Baked Eggplant Sticks (Air Fryer Recipe included)

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These Baked Eggplant Sticks are breaded with Italian breadcrumbs and Parmesan, baked or air-fried until golden, and served with a quick marinara sauce.

These Baked Eggplant Sticks are breaded with Italian breadcrumbs and Parmesan, baked or air-fried until golden, and served with a quick marinara sauce.
Baked Eggplant Sticks

These crispy baked eggplant fries are a delicious way to eat eggplant. They are perfect served as a snack, appetizer, or side dish. Eggplant fries are made even better with a dipping sauce. I make my quick marinara, but you could also use a jarred sauce for dipping. If you want a main dish, try this Eggplant Parmesan, another favorite.

These Baked Eggplant Sticks are breaded with Italian breadcrumbs and Parmesan, baked or air-fried until golden, and served with a quick marinara sauce.

I can vividly remember the day when my picky older daughter, who was in middle school at the time, told me she liked eggplant. Eggplant? Really? She was eating dinner at a friend’s house, and they served breaded eggplant for dinner. She loved it. Kids are always more willing to try new food when they are eating with their friends. I was delighted she liked a new vegetable, and for a while, I made breaded eggplant for her at least once a month, only I baked the eggplant instead of frying it.

Eggplant may not be for everyone, but if you like eggplant or want to try introducing it to your family, eggplant fries are a good place to start. Crispy on the outside and so tender on the inside, they use less oil than fried versions. Eggplant is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, like vitamins C, K, and B6, manganese, and potassium. It is also a good source of fiber and low in calories and carbohydrates.

There are many varieties of eggplant. Typically, you can only find a couple types in supermarkets, but farmers’ markets can have a big selection when eggplant is in season. Japanese eggplant is a bit sweeter and milder than globe eggplant, also known as American eggplant. Globe eggplants are the most common variety. They are large and have a meatier texture, which makes them perfect for this baked eggplant recipe.

How to Cook Eggplant Sticks

First, cut your eggplant into strips and then season with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Next, prep your breading station. Put the egg white in a bowl and the breadcrumbs and Parmesan in another.

Now, it’s time to bread your eggplant. Put a few strips in the egg white and then in the breadcrumbs. Once the eggplant is coated, place on the baking tray. Spray the coated strips with olive oil and bake for ten minutes at 450 degrees. Flip the eggplant and bake for five more minutes until golden.

How To Make in the Air Fryer

You can also cook these eggplant fries in the air fryer. They turned out so crispy! Put the sticks in the basket in an even layer, careful not to overcrowd it. Spritz with olive oil spray. Air Fry for 350F for 10 minutes, turning halfway.

eggplant on a board  Sliced eggplantThese Baked Eggplant Sticks are breaded with Italian breadcrumbs and Parmesan, baked or air-fried until golden, and served with a quick marinara sauce.These Baked Eggplant Sticks are breaded with Italian breadcrumbs and Parmesan, baked or air-fried until golden, and served with a quick marinara sauce.

More Eggplant Recipes You Will Love:

These Baked Eggplant Sticks are breaded with Italian breadcrumbs and Parmesan, baked or air-fried until golden, and served with a quick marinara sauce.
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4.91 from 32 votes
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Baked Eggplant Sticks

87 Cals 4.5 Protein 12 Carbs 3 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Appetizer, Lunch, Side Dish, Snack
CUISINE: American
These Baked Eggplant Sticks are breaded with Italian breadcrumbs and Parmesan, baked or air-fried until golden, and served with a quick marinara sauce.

Ingredients

  • 10 oz eggplant, from 1 small or 1/2 large
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, (substitute with gluten bread crumbs if GF)
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg white
  • oil spray
  • 1 cup  quick marinara sauce for dipping, optional, extra

Instructions

Oven Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil.
  • Place eggplant strips in a bowl and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.
    How To make eggplant sticks
  • Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl, and egg whites in another.
    breaded eggplant sticks
  • Dip a few strips of eggplant at a time into the egg whites, then into the breadcrumbs. Using a fork, remove eggplant from crumbs and place on the baking sheets. Spray with more oil and bake 10 minutes in the middle rack.
    These Baked Eggplant Sticks are breaded with Italian breadcrumbs and Parmesan, baked or air-fried until golden, and served with a quick marinara sauce.
  • Turn over and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until golden. Serve hot.
    These Baked Eggplant Sticks are breaded with Italian breadcrumbs and Parmesan, baked or air-fried until golden, and served with a quick marinara sauce.

Air Fryer Directions:

  • Cook in batches, putting the sticks in the basket in an even layer, careful not to overcrowd it. Spritz with olive oil spray. Air Fry at 350F for 10 minutes, turning halfway.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4 of recipe, Calories: 87kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 4.5g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 441mg, Fiber: 2.5g, Sugar: 1g
WW Points Plus: 2
Keywords: baked eggplant, Baked Eggplant Sticks, breaded eggplant, eggplant appetizer, eggplant sticks

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184 comments

  1. This is now our preferred way to have eggplant. So. Good.

  2. Excellent use of eggplants picked fresh from the garden.  I am looking forward to having them again.  They were delicious even without the dipping sauce!

  3. Amazing! I tried this recipe first using the oven but will definitely try next time using the airfryer. I’m already excited to rebuy another eggplant just to have this all over again!

  4. Can you freeze these after battering and breading and then put them in the air fryer for final preparation later?

  5. During this COVID-19 time, I’m not eager to jump in the car and quickly go buy an ingredient I’m missing and then run home. I’m a curbside delivery user so it may take a couple of days before I get my groceries. I’ve learned to improvise by substituting ingredients and at times adding other ingredients. I didn’t have Italian bread crumbs so I substituted a combination of Triscuit Rosemary & Olive Oil crackers and regular bread crumbs. I crushed them together added some dried oregano, and added lactose free parmesan cheese. I followed the rest of the recipe as printed. The eggplant sticks were delicious! I served them with a tomato basil sauce. My husband and I loved them!

  6. These really hit the spot! I have been gluten free and overall trying to eat healthier for a few months and have been CRAVING fried cheese sticks and all the fried goodness and these just really did the job for me. I used GF Italian bread crumbs and followed the directions perfectly, even making the quick marinara. Great recipe! Will be enjoying again soon. 

  7. Just tried this! It was really good, only thing is I had to cook it a bit more in the air fryer to get rid of some of the mushy texture. I found that the more thinly sliced eggplant pieces turned out a lot crispier. Overall, a great recipe and my family loved it.

  8. What brand of air fryer do you recommend? I’ve been pondering purchasing one. Thanks!

  9. how many sticks per serving

  10. could you do this in an air fryer?

  11. These are soooooo dang good. They are easy, but so dang tasty. I am anxious to try them in the air fryer. Also I love your marinara recipe. I use it with so many things and I even freeze it to have on hand for stuff like this! 

  12. Pretty good! Easy to make and tasty.

  13. I cant wait to try this recipe. I always thought egg plant was a vegetable but come to find out it is actually a fruit!!!! I told my oldest that and he said I’m still not eating it. Btw I love egg plant.

  14. How far in advance can i prepare these sticks?

  15. Any tips on how to drain the eggplant prior to seasoning? Mine were good but soggy please help!

  16. This was excellent. I served them with Italian sausage and Marinara Sauce.

  17. We’ve been trying to incorporate more veggies into our meals, so the other day I picked up an eggplant at the farmers’ market. I had no clue what to do with it, but I found this recipe.
    These are AMAZING!! My picky 4-year old gobbled them up and asked me to make more! It was quick and easy to make these along with the marinara sauce after coming home from work.
    We will definitely be having these again (and again, and again)!

  18. Could these be done in the air fryer?  If so how?  I’m new to using an air fryer and have lots of eggplant in my garden.

    Thanks!

  19. Fantastic.  Sure enough my picky 6 and 4 year olds ate them happily.

  20. Turned out so good, the coating was perfect. I usually am not happy with my “air fried” vegetables but the egg whites helped the breading stick with out being to heavy to crisp up. I will be trying with other veggies.