Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts have crispy caramelized brussels sprout exteriors with tender interiors flavored with maple syrup and bacon.
Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts Recipe
There are many ways to eat brussels sprouts, for sure. We love this irresistible version of air fryer maple bacon brussels sprouts that is sweet, smoky, and savory.
Remember those boiled brussels sprouts served in the school cafeteria back in the day? Yuck.
Please rest assured these air fryer brussels sprouts are nothing like that. Not even close.
Once you experience crispy, caramelized brussels sprouts made in the air fryer, there’s no going back.
Air frying or oven-roasting vegetables at a high temperature helps them release their natural sugars to caramelize as they cook – YUM.
Add some smoky bacon and sweet maple syrup and you have something fantastic.
Who knew air fryer Brussels sprouts could be your new favorite side dish???
What to love about this recipe
- Air fryer brussels sprouts will turn you into a veggie eatin’ fool…no lie. Soooo addictive.
- They crisp and caramelize in just minutes in your air fryer.
- Bacon and pure maple syrup. Do I have to say more??
Air fryer maple bacon brussels sprouts recipe ingredients
- Fresh brussels sprouts: Trim the stems where formerly attached to the stalk and remove any loose leaves.
- Olive oil: You can substitute vegetable or canola oil in place of olive oil, if preferred.
- Pure maple syrup: Pure maple syrup is not the same thing as pancake syrup. Pancake syrup is mostly corn syrup.
- Red wine vinegar: This ingredient adds some zing to the brussels sprouts. Feel free to use cider vinegar or white wine vinegar, if needed.
- Bacon: The bacon fat helps brown and caramelize the brussels sprouts, adding lots of flavor.
- Red pepper flakes: This ingredient is completely optional, but surely recommended. Add as much or as little as you’d like.
How to cook air fryer brussels sprouts
Prepare the sprouts by peeling away any outer leaves that are yellowed, browned, or damaged.
Using a sharp paring or utility knife, trim the stem end of each Brussels sprout, then slice in half lengthwise.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, vinegar, salt, pepper, and red paper flakes until nicely combined.
Add the Brussels sprouts and bacon to the bowl and toss well to coat evenly.
If you forget to add the bacon during this step like I did, add it to the Brussels sprouts once you spread them out on the air fryer pan.
Line the air fryer basket with foil and spread the prepared Brussels sprouts and bacon out in a single layer.
Roast the brussel’s sprouts at 350 degrees F. for 10-12 minutes, depending on how crispy you prefer them.
Toss them halfway through the cooking time.
If the Brussels sprouts aren’t fork-tender at the end of 12 minutes, air fry them a few minutes longer.
How long to cook brussels sprouts in the air fryer
I cook 1 pound of brussels sprouts for 10-12 minutes on “roast” in the air fryer.
Make sure to add whatever seasoning you love the most before placing them in the air fryer.
Can I use frozen brussels sprouts in this recipe?
No, frozen vegetables are par-cooked before frozen.
This makes it so they can’t withstand the high heat of roasting or air frying very well.
This recipe is much better using fresh brussels sprouts.
How do I choose fresh brussels sprouts at the grocery store?
Choose fresh brussels sprouts bright green in color with leaves that are tight to the sprout.
Smaller brussels sprouts are usually sweeter and more tender than larger ones.
How to clean and prepare brussels sprouts
No matter the recipe for fresh brussels sprouts, you’ll need to do a bit of prep first.
At the base of each sprout is a fibrous spot where it was originally connects to the stalk of the plant.
This area is usually a bit brown in color and dried from storage.
Using a sharp paring knife, trim off this dried-out stem area, leaving the rest of it intact to hold the sprout together.
Next, inspect the outer leaves of each brussels sprout.
If they look loose, yellowed in color, dried, or bruised in any way, pluck them off until you reach the brighter green leaves beneath.
Cut the smaller brussels sprouts in half lengthwise. If the fresh brussels sprouts seem large, but them into quarters.
Not only does this make them quicker to cook and easier to eat, there’s more surface to caramelize and crisp and that heightens flavor and texture.
What is the difference between pancake syrup and pure maple syrup?
Pure maple syrup is just that – pure syrup from maple tree sap that’s been boiled down to a nice thick consistency.
Pancake syrup, however, is made from corn syrup and artificial maple extract.
Comparatively, pure maple syrup is much more expensive than pancake syrup, but the flavor is much better and stronger, so a little goes a long way.
What happens when vegetables are roasted?
When veggies are roasted at a high temperature their natural sugars are released allowing them to caramelize.
This adds wonderful flavor! You can roast vegetables in the air fryer or in the oven.
Which tools do I need to make air fryer brussels sprouts?
Air Fryer – We have the Cuisinart TOA-60 air fryer and it’s the bomb! This is a rack-style air fryer, not a basket-style. We prefer the basket-style since you can spread food out in a single layer, helping it cook more quickly and get more crispy.
Kitchen shears – Use a pair of kitchen shears for chopping bacon for this recipe – it works slick as a whistle. (I prefer the pull-apart kitchen shears for easy washing.)
Paring knife – This type of utility knife is handy for trimming stems and cutting Brussels sprouts in half.
Rimmed baking sheets – Using a baking sheet with a 1-inch rim keeps the Brussels sprouts (or any vegetables you are roasting) right in place. Heavy-duty baking sheets also help cook evenly and create goo caramelization.
More favorite air fryer recipes to enjoy –
We love air fryer mahi mahi with mango salsa because it’s a flavorful yet low fat and low calorie weeknight meal that’s ready in just minutes.
Straight-forward and simple, air fryer steak bites are juicy and tender. You can also make these steak bites in a skillet or on a baking sheet in the oven.
We are big fans of this super quick 4-ingredient air fryer recipe: honey glazed salmon. The salmon is topped with honey to add extra sweetness and flavor.
Turn yourself into a broccoli addict! Air fryer roasted broccoli parmesan is just the ticket – we cannot stop eating this anytime we cook it up in the air fryer.
Air Fryer Maple-Bacon Brussels Sprouts
- 1 lb. Brussels sprouts trimmed halved
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
- 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. pepper flakes
- 4 slices bacon chopped
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the olive oil, maple syrup, vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes until fully combined.
- Add Brussels sprouts and bacon to bowl and toss well to coat evenly; transfer to the air fryer tray that has been lined with foil.
- Roast the Brussels sprouts at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, depending on how crispy you prefer them, tossing halfway through the cooking time.
- For Oven
- Transfer sprouts and bacon to preheated 425° F oven. Cook for 30-40 minutes – depending on how crispy you like them. Give them a good stir after about 15 minutes