Crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

by LikeHotKeto
4 servings
17 min

This easy air fryer Brussels sprouts recipe makes them crispy and caramelized outside and tender inside, bursting with flavor! Use fresh of frozen Brussel sprouts – both come out just perfect!

Crispy and caramelized air fryer Brussel sprouts.

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I noticed that Brussels sprouts stir deep emotions on people. It’s a love or hate thing. I love them, but that’s probably because I don’t have any bad childhood memories of soggy and bitter Brussels sprouts.

In fact, don’t have any old memories, because the first time I ate Brussels sprouts I was already in my 30’s.

My memories of Brussels sprouts are of so much deliciousness that I almost think of them as the main dish – when prepared properly, yes, Brussel sprouts will be the item on my plate that I’ll finish first and go for seconds!

Spoonful of lightly browned and crispy Brussel sprouts.

labeled ingredients for air fryer frozen Brussel sprouts.

The ingredients

You’ll need only a handful of ingredients for this healthy side dish, and you probably already have them all in your pantry:

  • Brussels sprouts: they can be fresh or frozen – I usually prefer frozen, as they are super practical to make and taste as amazing as fresh!
  • Olive oil: always choose extra virgin.
  • Lemon juice: freshly squeezed is much better! You can also use Key lime juice.
  • Garlic powder: I use it instead of fresh crushed garlic in the air fryer because the later ends up slipping through the basket holes.
  • Salt and pepper: I chose black pepper, but white pepper works too.
  • Balsamic vinegar: has a sweet taste and a little bit of natural sugar, which is small enough not to increase the carb count per portion but it helps caramelize and crisp up the Brussels sprouts surface.
Step by step of how to prepare Brussel sprouts for air frying.

How to make

Step 1. Using a fork or small whisk, mix all the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl: olive oil, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic powder. They will combine to look like a vinaigrette sort of sauce.

Toss the Brussels sprouts in the olive oil mixture to get them all coated with the spices.

Step 2. Transfer the seasoned Brussels sprouts into a large  air fryer basket in one single layer, with some space left in between them for the air to circulate. If your air fryer is small, you can cook in batches to guarantee crispy results.

Set the air fryer for 200 °C/400 °F for 15 minutes, and shake the basket at minute 10. When time runs out check if they are ready, by piercing one with a fork.

If you want them softer or crisper/more browned, just shake the basket again and set the air fryer for a couple of minutes more.

Cooked Brussel sprouts in air fryer basket.
Frozen Brussel sprouts tossed with olive oil and seasonings.

FAQ and tips

How to air fry frozen Brussel sprouts

Follow these simple tips to get the best of your frozen Brussels sprouts – they won’t be any less delicious than fresh ones:

  • Do not thaw the Brussels sprouts: they should be cooked directly from frozen to avoid getting mushy.
  • Frozen Brussels sprouts tend to be smaller, so generally there’s no need to cut them in half before cooking.
  • If they have ice crystals all over do your best to remove them and get the Brussels sprouts as dry as possible. I give them a good rub with a clean kitchen towel before adding the spices.

How to air fry fresh Brussel sprouts

  • If the Brussels sprouts are large, halve them by cutting vertically so they will cook faster and have more surface to brown and get crispy.
  • If you have some that are big and others that are small, cut just the large ones in half so that they are all approximate equal sizes. This will ensure that they all get done at about the same time.
  • Fresh Brussels sprouts tend to have a firmer texture after cooked (than frozen ones). If you want them really tender inside, quickly steam or parboil them for 3-4 minutes before seasoning and air frying.

What to serve with

Make the best of your weekday dinners serving these quick and easy Brussels sprouts along keto and low-carb mains like this pepper crusted beef, or make it a fun plating with these keto almond flour meatballs!

Storage and freezing

The cooked Brussels sprouts will keep for about 3 days in the fridge, in an airtight container. Place them back into the air fryer basket to reheat at 175°C/350 °F for 3-5 minutes, just until they are warm.

I don’t recommend freezing the leftovers, as the texture will change and they will become soggy. If that doesn’t bother you, you can store them in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.

Crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
Recipe details
  • 4  servings
  • Prep time: 2 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 17 min
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  • ▢ 1 pound Brussels sprouts fresh or frozen
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ▢ 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ▢ 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • ▢ 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • ▢ 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ▢ 1/2 teaspoon salt

Make sure the Brussels sprouts are dry, free of water or ice crystals. Remove moistness with a paper towel or clean cloth towel.
In a small bowl, quickly whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, garlic powder, pepper and salt.
Toss the Brussels sprouts with this seasoning until they are completely coated with the mixture.
Transfer the Brussels sprouts into the air fryer basket, arranging them in a single layer with empty space in between them for hot air circulation.
Cook for 200 °C/400 °F for 15 minutes, and shake the basket at minute 10. When time runs out check if they are ready, piercing one with a fork.
If you want them softer or crisper/more browned, just shake the basket again and set the air fryer for a couple of minutes more.
  • Don’t thaw frozen Brussels sprouts, add them frozen to the air fryer.
  • Large Brussels sprouts can be sliced lengthwise (vertically) to increase cooking surface and get browner and crisper.
  • If Brussels sprouts are of very different sizes, halve or quarter the larger ones (vertically) as needed to make them all similar sized for uniform cooking.
  • Air fried frozen Brussels sprouts are tender, but fresh ones will have a firmer texture. If you prefer the fresh Brussels sprouts softer, you can parboil or steam them for 3 to 4 minutes (just until they turn a brighter green) in preparation for the recipe, before adding the seasonings.
  • Don’t crowd the basket – add Brussels sprouts in a single layer and leave plenty of space for air to circulate in between them or they won’t get crispy. If needed, cook in multiple batches. The second batch will be ready quicker as the air fryer will be already heated.
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