Skinny and crispy air-fried eggplant slices

Thin and crispy air-fried eggplant slices

One of the best ways to enjoy eggplant is with air fried! Super easy to assemble and air fry, these crispy eggplant slices contain far less oil and calories than traditionally cooked deep fried eggplant. Plus, there are so many ways to use them! Enjoy them alone as a delicious starter with a sauce, serve over salads and pasta dishes, or add them to sandwiches, pizzas or even use them as a base for an eggplant parmigiana.

We used the air freshener (air fry) feature on our Ninja Foodi Grill, but this recipe will work with any air fryer. You can read our original review for the Ninja Foodi Grill linked here.

Before cooking, check the recommended temperature for cooking vegetables in your air fryer manual.

BUY → Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 4-Qt. Air Fryer, Roast, Bake, Dehydrate Indoor Electric Grill, 10 “x 10”, Black and Silver

You can also just bake these slices on a baking sheet in the oven if you don’t have an air fryer.

Thin and crispy air-fried eggplant on a pan for baking

Ingredients for the air-fried aubergine

Aubergine: We used medium eggplants for this recipe, but in this case size doesn’t really matter. Mini aubergines are ideal for serving over salads or pizzas. Cut them into 1/2 inch slices.

Breadcrumbs: Italian seasoned breadcrumbs are great for this recipe. You can also just use it if you want to serve these crispy eggplant slices with a different dipping sauce.

Parmesan cheese – If you are dairy free this is optional but it adds that lovely cheesy umami flavor that we all love. You can also substitute other hard Italian cheeses like Pecorino Romano, Piave or Grana Padano instead. If you have more than one on hand, try creating a mix.

Flour & eggs – This is for dredging and dipping so the breadcrumbs will stick to the eggplant.

Herbs and spices – Salt and pepper are a must, of course, but I also like to add finely chopped fresh parsley (dried is good too). If you’re a garlic lover, add a little garlic powder to the breading mixture.

olive oil – If you drizzle the eggplant slices with olive oil before frying, the breadcrumbs will stay crispy and still moist while cooking. You can also use another neutral, healthy oil that is suitable for high heat cooking. Avocado oil would be another great choice. While I was assembling these eggplant slices, I originally drizzled on the oil. However, for a more even coat of oil without a lot of waste, it’s best to use a spray bottle.

Drizzle olive oil onto breaded aubergine slices before frying in the open air

A glass spray bottle filled with olive oil like this one linked here and pictured below is a great tool for the kitchen, especially if you prefer to cook with a specific brand or type of oil. With it, you can more easily control the amount you use.
BUY → Evo oil spray bottle without aerosol for olive oil

You can also check your grocery store or online retailer for olive oil, avocado oil, or grapeseed oil in the non-aerosol spray cans that are similar to the non-stick sprays like Pam. I’ve linked a few that can be shipped from Amazon below.BUY → Selected foods 100% avocado oil spray

BUY → La Tourangelle Artisanal cold pressed virgin olive oil spray

BUY → Mantova 100% grape seed oil spray

Salt the aubergine before breading for the best taste

Many chefs swear that if you “salt” the eggplant before cooking, you’ll get a creamier, better-tasting eggplant. This step draws water out of the eggplant and can reduce the bitterness. That is very easy.

Sprinkle salt on both sides of the cut eggplant, then place it on a rack over a baking sheet to collect the water. You can also place them on the side in a sufficiently large sieve above the sink. After 30 minutes, you should see water droplets on the surface of the eggplant. Rinse the eggplant slices under water, then pat them completely dry. Your eggplant is now ready to be dredged!

This step can be skipped if you are short on time. I had great eggplants with and without salt before.

Bread and cook the aubergine slices

In a shallow bowl or large bowl, mix your Italian flavored breadcrumbs, panko, parmesan, pepper, garlic powder, and dried parsley. Then set up a digging station to fry the eggplants. The order should be flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Once the slices are breaded, place them on a baking sheet or rack and drizzle or sprinkle with oil before air frying.

We cooked the eggplants in batches and fried them at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for a total of about 10 minutes. We flipped them over after about 5 minutes so they browned evenly on both sides. Please note that all air fryers cook slightly differently so you may need to adjust the temperature for your machine. Check your manual for recommendations or cook a batch at the temperature recommended here and adjust if necessary.

air-fried eggplant slices on a baking sheet

Dairy-free and vegan-friendly tip!

To make these eggplant slices vegan-friendly, replace the parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast and brush the eggplant slices with olive oil (or any other oil of your choice) or vegan mayo instead of beaten egg before dipping them in the breadcrumbs. Then cook as indicated.

Hand holds a slice of thin and crispy air-fried eggplant


Hand holds a slice of thin and crispy air-fried eggplant

Thin and crispy Italian air-fried aubergine slices

Heather LaCorte

This recipe makes some for delicious eggplant slices that are thin, crispy and taste just like fried, but without all of the extra oil and calories. You can serve these aubergine slices as a delicious starter, over a salad or even as a base for aubergine parmigiana.

Preparation time fifteen min

cooking time 20th min

fifteen min

total time 20th min

course Starter, side dish



  • Eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
  • Salt-
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup Italian flavored bread crumb
  • 1/2 Cup Panko
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated (Romano can be replaced with a mixture or combined)
  • 1/4 Cup Parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon Italian spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 2 Eggs, beaten


  • Cut eggplant into 1 / 4-1 / 2 inch slices. 1/4 inch for super thin eggplant slices or 1/2 inch for slightly thicker slices, perfect for eggplant parmigiana.

  • OPTIONAL STEP: Some report a creamy-tasting eggplant if they salt eggplant before cooking. Place the eggplant on a rack over a baking sheet. Sprinkle salt on the cut sides. This will pull water out of the eggplant and reduce the bitterness. After 30 minutes, rinse the aubergine slices and pat them dry completely.

  • In a shallow bowl or large bowl, mix your Italian flavored breadcrumbs, panko, parmesan, parsley, pepper, and garlic powder (optional). Stand next to your flour and beaten eggshells. The order of the dredging station should be flour, then egg, and then breadcrumbs.

  • Dip eggplant slices in flour and shake off the excess. Then dip in the egg and cover both sides to allow excess material to drain off. Then, press the eggplant slices into the breadcrumb mixture and coat both sides. Place on a plate or rack and repeat until all of the slices are coated.

  • Cook in batches, spray or drizzle olive oil on both sides of the eggplant slices before placing in the air basket. Cook for 5 minutes, turn over and then cook until golden brown on both sides for another 5 minutes. Place on a baking sheet or wire rack and continue cooking the rest. You can keep them in a warm oven if you want.NOTE: All air fryers cook differently. You may want to adjust your cooking time or temperature after the first batch.
  • Season with a little salt if desired. Serve alongside your favorite dipping sauce such as marinara, tzatziki or over salad or pasta. These eggplant slices can also be used for eggplant parmigiana. Enjoy!

keyword air-fried eggplant

Thin & crispy air-fried eggplant recipe

Joseph Hubbard

Joseph Hubbard is a seasoned journalist passionate about uncovering stories and reporting on events that shape our world. With a strong background in journalism, he has dedicated his career to providing accurate, unbiased, and insightful news coverage to the public.

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