This is a recipe for yummy, crispy Keto Fried Eggplant! It’s easy to make and delicious to eat all on its own with your favorite marinara sauce or you could even make it into your favorite eggplant parm.
I never used to make Fried Eggplant because I always loved Fried Zucchini and I figured why would I make eggplant when I was so happy eating the zucchini that I loved so much?
Then I came to realize that eggplant is just as good and in some ways better than its sister counterpart, Zucchini. Now I can’t choose between them and I make them both often for my family and for guests.
Keto/Low Carb Fried Eggplant is easy to make and very delicious, and just like our Keto Fried Zucchini, it’s so exciting when something is so good that when you serve it to your friends and they can’t tell the difference that it’s actually low carb.
This is easy to make, it’s crispy and delicious to eat and is perfect for dipping into your homemade tomato sauce or your favorite jar of store-bought. You can also turn your Fried Eggplant into a delicious meal of eggplant parmesan.
What is Fried Eggplant?
Fried Eggplant is sliced eggplant that’s dipped in beaten egg and breadcrumbs and possibly some sort of spices, and cheese mixed in with the bread crumbs. Then after it’s coated, you can either fry it or bake it to use it in a popular recipe such as eggplant parmesan.
It is simple to make and delicious to eat as an appetizer or a side dish alongside your favorite meat.
Is Fried Eggplant Healthy For You?
Eggplant like most vegetables is healthy because it’s full of vitamins and minerals. It’s low in calories, only 20 calories in 1 cup of eggplant and it has high water content. It’s good fried and baked and can be served as an appetizer or main dish or side dish and is good if you are on a Keto/Low Carb diet.
How Many Calories are in Fried Eggplant?
The eggplant itself is low in calories, only 20 calories per cup. Of course, the calories in Fried Eggplant vary depending on the size of the pieces that you eat.
When you make Fried Eggplant with traditional flour it can be anywhere from 300-500 calories but when you make Keto Fried Eggplant it is a lot fewer calories, somewhere around 150-200 calories. And as a result, the carb content will be much lower because of the almond flour, cheese, and pork rinds.
Is Fried Eggplant Keto?
Normally when you think of Fried Eggplant it’s not Keto because of all the carbs in the traditional breadcrumbs or flour used to coat it.
Our version is definitely Keto-friendly. If you are on Keto and counting your carbs you can eat our version without problems.
How Many Carbs Are in Fried Eggplant?
When I used to make Fried Eggplant with traditional breadcrumbs the net carbs were about 4 net carbs per slice of eggplant, not bad but start multiplying that time multiple slices and you will soon eat over the appropriate amount of carbs per day.
However, our Low Carb Fried Eggplant is about 1 net carb per slice, so as you can see you can have the same amount of slices and cut your carb count by 4 times, so there are still plenty of carbs left to eat other things for the day. That is a big difference!
Fried eggplant is a real favorite of so many people, popular at parties, and makes a great appetizer. Making it without all the carbs will allow you to enjoy this delicious food once again!
What is the Best Way to Prepare Eggplant?
Eggplant can be made so many different ways, besides frying it. It can be:
- baked in the oven
- cooked on the grill
- sauteed on the stove with other veggies
- and it can be cooked in an air fryer.
In this recipe we will educate you on the pros and cons of the different ways to prepare your eggplant so that you can try one way or all different ways to see which way you like the best.
What Ingredients Do You Need for Low Carb Fried Eggplant?
Eggplant – The main ingredient in Fried Eggplant.
Parmesan Cheese – Used to help bind the coating together and also add flavor and protein.
Eggs – Helps to keep your breading on your fried veggie.
Almond Flour – This is made totally from only almonds, is low in carbs and is great to use as your breading for fried foods.
Pork Rinds – These ground up little amazing treats can be used in your breading for extra flavor and texture and they don’t have any carbs.
Seasonings – Feel free to add spices of your choice, for instance, some good ones would be salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning.
Should I Use Almond Flour or Coconut Flour?
Both almond flour and coconut flour are gluten-free and grain-free and are used a lot in low carb cooking and baking and both can be used for frying eggplant. However, there are a couple of key differences between them.
- Almond flour and coconut flour each have their own distinct flavors, each living up to their names. Almond flour tastes like almonds and coconut flour tastes like coconut. If you don’t like the taste of coconut, then you may not want to use coconut flour or a big portion of it. The more coconut flour you use the more predominant the coconut taste will be.
- Almond flour is a little more crumbly, nutty and crunchy, whereas the coconut flour is a little softer and has a more mild taste and absorbs more water than the almond flour.
- If you have an allergy to nuts, then, of course, using almond flour would be out of the question.
Although almond flour and coconut flour are both good for frying, I prefer using almond flour for eggplant. I feel that coconut flour is too dry by itself for coating the eggplant.
In some recipes, especially in baking, I like to blend the 2 flours, with the predominant flour being almond and a touch of coconut. I think you are going to have to experiment and see which one you like best for each recipe according to your taste…etc.
Deep-frying vs Pan-frying
When you are just frying something, normally the oil that you are using to fry in is shallow, the food item is not totally submerged in the oil. The bottom of the item is in the oil but the top of the item is still exposed to the air on the top and sides.
When you deep fry something the food item is completely submerged in the oil, which means that the top and sides are not exposed to the air. When you deep fry things they are crisp on the outside but remain juicy on the inside. We prefer to deep fry our eggplant because it comes out crispier.
Frying takes longer because the whole item is not submerged in oil, only part of it is, whereas deep-frying is a quicker way because the item is completely covered by the hot oil. More oil is absorbed into the food when it is deep-fried as opposed to pan-frying.
To recap, both ways require the heat of the oil to cook your food, but the main difference is the amount of oil in frying. No matter which way that you decide to fry your eggplant there is no difference in taste.
What is the Best Oil for Frying Eggplant?
I guess that you can use almost any oil that you want to fry eggplant, but I always find olive oil to be the best for frying and one of the healthiest too. Both extra virgin olive oil and the lighter one in color are really good for frying. I have always used olive oil and am familiar with how it cooks.
But other good oils to use are avocado oil and sesame oil. They are both tasty and are good for frying. But they are more costly than olive oil because they come in small bottles and olive oil comes in a larger bottle for basically the same price.
Good old Crisco oil tastes good for frying but is not quite as healthy as some of these others.
How Do You Fry Eggplant with Less Oil?
Who doesn’t love good fried food, it’s one of our favorites….fried chicken and french fries, fish, and chips, and yes….fried eggplant and fried zucchini. There is something so good about breaded fried food. But you can’t eat fried food every day, it’s too much oil. So here are a couple of ideas to have fried food without as much oil.
Another way to use less oil when frying is to make sure that the oil is heated up to 350 degrees before placing your eggplant in the oil because if it’s heated properly your eggplant will start to cook quickly using less oil and as a result, will crisp up, but if your oil is not heated up properly the eggplant will just sit there and soak up excess oil and become soggy until the oil reaches the correct temperature. By that time you will have used a lot more oil.
How to Shop for Eggplant
When you go shopping for your eggplant, pick out the eggplant that is more firm, not soft or squishy. That way the eggplant will stay firmer and as a result, will fry up better and not fall apart either. Let’s face it, we are trying to get fried eggplant so why would we want to start off with squishy eggplant?
Also, try to stay away from eggplant that has cuts or indents or bruises on it. Otherwise, you may lose some of it in the cutting process.
Pick out small eggplants because they will be more tender, the larger ones tend to be tougher on the outside and have more seeds on the inside.
If by chance you wanted to stuff your eggplant as you do with zucchini, then a larger one will do you good so that you can stuff it with more goodies.
Best Size Eggplant for Frying?
As we spoke of in the previous heading, we suggest that you buy small eggplant rather than large ones because they are more tender, fewer seeds, softer outer skin, and all-around easier to handle when you are frying it and trying to handle it and flipping it.
Preparing Fried Eggplant
Before you cook your eggplant, there are a few steps we need to take to prepare it.
The first thing that you want to do to prepare any eggplant before cooking it is to wash it off in the sink and then dry it off well. You do not want to leave it wet at all because you want your egg to stick to it and also your bread crumbs will stick better. Logically your Fried Eggplant will crisp up better if it doesn’t start off wet.
Should you Peel Eggplant Before Frying It?
You do not have to peel the eggplant to make Keto Fried Eggplant, and as a matter of fact, for this recipe, we usually leave the skin on. When we are in more of a hurry, like most of the time, it’s quicker not to peel it, but if you want to peel the skin off you certainly can because it will come out just the same and tastes the same too.
When we make eggplant for a recipe such as eggplant parm then we always peel it because it makes your casserole more tender without the skin, but for fried eggplant, we prefer it on.
How Thin to Slice the Eggplant?
We tend to cut our eggplant thin but not ultra-thin because you want your eggplant to hold its shape and also hold your bread crumbs on. After all, the reason behind making Fried Eggplant is that we all love that fried, crunchy coating. If we didn’t then we would just eat sauteed eggplant!
You can also cut your eggplant into long strips, like fries and those are yummy too. So any way that you want to cut eggplant is good and whichever way that you want to is ok.
If you have a mandolin slicer try cutting them paper-thin and baking them on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper that is brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt. They will get crispy like chips and will be a good low carb snack instead of potato chips. If you have ever tried to do this with zucchini it’s very similar.
Should You Salt Eggplant Before Frying It?
We have salted eggplant and not salted it various times when making it, and we can speak from experience that it comes out much better if you salt it. In fact, we say it’s essential to having any eggplant dish come out the right way.
Eggplant is very watery. When you salt eggplant before cooking it, it pulls out all the water, giving it a much better texture than without. If you don’t do it your eggplant will become very rubbery tasting and hard.
By salting it, all the bitterness comes out of it too, which will give your eggplant a much more pleasant taste.
Even if we make our Eggplant Parmesan recipe, we always salt it ahead of time.
It’s a really easy thing to do. Just layout your eggplant slices on a cookie sheet and salt one side, wait about 15-20 minutes. Next, flip them over and salt the other side for another 15-20 minutes. Drain any excess water that comes and dry the pieces off.
Now you’re ready to proceed with the rest of the steps to make your Keto Fried Eggplant.
How to Make Keto Fried Eggplant
Now that you’ve prepared the eggplant, we are ready to get cooking.
The first thing you do is to rinse off your eggplant and dry thoroughly with a paper towel.
Get a large cutting board and a knife.
Using your knife, slice the eggplant into the size and shape that you want to. For this recipe, we will slice it into round slices, but to make eggplant fries you would cut it in the shape of french fries.
Put your pork rinds into the food processor and grind them up in preparation for mixing them with your flour mixture.
The next thing is to beat the eggs in a bowl so that you can get it ready for dipping the eggplant.
Get your flour mixture ready by mixing almond flour, parmesan cheese, pork rinds, and spices together, making sure that everything is blended well together.
Now it’s time to coat the eggplant.
Dip the slices into the egg…
and then into the almond flour/pork rinds mixture.
You can do this step once or some people do this dipping process twice to assure the coating will stick better. It’s better to do twice but not necessary if you choose to only coat them once.
Heat the oil to 350-400 degrees and make sure it’s enough oil to cover the eggplant slices because they will cook faster and that way both sides get cooked at the same time so you won’t have to flip them.
When you fry them don’t overcrowd the pieces in the pan so that they will cook more evenly and as a result become more crispy.
Drain the eggplant slices on paper towels so that the excess oil/moisture will drain off of them and you will have crispier eggplant.
Enjoy while hot with your favorite sauce or all by itself.
Best Tips for Keto Fried Eggplant
Besides the main instructions, we have some helpful tips to share with you so that if you have never made low carb Fried Eggplant before, it will be easier for you to make it come out delicious.
Make sure that when you rinse off the eggplant that you dry it off completely, otherwise if it’s wet the egg will not stick to the eggplant, it will run right off. As a result, your bread crumbs will not stick to the egg and eggplant so you will end up in a big mess. A paper towel works fine.
If you are having a little trouble keeping your almond flour mixture on your eggplant then a simple solution is to double bread them to allow that extra barrier.
Make sure to preheat your oil to 350-400 degrees when frying your Low Carb/Keto Fried Eggplant so that it will crisp up better. If not it will become soggy as it just sits there in nonmoving oil.
Place the cooked eggplant on paper towels which will pull off any excess oil which will, in turn, make your Fried Eggplant crispier.
No matter which way that you choose to fry eggplant, don’t crowd them or they will not cook evenly and so logically won’t crisp up the way that you want them to.
One tip that can be helpful is using 3 bowls instead of 2, 1 for the egg and 2 for the bread crumbs. It will help to keep your breading dryer and you won’t have to throw some of them out because they have gotten too wet.
When doing prep work use 1 hand for the egg and 1 egg for the breadcrumbs.
Making Fried Eggplant Crispy
When you put the parmesan in your almond flour it helps to make your Keto Fried Eggplant crispier. If you have a nut allergy then omit the almond flour and use just parmesan with the pork rinds.
Feel free to add some coconut flour if you would like to. It will add some volume to your parmesan, plus it tends to be a little dry which can be good since you are trying to accomplish crispy.
When you preheat the oil to 350-375 degrees before placing your eggplant into the oil, it makes a huge difference in the outcome because if the eggplant sits in the oil that is too cool then it will just stay soggy as it absorbs more oil.
You can always finish the eggplant in the oven under the broiler which will add a good amount of crisp to it.
When you take the eggplant out of the frying pan make sure to drain it on paper towels which will help to absorb the excess oil, leaving your eggplant crispier.
How Do You Keep Fried Eggplant from Getting Soggy?
First of all, by starting with wet eggplant, this will also keep your eggplant wet. So make sure to dry it off completely.
If you don’t preheat your oil it will make the eggplant soggy because it will be just sitting there soaking up excess oil and not frying.
Once again, when the eggplant is done frying, laying them out on paper towels to absorb any excess oil left behind and keep them from getting soggy.
If you want, you can bake Keto eggplant instead of frying it. This keeps it from getting soggy and it will taste good either way.
Can I Make Low Carb Fried Eggplant Without the Breadcrumbs/Flour?
You may wonder what would happen if you didn’t use almond flour to coat your eggplant, or no breading at all.
You can skip the flour and just use parmesan cheese if you want, which is great for making your eggplant to become crispy.
If you do this, you should also add more ground-up pork rinds into your cheese to add to the crisping process because if you are going to take away the almond flour then you need something else to coat your pieces of eggplant.
Can I Make This Without Pork Rinds?
What if you do not like pork rinds or you don’t eat meat, you may be wondering if these pork rinds are an essential part of this recipe. Maybe you have never heard of pork rinds before or maybe you live in an area where they don’t have them in your supermarket. Don’t despair!
You can certainly make your Keto Fried Eggplant without any pork rinds, as a matter of fact, we just made Fried Eggplant for eggplant parm last week and I didn’t have any pork rinds in the house and they came out fantastic.
Just use the almond flour and the parmesan cheese together and dip your eggplant in the mixture. You will love it. Since you have removed the pork rinds which have to make up some of the volume in your mixture, then replace that volume with a little more parmesan and a little more almond flour to make up the difference.
Can I Make Fried Eggplant in an Air Fryer?
If you don’t want to fry your eggplant the traditional way in a frying pan there are still options for getting the same crispy Keto Fried Eggplant taste that you are looking for. One way of doing this is by making it in an air fryer.
To make Keto Fried Eggplant in an air fryer just follow the same prep steps and instead of frying it on the stove, just place your eggplant pieces on the trays inside the air fryer and they will come out crispy too.
Preheat your air fryer to 350 degrees. Cook for 10 min and flip over and cook for another 2 minutes and remove.
Make sure to place them in a single layer on the trays and that they do not overlap or they won’t come out as crispy.
Using an air fryer will do a good job, just make sure not to overlap your eggplant slices or they will not get enough airflow to crisp up your eggplant pieces, because after all, you want them to be light, crispy and full of flavor.
Eggplant fries cooked in an air fryer cook fast and are delicious and nutritious and are a great low carb alternative to traditional french fries, so everyone can eat them. A nice staple food that you can eat often on Keto/Low Carb diets. So you can enjoy them guilt-free!
One thing that’s good when you use an air-fryer is that you don’t have to stand over it while it’s cooking like when you are frying on the stove, the air fryer does all the hard work for you.
How to Make Fried Eggplant in the Oven
If you are looking for an alternative to frying Eggplant is making it in the oven instead. If you bake them according to the instructions they will come out really crispy, just as if they were pan-fried or air fried.
Bake them in a fairly hot oven, like 400-425 degrees for about 10-15 min and that will help make them crispy. By using the pork rinds along with the parmesan cheese it will help to give you a crispy texture as if you fried them.
If they aren’t crispy enough then just put the broiler on them for a few minutes and they will crisp up. Make sure to put them single layer on a cookie sheet for the best results.
Other Variations of Keto Fried Eggplant
You could use the almond flour without the parmesan and that way a person who can’t eat dairy will still be able to make these Low Carb Fried Eggplant.
You could also do the opposite. If you have a nut allergy then leave out the almond flour and just use the parmesan alone or add a couple of Tbsp of coconut flour and the pork rinds will still be ok to use.
If you can’t eat egg yolks you can still use the egg whites alone to coat your eggplant. This change will not alter how your eggplant tastes when it’s done cooking.
If you don’t like pork rinds or can’t eat them then just leave them out. Replace the volume with extra almond flour and parmesan cheese. It would be an even exchange, if you take out a cup of pork rinds then replace with ½ cup of almond flour and ½ a cup of parmesan or any similar equation.
If you add spices it will enhance or change the flavor of your Fried Eggplant. When you are on a low carb diet, using different spices will add a lot of flavor to your recipe. If you like spicy things then add cajun or cayenne or even some crushed red pepper flakes. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder…..and the list goes on.
Other Diets This Recipe Is Good For
Gluten-free – There is no gluten in these Low Carb Fried Eggplant because we do not use regular flour, we use almond flour instead which is made up of only almonds.
Sugar-free – There is no sugar or corn syrup or any other sugar-like ingredients.
What Does Keto Fried Eggplant Go With?
Fried Eggplant goes with so many things. It can be an appetizer or a side dish or if you throw some tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese on top you can make yourself a very yummy Eggplant Parmesan, a one-dish meal or a side dish.
Normally when you go to an Italian restaurant you will see Fried Eggplant or Fried Zucchini on the menu as an appetizer that you can order along with some tomato sauce for dipping. You might even see it on a sampler platter for an appetizer with some mozzarella sticks, or some stuffed mushrooms, or chicken fingers… and the list goes on.
Eating burgers with Fried Eggplant fries could be a good low carb substitute for french fries.
What Sauces Go with Fried Eggplant?
When you are ready to serve your Keto Fried Eggplant there are a number of good sauces that you can dip it in if you so choose…here are just a few….
- Good old fashioned marinara sauce either in a jar or homemade is always my favorite and many others. I like to make my own sauce and keep some in the freezer and pull it out when I need it.
- Make up some avocado/cilantro sauce with sour cream, avocado, garlic, and cilantro.
- I always like to use garlic and olive oil for dipping. It’s simple but elegant.
- If you are like me and like spicy things, you can put black pepper or red pepper in it and a little salt. If you too like things even spider you could add some cayenne pepper to your flour mixture.
- You could make yourself a garlic sauce with mayo, garlic, cayenne, and salt.
Can I Make Low Carb Fried Eggplant Ahead?
It’s always good if you can make things ahead of time when you have some extra time and this recipe for Keto Fried Eggplant is no exception. Sometimes you don’t have time to make your food exactly at the same time that you are going to eat it, and so thankfully eggplant is one of those things you can make ahead of time.
You could bread them and put them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before cooking them whichever way you choose to make them.
Keep in mind that if you cook them ahead of time they won’t be quite as crispy as they would be if you ate them immediately after cooking them.
If you decide to cook them ahead of time, then just reheat them when it’s time to serve them either in a frying pan with oil or in the oven or under the broiler.
Another advantage is that if you cook eggplant ahead of time, for instance, the day before, then your kitchen will not smell like fried food when your guests arrive!
How to Store Fried Eggplant
It’s easy to store your leftover Fried Eggplant if there are any leftovers! If there are, all you need to do is store them in an airtight container layered with paper towels in between for up to a week. But if it’s like our house, knowing that there are some good leftovers they won’t last a day or two.
How to Reheat It
When it’s time to eat your leftover Keto Fried Eggplant, my suggestion for reheating them is to take them out of the refrigerator and put them in the oven or under the broiler. Lay them out on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Be careful not to burn them or dry them out. Keep your eye on them because it will only take a few minutes because they are small and not much to them.
If you are in a hurry or if you take them to work with you for lunch, you could always heat them up in a microwave for only 30-60 seconds, even if they don’t come out crispy they will still be tasty.
Can You Freeze Fried Eggplant?
To freeze any leftover Fried Eggplant, lay them out on a flat baking sheet covered with a piece of parchment paper and place the whole cookie sheet flat in the freezer. Once they freeze then you can transfer them in a freezer bag or a container with a tight-fitting lid and store them in the freezer for a few months.
When it’s time to eat them or some of them do not thaw them out. Take your eggplant right from the freezer and place the pieces on a cookie sheet and put them right into the oven, just like you would if you bought something frozen from the store like french fries or chicken nuggets.
More Keto Appetizer Recipes
If you’re in the mood for some other Low Carb Appetizers then try our:
- Low Carb Fried Zucchini
- Keto Onion Rings
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Low Carb Mozzarella Sticks
- Pepperoni Pizza Dip
They all are Keto-friendly and low carb, and will be a hit at your next party!Print
This recipe for Keto/Low Carb Fried Eggplant is easy to make and can be cooked several ways. Made with Almond Flour they are crispy and delicious to eat without a lot of carbs.
- 2 small Eggplant
- 3 Eggs
- 1 cup Almond Flour
- 1 cup Pork Rinds
- 8 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese
- Olive Oil for frying
- The first thing for you to do is wash your eggplant and dry it well with paper towels.
- Slice your eggplant in the size that you desire.
- Put your eggs in a bowl and blend it well with a fork.
- Next grind up your pork rinds in a food processor and grind them up.
- In a bowl, mix together well almond flour, pork rinds, parmesan and spices.
- Now take your sliced eggplant and dip them into your flour mixture and then repeat the process twice.
- Pour your oil of choice into your fry pan.
- When your oil is heated to 350 degrees start placing your eggplant into the oil. Make sure you cover your eggplant completely with oil.
- Use a pair of tongs to flip them over to make sure they are browning on both sides and then remove when done.
- Drain your eggplant on paper towels. Serve with your favorite sauce.
1.3 NET CARBS PER PIECE
One tip that will be helpful to you is to use 3 bowls to coat your eggplant, 1 bowl for the egg and 2 bowls for the flour mixture. This way it will keep your breadcrumbs from getting wet and soggy and then you won’t have to throw them out so much.
If you dip the eggplant in the egg with one hand and dip the eggplant into the breadcrumbs with the other hand it will also make your coating process easier.
Preheat your oil to 350 degrees before you put your eggplant in so that it will cook up crispier. If the oil is not heated up the eggplant will just sit there and get soggy.
If you cook the eggplant in the oven make sure to flip them over halfway through to make sure that they crisp on both sides.
Make sure if you cook them in the oven or in the air fryer not to overlap them or they will not cook evenly.
By draining the Fried Eggplant on paper towels the excess oil will be absorbed and therefore your eggplant will become crispier.
If you want to keep your Keto Fried Eggplant warm after cooking, put them in the oven at 200 degrees and place your eggplant on a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet so that it will catch the drippings of oil. By elevating them they won’t be soggy…they will stay crispy.
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Frying
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: Keto Fried Eggplant, Low Carb Fried Eggplant, Keto Fried Eggplant Recipe, Low Carb Fried Eggplant Recipe, How to Make Fried Eggplant, How to Make Keto Fried Eggplant, Best Keto Fried Eggplant, Easy Keto Fried Eggplant