Air-fryer eggplant fries coated in savory breading and Parmesan cheese totally make us forget about classic potato fries. They work well as a side dish or an anytime snack.
Air-Fryer Eggplant Fries Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Soft on the inside and crispy on the outside, this air-fryer eggplant pairs well with any pasta dish, and it hits the spot as a snack after a long day.

If you love cooking with eggplant but don't always have room in our schedule for a time-consuming ratatouille, you're in luck. Eggplants hold up quite well in the air fryer. And they cook quickly, too! If you've tried air-fryer french fries and air-fryer zucchini fries, it's time to add eggplant air-fryer fries to the list.

Air-Fryer Eggplant Ingredients

Ingredients for Air Fryer Eggplant Fries

  • Eggplant: The eggplant is the star of the show here! Choose one that feels slightly firm to the touch but not hard like an acorn squash. One that's too soft or mushy means it's gone bad.
  • Parmesan cheese: Parmesan cheese makes everything better, doesn't it? Buy a wedge of fresh Parmesan, and grate it yourself before dipping the eggplant fries in the coating. It adds some time, but you'll be able to taste the difference in quality.
  • Eggs: Eggs act as the glue that holds the coating to the eggplant.
  • Cooking spray: Fries without those golden, crispy bits can hardly be considered fries. Spritzing the coated eggplant with cooking spray will give them that quintessential golden hue and extra crunch.


Step 1: Set up your station

Preheat your air fryer to 375°F. While it preheats, whisk eggs in a shallow bowl (or any dish that makes dipping easy). In another shallow bowl, combine the cheese, wheat germ, Italian seasonings and garlic salt.

Step 2: Chop the eggplant

Trim the ends of the eggplant. Cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cut the slices lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips. Once you have the right fry shape, dip them into the eggs, and then roll them in the cheese mixture to coat all sides.

Editor's Tip: Be careful and consistent when cutting your fry shapes. Too thin and they might cook up too crispy; too thick and they might not cook all the way through.

Step 3: Cook the fries

Working in batches, arrange the eggplant fries in a single layer on a greased tray in your air-fryer basket. Spritz the tops of the air-fryer eggplant fries with cooking spray, and cook for four to five minutes or until golden brown. Turn the eggplant fries, spritz again, and cook them for another four to five minutes or until golden brown.

Step 4: Serve

Serve the fries immediately with pasta sauce on the side.

Recipe Variations

Air Fryer Eggplant Fries on Plate with Sauce and Drinks

  • Panko breadcrumb-coated eggplant fries: Our recipe doesn't call for any breadcrumbs, but if you love super-crispy foods, add panko breadcrumbs to your cheese mixture. We recommend panko instead of regular breadcrumbs because they are drier and will result in a crispier fry.
  • Spicy eggplant fries: To add a kick to these fries, add some Cajun seasoning to the coating and crushed red pepper flakes to the pasta sauce.
  • Graffiti eggplant fries: If regular eggplant is just too bitter for your liking, try swapping in graffiti eggplant. The beautiful striped fruit is a bit sweeter than its classic cousin.

How to Store Air-Fryer Eggplant Fries

Air-fryer eggplants are best served fresh. If you cooked up a particularly large serving of eggplant fries, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Any longer than that and they might begin to wilt or get soggy from the Parmesan coating.

When you're ready to serve the leftovers, reheat them in the air fryer to revive their crispiness.

Eggplant Air-Fryer Tips

Should you peel eggplant before frying?

Eggplant skin can become more bitter with time, so if you're cooking an older eggplant, feel free to peel it before frying. There's no need to peel a younger, fresher eggplant, and it makes the prep a lot easier!

Should you soak eggplant before cooking?

While you might have seen this done elsewhere, soaking eggplant slices in saltwater before cooking isn't a necessity. Some people choose to take this extra step to remove bitterness from the eggplant. If you purchase a smaller, younger eggplant, it won't be as bitter as a larger, more mature eggplant, and you can skip the brining process.

Watch how to Make Air-Fryer Eggplant Fries

Air-Fryer Eggplant Fries

My kids love these air-fryer fries, and I like that they're healthy. Coated with Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese and garlic salt, these eggplant fries are delicious and guilt-free. —Mary Murphy, Atwater, California
Air-Fryer Eggplant Fries Recipe photo by Taste of Home
Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 10 min./batch


6 servings


  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1-1/4 pounds)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup meatless pasta sauce, warmed


  1. Preheat air fryer to 375°. In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs. In another shallow bowl, mix cheese, wheat germ and seasonings.
  2. Trim ends of eggplant; cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-in.-thick slices. Cut slices lengthwise into 1/2-in. strips. Dip eggplant in eggs, then coat with cheese mixture.
  3. In batches, arrange eggplant in a single layer on greased tray in air-fryer basket; spritz with cooking spray. Cook until golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Turn; spritz with cooking spray. Cook until golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Serve immediately with pasta sauce.

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 135 calories, 5g fat (2g saturated fat), 68mg cholesterol, 577mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 4g fiber), 9g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat, 0.500 starch.