Air Fryer Eggplant


5 from 16 votes
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This air fryer eggplant is crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, and made with just 4 simple ingredients. Ready in 10 minutes, it makes the best veggie side dish ever!

air fryer eggplant.

We love using our air fryer for cooking vegetables.

Unlike using the oven, we don’t have to spend tons of time waiting for them to cook. This is noticeable when cooking more time-consuming vegetables, like Brussels sproutscarrots, and, of course, eggplant.

If you’ve ever been skeptical about enjoying eggplant, this crispy air fryer eggplant recipe will convert you! 

Table of Contents
  1. Why this recipe works 
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to cook eggplant in the air fryer
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Storage instructions
  6. More air fryer vegetables to try
  7. Frequently Asked Questions
  8. Air Fryer Eggplant (Recipe Card)

Why this recipe works 

  • Quick. Just toss the sliced eggplants in the preheated air fryer, wait for 9 minutes, and it’s ready to serve.
  • Perfect texture and flavor. The texture of the eggplant is tender and crisp around the edges and deliciously soft on the inside. I kept things simple with salt and pepper to let the eggplant flavor shine. 
  • Easy to customize. Similar to the earlier point, this particular recipe is a blank canvas that you can adapt with a plethora of seasonings, sauces, or even breading! 
  • No salting beforehand. With some eggplant recipes, adding salt beforehand releases extra moisture, but that is not needed for this! 
  • Diet-friendly. This entire recipe is naturally vegan and gluten-free!
air fryer eggplany with fresh herbs on top.

Ingredients needed

This recipe is beyond simple; besides eggplant and a few spices, there isn’t much else that goes into it. Here is what you’ll need:

  • Eggplants. Choose a firm eggplant that has little/no bruising. I also like to use larger eggplants because it cooks more evenly than smaller ones.
  • Olive oil. You must add some oil to the eggplant before air frying it, or else you risk it burning or drying up. Olive oil has the best flavor for veggies, but any other oil works. 
  • Salt and black pepper. To season.
  • Parsley. To serve.

How to cook eggplant in the air fryer

The beauty of using an air fryer is that it takes care of all the hard work for you!

Season the eggplant: Add eggplant, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a mixing bowl and mix until combined.

seasoned eggplant.

Cook eggplant in the air fryer: Add the seasoned eggplant to the air fryer basket and air fry for 9 minutes, flipping halfway through. Repeat the process until all the eggplants are cooked.

eggplant in air fryer.

Recipe tips and variations

Cut eggplant uniformly. Eggplant slices should be uniform to ensure they cook to the same level when placed in the air fryer.

Shake the air fryer basket. Always flip the eggplant or shake the basket halfway through to prevent the eggplant from sticking to the basket.

Cook in batches. When cooking vegetables in the air fryer, it’s important not to overcrowd it or overlap them. Always cook them in a single layer and If needed, cook the eggplant in batches.

Use different spices. As mentioned earlier, I kept things super simple, but feel free to add more spices like garlic powder, paprika, and rosemary. Fresh herbs, like fresh parsley, oregano, and thyme, are also fabulous. 

Make eggplant parmesan. Inspired by my eggplant parm recipe, you can make a fun air fryer version by air frying the eggplant rounds until al-dente, add a layer of marinara sauce or tomato sauce and some mozzarella cheese, and air fry until the cheese melts. Add some fresh basil and dig in. 

Bread the eggplant. For extra crispy and flavorful eggplant, coat slices of it in panko breadcrumbs or your favorite breadcrumb mixture, dip them in egg wash, and then some freshly grated parmesan cheese. Air fry as per the instructions. 

Storage instructions

To store: Place leftovers in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.

To freeze: Put the leftovers in a ziplock bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

Reheating: Reheat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds or back in the air fryer for 1-2 minutes.

eggplant air fryer.

More air fryer vegetables to try

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to soak eggplant before air frying? 

If you prefer a softer middle of the eggplant, soak it in the water for 30 minutes before air frying. Just remember to pat it dry with paper towels before adding any seasonings. You can also soften eggplant quickly by adding a teaspoon of lemon juice.

How long does the eggplant need to be cooked? 

Medium-sized eggplant slices will take around 8-9 minutes to cook properly. If you cut thick slices, the cooking time will increase, but if you slice them thinner, it will take less time.

Why is my eggplant soggy?

If you cook the eggplant at a lower heat and a longer duration, you risk the middle being soggy instead of soft.

air fryer eggplant recipe.

Air Fryer Eggplant

5 from 16 votes
This air fryer eggplant is crispy on the outside, soft in the middle, and made with just 4 simple ingredients. Ready in 10 minutes, it makes the best veggie side.
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 1 minute
Cook: 9 minutes
Total: 10 minutes


  • 2 large eggplants Cut into 2-inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • Add the eggplant, olive oil, salt, and pepper into a mixing bowl and mix until combined.
  • Add the seasoned eggplant rounds to an air fryer basket and air fry at 190C/375F for 9-10 minutes, flipping halfway through. 
  • Remove the eggplant from the air fryer and repeat the process until all the eggplant are cooked.


TO STORE: Place leftovers in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days.
TO FREEZE: Put the leftovers in freezer safe bags or containers and freeze for up to 3 months.
TO REHEAT: Reheat in the microwave or air fryer.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 120kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 2gFat: 7gSodium: 295mgPotassium: 528mgFiber: 7gVitamin A: 54IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 22mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 7g
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    nice and crispy without the oil, great, have been trying to avoid all but olive oils anyway, but air fry works too, so thank you!