These Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts are a quick, easy, and healthy side dish. Because they’re smashed, this air fryer vegetable recipe ends up crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, and makes a great accompaniment to almost any meal.
Smashed Brussels Sprouts Recipe
Brussels sprouts are a vegetable that people seem to either love or hate. In our house, we are firmly in the love camp. But not just any basic boiled brussels sprouts – they are especially wonderful either roasted or by making brussels sprouts in the air fryer so they’re extra crispy.
Out of all the air fryer vegetable recipes I make, these smashed brussels sprouts are definitely one of my favorites. They’re tossed with just garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper, while a sprinkle of parmesan cheese finishes them off, so they’re easy to pull together in a pinch. Each bite is perfectly crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.
How to Make Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
There are just a few easy steps to making smashed roasted brussels sprouts.
(Scroll to the bottom for our easy printable recipe with the complete directions.)
- Microwave the brussels sprouts. Microwave the brussels sprouts with water in a microwave-safe bowl, until tender. Drain, dry, and place on a sheet pan.
- Smash the brussels sprouts. Use the bottom of a glass to smash the brussels sprouts.
- Season. Toss with oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Air fryer. Air fry the seasoned brussels sprouts at 390°F for 7 minutes, then shake and cook for an additional 7 to 9 minutes.
- Serve. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and enjoy.
Microwaving the brussels sprouts before air frying them is key to making the best smashed brussels sprouts. Microwaving them cooks the brussels sprouts just enough to soften them so you can smash them. If you tried to smash them before softening them, it wouldn’t work, and smashing the brussels sprouts helps achieve the perfect texture in the air fryer.
Each air fryer is different so the times may vary slightly. This recipe was tested using this Ninja Foodi air fryer and it took 14 to 16 minutes at 390°F to cook the brussels sprouts perfectly, shaking halfway through. You may need to adjust the time a minute or two depending on how big your brussels sprouts are as well as the model of your air fryer.
The brussels sprouts will darken, but they’re not burnt. It makes a crispy skin on the outside, almost like a kale chip. You’ll have a nice contrasting texture where the outside is nice and crisp and the inside is soft and tender.
What to Serve with Brussels Sprouts
Ideally, you’ll want to serve these brussels sprouts right away when they’re hot and fresh. After they sit for a while they’ll lose that crunchy texture. I like to top mine with parmesan cheese for a little extra flavor. Air fryer brussels sprouts make a quick and easy side dish for any number of entrees. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Baked Chicken Breast
- Chicken Alfredo
- Salisbury Steak
- Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Stuffed Shells
- Apple Cider Chicken
- Roasted Pork Tenderloin
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
As I mentioned above, these smashed brussels sprouts are best when enjoyed immediately. If you put them in the fridge, they will lose the crisp exterior that makes them so wonderful. However, any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. I recommend reheating them in the air fryer for 3 minutes or so, to regain some of the crisp texture.
More Air Fryer Recipes:
- Air Fryer Beets
- Air Fryer Zucchini Fries
- Crab Rangoon
- Air Fryer Toasted Ravioli
- Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
- 1 pound brussels sprouts , outer leaves removed, ends trimmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Add the Brussel sprouts and some water to a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 8-10 minutes until they are tender. Drain the sprouts from the water, pat dry, and place them on a sheet pan.
- Using the bottom of a glass, smash the Brussel sprouts to flatten them.
- In a medium mixing bowl, toss together the flattened Brussel sprouts, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Place them into the air fryer and set it to 390°F for 7 minutes. Give them a shake and cook for an additional 7 to 9 minutes until they are crispy.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the sprouts and enjoy right away.