This vegan air fryer eggplant recipe may shock you – some foods actually taste better when air fried, and eggplant is definitely one of them!
Air Frying Eggplant
Eggplant is one of the many foods that taste a lot better air fried than deep fried. Besides the health issues, deep frying can be very tricky because you must find just the right temperature.
Overheated oil can burn foods or worse, catch fire. Underheated oil cooks too slowly and allows foods to soak up excess grease.
Air frying solves the problem and works especially well with foods such as mushrooms and eggplant. You get a nice, crispy crust on this vegan air fried eggplant, and it’s a delicious way to turn air fryer skeptics into believers!
About This Recipe
As you can see in the photo below, these eggplant slices aren’t exactly beautiful. Your taste buds will be too delighted to care, but you can also add some colorful sides or garnishes to make a prettier presentation.
Pecan Crusted Eggplant can be served as a stand alone main dish and pairs well with steamed vegetables and quinoa or other grains.
You can also top these slices with your favorite sauce, or use them for eggplant Parmesan. If you have leftovers (without sauce), the air fryer does an excellent job of reheating foods so that they taste freshly cooked.
Pecan Crusted Eggplant Recipe – from The Complete Vegan Air Fryer Cookbook
This is very likely to become a favorite, and it’s easy to vary it simply by using different seasonings. Instead of marjoram and dry mustard, sprinkle liberally with Italian seasoning and serve with a tangy tomato sauce. For heat lovers spice it up with cayenne pepper and sriracha sauce.
You can try Moroccan spices, or go Hawaiian, or anything else you prefer. Really, the only limit is your imagination. Of course, this original version is our favorite, but you can have fun experimenting to make it your own.
Pecan Crusted Eggplant
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cooking Time: 6-8 minutes per batch (2 batches)
- Total Time: 27-31 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
Recipe from The Complete Vegan Air Fryer Cookbook – © 2018 Susan LaBorde and Elizabeth Hickman. All rights reserved.
This crusty coating tastes best when it contains good size chunks of pecans. Most food processors work very fast, so take care that you don’t overdo it and end up with pecan meal.
- 2 tablespoons egg replacer
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon marjoram
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 6 tablespoons almond milk
- 1 large eggplant, about 1 1/4 pounds
- salt and pepper to taste (for eggplant slices)
- oil for misting or cooking spray
- Mix egg replacer and water in medium bowl and set aside.
- Place the panko crumbs, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, mustard and marjoram in food processor. Process until crumbs are finely crushed. Add pecans and process in short pulses until nuts are finely chopped. Go easy so you don’t overdo it!
- Preheat air fryer to 390 F.
- Transfer coating mixture from food processor into a shallow dish.
- Add almond milk to egg replacer mixture and whisk to combine well.
- Cut eggplant into 1/2 inch slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Dip eggplant slices in milk mixture, then roll in crumbs, pressing in to coat well. Spray both sides with oil.
- Place half of eggplant in air fryer basket (see note below), and cook at 390 F for 6 to 8 minutes or until coating is golden brown and crispy.
- Repeat step 8 to cook remaining slices.
Note: Eggplant slices should not be stacked in air fryer basket, but it’s perfectly fine to lean them up against the sides of the basket so that you can accommodate more slices in each batch. If you’re unsure about placement, just remember the point is to leave enough spaces for air to flow around foods.
Want more recipes like this? Click here to see The Complete Vegan Air Fryer Cookbook on Amazon.
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