Tender on the inside and beautifully crispy on the outside, nothing beats the flavor and texture of air fryer Brussels sprouts.
Brussels Sprouts are a classic side dish, especially during the holidays. And although these green bundles of crunchiness and flavor aren’t always the most popular dish on the table, everyone loves these leaf veggies when cooked right.
How you cook Brussels sprouts determines if you end up with a crowd-pleasing side dish or not all that exciting veggies, and that’s where today’s recipe comes in. Let’s talk about how to air fry Brussels sprouts.
Air frying Brussels sprouts is the easiest way of getting crispy and flavorful miniature cabbages, and they will change the way you see them for good.
Why Air Fry Brussels Sprouts?
As compared to roasting or frying, cooking Brussels sprouts in an air fryer:
- uses less oil
- are much sweeter, crunchier and flavorful
- have same beautiful texture as deep-fried but with less grease
They may be small in size but they are packed with nutrition. A cup of Brussels sprouts has 4 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and 11 grams of carbs, among others. They are a great source of Vitamin C, and may help prevent cancer and lower high blood pressure when consumed regularly.
- Brussels sprouts. You only need a pound. Make more if you need to feed a larger crowd.
- Olive Oil. We’ll also need a few teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, and that’s the beauty of using an air fryer. They need little to no oil, so they’re not greasy at all.
- Salt and pepper. To taste as usual, season according to your feelings.
- Garlic. A few garlic cloves, thinly sliced to give personality to the tiny cabbages.
Of course, this is just the beginning. There are many ways of giving different flavor layers to Brussels sprouts.
Here’s how you get the perfect air fryer Brussels sprouts.
- Trim and clean the sprouts, removing any damaged leaves. You’ll want to cut them in half as well. You’ll need to soak the Brussels sprouts to make them less bitter. After drained and patted dry, toss them with olive oil and season them.
- As you know, you need to preheat air fryers, so do just that and cook them at 375°F for 10 minutes, tossing them halfway through to ensure an even crisp. Once ready, the crispy Brussels sprouts are ready for any seasoning and topping.
Think of them as a black canvas. Air fryer Brussels sprouts are compatible with any recipe. After all, we all like ours differently! Here are a few ideas for giving a special touch to the leafy sprouts.
- Halved, quartered or whole. First and foremost, you can cut the Brussels sprouts in half for crispy sprouts but leave them whole if you like a softer core. Whole sprouts are juicier too, but they’re not as intensely flavored.
- With balsamic glaze. Toss your Brussels sprouts with a balsamic glaze. Reduce balsamic vinegar and combine it with honey. Pomegranate molasses and maple syrup are excellent alternatives.
- With parmesan and bacon. For savory toppings, top your Brussels sprouts with grated Parmesan cheese and bacon bits. Grating Brussels sprouts is easy in a broiler — top them with cheese and turn them into a golden and bubbly delight!
- Make them spicy. Heat things up with chili pepper flakes, chili paste, or chili oil. Brussels sprouts benefit from a bit of spiciness. For a balanced side dish, counter the heat with hints of sweetness from honey.
- Salad. Shave or shred your Brussels sprouts to make a hash or a salad. The sprout’s crunchy texture and smoky flavor are an excellent base for many cold dishes. Tossing the shredded Brussels sprouts with chickpeas, roasted onions, or even shredded chicken can turn them into the main event. This is just the beginning; with sprouts like these, the sky’s the limit!
- Pickles. Got leftover Brussels sprouts? You can always pickle Brussels sprouts in a homemade vinegar-based brine. They keep indefinitely and are a lovely savory snack to enjoy all year round.
Brussels sprouts are more fun than you think. You can do tons of things with them, perhaps making them the most versatile cabbage out there.
Air frying Brussels sprouts is neat. It’s fast, too, and you get lovely results. ONLY WHEN DONE RIGHT. So here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.
- Air fry the Brussels sprouts right before serving, as they contain a lot of water, even after cooked, and they can lose their crunchiness if unattended for a few hours.
- Large Brussels sprouts are more bitter and cabbage-like, while small spouts are a bit sweeter. Find the right size for you! Cut in half or quarter large sprouts so they can be tender inside and also to bring out the sweetness of the sprouts.
- Air fry them in single layer. If you have small air fryer, work in batches. Do not overcrowd. It may be time consuming but better than having uncooked pieces and sides of Brussels sprouts.
- Air fry in high heat. 375°F temperature is recommended.
- Soak the Brussels sprouts for 10 minutes in warm water before air frying. Also make sure to drain all the water thoroughly and pat them dry before putting in the air fryer.
- Do not overcook, they will turn out bitter.
How to get rid of Brussels sprouts' bitterness?
To reduce bitterness, remove the outer leaves, blanche the sprouts in boiling water and cook them with a high-heat method.
When are Brussels Sprouts in Season?
Brussels sprouts are available all year long, but they’re in season from August to March, as they’re a winter crop.
Can You Eat Them Raw?
You can eat raw Brussels Sprouts, and they’re a great addition to salads and other cold dishes, especially if chopped or shredded. Raw Brussels sprouts, just like eating raw broccoli, can cause gastrointestinal discomfort in some people.
How to Store?
Store fresh Brussels sprouts unwashed in a plastic bag in the fridge’s crisper drawer for up to a week. After air-fried, store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
What to eat with Brussels Sprouts
- Chicken Adobo - Filipino Style
- Baked Chicken Wings
- Honey Garlic Salmon
- Salmon in Anchovy-Garlic Butter
- Juicy Grilled Chicken Kabobs
Brussels Sprouts are air fryer material, that’s for sure. Forget about soggy or greasy sprouts. Try the recipe below, even if you’re not particularly fond of Brussels sprouts — these crispy and juicy one-biters will absolutely charm you.
Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
- 1 Air fryer
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts quartered or halved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
Topping Option 1
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon chili sauce or sriracha
Topping Option 2
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Topping Option 3
- 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
- Trim and clean the sprouts, removing any damaged leaves. Cut them in halves or quarters depending on their size.
- Preheat air fryer for 5-10 minutes at 375 degree F.
- In a bowl, soak Brussels sprouts in warm water for 10 minutes. Completely drain and pat them dry. Coat with oil, salt and pepper.
- Place the Brussels sprouts into the air fryer basket in a single layer. Work in batches if you have a small air fryer.
- Cook for 10 minutes or until nice and crispy as desired but not burnt. Make sure to shake halfway. Add the sliced garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Toss with desired topping before serving.