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Thursday, January 18, 2024

Air-fried Eggplant - Easy and Tasty

eggplant, tahini, roll ups, vegan

Do you like eggplant? 
If you are looking for something a little different, these seasoned eggplant roll ups are moist, tender, tasty, and easy to make. They are a wonderful side dish especially topped with delicious Middle Eastern sauce. 

They are not breaded so they work perfectly for you or anyone in your family who is gluten-free. 

I make them in the air-fryer but you could probably make them in the broiler or oven.

Eggplant Cut Open photo and picture

I washed a medium eggplant well, cut off the stem/top, but did not peel it. I proceeded to slice the eggplant into slices lengthwise.

Instead of brushing the eggplant with oil (which you could do), I brushed it with aquafaba (the liquid from cooking chickpeas). I then seasoned the slices, covered the baking rack of the air-fryer with parchment paper and placed the slices on the rack. (I don't see why. you could not do this in a 425 oven or perhaps broiler.

tahini sauce in a bowl, vegan, spoons

While the eggplant slices were cooking, I prepared the light and lemony tahini sauce to drizzle over the slices.

eggplant slices, vegan, gluten-free, air-fryer

I eat these air-fried eggplant slices drizzled with sauce either rolled or flat. However, I like them rolled because they are easier to serve and take up less room on the plate. They are easy to eat with a knife and fork.

eggplant roll ups, vegan, gluten-free

Really, they are easy either way . 

eggplant slices topped with tahini sauce, vegan

Next time you have an eggplant and are looking for a vegetable side dish, why not give these or one of the variations a try. 

Eggplant Aubergine photo and picture

Variation 1: Eggplant Steaks.  If you prefer to make an eggplant steak instead of slices, you could simply cut your eggplant in half, brush with aquafabe ( or oil) season with garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, salt, paprika or any seasoning of your choice and air-fry or bake. Delicious too.

Eggplant Food photo and picture

Variation 2: Stuffed eggplant. Once you make the air-fryer or baked eggplant slices, you could stuff them with filling of your choice. I've made a mashed tofu stuffing in the past. 

Eggplant Ingredients: 
1  medium eggplant per 4 slices ( I used 2 medium eggplants)
1  cup of aquafaba (the liquid from cooking chickpeas or the liquid in the can of chickpeas) 
seasoning of choice: 
paprika, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder, etc

Tahini Sauce Ingredients 
1/2 cup of tahini 
Juice of 1 lemon or 1/4 cup of lemon juice 
1/4- 1/2 cup of water ( need to start with 1/4 cup and add more if too thick) 
Optional: cumin 
Preheat air-fryer to 390 degrees
Wash the eggplants well (removing any stickers)
Cut off the top, do not peel, and slice 4 even slices. 
Brush both sides of the eggplant generously with aquafaba.
Season to taste
I cover the tray in the air-fryer ( I have a Ninja which looks like a toaster oven) with parchment paper and cook for 12 minutes on one side and another 3 minutes on the other side.
Remove the slices to a plate and drizzle with tahini sauce. Eat as is  
or roll each one. Serve warm or room temperature. Refrigerate and can be eaten cold the next day!

My notes: 
1. Aquafaba vs olive oil 
Since so many doctors in the plant-based movement are suggesting oil-free cooking and eating. (They suggest eating olives, nuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, and avocado to get your fat instead of the high concentration of calories in a teaspoon of oil that contains no fiber)
However, if you do like to use olive oil- brush the eggplant with the oil!!!

2. My mother-in-law used to make a fried eggplant casserole- kind of like a lasagna using the fried eggplant to layer. It was delicious but dripping in oil (and calories). I am surprised that my method of air-frying (oil-free) tastes just a good.




  1. I do love eggplants, and tahini is always a winner.

  2. I am always on the lookout for another eggplant recipe to try. Thank you!

  3. Eggplant may be the only veg we don’t eat. I don’t like the texture of it.

  4. This sounds very good, yummy! TFS! Hugs, Valerie

  5. I don't have an air fryer but this recipe looks very good!

  6. I see there is a squeezed out lemon in the one photo. Have you tried using lemon juice instead of aquafaba?
    from Tandy I Lavender and Lime https://tandysinclair.com

  7. It looks delicious....I love eggplants.....Abrazotes, Marcela

  8. I do like eggplant. It's interesting that you brush the slices with chickpea liquid.

  9. Yummy eggplant dishes. My dad had a garden across the street from our house growing up, and he would often bring in some eggplant, and my mom would fry it up for supper that evening. She dipped it in a batter, and made the best eggplant. I'll never forget that, as it was my dad's favorite.


  10. Rolling up the soft slices after cooking is a great idea — your photo looks really appetizing.
    best, mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  11. What a great idea to cook it in an air fryer, I can't wait to try this, thanks Judee!

  12. I do like eggplant, although I don't eat it often. I love that you found a healthier alternative to your mother-in-law's recipe. Your culinary creativity knows no bounds! 💜💜💜


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