These Ninja Foodi Brussel Sprouts are made in the air fryer till crispy yet tender, and will seriously convert anyone who doesn’t normally care for them. I am living proof of this, trust me.
Air fryer brussel sprouts are a totally different thing to your usual, steamed-on-the-stovetop, cabbagy-flavored sprouts. These are SO DARN DELICIOUS!
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Ninja Foodi Brussel Sprouts = Air crisped brussel sprouts are amazing!!
To say I didn’t like brussel (or, brussels) sprouts is an understatement. My mom didn’t cook them very often, and when I had them at other people’s houses, I NOW know they were overcooked.
Green, mushy, stinkin’ strong of cooked cabbage – no amount of melted butter or cheese sauce could mask the unpleasantness of them for me. Fast forward another, ohhh.. (a lot of) years… I had them as a side at a new restaurant in my city.
When I say these knocked my socks off, metaphorically, those socks blew to the moon. These sprouts were crispy, crunchy, with a very mild, brussel sprout flavor.
I was in love.
Crispy Brussel Sprouts in the Air Fryer
If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know I love my Ninja Foodi. It’s a pressure cooker, slow cooker, steamer, dehydrator, etc etc, and of course, an air fryer.
If you are new to the Ninja Foodi, take a peek at my guide to using the Foodi for the first few times. It gives tips and tricks and interesting info to make your pressure cooking journey a seamless one.
So, after a few trial and error efforts using my Foodi, I feel I finally achieved the perfect level of crispiness on the outside, and tenderness (not mushy) on the inside for these little gems.
Then I embellished and added some other amazing ingredients and I hasten to say that I think this recipe for Ninja Foodi Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts will convert a hater into a lover.
The Ingredients Needed:
- Brussel Sprouts – How do you pick the best brussel sprouts? Quality means everything. You want to look for fresh, unblemished little cabbage looking globes, with tightly attached leaves. They should be firm to the touch and not soft at all.
- Butter – If you only have margarine, that will do, but butter is best!
- Bacon – I used costco’s brand of bacon crumbles because that’s what I had on hand when making these for photos. I’ve used regular and thick cut bacon and fried them in bits as well. Use your favorite bacon for the best flavor.
- Onions – Sweet onions work fantastic here, but if you have regular yellow onions, that’s fine.
- Maple Syrup – Please use proper maple syrup. Maple flavored pancake syrup is not the same thing.
- Oil and seasonings
Prepping and Cooking the Brussel Sprouts
For more detailed instructions for these sprouts, look at the printable recipe card below.
It’s important to wash and trim up the ends of the sprouts. They tend to be woody and a bit dried out so we want to remove those parts, along with any loose or funny looking leaves.
Next, cook the bacon and the onion slices in the Foodi on the saute function until the bacon is crispy and the onions are tender. Remove them and set them aside.
Add the brussel sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and add the chicken stock.
Continue to saute the sprouts until they’re slightly tender and bright in color.
Begin to air crisp the sprouts after most of the liquid has been absorbed. Air fry the sprouts until crispy on the outside and tender inside. Then add the bacon and onions back. Air fry for another minute to incorporate the flavors.
Turn off the machine and drizzle in the maple syrup. Give it a good mix and it’s ready to serve!
Storage and Freezing
Leftover brussel sprouts will keep well in the fridge for up to four days. I wouldn’t recommend freezing them if you want to retain the crispiness that you achieved through air frying.
To reheat them, add a bit of butter to the foodi and saute them again quickly to reheat. Alternatively, you could also do this in a skillet on the stove. Lastly, you can microwave them, but they will not retain any of the crispiness with this method.
Questions You Might Have
Can I make this with other brand-name air fryers?
Certainly. The only difference to the method of cooking will be that you’ll saute the sprouts in a skillet on the stovetop first to get them a bit tender, and then simply transfer them to your air fryer at the same temperature for the same amount of time.
Do you have to soak brussels sprouts before cooking?
It’s not necessary and in fact, soaking them may make it difficult to get those outer leaves crispy if they’ve taken on too much water. All that’s required is a good rinse, and to towel blot them dry before proceeding.
Why aren’t my sprouts getting nice and crispy?
If they were still a bit wet when you started sauteing them, they may take a lot longer to get crispy. Also, be sure that you added the oil to the sprouts while they were in the bowl as the oil/fat is needed to make them crispier, quicker.
Just wondering, but can I eat Brussel Sprouts raw?
Yes, you sure can. There’s a great salad using shaved brussel sprouts from Love and Lemons that my friend tried and she said it was delicious.
What pairs well with brussel sprouts?
Pretty much any main protein that you love. Chicken, beef, pork chops, etc. If you wanted to switch up the sweetness in this recipe, you could substitute the maple syrup for Pomegranate Honey Sauce, or using a balsamic glaze would also be delicious.
Well I hope I’ve convinced you to give these delicious air fryer brussel sprouts a try. I can tell you that I was converted when they’re cooked this way!
- 1 pound brussel sprouts, rinsed and patted dry.
- 1 cup bacon crumbles (about 10 pieces of bacon)
- 1/2 large onion, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable broth.
- 1/4 cup, maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon butter or margarine
- 1 tablespoon oil
- as desired, salt and pepper
- Cut your rinsed and dried brussel sprouts in half, lengthwise. Trim the woody ends off of each side as well. Remove any loose leaves.
- In a bowl, toss the sprouts in oil, salt, and pepper. Give them a good stir to cover all the sprouts. Set aside.
- Add the butter, bacon, and onions to the inner cooking pot of the Foodi. Season with salt and pepper.
- Press sear/saute and saute the bacon and onions together until the onion is tender and translucent. (3-4 minutes). Remove from the pot and set aside.
- Transfer the sprouts into the cooking insert. Add the broth and saute the sprouts for about 8 minutes or until they are beginning to get a bit tender. Stir occasionally.
- Once they are softening and most of the liquid has been absorbed, select "Air Crisp" on the Foodi panel. Choose 390 degrees for 10 minutes. * See notes.
- Air fry the sprouts, checking on them every 2-3 minutes to ensure they aren't getting too dark in one spot. Stir them once or twice during the air frying time.
- When they are almost finished and they've reached the crispiness that you prefer, open the lid and add the bacon mixture, and drizzle in the maple syrup.
- Stir and Air crisp a final 1-2 minutes.
If you don't have chicken or vegetable broth, water can be used as well.
I found that depending on the size of the sprouts, most times I don't need the full 10 minutes of air frying. However, if the sprouts are particularly large, sometimes the extra time is needed for crisping. Just lift the lid and keep an eye on them as they get crispy.
The crispiness of the leaves is what adds so much lovely flavor to the sprouts. You want them crispy and browned, but not burned and black so again, keep an eye on them as they cook.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 316Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 662mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 3gSugar: 15gProtein: 14g
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.