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Air Fryer Eggplant

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Easy, healthy, and delicious Air Fryer Eggplant made with a simple spice blend. This air-fried eggplant has a deliciously smoky flavor and tender, yet crisp, texture.

Roasted eggplant in an air fryer.

This delicious Air Fryer Eggplant recipe is great simply as a healthy snack, a fabulous side dish, or incorporated into entrées! It is packed with flavor and has a beautiful texture. Gluten-free, plant-based, vegan, and keto diet friendly!

🍆 Ingredient Notes

  • Eggplant (also known as aubergine) forms the base of this eggplant air fryer recipe. It is in the same nightshade family of plants as tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes.
  • Olive or avocado oil contributes an extra bit of crispness and also adds some healthy fats to this recipe.
  • Garlic powder is simply super complementary when paired with eggplant!
  • Smoked paprika adds a hint of irresistible smokiness to this recipe and contributes the majority of the flavor.
  • Salt! Hard to go without salt on this one—it enhances all the flavors in this dish.

👩🏼‍🍳 How to Prepare Eggplant Before Cooking?

Before cooking eggplant in an air fryer, here are some tips to ensure the best results. Start by slicing the eggplant into 1-inch cubes

After slicing, sprinkle the eggplant with a little salt and let it sit for about 30 minutes. This step helps to draw out moisture from the eggplant, which can otherwise make it soggy when cooked.

Once the eggplant has released some moisture, gently pat the eggplant dry with paper towels to remove the excess moisture. This process helps the eggplant crisp up nicely in the air fryer.

After patting the eggplant dry, you can proceed with seasoning and cooking it in the air fryer.

Please note: If you’re preparing more than 5 eggplants, you may need to work in batches during the drying process to ensure each piece is adequately dried.

Grilled eggplant on an air fryer rack.

♨️ How to Cook Eggplant In An Air Fryer

🍽️ Serving Ideas

  • This smoky aubergine air fryer dish makes an excellent side dish. We like to serve it with baked potatoes and vegetarian meatloaf.
  • It’s also great incorporated into your favorite pasta dishes.
  • And I love to eat it as is for a healthy low-carb snack or dipped into a favorite condiment or dips like garlic sauce, tahini sauce, hot sauce, or marinara sauce.
  • Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese while still warm.
  • Top with chopped fresh herbs like fresh parsley or fresh basil.
Air fried eggplant in a white bowl.

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

Can I omit the oil in this recipe?

Yes! On an oil-free diet? You can omit the oil for a still-delicious Air Fryer Eggplant dish!

What kind of paprika should I use?

Make sure you use smoked paprika and not the Hungarian (sweet) variety, for best results.

How much salt should I add?

I find around 1/2 teaspoon to be about the perfect amount of salt for this dish but feel free to adjust and salt to taste! You can wait to add salt until the eggplant has finished cooking if need be.

🧀Air Fryer Aubergine Flavor Boosters 

Experiment with these ingredients to boost the flavor of your air fryer eggplant:

  • Black Pepper: Elevates the flavor profile with its pungent and mildly spicy notes.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Adds a savory, umami-rich flavor to the dish. If vegetarian, make sure to use vegetarian-friendly parmesan cheese that is free of rennet.
  • Thyme: Infuses a subtle earthy and floral note to eggplant.
  • Italian Seasoning: Provides a delicious blend of herbs and spices for a Mediterranean flair.
  • Rosemary: Imparts a fragrant, pine-like aroma and a slightly woody flavor that greatly complements eggplant.
  • Bread Crumbs: Offers a crispy texture and enhances the overall crunchiness of the dish. If gluten-free, use gluten-free breadcrumbs.

🥡 Storage and Reheating

This tastes best fresh out of the air fryer, but once cooled can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To reheat, place in a 400-degree air fryer or conventional oven and heat until warmed throughout (about 10 minutes).

Grilled eggplant in a white bowl on a table, cooked using an air fryer.

🍴 More Air Fryer Recipes You Might Enjoy

Air Fryer Kale Chips

Air Fryer Baked Potatoes

Air Fryer Asparagus

35 Plant-Based Air Fryer Recipes

Air Fryer Parsnips

Air-fried eggplant in a white bowl.
Roasted eggplant in an air fryer.

Air Fryer Eggplant

Easy, healthy and delicious Air Fryer Eggplant made with a simple spice blend. This air fried eggplant has a deliciously smoky flavor and tender, yet crisp, texture.
4.79 from 152 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish, Vegan
Cuisine: Air Fryer
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 19 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Kristen Wood

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized eggplant sliced into 1" cubes
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or pink salt

Instructions

  • Preheat air fryer oven to 400°F.
  • Prepare eggplant by slicing and discarding the leafy top. Slice eggplant vertically then slice each halve vertically again. Then slice horizontally into 1" cubes.
  • Place the eggplant in a mixing bowl. Drizzle with oil, then sprinkle with garlic powder, paprika and salt. Toss to coat.
  • Place the eggplant into air fryer basket or try. Air fry for 14 minutes or until tender and a fork pierces through easily.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Eggplant preparation: If time is of the essence, you can simply chop the eggplant and proceed as above. If you want to take the extra time to ensure the crispiest eggplant, refer to our section above titled “How to Prepare Eggplant Before Cooking”.

Nutrition

Serving: 1portion | Calories: 63kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 294mg | Potassium: 271mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 149IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




 

44 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Recently bought a new air fryer because our old one broke. This is the first recipe I cooked using our new air fryer. I just seasoned per instructions and just throw it on the air fryer, cook for a few minutes and I have a delicious and healthy food to enjoy.

  2. 5 stars
    A+ Thanks for sharing this recipe. I like eggplant, but I never think to make it. This air fryer option makes it a no brainer.

  3. 5 stars
    I loved how crispy on the outside and soft inside these little eggplant bites turned out in the air-fryer — didn’t even need panko or bread crumbs!!

  4. 5 stars
    I cook eggplant directly on the stove to get a smoky flavor and peel the skin. This Air fryer recipe has quite a similar taste and I’m happy I got to try it. Another new idea everyday.

  5. 5 stars
    I was able to achieve that crispy-outside-tender-inside texture and I loved it! It paired perfectly with the garlic dipping sauce!

  6. 5 stars
    I love how simple and easy this eggplant recipe is! It’s great I can make this in the air fryer!

  7. My husband loved it…loved the spice blend too. Definitely one of my new favorite ways to make eggplant.

  8. 5 stars
    I’m so happy this recipe calls for smoked paprika – it’s my favorite! Perfect, tasty, gluten-free snack!

  9. 5 stars
    I love the spice blend here, and how the aubergines are crispy without the slugs of oil if you were to cook them in a pan. Love it!

  10. 5 stars
    You are my go-to for any air-fryer recipes and this was another great recipe! So good with the smoked paprika! Thanks!

  11. 5 stars
    I normally find that frying eggplant means it takes in too much oil. This airfryer version is perfect and delicious.

  12. 5 stars
    Such a great air fryer recipe – lots of lovely flavours and aubergine/eggplant cooks so well in the air fryer. Thank you!

  13. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious; thank you for this fantastic recipe! Very straightforward and easy to make. The dish came out perfectly. I will make it again!!

  14. 5 stars
    I made this last week and totally enjoyed it, definitely making it again today. It’s unbelievable the magic of the air fryer.

  15. 5 stars
    This is wonderful! I recently went gluten free and discovered smoked paprika – so this recipe was just what I was looking for for a tasty snack or side dish!

  16. 5 stars
    Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables. This came out just perfect – I like how tender and flavorful the eggplant came out.

  17. 5 stars
    Such perfect timing! I just bought an air fryer and it’s arriving tomorrow!

  18. 5 stars
    This is such a great way to use the air fryer and a new way to use eggplant too. I can’t wait to try it.

  19. 5 stars
    I’m always looking for new air fryer recipes, and better yet new egg plant recipes. We love eggplant in my house and this air fryer egg plant recipe was a hit. Thanks so much!

  20. 5 stars
    I love discovering new air fryer recipes. This air fryer eggplant was so delicious. I’ll definitely be making this again and again.

  21. 5 stars
    This is one of my favorite veggie meal. Air Fryer sounds interesting and healthy too.

  22. 5 stars
    I don’t typically like eggplant because it is too squishy – but using your method it turned out nice and crispy!! I’ll never make eggplant any other way again!

  23. 5 stars
    This is so delicious with the smoked paprika and other spices! Such a great idea using the air fryer for this!

  24. 5 stars
    I enjoyed this recipe so much. It was super easy to make and I had never thought about cutting the eggplant in this shape. It made a difference!

  25. 5 stars
    Yummy! My husband and I enjoyed this recipe, so delicious and very tasty! Such a great and easy side to make! Love it and I can’t wait to make this again!

  26. 5 stars
    Delicious! Went well with a Greek zucchini “pasta” salad and Greek meatballs. I love air fryer roasted veggies, so simple and yummy.

  27. 5 stars
    Delicious, simple, and healthy! Love it. Only change was adding a pinch of black pepper.

  28. 5 stars
    As soon as I read smoked paprika, I just knew, this recipe has my heart!! 100% my kind of food!