These Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts will change the minds of any brussels sprout skeptic! These sprouts are made extra crispy in the air fryer and tossed with maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and crumbled bacon for the ultimate punch of flavor.
I don’t think I touched, let alone tasted Brussels sprouts until I was well into my thirties. And to be honest, I didn’t know they grew on stalks until I saw them at Trader Joes about 5 years ago.
As a kid, I remember seeing them boiled and then tossed in I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. No. Thank. You.
But as years went by, I became much more open to trying them – especially when they’re served crispy – almost verging into burnt territory, but not quite there.
Cooking sprouts in the air fryer and tossing them in a little balsamic and maple syrup is the way to go. Personally, I don’t think vegetables get much better than this. And hello, there’s also bacon involved.
MY FAVORITE BRUSSELS SPROUT RECIPE
Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables that you either love or you think that you hate.
I say “you think that you hate” because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say they hate them, only to try a perfectly crispy roasted brussels sprout and change their mind.
Crispy brussels sprouts are kind of life changing, if you ask me.
You can make Spicy Glazed Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Goat Cheese, or even Parmesan Brussels Sprouts, but my favorite is this recipe right here: Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic.
I’ve roasted my brussels sprouts in the oven many times, but – in my opinion – nothing beats the crispiness you get from air frying. Super crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and so good.
I love combining the kind of earthy flavor of the sprouts with salty bacon, sweet maple syrup, and a drizzle of really good balsamic vinegar.
I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, but I recommend picking up a nice bottle of balsamic for these sprouts. You don’t need much of it, but the flavor of a good balsamic will make all the difference here.
HOW TO PREP BRUSSELS SPROUTS FOR ROASTING
If you’ve never cooked brussels sprouts before, you might be a little intimidated and unsure of where to start.
If you buy brussels sprouts on the stalk, you’ll want to pop the individual sprouts off the stalk. They should snap off pretty easily by pulling backward on them.
If you buy loose brussels sprouts, you can obviously skip this step.
Prep each sprout by trimming off the root end and halving each one lengthwise. For large sprouts, cut them into quarters. The goal is for each cut piece to be roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
As you’re prepping the sprouts, you’ll likely have some outer leaves fall off. Don’t discard those! They get nice and crispy during roasting and are always my favorite part.
HOW TO COOK BRUSSELS SPROUTS IN THE AIR FRYER
To make your Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts, toss the prepared sprouts with a generous drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Preheat your air fryer to 400°F for 5 minutes. Once the air fryer is preheated, add the sprouts and cook them at 400°F for about 12 minutes, tossing them after 6 minutes.
Once the sprouts have been cooking for about 9 minutes, check and see how crispy they are. Let them continue to cook for the remaining 3 minutes if you want them crispier.
The moment you take them out of the air fryer, while they’re still super hot, toss the crispy brussels sprouts with the maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and cooked and crumbled bacon. Give them a taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
Serve your Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts alongside Easy Meatloaf, Ritz Cracker Chicken, or Chicken Piccata. Pair them with Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Easy Corn Casserole, or Cauliflower Gratin and you have just about the perfect meal.