This is an overhead image of a plate with caramelized, glazed eggplant pieces. The eggplant has sesame seeds and scallions on it. The plate sits on a white counter.
Air fryer eggplant is sweet, sticky, and so easy to make! You’ll love how caramelized and sweet the eggplant gets in the air fryer!

Air fryer eggplant is going to be your new favorite side dish! It’s really simple to make, comes together in under 20 minutes, and goes with pretty much everything!

I can be kinda picky when it comes to eggplant. Sometimes I feel like it can be too “meaty” and thick. I really like it cut in pieces because the skin can be kinda annoying to cut once it’s cooked. Like I said, I’m kinda picky about it.

I ended up cutting the eggplant into pieces – a combination of triangles and rectangles about a half inch thick. This was the perfect thickness to make it soft and delicious once it’s cooked in the air fryer.

Ingredients you’ll need to make this air fryer eggplant recipe

Eggplant. This is why you’re here, no? You love eggplant and are looking for fun new ways to make it! I’m telling you, once you make eggplant this way, you won’t be able to make it any other way. It’s just that good! I cut it into chunks because that’s how I like to eat eggplant but feel free to experiment with different ways to cut it!

Agave Nectar. To sweeten this baby up! If you prefer, you can use honey or maple syrup.

Sesame Oil. I love the sesame flavor with this air fryer eggplant!

Salt. I like to use kosher salt here.

Tamari or Soy Sauce. I usually have tamari on hand, but you can use whatever soy sauce you like!

Hot Sauce. This adds a little heat to the sauce which is a fun balance to the sweet. If you don’t like any spice, you can leave it out. But if you like a little heat, use your favorite hot sauce!

Sesame Seeds & Scallions. This is purely for the pretty factor so don’t fret if you forgot to pick them up at the store 😉

How to make eggplant in an air fryer

Step 1: Prep

Cut. Cut your eggplant into 2 inch pieces that were about 1/2 inch thick. I did a combo of triangles and rectangles because I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to cook these. Experiment with cutting in rounds or strips or fries/spears if you like! If you don’t like the skin, feel free to peel off the skin off with a vegetable peeler before cutting.

Prep. Place the eggplant in a large bowl and toss with sesame oil and agave nectar. Place them in your air fryer basket or tray in a single layer. Make sure they aren’t touching. Sprinkle with the kosher salt.

Step 2: Air Fry

Air Fry. Place the basket or tray into a preheat air fryer and air fry for 8 minutes.

Step 3: Brush the eggplant

Whisk. While the eggplant is air frying, whisk together the sauce with the remaining sesame oil, agave, soy sauce, and hot sauce.

Brush. After the 8 minutes, if you are using trays, switch the trays so the eggplant cooks evenly. Brush the eggplant with the sauce. Air fry for another 5 minutes.

Flip. Use tongs to flip the eggplant and brush the other side with the sauce. Air fry for another 3 minutes.

Air Frying Tips

Don’t cut too thin. If you cut these too thin, they’ll overcook. If you like soft eggplant with crispy edges and a caramelized outside, cut them about 1/2 inch thick.

Don’t crowd it. Air frying is beautiful because it “fries” by circulating hot air around the items. Place the eggplant in a single layer and make sure they aren’t touching so the air can circulate around the pieces.

What to serve with this air fried eggplant

This eggplant goes with pretty much anything! Try this Horseradish Soy Salmon or this Juicy Whole Roasted Chicken. This air fryer eggplant would also be amazing alongside Easy + Creamy Chicken Marsala or this Instant Pot Beef Short Ribs!

More air fryer recipes to try

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This is an overhead image of a plate with caramelized, glazed eggplant pieces. The eggplant has sesame seeds and scallions on it. The plate sits on a white counter.

Sweet & Sticky Air Fryer Eggplant

  • Author: Lindsay Grimes Freedman
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 18 min
  • Total Time: 23 min
  • Yield: serves 4 1x
  • Category: side dish
  • Method: air fryer
  • Cuisine: eggplant
  • Diet: Vegan
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Description

Air fryer eggplant is sweet, sticky, and so easy to make! You’ll love how caramelized and sweet the eggplant gets in the air fryer!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant, cut in chunks or cubes
  • 5 tablespoons agave nectar, divided (honey or maple syrup works too)
  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • sprinkle of white sesame seeds for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat your air fryer (if it requires it) to 400F.
  2. Cut the eggplant into 2 inch pieces that are about 1/2 inch thick. I did a combo of triangles and rectangles. 
  3. Place the eggplant in a large bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons agave nectar and 3 tablespoons sesame oil.
  4. Arrange the eggplant pieces in your air fryer basket or tray in a single layer. Make sure they aren’t touching.
  5. Sprinkle with the kosher salt.
  6. Place the basket or tray into a preheated air fryer and air fry for 8 minutes.
  7. While the eggplant is air frying, whisk together the sauce with the remaining 2 tablespoons agave nectar, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, soy sauce, and hot sauce.
  8. After the 8 minutes, if you are using trays, switch the trays so the eggplant cooks evenly.
  9. Brush the eggplant with the sauce.
  10. Air fry for another 5 minutes.
  11. After the 5 minutes, use tongs to flip the eggplant and brush the other side with the sauce.
  12. Air fry for another 3 – 5 minutes until caramelized and golden-medium brown.
  13. Transfer to a plate or bowl and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 batch
  • Calories: 227
  • Sugar: 23.5g
  • Sodium: 560mg
  • Fat: 13.8g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.9g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 27g
  • Fiber: 4.1g
  • Protein: 1.6g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Keywords: air fryer eggplant