Air Fryer Eggplant Fries is a super-crispy Eggplant Side dish that hits all the right spots. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside they are just wonderful.
First, they are cut into thick slices. Coated in flour mixture. Then beaten egg. And finally panko breadcrumbs. Air Fried at 400°F OR 200°C for 15-minutes.
After 15-minutes when you pull out your Air Fryer basket, you can smell the deliciousness right off. It's so crispy that you can actually hear yourself biting onto it.
This crazy hot summer season seems never-ending. And, I simply cannot imagine going into the kitchen and cooking meals. Hence, I am just using my Crockpot and my Air Fryer. A few days back I made Eggplant and Zucchini Lasagna (Crockpot) it was so good. Just perfect for this hot weather.
Today, I was thinking about making eggplant fried in my air fryer. I had got some fresh eggplant from the farmers market yesterday and they looked so good, that I just wanted to make something out of it. First, I thought about making a curry such as this Srilankan Eggplant Curry. But, then I thought, it's gonna be too much work. Let me just make some quick snacks in my air fryer.
So, that's how I decided to make Eggplant fries in Air Fryer. And, I thank myself for choosing this recipe. As a Libra, it's extremely difficult for me to decide something. But, finally, I made a decision, and later on, when I had it, I was so damn happy about it.
Air Fryer Eggplant Recipe
Air Fryer Eggplant needs just a few basic ingredients. And, I guess, if you've made any fries in the past, you know the drill. It's quite like Eggplant Parmesan where you coat the eggplant in a breading. The only thing, we are Air Frying it.
In this recipe for Air Fryer Eggplant, I have combined the spices such as red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper in my flour. That way, I have seasoned my flour before coating it. I figured that, If I don't use any spices, it's going to taste dull and boring. Eggplant doesn't have much taste of its own. And moreover, my only concern was - "I don't want it to taste, floury".
Secondly, I have used beaten eggs and panko breadcrumbs. I love how Panko breadcrumbs create a "crispy" coating on the outside.
Finally, it's just Air Frying them at 200°C OR 400°F for 15-minutes.
Ingredients required for Making Air Fried Eggplant
- Eggplant - Choose Eggplant with fewer seeds. Fewer Seeds means less bitter.
- Panko Breadcrumns - For that crispy coating. This can be replaced with regular breadcrumbs.
- Eggs - The protein in Eggs helps the flour and breadcrumb stick to the eggplant.
- Flour - I use regular All-Purpose Flour. For gluten-free version you can replace with any gluten-free flour.
- Onion Powder and Garlic Powder - You can skip this if you want but, I highly recommend using them.
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes - To spice it up.
- Salt and Pepper - Because you need your eggplant fries to be seasoned.
- Cayenne Pepper - I love my Eggplant fries to have that spicy touch but you can skip it if you don't like it spicy.
See the recipe card for quantities. Also, see the video for a visual
Instructions for making Eggplant Parmesan Fries
Here is how to make Eggplant Fries in Air Fryer with Step by Step photos.
Step 1: Slice Eggplant
When Slicing Eggplant makes sure you slice them thick. I recommend a minimum of 1" thickness. See the photo for reference. Alternatively, you can cut them into thin long strips.
Step 2: Make Flour Mixture
In a bowl combine Flour with Salt, Freshly ground black Pepper, Crushed red pepper flakes, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
Step 3: Coat Eggplant
Coat Eggplant in Beaten Egg, Flour Mixture, and finally in Panko Breadcrumbs. Shake off any excess. Arrange them on a shallow plate.
Step 4: Sprinkle Parmesan Cheese
Sprinkle freshly grated parmesan cheese. If you want you can add some Nutritional yeast along with parmesan for added taste. Now Transfer them directly into your Air Fryer basket. The parmesan cheese turns this into eggplant parmesan fries!
Step 5: Brush Olive Oil
I recommend Olive Oil or Avocado Oil for brushing Eggplant. I do not recommend using the non-stick cooking spray that you use for baking. And, do not use cooking spray on the air fryer basket. If you want you can use parchment paper for easy clean-up.
Step 5: Air Fry for 15-minutes at 200°C OR 400°F
Air Fryer for 15-minutes at 200°C or 400°F. When just 5-minutes is remaining, pull out the Air Fryer basket and flip eggplant slices. Cook for the remaining 5-minutes. Once, done, serve immediately.
Hint: Nutritional yeast works really well in uplifting the overall flavor of this easy peasy Eggplant Fries recipe.
- Keto Eggplant Fries: Instead of all-purpose flour you can use Almond Flour. And, replace Panko breadcrumbs with ground pork rinds.
- Vegan Eggplant Fries: When making Vegan Eggplant fries you'd want to repalce eggs with any non-dairy milk of your choice. Secondly, I would recommend using gluten-free all-purpose flour, and gluten-free panko breadcrumbs.
I have not tried this recipe with any of these versions. So, I cannot comment on how it would taste. You can try and let me know in the comment section below.
- Herbs: To make it even more delicious you can add some herbs like dried oregano, dried parsley, and dried basil.
- Italian Seasoning: Fresh Italian seasoning turns this into a hearty side dish.
Make Ahead & Storage Instructions
Make-Ahead: You can slice eggplant ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container or a ziplock bag. Keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Storage: When you want to store your eggplant fries, I recommend frying them halfway. Turn off the air fryer when there are 7-8 minutes remaining.
Top tips to make the Best Eggplant Fries
- Choose Eggplant which are long and slender. Those are the ones with fewer seeds.
- If you have a large and round eggplant then cut them in slices and allow them to sit on a paper-towel so that it releases its moisture.
if you are making this recipe, then please leave a rating below. Snap it and share it on Instagram with #recipemagik. Tag me @recipemagik and let me know how this turned out.
Air Fryer Eggplant Fries Recipe
- 2 small Eggplant
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper OPTIONAL
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 Large eggs
- 1 tablespoon water
- ⅔ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese shredded
- Slice eggplant into thick ⅓" slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. let it sit for 20-30 minutes. After that, rinse the eggplant and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Meanwhile, In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine all-purpose flour, salt, freshly ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Stir lightly with a spoon.
- In another medium-sized mixing bowl whisk 2 eggs with 1 tablespoon water and keep aside.
- Dip each eggplant into the flour mixture, then into the egg mixture, and then finally into the panko breadcrumb mixture. Shake off any excess. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese. Brush eggplant slices with olive oil or avocado oil. Transfer directly into the air fryer.
- Preheat Air Fryer to 400°F or 200°C. Air Fry eggplant for 15-minutes. When there are 5-minutes remaining, for the Eggplant to get done, pull out the Air Fryer basket and flip them over using kitchen tongs or spoon. Push it back into the Air Fryer and Air fry for the remaining 5-minutes. Once done, serve immediately with marinara sauce.
- Don't cut the eggplant into thin slices. Cut them thick so that they have a crusty texture.
- Do not Air fry all eggplant slices at once. Keep a gap between the eggplant slices so that the air flow can happen. Cook in batches for the best texture.