Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan Recipe


The air fryer eggplant parmesan is a popular household dish. This dish is tasty and has been enjoyed for centuries. The origin of this dish can be traced back to Italy. Today, it is consumed on almost every continent in the world. Eggplant parmesan made in an air fryer is a healthier version of the traditional dish. 

If you want to learn how to prepare this dish, you have come to the right blog post. This blog post will guide you in preparing this beautiful dish. We will also give you the necessary ingredients you need, as well as tips to get the perfect taste. 

Ingredients Needed to Prepare This Dish

You need several ingredients to prepare a tasty air fryer eggplant parmesan. Here is a list of the ingredients below.

  • 2 medium-sized Eggplant: This is the main ingredient in the dish. Eggplant provides a meaty texture and a slightly bitter flavor that complements the other ingredients.
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs: you need these to coat the eggplant slices and give them a crispy texture.
  • ½ cup of All-purpose flour is another necessary ingredient, as it helps the breadcrumbs stick to the eggplant slices.
  • 2 Eggs and milk also help the breadcrumbs stick to the eggplant slices.
  • Seasonings: they include Garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and black pepper. These are the necessary seasonings you need to add flavor to the dish.
  • 1 cup of Marinated sauce: A tomato-based sauce spread over the eggplant slices and provides a rich and tangy flavor.
  • 1 cup of Shredded mozzarella cheese: Like other ingredients, mozzarella cheese helps to add a creamy and nutty flavor that complements the other ingredients.
  • ½ cup of Grated Parmesan cheese: You will use this cheese as a topping to add a salty and savory flavor.
  • Cooking spray: this is mostly used to coat the air fryer basket or tray to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.

Depending on your cooking skills, these ingredients might take some time to prep. Averagely, it should take around 20 to 30 minutes to prep them.

Apart from the necessary ingredients, there is some equipment you need if you want to prepare this beautiful dish. Here are some of the equipment below.

  • Air fryer: This is the main equipment to cook the eggplant slices perfectly using hot air instead of oil. You can use any air fryer model, but ensure it’s large enough to hold the eggplant slices in a single layer.
  • Mixing bowls: You’ll need two bowls, one for the flour mixture and another for the egg wash.
  • Whisk or fork: this is used to beat the eggs and milk together for the egg wash.
  • Measuring cups and spoons: there are necessary for accurately measuring the ingredients.
  • Spatula: you need this to flip the eggplant slices and transfer them to a serving plate.
  • Oven-safe baking dish: this is used to layer the cooked eggplant slices with marinara sauce and cheese before placing them in the air fryer.
  • Cooking spray: You need cooking spray to coat the air fryer basket or tray to prevent sticking and promote even cooking.

A step-by-step guide to cooking this beautiful recipe

Although cooking this recipe is relatively simple, many people often make mistakes in the steps, resulting in a taste that isn’t so great. Here is a step-by-step guide on cooking air fryer eggplant parmesan 

1. Cut the Eggplant into thick rounds and Season both sides with Salt and Pepper

This is the first thing you must do to prepare this beautiful dish. You must cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. This allows it to cook evenly. It also ensures that each slice has a crispy exterior and a soft, tender interior. Once you have cut it in the right amount, season the eggplant with salt and pepper.

2. Get 3 Bowls to Mix different Ingredients Together

Mixing the ingredients is the next thing to do once you have successfully cut and seasoned the eggplant. You must get a shallow bowl and mix 2 large eggs with 2 tablespoons of milk. Ensure you whisk them together. In another bowl, the flour with salt and pepper. Ensure they are properly mixed in the bowl. In the 3rd bowl, add the breadcrumbs, which will help to give your eggplant a crispy texture. 

3. Coat the Eggplants with the Ingredients from the Bowls

After successfully mixing the ingredients in their separate bowls, this is the next thing to do. Take the eggplant and coat the slices in flour. Remove any excess flour that might remain on the slices. Once you have done this, dip the slices into the egg mixture. You must ensure that both sides are properly coated. 

Lastly, coat the slices with the breadcrumbs in the 3rd bowl. Allow the breadcrumbs to stick to the plant. These steps ensure the mixture sticks to the eggplant slices, giving you a fresh-looking exterior. 

4. Spray the Air Fryer Basket with Cooking Spray and Air Fry the Eggplant

Once you have followed the previous steps, you must spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray. This prevents the eggplant slices from sticking to the basket when you cook it. Once you have sprayed it, arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer.

Air fry the eggplant for 10 to 12 minutes till the eggplant is golden and crispy. You can use your spatula to flip the slices in the middle of the frying. This will help to ensure that every part of the eggplant is properly cooked.

5. Pour Marinated Sauce and other required ingredients over your Eggplant

This is the next thing you have to do if you want to prepare this beautiful dish. Once properly fried, transfer the eggplant slices to a baking dish. Pour marinara sauce over the slices. Ensure you spread it out over the eggplant.

Once you have done this, sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan cheese over each slide. This will add more flavor and texture to the dish. 

6. Bake in a Preheated Oven for 10-15 minutes or until the Cheese Is Melted and Bubbly

Once you have marinated the eggplant slices, you can bake the dish in the oven. This helps melt the cheese and makes it bubbly and golden brown. It is the final step that helps to combine all the flavors and textures. 

Following these steps should take 1 to 2 hours to prepare this recipe.  Once the dish is set, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. You can serve the dish hot or garnish it with chopped fresh herbs. You can serve this dish with crusty bread, spaghetti, and vegetables. 

Tips and Tricks to Cooking a Perfect Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan

You can adopt different tips and tricks to improve the taste of your air fryer eggplant parmesan. Here are some of the tips below.

  • Choose the right eggplant: You must look for firm, fresh eggplants with smooth skin and no bruises or soft spots. Larger eggplants tend to have more seeds and may be more bitter. You should choose smaller eggplants for a sweeter and more tender result.
  • Salt the eggplant: This is very important if you want your eggplant to be tasty. Salting the eggplant helps to draw out any bitter juices and also helps to make it more tender. Ensure you rinse off the salt once you are done.
  • Use dry breadcrumbs: Using dry breadcrumbs instead of fresh ones helps to give the eggplant a crispy texture when you cook them in an air fryer. You can use store-bought breadcrumbs or make your own by toasting bread and pulsing it in a food processor.
  • Preheat the air fryer: Preheating the air fryer ensures it is hot and ready to cook the eggplant as soon as it goes in. This helps to ensure a crispy texture.
  • Spray the eggplant with oil: Spraying the eggplant with cooking spray or brushing it with oil helps to give it a golden brown and crispy texture. It will also prevent the eggplant from sticking.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer: you must cook the eggplant in a single layer and leave space between each piece. This helps to ensure that the eggplant cooks evenly and gets crispy on all sides. You can cook the eggplant in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.

Nutritional Benefits of Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan

  • Low in Calories: Eggplant is low in calories, and air frying makes it even healthier. By using less oil, you can significantly reduce the calorie content of your eggplant parmesan. This makes it an excellent dish for those trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight.
  • High in Fiber: Eggplant is an excellent source of fiber, and air frying doesn’t affect its fiber content. Fiber helps to regulate digestion and can prevent constipation. This means that air fryer eggplant parmesan can help to keep your digestive system healthy.
  • Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Eggplant contains vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins C, K, folate, and potassium. These nutrients are essential for maintaining a healthy body, and air frying doesn’t affect their nutritional value.
  • Reduced Fat Content: Air frying significantly reduces the fat content of your eggplant parmesan. This means it is a healthier alternative to the traditional fried version, which is high in fat and calories.
  • Less Grease: Air frying doesn’t produce as much grease as deep-frying, which means that your eggplant parmesan will be less greasy. This makes it a healthier and more enjoyable dish to eat.

Serving Suggestions for Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan

1. Pair it with a simple salad

Eggplant Parmesan is a rich, indulgent dish, so balancing it with something fresh and light is nice. A simple salad of mixed greens with a tangy vinaigrette is the perfect accompaniment. Add sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella to the salad for a Caprese-inspired twist.

2. Serve it over pasta

While eggplant Parmesan is typically served as a standalone dish, it can also be served over pasta for a more substantial meal. Cook some spaghetti or linguine and top it with the air fryer eggplant Parmesan and some extra sauce for a hearty and satisfying meal.

3. Make a sandwich

If you’re looking for a more casual way to enjoy your air fryer eggplant Parmesan, why not turn it into a sandwich? Layer the crispy eggplant slices with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil on a crusty baguette or ciabatta roll for a delicious and satisfying sandwich.

4. Pair it with roasted vegetables

Roasted vegetables are a great side dish for air fryer eggplant Parmesan. Roasting vegetables in the oven brings out their natural sweetness and makes them tender and delicious. Try roasting some zucchini, yellow squash, and red bell pepper in the oven and serving them alongside the eggplant Parmesan for a colorful and flavorful meal.

5. Add some garlic bread

No Italian meal is complete without some garlic bread, and air fryer eggplant Parmesan is no exception. Whip up some garlic bread by toasting slices of Italian bread in the air fryer with garlic butter and grated Parmesan cheese. Serve the garlic bread alongside the eggplant Parmesan for a truly indulgent meal.

Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan Storage Tips

Proper storage is key to keeping the dish fresh and tasty, whether you’re planning on reheating it for tomorrow’s lunch or freezing it for a future meal.

  • Allow the eggplant parmesan to cool completely before storing it. This will prevent condensation from forming inside the container and making the dish soggy.
  • Transfer the eggplant parmesan to an airtight container. Ensure the container is the right size to prevent too much air from getting in, as this can dry out the dish.
  • Store the eggplant parmesan in the fridge. It should last for up to four days.
  • If you want to freeze the eggplant parmesan, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Label the package with the date and contents. It can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.
  • When you’re ready to reheat the eggplant parmesan, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Remove the dish from the fridge or freezer and let it come to room temperature. Reheat it in the oven until it is hot, and the cheese is melted, usually around 15-20 minutes.

How Do I Prevent the Eggplant From Becoming Soggy in the Air Fryer?

To prevent the eggplant from becoming soggy in the air fryer, preparing it properly before cooking is important. Start by salting the sliced eggplant and letting it sit for about 30 minutes to absorb excess moisture. Then, rinse and pat dry the eggplant before coating it in breadcrumbs. This helps to ensure a crispy texture when air frying.

Can I Freeze Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan for Later Use?

Yes, you can freeze air fryer eggplant parmesan for later use. After it has cooled completely, place the cooked and breaded eggplant slices in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Separate each slice with parchment paper or plastic wrap to prevent sticking. When ready to eat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the oven or air fryer until warmed through.

Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan is a delicious and healthier twist on the classic Italian dish. Thick slices of eggplant are coated in breadcrumbs, seasoned with herbs and spices, and air-fried to crispy perfection. Topped with marinara sauce and melted cheese, this flavorful dish is a satisfying vegetarian option that brings together the rich flavors of eggplant and Parmesan cheese with the convenience and health benefits of air frying.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian

Equipment

  • Air fryer
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk or fork
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Spatula
  • Oven-safe baking dish
  • Cooking spray

Ingredients
  

  • 2 medium-sized Eggplant
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup of All-purpose flour
  • 2 Eggs and milk
  • Seasonings
  • 1 cup of Marinated sauce
  • 1 cup of Shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup of Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Cooking spray

Instructions
 

  • You must cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. This allows it to cook evenly. It also ensures that each slice has a crispy exterior and a soft, tender interior. Once you have cut it in the right amount, season the eggplant with salt and pepper.
  • Mixing the ingredients is the next thing to do once you have successfully cut and seasoned the eggplant. You must get a shallow bowl and mix 2 large eggs with 2 tablespoons of milk. Ensure you whisk them together. In another bowl, the flour with salt and pepper. Ensure they are properly mixed in the bowl. In the 3rd bowl, add the breadcrumbs, which will help to give your eggplant a crispy texture. 
  • Take the eggplant and coat the slices in flour. Remove any excess flour that might remain on the slices. Once you have done this, dip the slices into the egg mixture. You must ensure that both sides are properly coated. 
    Lastly, coat the slices with the breadcrumbs in the 3rd bowl. Allow the breadcrumbs to stick to the plant. These steps ensure the mixture sticks to the eggplant slices, giving you a fresh-looking exterior. 
  • Spray the Air Fryer Basket with Cooking Spray and Air Fry the Eggplant. This prevents the eggplant slices from sticking to the basket when you cook it. Once you have sprayed it, arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer.
    Air fry the eggplant for 10 to 12 minutes till the eggplant is golden and crispy. You can use your spatula to flip the slices in the middle of the frying. This will help to ensure that every part of the eggplant is properly cooked.
  • Once properly fried, transfer the eggplant slices to a baking dish. Pour marinara sauce over the slices. Ensure you spread it out over the eggplant.
    Once you have done this, sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese and grated parmesan cheese over each slide. This will add more flavor and texture to the dish. 
  • Once you have marinated the eggplant slices, you can bake the dish in the oven. This helps melt the cheese and makes it bubbly and golden brown. It is the final step that helps to combine all the flavors and textures. 
    Following these steps should take 1 to 2 hours to prepare this recipe.  Once the dish is set, remove it from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. You can serve the dish hot or garnish it with chopped fresh herbs. You can serve this dish with crusty bread, spaghetti, and vegetables. 

Video

Keyword all-purpose flour, breadcrumbs, dried basil, Marinated sauce

Conclusion

Air fryer eggplant parmesan is a delicious and healthy alternative to the traditional fried version of this classic Italian dish. It’s a great way to satisfy your cravings for comfort food while maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet. Plus, with the right storage tips, you can make the most of your leftovers and enjoy this dish for days.

By allowing the eggplant parmesan to cool before storing it in an airtight container in the fridge, you can prevent it from becoming soggy and keep it fresh for up to four days. If you want to freeze it, wrap it tightly and label it with the date and contents so you know exactly what’s inside. And when you’re ready to reheat it, pop it in the oven and wait for the cheese to melt and the aroma to fill your kitchen.

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