If you’ve ever made Brussels sprouts in the air fryer, you might’ve ended up with a batch where the sprouts browned too quickly, almost burning before they’re fully cooked inside. I’ve definitely suffered from it myself.
The trick I’ve found (and that this recipe uses) is to soak the Brussels sprouts in water before seasoning and tossing them into the fryer. During soaking, water gets trapped between the leaves, which will turn to steam in the heat of the air fryer. This ensures that they don’t have an unpleasant, raw bite.
I love air fryer Brussels sprouts as a side at dinner, but I’ve also been known to snack on them throughout the day. Even though they need about 15 minutes to soak, this recipe come together in less time than cooking them in the oven and they are easy enough to make at a moment’s notice.
Tips for the Best Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
Just like ovens or stovetops, all air fryers work slightly differently from one another. Soaking the Brussels sprouts helps to ensure the sprouts are cooked through, but also slows down the speed at which the sprouts brown, reducing the risk of burning.
Still, because all air fryers are different and some can run hotter, it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on the sprouts during cooking.
I season Brussels sprouts simply with olive oil, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper, but you can easily dress them up with nutty Parmesan or bright lemon zest.
- Lemon: Finely zest about half a lemon over the sprouts before serving.
- Balsamic: Drizzle them with balsamic glaze after air frying.
- Parmesan: In the last few minutes of cooking, grate Parmesan cheese over the Brussels sprouts in the air fryer. Continue cooking for the last few minutes until the sprouts are crisp and tender and the cheese is toasty and starting to brown. Top with more grated Parmesan if desired.
- Breadcrumbs: Top the cooked sprouts with toasted, garlicky breadcrumbs.
How to Reheat Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
- Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (if needed) on the air fryer setting (if your model has multiple settings).
- Place the leftover Brussels sprouts in the basket of the air fryer in a single layer.
- Return the basket to the fryer and reheat until the sprouts are heated through and have re-crisped on the outside, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.
More Fun With the Air Fryer
Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
This recipe was developed in a 6-quart air fryer, which is large enough to fit the halved Brussels sprouts in a single layer. If your air fryer is smaller, you may want to cook the sprouts in batches or cook a few minutes longer (shaking the basket several times as they cook) so all the halves have a chance to crisp.
12 ounces (3/4 pound) Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more or less to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more or less to taste
Pinch crushed red pepper (optional)
Prepare the Brussels sprouts:
Trim the tough stems off each Brussels sprout and remove any shriveled and/or yellowing outer leaves. Cut each sprout in half lengthwise through the stem and core. You should have about 4 cups of Brussels sprout halves.
Transfer the cut Brussels sprouts to a medium bowl and cover with hot water. The water doesn’t need to be boiling; the hottest temperature water that comes out of your tap is okay.
Let the Brussels sprouts soak for about 15 minutes. Soaking the Brussels sprouts lessens some of the bitterness as well as traps moisture between the leaves, which turns to steam during frying and ensures the sprouts are tender and cooked through.
Prepare the air fryer and strain the sprouts:
Meanwhile, preheat the air fryer to 375°F if your air fryer requires preheating. If your air fryer has different settings, use the “air fry” setting.
Transfer the soaked Brussels sprouts to a strainer and shake over the sink to get rid of the excess moisture from the outside of the sprouts. Rinse and dry the medium bowl used to soak the Brussels sprouts and place the cut sprouts back into the bowl.
Season the Brussels sprouts:
Toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of crushed red pepper (if using) until well coated.
Air fry and serve:
Place the Brussels sprouts in a single layer in the basket of the air fryer. Return the basket to the fryer and cook at 375°F until the sprouts are tender and the outside leaves are crisp and golden brown in spots, about 12 minutes, tossing halfway.
Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a plate and serve immediately while still crisp.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
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|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 4g||5%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||3%|
|Total Carbohydrate 6g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||8%|
|Total Sugars 1g|
|Vitamin C 53mg||264%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|