No breading and no oil required for this tasty air fryer eggplant. Immensely flavourful bites that make a wonderfully delicious, low calorie and low carb alternative to roasted potatoes.
Unlike most eggplant recipes, this version is not fried, and not breaded, but I promise, it’s still delicious!
Using an air fryer makes them beautifully golden, and all without oil required.
If you’re a big eggplant fan, you’ll definitely want to add these to your rotation.
How to cut eggplant
For this air fryer eggplant recipe, we will be dicing the eggplant. Diced in about half inch pieces works best, so that they are able to crisp up around the edges and cook all the way through, relatively quickly.
Begin by slicing off the stem and taking a thin slice off the bottom. (photo 1)
Then, depending on the size of your eggplant, slice lengthwise in half, thirds, or more. (photo 2)
Now, working with one half (or third) at a time, slice into half inch strips. (photo 3)
Rotate the strips and start slicing into half inch pieces, the opposite way. Now you’ll have cubes that are about half an inch thick. (photos 4-5)
NOTE: Repeat steps 3-5 with the remaining half or thirds.
How to make eggplant in your air fryer
(This is a summary with step-by-step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Gather your ingredients, you won’t need too many!
Then cut up your eggplant as per the instructions above.
Take your cubed eggplant and add them to a colander, sitting in a large bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt, toss with your hands, and set aside for 30 minutes. (photos 6-7)
Now transfer the cubes to a clean, dry dishtowel and use another towel, or paper towels, to press and pat the pieces dry. (photo 8-9)
Wipe out the bowl that was sitting under your colander and place the dry eggplant inside. Add the broth and all the seasoning and mix well to evenly coat the pieces. (photos 10-11)
Now transfer to your basket and cook for 15-20 minutes, until golden and edges are crispy. (photos 12-13)
Serve warm with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or chives, and some sriracha mayo for dipping, if desired.
Why salt the eggplant?
Sometimes eggplant may have a bitter taste (although not always) and salting them helps to mask and eliminate that bitterness.
Another reason to salt them is to remove any excess moisture that may be trapped inside. Salting it prior to cooking (but after cutting) helps to eliminate that extra liquid.
One last bonus, is that it helps to season your eggplant all the way through. That means more flavourful air fryer eggplant results!
What kind of Air Fryer do I need?
I use a Ninja Foodi 8qt model and my eggplant is perfectly done at the 18-20 minute mark.
Smaller models may cook faster, so start checking around 12-15 minutes to make sure they don’t burn.
What to serve it with?
Serve your eggplant in any way you’d serve roasted potatoes. This super light side dish works particularly well with something hearty.
Don’t forget to make a side of sriracha mayo for dipping your air fryer eggplant! Such a great combo!
If you have any leftovers, you may store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in a sealed container.
To reheat, you may do so in your air fryer, or your toaster oven until heated through.
- Try and cut your eggplant into as similar sized pieces as possible, for even cooking. If you leave some pieces too big, they will be underdone, and too small, they’ll burn.
- Don’t skip the salting! This extra step does require you to start a little ahead of time, but it really does improve the flavour!
- Feel free to play with the seasoning, to your taste. Some great additions include cumin or chili flakes, or sub the sweet paprika for smoked.
More delicious air fried recipes
- Air Fried Carrots [Two Ways!]
- Cauliflower Buffalo Wings w/ Air Fried Option
- Air Fried Hash Browns From Scratch
- Air Fried Spaghetti Squash
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- 1.5 lb eggplant cut into half inch pieces (approx 1 medium sized)
- 2 tablespoon low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper optional
- Sriracha mayo for dipping
- Wash and dice your eggplant into half inch pieces. (See step by step photos above if needed.)
- Now place your cut up eggplant in a large colander and place the colander inside a bowl. Generously sprinkle with salt and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then transfer to a clean, dry dish towel and using another dish towel, or paper towels, press and pat them dry.
- Now, wipe out the bowl that was sitting under your colander and place the dry eggplant inside. Add the broth and all the seasoning to the bowl and mix well to evenly coat the pieces.
- Place in your air fryer basket, set to 380 degrees and cook for 15-20 minutes, tossing once at the halfway point. Cook until nicely golden, and fork tender, then serve warm with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or chives and sriracha mayo for dipping.