This Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan has a crunchy crumb with soft and tender inside. Your family is going to fall in love with this tasty and healthier meatless dish or snack. A must try recipe!
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Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan
My family loves chicken parmesan for dinner and then once tried replacing the chicken with eggplant slices and it was life changing! The texture and taste was unbelievably good without the hassle of deep frying.
It's just as good as the traditional recipe with it's crispy breaded coating, tender cooked vegetable covered in bright tomato sauce and melty cheese. It is much healthier than the traditional shallow frying since there it almost oil-free.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Healthier - It's much lighter since it made with almost no oil (except a spray on top to air fry). Eggplant is a great source of vitamins, minerals, helps improve digestion and improves bone health.
- Crispy and crunchy - The panko parm mixture with our secret technique makes it amazingly crunchy when hot.
- Delicious tasting - Perfectly seasoned with cheesy goodness. Eating vegetable never tasted so good.
- Quick and Easy - There is no salting needed. So, you will have a tasty meatless dish when your heart desires.
What's Eggplant Parmesan?
Also known as Parmigiana di Melanzane, it's an Italian dish made with sliced aubergine (aka brinjal) layered with tomato sauce, cheese and then baked. Other variations of this dish may include chicken or veal.
It is one of those amazing vegetarian dishes that’s so good and comforting for everyone. It oozes with melted mozzarella on top with bright tomato sauce with layers of soft cooked vegetable.
It is not one of easy dishes as it involves few steps, but thanks to the air fryer, we can make this easily with much less effort.
How to Choose an Eggplant?
Choose ones that are firm, shiny, not soft, heavy for it's size and have a uniform dark purple. Store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
DO YOU NEED TO SALT BEFORE COOKING?
Not for this recipe! You often see recipes that calls for salt sprinkled on the raw slices to draw the moisture out. This tenderizes the flesh, draws out the moisture and removes any bitterness in the brinjal. However the reality is that present day vegetables have been altered to have no bitterness in them. Also, you run the risk of making the dish too salty.
But, weeknight dinners calls quick and easy recipes and this one makes a perfect addition. Our method of unusual but effective breading procedure makes it crispy and crunchy without any salting.
Do You Peel Before Cooking?
Not necessary! The skin makes it look prettier with the contrast color, cooks tender, enhances the flavor and the skin is totally edible and high in antioxidants. Most importantly it saves you an additional step.
- Eggplant - Choose a large one that's firm, shiny, dark purple in color and has no soft or brown spots.
- Eggs - 2 large eggs
- Flour - Regular all purpose flour
- Seasoning - Italian seasoning, black pepper, red pepper flakes and salt.
- Breadcrumbs - Use plain panko breadcrumbs
- Cheese - Shredded mozzarella and finely grated parmesan cheese
- Sauce - Use a good tasting marinara sauce (we used Prego - tomato, basil & garlic)
- Cheese - Use shredded or sliced fresh mozzarella.
- Parmesan - If using pre shredded parm, grind ⅓ cup in a mini food processor until finely ground.
- Eggplant - Buy one with a shiny skin, dark purple in color and feels heavy for it's size.
- Make ½-inch thick slices - Make sure that the slices are of even thickness and not any thicker, which might not cook tender.
- Make it gluten free - Use gluten free panko and gluten free flour.
HOW TO MAKE?
Scroll down to the bottom of the post to find the full recipe with measurements. This is just a overview:
- Slice - Wash, dry and make ½ inch thick slices.
- Bread - Dip the slices in wet batter and then in the panko parm crumb mixture.
- Cook - Air fry at 380 degrees on both sides with a coating of non-stick cooking spray, until deep golden in color.
- Finish - Top cooked sliced with tomato sauce and cheese. Cook for another 2 minutes to melt cheese.
What To Serve With This Dish?
This is great as a meal all on it’s own as a meatless dish. Here are some suggestions for serving:
- Meatless main course - Serve with garlic bread, almond flour biscuits, Corn on the Cob or Roasted Broccoli.
- Side dish for Chicken, Fish or Shrimp dishes like roast chicken, Chicken Tenders or Baked Chicken Cutlets.
- Along with your favorite pasta like Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta, Chicken Mushroom Pasta, Lemon Chicken Pasta or Penne Vodka Pasta.
- Makes a tasty snack or appetizer.
- With soup recipes like Vegan Tomato Soup, Chicken Rice Soup or Vegan Chickpea Soup.
How to Store Leftovers?
In Refrigerator - Keep them in a covered container for up to 3 days.
To Reheat - Reheat at 380 degrees,
How to Freeze?
It is great make ahead dish that can prepped and ready to go in your freezer. The air fryer is amazing in crisping up all things breaded without making them soggy like a microwave.
Freeze without sauce/cheese - Freeze cooked slices without any sauce or cheese (this is homemade eggplant cutlets) in a zip lock bag for up to a month. Reheat in the air fryer from frozen at 360 degrees, until heated through and crisp. Top with sauce and cheese and cook until cheese melts.
Freeze with sauce/cheese - Freeze slices between pieces of parchment paper in a covered container for up to 1 month. Cook frozen slices in a pre heated 350 degree fryer for 3 to 5 minutes or until hot.
More Air Fryer Vegetables to try:
- 1 large Eggplant
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup + ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ⅓ cup finely grated parmesan cheese (refer notes)
- 1 cup marinara sauce plus more for serving
- 1 to 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- Fresh basil leaves for garnish
1. Wash eggplant and dry thoroughly. Slice into ½-inch rounds.
2. Add all batter ingredients into a shallow bowl, whisk until smooth and well combined.
3. Mix panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in another bowl.
4. Working with one slice at a time, place each slice in the wet batter, turning over couple of times to make sure that it is coated thoroughly. Lift with hands or tongs, allowing excess batter to drip off and then place over the bread crumbs.
5. Pack bread crumbs on both sides of the slice (pressing with fingers to adhere).
6. Place on a plate and repeat process with remaining eggplant slices.
1. Pre heat air fryer to 380°F for 12 minutes. When ready, place prepared slices in a single layer (cook in batches), spray the top with non stick cooking spray.
2. Cook for 5 minutes, open air fryer basket, flip the slices over, spray the tops again with non stick cooking spray and cook for remaining 7 minutes.
3. Open basket, spread marinara sauce on top followed by shredded mozzarella, Cook at 380°F for 2 to 3 minutes, until cheese melts.4
4. Garnish with fresh basil more marinara sauce if desired.
Cheese - Use shredded or sliced fresh mozzarella.
Parmesan - If using pre shredded parm, grind ⅓ cup in a mini food processor until finely ground.
Make ½-inch thick slices - Make sure that the slices are of even thickness and not any thicker, which might not cook tender.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 115mgSodium: 985mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 6gSugar: 10gProtein: 15g
I am not a certified dietician or nutritionist. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. This information is provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is a product of online calculator such as Nutrifox.com.. Although Kitchen at Hoskins attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their fact sources and algorithms. Under no circumstances will Kitchen at Hoskins be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on the nutritional information. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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