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Gluten-Free Air-Fried Eggplant Parmesan

Growing up, summers were spent out by the pool, relaxing, and having family barbecues. And every barbecue meant hotdogs, hamburgers, potato salad, grilled sausage and peppers...and Eggplant Parmesan. I can just picture my mom and grandmother working in the kitchen together breading and frying the eggplant and cooking up the hottest peppers possible! As a kid, I would pile a huge serving of eggplant on my plate and not give it a second thought.

Fast-forward to adulthood, and things have changed a bit! In my never-ending quest to eat healthy and keep my weight in check, Eggplant Parmesan has been one of those meals that I typically avoid. It's covered in breading, it's fried, it's smothered in cheese...none of these things make for an overly healthy-sounding meal. It has been reserved only for special occasions, and even then, I only have a small scoop.

Until now...

The air-fryer strikes again! With my favorite kitchen appliance, I can cook up a batch of eggplant parm without a lot of oil, making it instantly healthier but just as delicious. Additionally, I use reduced-fat mozzarella to help keep the fat content down. The result is a meal that I feel good about - not only for me - but for my kids, too! My husband, who is the toughest critic of all, gives this meal extra high marks!

So, if you haven't tried frying your eggplant in the air-fryer, what are you waiting for?!

Gluten-Free Air-Fried Eggplant Parmesan


  • 1 lb egglplant, peeled and sliced in 1/2 inch rounds

  • 2 tbs gluten-free flour

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs (Italian seasoned or season with 2 tbs Italian seasoning)

  • 2 1/4 cups marinara sauce (see homemade recipe here)

  • 1 3/4 reduced-fat shredded mozzarella

  • Fresh basil leaves

  • Cooking spray

  • Olive oil spray


  1. Prepare your workspace. Place flour in a zip-loc bag or on a plate. Whisk eggs with a little bit of water in a medium-sized bow. Place breadcrumbs (in batches), on a plate.

  2. Working in batches, coat eggplant in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat until all the eggplant is breaded.

  3. Preheat air-fryer to 375 F. Spray air-fryer basket with cooking spray. Layer half of the eggplant in the basket (it's ok if they overlap a bit) and bake for 12-14 minutes*. Spray lightly with olive oil spray. Half-way through air-frying, shake the baskets to break up any pieces that might be stuck. Check towards the end to avoid over-frying. Repeat with remaining eggplant.

  4. Preheat oven to 400 F. In a baking dish, spread a thin (1/4 cup) layer of marinara sauce. Place one layer of eggplant, 1 cup of marinara sauce, 3/4 cup mozzarella. Repeat with second layer of eggplant, remaining sauce and remaining cheese.

  5. Place in oven and bake for about 8 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling. Turn on broiler to brown the cheese even more. Serve with fresh basil if desired.


*Air-fryer cooking times vary. Keep an eye on your eggplant so they aren't over-cooked.

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