Healthy Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan - Easy Recipe (2024)

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This healthy air fryer eggplant parmesan is an easy, lighter Italian dish you can make in under 20 minutes with the help of your air fryer. It tastes fried but contains only a little oil and is a wonderful hearty meatless meal that your whole family will love!

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Air fryer eggplant parmesanhas everything you want in any kind of Parmesan recipe. A crispy breaded outer layer covered in a tangy tomato sauce and melty cheese. This recipe ismade in the air-fryer, and containsonly a little bit of oilbut is crazy crispy and tastes fried.

Top it withtomato sauceand cheese and it is just thebesthealthy dinneryou can make inunder 20 minutes.

Similar to thisportobello mushroom parmesanis also epic and Vegetarian.

If you are looking for a non-vegetarian version then you will want to check out this air fryer chicken parmesan or this instant pot chicken parmesan they are both so amazing as well!

My family devoured this eggplant parmesan recipe, and now we make it all the time!

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The invention of the air-fryer has absolutely changed the way I cook and eat. Which is now with less oil and less time waiting for the oven to cook my food. All because this new appliance cooks food faster and more efficiently.

So in case you do not have an air fryer yet, I hope this amazing recipe convinces you to make the investment. It is so worth it!

I have an Instant Vortex 6-quart air fryer, that I absolutely love! I use it every day and I have made so many amazing recipes with it like these sweet potato wedges , crispy breaded chicken breast, and even baked apples.

Why you will love this recipe

  • It’s a lighter version of chicken parmesan but tastes just as good.
  • Made in the air-fryer but can also be baked in the oven.
  • It contains only a little bit of oil and no deep frying.
  • Super low in calories and contains lots of nutrients from the eggplant.
  • You can make this in under 20 minutes for a quick weeknight meal!

Is eggplant good for you?

Eggplant is a super delicious, low-calorie vegetable you can use to add some variety and nutrition to any meal. It is so versatile and can be used in so many eggplant recipes like in thesebaked eggplant meatballsor thesehealthy baked eggplant fries.

Eggplant is full of nutrition. It is a great source of vitamins and minerals, helps improve digestion, improves bone health, prevents diseases like cancer, and is great for heart health. Clickhere to read more about the nutrition of eggplant.

Is eggplant parmesan healthy?

Well, typically baked or fried eggplant parmesan is not really healthy since it is breaded and fried or baked and contains 350 calories and 22 grams of fat per serving.

But this air fryer eggplant parmesan is healthy since I omitted most of the oil and frying and cooked it in the air-fryer, which gives it a fried texture and taste but requires almost no oil at all. Making it about 180 calories per serving with only 5 grams of fat, which is AMAZING!

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Ingredients needed to make air fryer eggplant parmesan

  • Eggplant: a low-calorie vegetable that is high in fiber, antioxidants, and essential nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B6. When sliced it provides a flavorful and nutritious base for this dish.
  • Breadcrumbs: used to create a crispy coating on the eggplant slices. You can use any type of breadcrumbs you like in this recipe.
  • Grated parmesan cheese: adds a savory, umami flavor to the dish.
  • Eggs: are used to bind the breadcrumbs to the eggplant, providing a crispy texture when baked. To keep the calories and fat even lower, you can use egg whites instead of the whole egg.
  • Italian seasoning, garlic powder salt, and pepper: flavorful additions to the dish, providing a mix of herbs and spices that complement the eggplant and tomato sauce.
  • Tomato sauce: a key ingredient in eggplant parmesan, providing a rich and tangy flavor.
  • Shredded mozzarella cheese: gives the eggplant parmesan a nice light blanket of cheesy goodness that compliments the crispy crust and sauce.
  • Olive oil spray: used to coat the eggplant slices before baking, providing a healthier alternative to traditional frying methods.

How to make eggplant parmesan in the air-fryer

  1. Prepare the eggplant: Slice the eggplant by cutting it into ½-inch even slices.
  2. Make the breading mixture: combine the breadcrumbs with the parmesan, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl. Then whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and season them with salt and pepper.
  3. Coat the eggplant: Dredge the eggplant by dipping each slice into the egg mixture then in the breadcrumbs mixture, pressing the breading into the eggplant as you coat it and place it onto a lined baking sheet or plate.
  4. Cook: Preheat the air-fryer to 390 degrees F. Place the coated eggplant slices (as many as you can fit in a single layer) into the air fryer basket and spray them with olive oil spray. Cook at 390 degrees F for 8 minutes, per the recipe card below.
  5. Add sauce and chees: After the eggplant is cooked, top it with the tomato sauce and mozzarella then cook for 2 more minutes in the air fryer to melt the cheese.
  6. Serve and enjoy: Serve warm topped with fresh basil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
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*Get the complete list of ingredients and recipe instructions in the recipe card below.

I just love how easy this recipe is. The breaded eggplant gets perfectly crispy in the air fryer without any extra oil or frying. I love it!

Plus eggplant is super inexpensive and in season, so get some and make this amazing recipe.

Do you need to salt the eggplant before you cook it?

Many people would say you have to salt the eggplant before cooking it. I have found that it is okay to skip this step in the air fryer recipe as long as you dry the eggplant by placing it onto a paper towel for about 10 minutes before you cook it. This will still help draw out some of the moister and result in super crispy eggplant.

Should you peel the eggplant before you cook it?

It is not necessary to peel the eggplant before you cook it. This recipe works whether you peel it or not, so that is up to you. I prefer the eggplant unpeeled since I feel like the skin makes it even crispier when it cooks. Plus, it’s less work!

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Recipe tips for making this healthy Eggplant Parmesan

  • Buy an eggplant that is shiny and dark purple in color, medium in size, and heavy. That means it is super ripe. You also want to purchase one that is relatively even in size so your eggplant rounds are as equal as possible.
  • Store the whole eggplant in a cool dry place for 1-2 days after purchase and then make this recipe, haha.
  • You can make this recipe gluten-free by using gluten-free breadcrumbs.
  • Store the cooked eggplant parmesan in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days once it is fully cooked + cooled. It is really delicious with a fried egg on top for breakfast.
  • To make this is the oven: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Follow the recipe as directed but use the oven instead of the air-fryer. Bake the eggplant for 10 minutes, flip it over, then bake for 7 more minutes on the other side. Top with sauce and cheese, and place back in the oven for 3-4 minutes to melt the cheese.
  • Make it even better and use this Simple Homemade San Marzano Tomato Sauce.

What to serve with this Eggplant Parmesan

This recipe is great as a meal all on its own but here are some healthy side dishes that I love to serve with this recipe.

  • Salad. Such as this Easy Kale Salad with Lemon Dressing, this Easy Crispy Chickpea Kale Caesar Salad or this Italian Chopped Salad.
  • Squash. Such as this Butternut Squash Noodles Bowl, this Best Mashed Butternut Squash or this Easy Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash.
  • More veggies. Like these Roasted Carrots or this Easy Oven Roasted Broccoli
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More Air Fryer Recipes You Will Also Love

Looking for more air fryer recipes? Here are some of my faves!

  • Air Fryer Egg Rolls
  • No Oil Sweet Potato Wedges
  • Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos
  • Easy Baked Eggplant Fries – With Air Fryer Option
  • Crispy Paleo Sweet Potato Fries
  • 15 Minute Crispy Air-Fryer Breaded Chicken Breast

Did you make this air fryer eggplant parmesan recipe? If you did, then please leave a comment and rating below.

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Healthy Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan - Easy Recipe (14)

Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan

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5 from 8 reviews

  • Author: Amy Estes
  • Total Time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: 5 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian
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Description

This healthy air fryer eggplant parmesan is a lighter lower calorie way to enjoy eggplant parmesan without all of the extra fat and calories. It comes out perfectly crispy, and golden topped with zesty tomato sauce and melted cheese in minutes!

Ingredients

Scale

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 cups Italianbreadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese + more for topping
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Freshly chopped basil – optional for topping

Instructions

  1. Slice the ends off of the eggplant using a sharp knife, about ¼ inch from the stem. Then slice the eggplant into ½ -inch thick rounds and place the eggplant onto a small baking sheet or plate. Pro tip: you can also place the sliced eggplant onto a papertowel to let it dry a bit after slicing it if it looks wet.
  2. Make the breadcrumb mixture – Combine the breadcrumbs + parmesan cheese + garlic powder + Italian seasoning + salt & pepper into a medium-sized shallow bowl and mix to combine into a breadcrumb mixture.
  3. Set up a dredging station: crack the eggs into another medium size shallow bowl, season with salt & pepper and whisk well to combine. Then set up the breadcrumb mixture + the egg mixture+the sliced eggplant next to each other and dredge each piece of eggplant in the egg, then the breadcrumb mixture, pressing the breadcrumbs into the eggplant as you dredge them. Then place the breaded eggplant slices back onto the baking sheet. Continue until you have breaded all of the eggplants.
  4. Preheat the air-fryer to 390 degrees F(this usually takes 5 minutes). Once the air-fryer is preheated, spray the basket with olive oil cooking spray and place the eggplant pieces into the air-fryer, spraying each with olive oil cooking spray. Close the basket and cook for 8 minutes, flipping each piece over and spraying the other side with cooking spray halfway through the cooking time.
  5. Once they are done and super crispy, top each with some tomato sauce, then some shredded mozzarella cheese. Close the air-fryer and cook for 2-3 more minutes to melt the cheese.
  6. Remove, top with freshly chopped basil, and enjoy.

Notes

  1. To select a ripe eggplant make sure the it is shiny and dark purple in color. You want to use a medium size eggplant that is as even as possible all around. The heavier it is the better. You can store the eggplant in a cool, dry place for 1-2 days after you buy it.
  2. You can store this cooked eggplant parmesan in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Easily reheat in the air fryer at 350 degrees F for 2-3 minutes.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Category: healthy dinner ideas
  • Method: air-fryer
  • Cuisine: italian
Healthy Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan - Easy Recipe (2024)
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