If you own an air fryer, you must use it to roast vegetables. And Brussels sprouts would be a fantastic place to start.
The air fryer is practically tailor-made for cooking Brussels sprouts. It’ll char the exterior and turn the leaves crispy, while roasting the interior of the veg in very little time. The Brussels sprouts you had as a kid — the bitter, soggy mess — that couldn’t be further from the end result in the air fryer.
Now, you can just toss most veggies into an air fryer with some oil, salt, and pepper and get a great result. That would work for Brussels sprouts. But this TikTok recipe from @lovelydelites adds a nice little twist — a squeeze of balsamic glaze. It’s perfect, and I recommend you try this recipe. Here’s what you need to know.
Brussels sprouts (as many as your heart desires, so long as you’re leaving space for air to circulate in your air fryer)
salt and pepper
oil with a high smoking point such as canola or peanut oil
balsamic vinegar glaze
Cut off the end of each Brussels sprout, then cut the sprout in half. If you have exceptionally big sprouts, you can cut them into quarters.
In a large bowl coat the Brussels sprouts with oil, then season generously with salt and pepper. Seriously, it is very difficult to over-salt Brussels sprouts, but under-salted Brussels are no good. Salt, salt, salt.
Squeeze a tablespoon or two of glaze over the seasoned veggies. Basically you want to create a squiggly line across the top of the Brussels sprouts. Mix to coat.
Air fry at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes — or until fork tender while crispy on the exterior — and then enjoy.
This is one of those recipes that you simply can’t mess up. Well, I’m sure you could mess it up if you cooked the Brussels sprouts for 45 minutes but otherwise… it’s so simple. The hot, circulated air in the air fryer perfectly crisps the vegetable that is made to get crispy. All you really need is salt, pepper, and the sweet tangy glaze that caramelizes perfectly.
That’s the subtle touch that elevates this recipe. Balsamic and Brussels is a match made in heaven. The sweet acidity of the glaze does a nice job of somehow making the bitterness of the Brussels more pleasant. The final product will likely take 15 minutes at most. When testing the recipe, I used small Brussels sprouts that were finished in just under 12 minutes. Here’s how they looked.
It all works together. If anything, since I like spice, I’d add some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper in the future so you’re touching all the bases: salty, sweet, fatty, acidic, and spicy.
Not every air fryer recipe found on TikTok needs to be some novelty hack. Sometimes you stumble into a recipe that can become a staple. This is the perfect side dish, and I don’t think there’s any reason to cook your Brussels sprouts any other way. It’s simple, delicious, healthy, and easy to clean. Plus, you don’t have to scrub a sheet pan to all hell — just wipe down the nonstick basket.
If you’re not a Brussels sprouts fans, I bet you’ll like them cooked this way.