This healthy eggplant parmesan is an easy, lighter Italian dish that you can make in under 20 minutes with the help of your air fryer. It tastes fried but contains no oil and is a wonderful hearty meatless meal that your whole family will love!
- 1 medium eggplant
- 2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese + more for topping
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Freshly chopped basil (optional for topping)
- Slice the ends off of the eggplant using a sharp knife, about 1/4 inch from the stem. Then slice the eggplant into 1/2 -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 paper towel to let it dry a bit after slicing it if it looks wet.
- Make the breadcrumb mixture – Combine the breadcrumbs + parmesan cheese + garlic powder + dried parsley + salt & pepper into a medium-size mixing bowl and mix to combine into a breadcrumb mixture.
- Preheat the air-fryer to 390 degrees (this usually takes 5 minutes). While the air-fryer is preheating you can dredge the eggplant.
- Setup a dredging station: crack the eggs into a medium size bowl, season with salt & pepper and whisk well to combine. Then setup 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 eggplant.
- Once the air-fryer is preheated, spray the basket with olive oil cooking spray and place the eggplant pieces into the air-fryer, spray each with 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.
- Once they are done and super crispy, top each with some of the tomato sauce, then some shredded mozzarella cheese. Close the air-fryer and cook for 2-3 more minutes to melt the cheese.
- Remove, top with freshly chopped basil and enjoy.
- 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.
- To make this recipe vegan, use vegan parmesan and vegan mozzarella cheese.
- 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 over, then bake for 7 more minutes on the other side. Top with sauce and cheese, place back in the oven for 3-4 minutes to melt the cheese.
- Category: healthy dinner ideas
- Method: air-fryer
- Cuisine: italian