Air Fryer Parmesan Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

4.67 from 6 votes
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The secret to getting everyone to eat their veggies is to make perfectly crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts. Keep it super simple and air fry them with just salt and pepper, or add bacon and parmesan cheese to turn the simple sprout into something irresistible. This quick and easy recipe is sure to become a go-to side dish!

Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Parmesan

Have you had fried Brussels sprouts at a restaurant? They are so amazing – crispy outside but tender in the middle and loaded with flavor. But also, super greasy. And if you are gluten free, you have to worry about whether they fry breaded or floured dishes in that same fryer.

The secret to getting that deep fried deliciousness at home with way less oil (and no risk of gluten cross-contamination) is to make those Brussels air-fried! This easy air fryer recipe makes the crispiest in absolutely no time – faster than you can preheat your oven – and with just enough oil to coat them to give them that golden, caramelized exterior.

And it is so easy to add flavors. In this recipe I as some smoky bacon and salty parmesan cheese. But you can skip those or customize them based on what you love!

an air fryer basket with Brussels sprouts sprinkled with bacon and parmesan cheese

Ingredients

Besides the sprouts themselves, all you really need is olive oil, salt, and pepper. But a few extra ingredients make them come alive, and might even convert the biggest skeptics into sprouts-lovers!

  • Bacon – This is optional, but if you use it you will want about 6 slices of cooked bacon cut into small pieces. You can cook them in the air fryer or use your preferred method to cook bacon while you prep the Brussels sprouts.
  • Brussels sprouts – Larger ones are recommended for this recipe so that you can cut them in half for bite-sized pieces that cook perfectly.
  • Olive oil – Or your preferred oil, sich as avocado oil.
  • Salt and pepper – To taste.
  • Onion powder
  • Parmesan cheese – Finely shredded or grated. You’ll add some while cooking, and youl can also save some to sprinkle on at the end.
  • Garlic – Optional if you want to add a garlicky flavor.

How to Air Fry Brussels Sprouts

Cook the bacon. If you are going to add bacon, cook it in the air fryer, or use a skillet or oven, if you prefer.

Prepare the Brussels sprouts. Rinse and dry the Brussels sprouts thoroughly. Trim off the bottom of the stem, then remove any tough or discolored outer leaves. Cut any large ones in half.

In a medium bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, pepper, and onion powder until coated thoroughly.

raw brussels sprouts cut in half in a glass bowl with seasonings

Air Fry The Brussels Sprouts. Preheat the air fryer to 400°F according to manufacturer instructions. Add the Brussels sprouts to the air fryer basket in a single layer. Air fry at 400°F for 5 minutes.

Gently shake, then sprinkle with the parmesan cheese, and, if using, the fresh garlic. Cook at 400°F for another 5-6 minutes until charred and crisp.

Finish and serve: Add the crisp bacon to the cooked Brussels sprouts. Serve with more parmesan on top, if desired. Enjoy right away!

How Long to Cook Brussels Sprouts in an Air Fryer

This recipe calls for air frying Brussels sprouts for about 10-12 minutes total in a Cosori 5.6 L air fryer (a basket-style air fryer). The Brussels sprouts should be crisp (not firm but not overly soft either) by the end of frying. You can give them another couple of minutes, but be careful not to overcook and burn them.

Since models can vary, you may find that if you use a different model, you’ll need a little more or a little less cooking time after that initial 5 minutes, once you shake it and add the cheese.

How to Make them Softer

If you want more tender vegetables, cooking them longer is not the best approach, since that can end up just over-charring the exterior. Instead, soak the Brussel sprouts in water for about 30 minutes before air frying. For best results make sure to dry them thoroughly after soaking.

Air Frying Frozen Brussels Sprouts

You can air fry frozen Brussels sprouts, but they will take a bit longer and tend to have a softer texture. They will need about 8-10 minutes for the initial cooking, then another 8-10 minutes after you toss and add the cheese.

scooping Brussels sprouts out of the air fryer basket with a spatula

Tips for Success

Make sure it’s dry. If you don’t dry the Brussels sprout well, they will steam instead of roasting and not get as crisp.

Don’t let them stick. Coating the vegetables well with that tablespoon of olive oil is typically enough to keep them from sticking to the basket. But for extra assurance, you can spray the basket with oil. This also helps give it a nice crisp texture.

Spread them out. If you have a large enough air fryer, you should be able to cook one pound of Brussels sprouts in a single batch. But if you can spread them out evenly or want to make more, you’ll need to cook them in batches. If you are working in batches, you can keep the cooed ones warm in a 170°F oven.

Give it a shake. Shaking the basket once they are partially cooked ensures that it browns evenly.

Use the oven if you prefer. You can roast them in the oven at 400°F for 30-40 minutes, flipping once, about halfway through.

Omit the bacon. For a vegetarian version, just skip the bacon. They will still be delicious.

Or cook the bacon at the same time. I prefer to cook the bacon separately so that I know I am cooking it to my perfectly desired doneness. But you can cut the raw bacon into small pieces and add it to the air fryer with the Brussels sprouts.

crispy Brussels sprouts on a plate sprinkled with cooked bacon

Variations

While the parmesan and bacon version here is a good starting point, there are so many ways to flavor air fried Brussels sprouts.

  • Give them a drizzle of lemon juice.
  • Sprinkle on some breadcrumbs along with the parmesan cheese.
  • Try feta cheese instead of the parmesan.
  • Use different herbs like rosemary or thyme.
  • Toss them in a bit of maple syrup.
  • Finish them off with a drizzle of a balsamic vinegar reduction.
  • Add dried cranberries for something sweet and tangy.

Serving Ideas

Storing Leftovers

Leftovers can be kept in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. You can reheat them in the air fryer or oven at 350°F for 5-10 minutes. You can also microwave them, but they will not be crisp.

Technically, you can also freeze cooked Brussels sprouts in an airtight container. But once thawed, they will be somewhat soggy. If you do this, be sure to thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

air fried Brussels sprouts with bacon on a plate with a bowl of dipping sauce

What is the Best Air Fryer?

I usually make my air fried Brussels sprouts the COSORI Air Fryer Max XL. It is a nice size to give your veggies plenty of space so they cook evenly. And I like the basket models because it is easy to shake everything around partway through the cooking time to make sure all of the surfaces get nicely caramelized.

COSORI Air Fryer Oven Combo 5.8QT Max Xl Large Cooker (Cookbook with 100 Recipes), One-Touch Screen with 11 Precise Presets and Shake Reminder, Nonstick and Dishwasher-Safe Square Design Basket, Black

$119.99  in stock
4 used from $72.07
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of September 28, 2022 9:32 pm

More air fryer veggies

Brussels sprouts with bacon on a serving plate with dip next to a bowl of crispy bacon pieces
4.7 from 6 votes

Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Parmesan

The secret to getting everyone to eat their veggies is to make perfectly crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts. Keep it super simple and air fry them with just salt and pepper, or add bacon and parmesan cheese to turn the simple sprout into something irresistible. This quick and easy recipe is sure to become a go-to side dish!
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 11 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon, cooked until crispy and cut into pieces
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, washed and dried thoroughly
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • ¼ cup finely shredded or grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish, if desired
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

Instructions

  • While you are preparing the Brussles sprouts, cook the bacon in a skillet or in the air fryer at 350°F for 8-12 minutes, until crispy. Cut into pieces.
  • Trim the ends off of the Brussles sprouts and remove any tough or discolored outer leaves. Cut any large ones in half.
  • In a medium bowl, add trimmed Brussel sprouts, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and onion powder. Toss to coat thoroughly.
  • Preheat air fryer to 400°F according to manufacturer instructions. Lightly spray the air fryer basket with oil, if desired (not essential, but spraying does ensure better cooking and a more crisp texture in the end) and add the vegetables in a single layer.
  • Air fry at 400°F for 5 minutes. Gently shake and add the parmesan and garlic, if using. Air fry at 400°F for another 5-6 minutes until charred and crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
  • Add the cooked bacon and toss everything together. Serve with more parmesan on top, if desired.

Notes

If you want softer Brussels sprouts, soak in water for 30 minutes and dry thoroughly before air frying.
You can also cut the raw bacon into small pieces and add to the air fyer with the Brussles sprouts to cook everything together. But watch it careful to be sure it doesn’t burn.
Nutrition Facts
Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Parmesan
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 164 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 16mg5%
Sodium 626mg26%
Potassium 517mg15%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 909IU18%
Vitamin C 97mg118%
Calcium 127mg13%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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