Crispy eggplant fries in air fryer, deep fried or baked in the oven are here! Fun vegetable French fries even your kids will love to snack on.
We made air fryer eggplant French fries the other day and they didn’t last long. Even my girls gobbled them right up. If you love easy air fryer recipes but looking to try something out of the box this is always a winner with dinner. (affiliate links present, originally published 7/22)
Ok so we will share 4 different methods with you. The first is if you wanted to cook eggplant slices you’d slice this purple vegetable into dials. We did this and called them air fryer eggplant chips. Super good, same great flavor but a bit easier to prep since we don’t remove the skins at all.
Cut into sticks like you see here can be baked or air fried which would be the healthiest method, or fried. I am not a huge fan of submerging my food into calorie laden oil but if that is your choice you can go that direction too. Follow the same instructions for breading and then dunk them for about 3 minutes until crip.
Air Fryer Eggplant Fries
The directions for how to bread the outside are the same whether you use a baking sheet or your air fryer basket. If you have followed my blog for any length of time you know how I love all my small countertop appliances. Use your AirWave, Cosori air fryer or if you have a multi function Ninja Foodi that works great too.
The key to any food like this is you want to make sure they are in one single layer. Having just a bit of space in between each piece is necessary to get that golden brown crunch all the way around. This is what you’re going to need;
- 2-3 Chinese eggplant or 1 medium eggplant
- Whisked eggs
- 2 c panko breadcrumbs
- there is a gluten free variety to this if needed too
- or you can just skip and season lightly like our turnip fries
- 1/2 c parmesan cheese
- Just a pinch of cayenne pepper is nice
- We add a bit of Italian seasoning
And then when done you’ll want to season with salt and pepper to taste. For dipping sauces I would suggest either ranch or our sriracha mayo dip.
Baked Eggplant Fries
For this one we did peel and cut the eggplant into thin strips, about 1/2″ thick and 4″ long. You could leave the outside on but realize that it does bring a bit of bitterness unless you blanch real quick first.
- In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Set aside. In a second shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and seasonings.
- Dip the eggplant strips into the egg, then dredge in the breadcrumbs.
- Homemade fries in oven: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Spray non stick cooking spray on two baking sheets and set aside.
- Place each coated eggplant fry on the prepared baking sheets.Repeat with all eggplant fries.
Now these do take longer than frozen sweet potato fries air fryer let’s say because those are already made, but processed.
Crispy Baked Eggplant
Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping each fry over at the halfway point. Give or take a few minutes here or there depending on how thick yours are, remove when golden brown. Remember that they will continue to harden as they cool so don’t overdo it.
Air fried eggplant; Preheat and set coated eggplant fries in the air fryer basket set to 380 degrees F. Spray coated fries with olive oil spray and cook for 5 minutes cook time. Flip to the other side and cook another 4-5 minutes or until crispy on outside and tender inside. Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, onion powder, etc.
Eggplant French Fries
Yes you can still call them this. No they aren’t made of potatoes like our homemade Ninja foodi French fries but different is kinda’ our thing. Once you try this and make your family real believers you can do the same thing with all sorts of other veggies later too!!
I mean check out how we made carrot fries and jicama fries kinda’ the same way, but without the breading! Those are on the healthy end of things but still come out nice and crispy with great seasonings on the outside. The perfect light side dish to serve with any meal with your family. 😉
Our eggplant variation isn’t a root but another idea if you want to make French fries with vegetables. You can use this, carrots, sweet potato, parsnips, even beetroots into sticks and lightly coat with your choice of batter to bake or air fry.
How do you store leftover eggplant
If you cooked too many of these you can crisp them later on in the evening but beyond that they don’t keep super well. The breading will become a bit wet if you store in the fridge overnight. Although you can somewhat liven them back up in the air fryer it isn’t super appetizing again.
Instead it is better to freeze eggplant sticks before adding the panko breadcrumbs and then coat when you are ready on a later date.
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
- 1 air fryer or baking sheet
- Peel and slice the eggplant into thin strips, about 1/2" thick and 4" long. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Set aside.In a second shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese and seasonings. Dip the eggplant strips into the egg, then dredge in the breadcrumbs.
- In air fryer: Preheat air fryer to 380 degrees F for 5 minutes. Spray basket with non stick spray and place coated fries inside in one single layer. Spray tops with olive oil spray and cook for 5 minutes. Flip to the other side and cook another 4-5 minutes or until crispy on outside and tender inside.
- In the oven: Preheat oven to 425F. Grease two baking sheets and set aside. Place each coated eggplant fry on the prepared baking sheets.Repeat with all eggplant fries. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping each fry over at the halfway point.