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eggplant parmesan with pasta and tomato sauce
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5 from 4 votes

Eggplant Parmesan | Air fryer recipe

Eggplant Parmesan is one of our most favorite recipe. Making the eggplant cutlets in the air fryer is the best choice ever and it is so convenient. This eggplant parmigiana recipe is very straight forward and it is easier than ever to enjoy our Italian favorite at home.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Resting time45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Diet: Vegetarian
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 411kcal
Author: Sandhya Ramakrishnan

Equipment

  • Air Fryer

Ingredients

  • 1 large Eggplant (about 12 slices) sliced into ¼ inch thick slices
  • 2 cups Bread crumbs
  • ¾ cup All purpose flour
  • ¾ cup Milk
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • to taste Salt
  • to spray Oil
  • To assemble –
  • Breaded and fried eggplant slices
  • Marinara sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese

Instructions

Preparing the eggplant –

  • Slice the eggplants into ¼ inch thick slices and sprinkle salt on both the sides and place it on a colander or on a rack over a tray. Let it sit for 30 -45 minutes.
  • You will notice by the end of the time, that the eggplant slices have droplets of water over them. Pat them dry with paper towel and keep it ready.

Getting the breading station ready –

  • Flour mixture – In a shallow bowl add ½ cup of flour with a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste. Mix well.
  • Batter – In another shallow bowl, add ¾ cup of milk and ¼ cup of flour. Add salt and pepper to taste and whisk well. Keep it aside.
  • Bread crumbs – In the 3rd shallow container, add the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and add Italian seasoning and garlic powder. If using seasoned bread crumbs, skip the seasoning

Breading the eggplants –

  • Pat each eggplant slice into dry flour and then dip it into batter to coat and then place it on the bread crumbs and coat evenly.
  • Repeat each step to coat all the slices and place them on a wire rack.
  • Hint – use one hand to deal with the dry flour and bread crumbs and another hands for the wet batter. This way it keeps the process less messy.

Air frying the eggplant cutlets –

  • Preheat the air fryer for 2 minutes at 390 F.
  • Spray or brush a thin layer of oil over the breaded cutlets and place it in the air fryer basket / tray. Do not crowd the basket. Place them in a single layer.
  • Air fry for about 9 to 10 minutes or until the cutlets are golden brown. Flip the cutlets once in between for even frying.

To assemble the eggplant parmesan –

  • Top each fried cutlet with a layer of marinara sauce and then place mozzarella cheese on top.
  • Return it back to the air fryer for about 2 minutes or so until the cheese melts.
  • Serve with pasta.

Notes

Frequently asked questions
What kind of eggplant to use for eggplant parmesan recipe?
The large purple eggplant works the best for this recipe. I love making it in summer when we grow our own eggplant and that allows me to use the tender eggplant fresh from the garden.
Do we use egg for the recipe?
I always make mine without egg. I use a batter / mixture all purpose flour and milk to coat my eggplant slices.
What kind of bread crumbs to use for breading?
I have used plain bread crumbs, homemade breadcrumbs and Italian seasoned breadcrumbs for the eggplant parmesan recipe. Panko bread crumbs will also work. I personally like the regular breadcrumbs though.
Can the breaded eggplant slices be frozen?
I would not freeze the breaded eggplant slices as it will become soggy after a while. I fry or air fry my breaded eggplant slices and then freeze them.
What to serve with eggplant parmesan?
I serve my eggplant parmesan with spaghetti and marinara sauce. Any kind of pasta on the side would work. If I am making it as a layered casserole, then just some dinner rolls or garlic bread will be a great option.
Why do we salt the eggplant and let it sit?
Salting the sliced eggplant slices and letting it sit helps draw the bitterness out of the eggplant. We have had experience once at a restaurant when the eggplant was so bitter that we could not eat it. I would highly suggest that you don't skip this step.

Nutrition

Calories: 411kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 668mg | Potassium: 590mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 349IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 259mg | Iron: 5mg