The air fryer is at it again. You’re going to be amazed by how crispy, yet tender, these Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts are. Seasoned simply and enhanced with balsamic vinegar, air fried Brussels sprouts are foolproof. You might never want to cook Brussels sprouts any other way again.
Far be it from me to try to outdo myself, but I’m a glutton for crispy, roasted vegetables, in general – and crispy, roasted Brussels sprouts in particular. So after the triumph that is crispy shaved Brussels sprouts, I knew I wasn’t going to stop.
For Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Air Fry Don’t Roast!
We all know how food (even vegetables) gets crispy in a restaurant. But deep frying Brussels sprouts is not something that’s (a) healthy or (b) even remotely feasible for most of us.
Thankfully, your air fryer can recreate that deep fried texture you’ve come to know and love from restaurant sprouts.
Air fried Brussels sprouts not only come out crispier than oven roasted Brussels sprouts, but their centers are also more tender. It really is the best of both worlds.
PRO-TIP: don’t stop at Brussels sprouts! The air fryer makes incredibly delish veggies incredibly fast. Try other quick and easy veggies in the air fryer, like asparagus, cauliflower, zucchini, and broccoli.
Why This Recipe Works
If you’re an oven roasted Brussels sprouts devotee, we urge – perhaps even beg? – you try them in the air fryer!
- Water: adds moisture to the convection environment, which allows the insides of the Brussels sprouts to become soft and tender, while the exterior gets very crisp and crunchy
- Vinegar: there’s a reason Brussels sprouts and vinegar are BFFs – a very scientific reason, actually! Vinegar helps neutralize any sulfuric odors released during the cooking process.
- Movement: get those veggies moving! Toss at least once halfway through, but twice is better. Shaking the Brussels sprouts will expose more surface area to the circulating air, creating crispier, more evenly cooked sprouts.
- Brussels Sprouts: choose sprouts that are roughly the same size so they’ll cook evenly. Smaller sprouts (1.5 inches or less) can be halved. Larger ones can be quartered.
- Olive Oil: you can also use bacon fat or avocado oil.
- Garlic Powder: we find that garlic powder works better than fresh chopped garlic for air fryer vegetables.
- Balsamic Vinegar: vinegar and Brussels sprouts are BFFs! Not just because balsamic vinegar is delicious, but for a scientific reason too – the acid in the vinegar eliminates the sulfuric odor and flavor often released by Brussels sprouts when they cook. Add this add the end to avoid burning.
- Water: yep, water in the air fryer! Most experienced air fryer users know that a splash of water will help deter smoking. In this recipe, water adds just enough moisture to the environment to allow the middle of the Brussels sprouts to get tender.
- Salt and Pepper: a basic, but beautiful, seasoning combination. Or go extra and try one of the seasoning options below.
- Spicy: add ½ teaspoon each paprika and red pepper flakes, then garnish with sriracha just before serving
- Sweet: mix the balsamic with 2 tsp honey before drizzling; cook 1 minute more as directed
- Cheese: sprinkle with shaved parmesan cheese or crumbled feta cheese just before serving.
- Nuts: add ⅓ c chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, pistachios) with the balsamic
- Bacon: stir in 4 strips cooked chopped or crumbled bacon after cooking
- Shallots: add a minced shallot along with the balsamic vinegar. Shallots cook quickly, so they only need that 1-2 minutes of cook time.
How to Cook Brussels Sprouts in the Air Fryer
The faster they cook, the sooner you eat! That’s why tender and crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts are a perfect veggie side dish. Cook Brussels sprouts in the air fryer to steam the insides and roast the outsides at the same time. A drizzle of balsamic gives this recipe the flavor kick you never knew you needed.
For a condensed post, click to view the web story for this air fryer recipe!
- Prep. Preheat the air fryer if required; check manufacturer instructions. Remove the grill rack and pour ¼ cup water into the basket; replace the grill rack.
- Season. Combine halved Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in large mixing bowl; toss until well combined.
- Air Fry. Transfer the Brussels sprouts to the air fryer basket and arrange into an even layer. Cook at 375°F/380°F for for 12 minutes. Remove the basket and stir the Brussels sprouts once halfway through.
- Finish. Remove the basket and Ddrizzle balsamic vinegar over the Brussels sprouts; return the basket and cook 2 minutes more. If the sprouts aren’t browned to your liking, cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes and Tips
- Crowding in the air fryer basket isn’t an issue as it is with oven baking. That is due to the convection nature of the air fryer.
- Do not skip adding the water! This is what allows the Brussels sprouts to steam, creating tender interiors.
- If you do no not have a basket-style air fryer, soak the Brussels sprouts instead. Cover the Brussels sprouts with water and soak for 10-15 minutes. Drain, pat dry, and proceed with oiling and seasoning.
- If you’d like to double the recipe, air fry in batches. Arrange air fried Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven to keep warm – don’t worry, they’ll stay crispy!
Storing and Reheating
Leftovers. You know the drill. IF there are any air fryer Brussels sprouts left, store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Reheating. Set your air fryer to 350°F and place cooked Brussels sprouts in the basket in an even layer. Heat for 4-5 minutes, tossing halfway through, until sprouts are warm.
Did you try this recipe for air fryer Brussels sprouts? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- Air Fryer
- Mixing Bowl
- 1½ lb brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed, sliced in half
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- ¼ c water
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Trim the bottom of each sprout, peel away any bruised or discolored leaves, then slice in half from crown to step. In a large mixing bowl, toss the prepared brussels sprouts with the olive oil, garlic powder, kosher salt, and ground pepper until evenly coated.
- Pour ¼ cup water into the air fryer basket under the cooking grill.
- Arrange the brussels sprouts in an even layer in the basket.
- Cook at 375°F (or 380°F) for 12-14 minutes, shaking at least once halfway through, until tender and golden brown.
- Drizzle the vinegar over the sprouts and cook 2 minutes more.
- Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.
- SPICY: add ½ teaspoon each paprika and red pepper flakes, then garnish with sriracha just before serving
- SWEET: mix the balsamic with 2 tsp honey before drizzling; cook 1 minute more as directed
- CHEESE: garnish with shaved parmesan or crumbled feta cheese
- NUTS: add ⅓ c chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, pistachios) with the balsamic
- BACON: stir in 4 strips cooked chopped or crumbled bacon after cooking
- SHALLOTS: add a minced shallot along with the balsamic vinegar. Shallots cook quickly, so they only need that 1-2 minutes of cook time.