Air-Fryer Eggplant Parmezzan with Pasta

  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes 8 cups pasta + 12 slices eggplant
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Air-fryers are a fantastic tool for whole-food, plant-based kitchens, as they make it easy to cook up perfectly crispy meals and snacks without any oil. Crispbread crackers give air-fried eggplant extra crunch in this healthy take on an Italian comfort-food classic. Be sure to peel the eggplant because the skin can get tough. 

Tip: Depending on the size of your air-fryer basket, you may need to fry just a few eggplant slices at a time; to keep air-fried slices warm, transfer to a baking sheet in a 250°F oven while cooking the remaining slices.

By Nancy Macklin, RDN,


  • 4 crispbread crackers
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, crushed
  • ¼ cup unsweetened, unflavored plant milk, such as almond, soy, cashew, or rice
  • 1 medium eggplant (1 lb.), peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds
  • 10 oz. dry whole grain linguine
  • 1 onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 8-oz. package sliced fresh button mushrooms
  • 1 22- to 23-oz. jar oil-free marinara sauce
  • 1 14.5-oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil


  • Preheat air fryer to 370°F. In a food processor place crackers, 2 Tbsp. of the nutritional yeast, the garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Cover and process until finely chopped; place in a shallow bowl. Pour milk into a second shallow bowl. Dip each eggplant slice into the milk and then the crumbs, lightly coating all sides. Place on a baking sheet.
  • Place eggplant slices in air fryer, in batches if necessary, so they are not touching. Air-fry 12 to 15 minutes or until eggplant is tender and breading is crisp, turning slices once.
  • Meanwhile, cook linguine according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. In a large skillet cook onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms over medium 5 to 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally and adding water, 1 to 2 Tbsp. at a time, as needed to prevent sticking. Transfer to pot with pasta. Add marinara sauce and tomatoes; mix well. Cook 5 minutes or until heated through.
  • Top linguine mixture with eggplant. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tsp. nutritional yeast and the basil.

Comments (8)

(5 from 7 votes)

Recipe Rating

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Delicious! Served to meat eater and he also loved! It was a big hit to everyone.

Marsha VORE

Could you use plain bread crumbs instead of crackers?


Nice meal. I didn't have plant milk on hand so I used coconut milk yogurt instead. Worked great.


I don’t normally leave reviews on recipes but this one definitely deserves it. I prepared the eggplant a few days before to make prep easier. I blanched the slices for 4 minutes, put them into ice water to stop the cooking, breaded them as directed, and then put them into the freezer. Saved a lot of time! I did add a dollop of homemade WFPB “mozzarella” cheese onto the eggplant when it was almost done cooking. My family agreed that this dish was restaurant quality!


Can these be cooked in a regular convection oven? I don’t own an air fryer…

Becki Henderson

I don't have an air fryer, so I have experimented with just baking the eggplant in my oven at 400. Unfortunately, without any oil, the eggplant just stays chewy for the longest time. Eventually, I discovered that if I steamed the eggplant slices until tender, then breaded them and baked them, I had the winning combo... tender eggplant, crispy exterior, no money spent on an air fryer! I also use whole wheat panko breadcrumbs instead of the crackers.

wendy silverman

seriously this air-fryer has changed my life. We nailed this recipe on the first try -- total walk in the park.


My family and I decided to go WFPB this weekend and our first meal was this dish and it was a hit. With three meat eating males, I was nervous, but they all gave it a thumbs up.

About the Author

Headshot of Nancy Macklin

About the Author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.
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