recipe is low carb, gluten free and dairy free
Ingredients and substitutions
- Eggplant: pick a fresh, firm eggplant for best results. I used Italian eggplant that's the most common variety available at grocery stores but you can also use Japanese eggplant which is thinner and longer.
- Olive Oil: use extra virgin olive oil. You can also swap it for other high quality plant-based oil, such as avocado oil.
- Salt: kosher salt or sea salt are best for this recipe
- Spices: I used dried oregano and garlic powder to season my eggplant but onion powder, Italian seasoning, basil and black pepper can also be added for more flavor.
- Fresh parsley (optional): for garnish
How to roast eggplant in the air fryer
STEP 1: Slice the eggplant. I recommend ½ -inch rounds for best texture.
STEP 2: Salt and let rest. Place the sliced eggplant on a paper towel lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt on both sides. Se aside for 30 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels.
Note: Salting eggplant removes excess liquid and some of the bitterness. If you don't have time, you can always cook the eggplant right away but I highly recommend salting for best flavor and texture.
STEP 3: Brush with olive oil and season with oregano and garlic powder. Do this on both sides of the eggplant.
STEP 4: Air fry. Place the seasoned eggplant in the air fryer basket in a single layer and roast in a preheated air fryer for 10-12 minutes at 370 degrees Fahrenheit, turning once after 5 minutes. The eggplant should be soft, carmelized and browned but not too crispy or it will turn too dry. If all eggplant slices don't fit at one go, air fry them in two batches.
STEP 5: Serve carmelized eggplant slices sprinkled with fresh chopped parsley with a side of Marinara or your favorite dipping sauce.
What to serve it with
Serve air fried eggplant on its own as an appetizer or snack with a side of marinara sauce or tzatziki. I like to sprinkle it with fresh chopped parsley, too.
One of my favorite ways to serve this air fryer roasted eggplant is as part of a Mediterranean spread, especially for parties and dinners with friends. If this idea speaks to you, check out some of my other Mediterranean-inspired dishes:
Looking for more easy veggie side dishes? Try these insanely good Crack Green Beans.
- Store leftover air fryer eggplant in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- To freeze, place cooked eggplant slices on a parchment paper-lined baking tray and freeze until solid. Then, place the rounds in a ziploc bag or an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw completely before reheating.
- To reheat, place the eggplant on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and reheat at 350 degrees in the oven. I don't recommend reheating in the air fryer because the eggplant may dry out or burn.
I like my 7 quart basket style GoWise air fryer because the basket is large which allows for cooking this recipe in only two batches.
You can if you are short on time. Salting removes excess liquid and bitterness from eggplant but the recipe will also work without this extra step.
More air fryer recipes
- Air Fryer Sliced Potatoes
- Air Fryer Butternut Squash Fries
- Air Fryer Buffalo Chicken Tenders (No Breading)
- Pork Kebabs (Air Fryer or Oven)
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Air Fryar Eggplant Parmesan
- 1 medium eggplant about 1 lb
- 1.5 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- fresh chopped parsley leaves for garnish
- Cut the eggplant into a ½-inch slices.
- Place the eggplantslices on a baking tray lined with pepper towels and sprinkle with salt on bothsides.
- Set the eggplantaside for 30 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels.
- Brush olive oil onboth sides of eggplant slices and season with black pepper and garlic powder.
- Preheat the air fryer to 370 degreesFahrenheit for a few minutes, then air fry the eggplant slices in one singlelayer for 10-12 minutes, turning once after 5 minutes.