This easy, super crispy Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan is so much healthier than deep-frying, but still gives us that amazing crunch we all know and love!
Craving some crunchy goodness without all the grease or hassle of deep-frying? This air fryer eggplant Parmesan is breaded and cooked to crispy perfection for an easy weeknight dinner the whole family will love!
Even my kids are quick to scarf down this fried eggplant dish. While eggplant is technically a fruit, not a vegetable, I still consider that a win.
Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:
- Why you need to salt eggplant cutlets before cooking
- Whether you need to peel eggplant for this dish
- How to reheat eggplant parm in the air fryer
- How to cook this eggplant parmesan recipe from frozen
- How to freeze air fryer eggplant parm for longer storage
- Tips for making the best eggplant parmesan in the air fryer
- What to serve with this meal
I just love how easy this dish is to make. Breading the eggplant cutlets are very straightforward, and then you simply let the air fryer work its magic. What a great way to enjoy a healthier version of classic comfort food!
Do I Really Need to Salt the Eggplant Before Cooking?
Yes, absolutely. No questions asked, do not skip this step!
Salting the eggplant will help draw out moisture. We want our air fried eggplant slices to get as crispy as possible, so removing excess liquid is critical. Otherwise, you could end up with soggy eggplant parm, and no one wants that.
Do You Need to Peel Eggplant for Eggplant Parm?
Nope! This recipe works with both peeled and unpeeled eggplant, so it’s entirely a matter of preference.
Personally, I always leave my eggplant unpeeled. Once the slices are breaded and roasted in the air fryer, you don’t notice the skin at all. So, I figure I may as well skip the extra work!
How To Make Air Fryer Eggplant Parm
STEP ONE: Cut the eggplant into ¼ inch slices. Place in a colander or on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and let sit for at least 15 minutes.
STEP TWO: Preheat your air fryer to 370 degrees.
STEP THREE: Place the egg in one bowl. In a second bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and basil.
STEP FOUR: Dip each eggplant slice first into the egg, then into the breadcrumb mixture, making sure to fully coat each slice.
STEP FIVE: Place each breaded slice in the air fryer. Slices should be in a single layer, not touching. You can use a wired rack from an accessory kit if you like.
STEP SIX: Cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Halfway through, spritz the slices with oil and flip them over to ensure even cooking. I use the EVO Oil Sprayer to easily spray the food. 1 to 2 sprays are all you need to cover the entire air fryer.
STEP SEVEN: Place a teaspoon of marinara sauce on top of each eggplant slice, then top them with mozzarella cheese.
STEP EIGHT: Close the air fryer and cook for 1 minute. Next, turn off the air fryer and let the eggplant sit for one more minute to allow the cheese to fully melt.
STEP NINE: Remove from the air fryer and enjoy!
How to Reheat Eggplant Parmesan in the Air Fryer
The air fryer is my favorite way to re-crisp anything breaded. For a dish like this, it keeps the breading from getting soggy while doing a nice job of heating the eggplant all the way through.
Simply preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees. Once hot, cook the eggplant parm for 2 to 3 minutes, and you’ll be good to go!
How to Cook Frozen Eggplant Cutlets in the Air Fryer
Want to have this dish prepped and ready to go so you can cook dinner at a moment’s notice? Simply prepare the eggplant parmesan up through step 4, then seal the breaded slices in plastic zipper bags.
Wrap the bags in foil and store them in the freezer until you’re ready to cook.
You can also grab frozen Dominex eggplant cutlets from the store and cook them using the directions below.
To cook the frozen eggplant parm:
STEP ONE: Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.
STEP TWO: Remove the breaded eggplant cutlets from the tin foil and plastic bag, then place them in a single layer in the air fryer.
STEP THREE: Cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Halfway through, spritz the slices with oil and flip them over to ensure even cooking.
STEP FOUR: Place a teaspoon of marinara sauce on top of each eggplant slice, then top them with mozzarella cheese.
STEP FIVE: Close the air fryer and cook for 1 minute. Next, turn off the air fryer and let the eggplant sit for one more minute to allow the cheese to fully melt.
How to Freeze Cooked Eggplant Parm
- Finish cooking the eggplant rounds, but don’t top them with marinara or cheese.
- On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place the slices in a single row.
- Freeze for one hour.
- Transfer the eggplant rounds to a Ziploc bag and store them in the freezer.
When you’re ready to enjoy, pull out as many slices as you need, then follow the directions above for making frozen eggplant parm.
Tips to Make the Best Fried Eggplant in the Air Fryer
- Give the eggplant AT LEAST 15 minutes for salting. This not only removes excess moisture but also reduces bitterness for the best flavor.
- Use a fork or your hands to dip the eggplant slices first in the egg and then in the breading.
- Use an EVO Oil Sprayer to spritz the eggplant parm to make it as close to traditional fried eggplant as possible. Not using oil can cause the breading to dry up.
What to Serve with Eggplant Parmesan
- Air Fryer Ravioli
- Air Fryer Asparagus with Garlic and Parmesan
- Easy Homemade Garlic Cheese Bread
- Air Fryer Avocado Fries with Sriracha-Ranch Dip
- Air Fryer Frozen Sweet Potato Fries
Other Air Fryer Breaded Recipes You’ll Love:
- Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
- Air Fryer Mahi Mahi
- Breaded Air Fryer Bone-In Pork Chops
- Air Fryer Eggplant Fries
Air Fryer Eggplant Parm
Air fryer eggplant Parmesan delivers on all the breaded crunch without the deep-frying! Top with marinara and mozzarella for a dish everyone will love.
- 1 eggplant
- 1 egg, whisked
- 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Cut the eggplant into ¼ inch slices and place in a colander or baking sheet. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and let sit for at least 15 minutes.
- Preheat your air fryer to 370 degrees.
- Place the egg in one bowl and mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and basil in a second bowl.
- Dip each eggplant slice into the egg then the breadcrumb mixture making sure to fully coat each slice.
- Place each eggplant breaded slice into the air fryer in one single layer not touching and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, spritzing with oil and flipping over halfway.
- Put a teaspoon of marinara sauce on top of each eggplant slice and top them with mozzarella cheese.
- Close the air fryer and cook for 1 minute, turn off the air fryer and let the eggplant to sit one more minute to allow the cheese melt fully.
- Remove the eggplant parm from the air fryer and enjoy!
How to Reheat Eggplant Parm in the Air Fryer:
1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.
2. Place the leftover eggplant Parmesan in the air fryer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until warmed thoroughly.
How to Cook Frozen Eggplant Parmesan Cutlets in the Air Fryer:
1. Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees.
2. Place the frozen eggplant parm in the air fryer and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until hot.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 173Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 450mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 9g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.