Crispy and crunchy eggplant slices with parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Enjoy them right out of the air fryer and serve them with marinara sauce. Crispy on the outside and soft inside. This is one of the best eggplant dishes that you will eat.
This is a lighter alternative for those who love traditional Italian Chicken with Parmesan. This recipe is great for those who are trying to cut back their meat intake and eat more veggies.
Also, by using the air fryer for this dish, we will get a similar crunchy texture without deep-frying it and have oily food.
In the original Italian recipe, the eggplant is simply fried in oil. Because we will try to omit this large quantity of oil, we will coat it with a breadcrumbs crust and we will cook it in the air fryer.
You will love so much this recipe that there is a high chance that this recipe will join your rotation of dinner recipes.
🥰 Why You Will Love This Recipe?
- It is a modern method of cooking the classic Italian recipe “Parmigiana di Melanzane“.
- It’s a lighter version of the traditional chicken parmesan.
- You will get a perfect taste from simple ingredients.
- There are a few steps, but they are very easy to follow.
- You can recreate it also in the oven.
🏆 Tips for Success? How to Make It Better?
- Use organic eggplants if you have the possibility. They taste much better that the regular ones that you may find in the stores.
- If you don’t want to make your hands dirty from the beaten eggs and breadcrumbs, you can use a fork to rotate the eggplant slices and apply the crust.
- Serve it near a delicious homemade marinara sauce.
🤔 How to Scale the Recipe Up and Down?
This is a basic recipe, so just increase or decrease the ingredients proportionally.
In old Italian recipes, above the layer of tomato sauce, you can find a layer of boiled eggs or Prosciutto Cotto.
🥑 How to Make Vegan Eggplant Parmesan?
If you want to make this recipe vegan, use vegan shredded cheese like Daiya.
Instead of beaten eggs, you can use a mix of water and flour (1:1) to stick the crust to the eggplant. Also, you can use soy milk with a little bit of starch to thicken it a little bit.
🥘 Ingredients Needed for This Recipe?
- 4 Slices from a large Eggplant (I used 1 slice per serving). If you use a smaller air fryer, consider cooking them in a few batches or to use a smaller eggplant because you will fit only 2 slices in the air fryer basket.
- 2 Eggs
- ½ cup of Breadcrumbs.
- ½ cup of Parmesan.
- 8 slices of Mozzarella Cheese.
- ½ cup of Marinara/Tomato Sauce.
🥦 Ingredients Swap?
- Tomato Sauce. You could use the homemade tomato sauce or the jarred one. Also, you can use bolognese sauce instead of the marinara sauce.
- Mozzarella Cheese. You can use another cheese that melts well like Provalone.
- Parmesan Cheese. You could replace it with pecorino cheese or if you want to go in another direction and want something more intense, you can use gorgonzola. Take into consideration that if you will use gorgonzola, you will radically change the taste of the dish.
- Eggs. You can use only the yolk or only the egg whites if you have them already in the fridge. Or a mix of soy milk + starch if you’re looking for a vegan replacement.
- Breadcrumbs. You can replace them with Panko.
🍽️ Serving Suggestions
As this dish is quite filling, you may eat it alone. Or, you can make a portion of spaghetti with tomato sauce and serve these eggplants with parmesan on top of the pasta.
Also, you can serve them near a salad or near some baked veggies.
👩🍳 Step-by-step Directions
First of all, we need to wash properly the eggplant. For that, wash the eggplant under cold water and wipe them with a paper towel. It is important to use cold water because it will help us to remove a little bit of the bitter taste of the eggplant.
Trim the stem off from the eggplant and cut the ends and cut the eggplant into similar-sized slices about ½” thick.
Quick Note: If you have it under your hands, use a stainless steel knife because the carbon still will react with the eggplant and will make it to turning black.
As I used a large eggplant, and the slices were pretty large, I served only 1 slice per serving. If you use will use a smaller eggplant, you may consider serving 2 slices of eggplants per serving.
Quick Note: If you will pick a large eggplant, and you will use only 2-4 slices from it, as you already have the breadcrumbs and beaten eggs, you can make eggplant fries from the leftovers.
How to Bread Eggplant Slices?
- Take a plate and combine in it the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and a pinch of salt in it. Mix all ingredients well.
- Take another plate and beat 2 eggs in it.
- Take one by one of the eggplant slices, and soak them in the plate with beaten eggs.
- After that, roll the slices on the plate with breadcrumbs mix. Make sure the eggplant slices are covered evenly on all sides.
Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (200°C), arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer, and cook them for 12 minutes at 400°F (200°C).
Quick note: I’m using the Cosori Air Fryer 5.8 QT and as you can see, I could fit 4 slices in the air fryer basket. If you use a smaller air fryer like the 3.6, the most probably is that you will fit only 2 slices in it. If you need to cook a larger quantity, for the best results, cook them in a few batches.
Quick Note: Please take into consideration that the cooking time may differ from one air fryer manufacturer to another. Also, it differs from the size of your air fryer basket and its power. So, in the last minutes of cooking be with an eye on the air fryer and adjust the timings if needed.
After 10-15 minutes (12 in my case), you should get a similar crust. Keep in mind that this is not the final step. We will add a few ingredients over and we will cook the eggplant slices for a few more additional minutes.
How to Coat the Eggplant Parmesan?
- Remove the basket from the air fryer, but keep the eggplant slices in it.
- Pour the tomato sauce over the eggplant pieces.
- Put 2 slices of mozzarella over, and sprinkle with Parmesan on top.
- Put the air fryer basket back and cook them for another 5-6 minutes.
You can serve this dish as is, you can add a little tomato sauce next to it, or serve it as the main dish next to a garnish that you prefer. The classic one is to serve this delicious eggplant parmesan slices over a plate of spaghetti with tomato sauce.
♻️ Make Ahead, Storage, and Heating:
Can I Prepare It Ahead?
You could only make tomato sauce in advance or use jarred tomato sauce.
How Long Do the Parmesan Eggplant Last in the Fridge?
If you have any leftovers, you can put them in a well-closing container and keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Can You Freeze The Eggplant Parmesan?
You can place the cooked slices in a zipper bag in the freezer and keep them for up to 3-5 months.
How to Reheat the Dish?
I recommend preheating the air fryer for 5 minutes, then cooking the eggplant slices for about 2-3 minutes at 350-370°F or until you will get back a crunchy texture. If you will use a microwave for heating, the crust will soften.
🤔 Answering Your Questions:
Do I need to peel the eggplant before making the recipe?
It is a matter of personal preference, but it is not necessary to peel the eggplant before making the recipe.
Can I use the pre-made marinara sauce for the recipe?
Yes, you can use pre-made marinara sauce, or you can make your own homemade marinara sauce.
Can I use a different type of cheese instead of mozzarella cheese for this recipe?
Yes, you can use other types of cheese such as provolone, cheddar, or gouda cheese for a different flavor.
Can I make this recipe without flour or breadcrumbs for a gluten-free option?
Yes, you can use gluten-free flour and breadcrumbs, or you can omit the flour and breadcrumbs altogether and use a mixture of grated parmesan cheese and almond flour for a low-carb and gluten-free option.
📋 Recipe Card:
Air Fryer Eggplant Parmesan and Mozzarella Cheese
- Wash well the eggplant and slice it into similar-sized slices. (I use 1 slice of a large eggplant per serving. If you use smaller eggplants, consider serving two slices per person. Also, keep in mind that you will need more mozzarella slices).4 slices Eggplant
- After that, beat in a bowl 2 eggs, and in another bowl mix the parmesan, salt and breadcrumbs.2 pieces Egg, ½ cup Parmesan, ½ cup Breadcrumbs
- Toss each slice through the beaten eggs first, then through the breadcrumbs mix. Make sure to cover well the eggplant on all the sides.
- Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes. Arrange the slices in a single layer in the air fryer basket, and cook them for 12 minutes at 400°F (200°C)
- Next, remove the air fryer basket and keep the eggplants in it. Pour the tomato sauce over the eggplant just to cover all the surfaces of the slices. Add over the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle over the slices the freshly grated parmesan cheese.½ cup Tomato Sauce, 8 slices Mozzarella
- Put the air fryer basket back into the air fryer until the cheese will melt. This should take around 6 minutes.
- Enjoy the meal! You can serve them as is, dipping with some marinara sauce or near a plate of spagetthi with tomato sauce.
I highly recommend reading the entire recipe to find more tips and notes about this recipe. Read Full Recipe ⇑
- Cut eggplant in similar-sized slices to avoid undercooking some of them and overcooking others.
- Don’t overload the air fryer basket. If you need to cook a larger portion, for the best results, cook them in a few batches.
- You can use a fork to apply a crust on the eggplant slices and to avoid getting your hands dirty.