Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Garlic Aioli makes for a fantastic appetizer, snack or healthy side dish with dinner. They are easy to prepare, with simple ingredients, and cook up in no time. Air Fryer Brussel sprouts are perfect for busy weeknights or for special occasions. The combination of crispy Brussels sprouts and tangy garlic lemon aioli is sure to be a hit at the dinner table.
Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
You may not think you are a fan of Brussels sprouts, but have you ever tried them air fried or roasted? The flavor improves a lot! I have found that air frying Brussels sprouts is the best way to make a batch (the perfect side dish) without having to heat up my oven. This is amazing in the summer!
About the Name
Brussels sprouts are named after the capital city of Belgium — having been cultivated there hundreds of years ago. That's how I remember that it's Brussels sprouts, not Brussel sprouts. It is "Brussels" even when referring to just one sprout (In this article I am using both versions for search reasons).
Brussels sprouts are a vegetable belonging to the Brassicaceae family of cruciferous vegetables (along with broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage). They are small, leafy green buds that grow on a tall stalk and look like mini cabbages.
Brussels sprouts are known for their slightly bitter and nutty flavor and are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, making them a great side dish choice for a healthy and low carb diet.
Ingredients for Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts:
• Fresh Brussels Sprouts - Try to get them all similar size.
• Neutral Oil – such as Avocado oil works in high temperatures.
• Salt and Black Pepper
• Lemon optional
For the Garlic Lemon Aioli Mayo:
• Fresh Lemon Juice
• Fresh Garlic
• Salt and Black Pepper
• Cayenne Pepper
These Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts are a must-try if you want a tasty and healthy snack, or when you need an easy side dish with your dinner. When you air fry Brussels sprouts you get a crispy texture on the outside, while the inside remains tender. Air frying may become your new favorite way of cooking Brussels sprouts
The lemon garlic aioli complements the Brussels sprouts perfectly, adding a tangy and garlicky flavor to the dish.
- Trim Brussels sprouts and cut them uniformly: Cut the Brussels sprouts in halves lengthwise so that they cook evenly. If the sprouts are of varying sizes, smaller sprouts may overcook while larger sprouts remain undercooked.
- Dry the Brussels sprouts thoroughly: It's important to dry the Brussels sprouts after rinsing them. Excess moisture can cause them to steam instead of air fry, resulting in a mushy texture.
- Coat them lightly in oil: Coat the Brussels sprouts lightly and evenly with the oil to ensure even cooking. While an air fryer uses less oil than traditional frying methods, it's still important to use oil sparingly.
- Preheat your air fryer: For best results with this recipe, preheat your air fryer before cooking. This ensures that the food will cook evenly and reduces cooking time.
- Don't overcrowd the basket: Ensure that the Brussels sprouts are in a single layer in the basket, and there is some space between them to promote even air circulation.
- Shake the basket: When using basket style air fryers, shake the basket halfway through the cook time to ensure even browning and helps to move the food around and prevents it from sticking to the basket. Otherwise flip the sprouts over.
- Check for doneness: Check the Brussels sprouts for doneness a few minutes before the end of the cooking time. Overcooked Brussels sprouts can become dry and bitter.
Tips for Air Frying Brussels Sprouts
Here are some tips to help you make the best air fryer Brussels sprouts:
How to Air Fry Brussels Sprouts
1. Preheat air fryer for 3 to 5 minutes at 380°F.
2. While air fryer is preheating, prepare the Brussels sprouts by rinsing thoroughly and peeling away any loose outer leaves. Cut each Brussels Sprout in half lengthwise (along the core). Then add them to a large bowl and toss with the oil.
3. Once air fryer has finished preheating, place Brussels sprouts in air fryer basket in an even layer.
4. Close air fryer and set timer for 12 minutes. Shake the basket or turn the Brussels sprouts over at the halfway mark.
5. Start checking the Brussels sprouts for doneness at about 10 minutes in – to prevent over-browning. If needed, cook a few additional minutes for more tender Brussels sprouts
6. Remove from air fryer once cooking has completed.
7. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice (optional) to taste.
For the Garlic Lemon Aioli: Mix together mayonnaise, lemon juice, pressed garlic, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.
Serve the Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts hot, with a side of Garlic Lemon Aioli for dipping.
*It is recommended to use a neutral oil with a high smoke point such as avocado oil to prevent the Brussels sprouts from becoming too dark during the cooking process. Olive oil can be used, but it has a lower smoke point, which can cause the sprouts to cook to a much darker color.
Can I Make This in a Regular Oven?
Yes! To make roasted Brussels sprouts in a regular oven, preheat the oven to 400°F. Rinse and dry them. Then cut the Brussels sprouts in half, toss with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, then spread on a baking sheet. Roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking, until tender and golden brown.
Can I make the lemon garlic aioli ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the aioli ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If you're not a fan of aioli or would like to try some different flavor combinations with your Brussels sprouts, here are some ideas:
Balsamic Glaze: Drizzle some balsamic vinegar glaze over the cooked Brussels sprouts for a tangy and sweet flavor.
Honey Mustard Sauce: Mix honey and Dijon mustard to make a sweet and tangy sauce that pairs well with Brussels sprouts.
Ranch Dressing: Dip your Brussels sprouts in some creamy ranch dressing for a classic and comforting flavor.
Pesto: Toss the cooked Brussels sprouts in some homemade or store-bought pesto for a fresh, herbaceous flavor. Top with parmesan cheese.
Sriracha Mayo: Mix sriracha sauce with mayonnaise for a spicy and creamy dip that pairs well with the crispy Brussels sprouts.
Can I use Frozen Brussels Sprouts Instead of Fresh?
Fresh Brussels sprouts are recommended for this recipe, but you can definitely use frozen sprouts. They may not cook as evenly as fresh sprouts in the air fryer because you leave them whole. See the Notes in the recipe card for instructions.
Leftover Brussels sprouts can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the air fryer for a few minutes before serving.
- Allow the Brussels sprouts to cool completely and transfer them to a freezer-safe container or a resealable freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing the bag. Freeze leftover Brussel sprouts for up to 3 months.
- To reheat the frozen Brussels sprouts, you can reheat them in the air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F, Place the frozen Brussel sprouts in the basket, and air fry for 5-7 minutes, until they are heated through and crispy. Keep in mind that the Brussels sprouts will not be as crispy as when they were fresh.
Can I Freeze Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts?
Air fryer Brussels sprouts are best enjoyed fresh, but you can freeze them to enjoy later (The lemon garlic aioli does not freeze well and should be made fresh as needed).
What Goes with Brussels Sprouts
Air fryer Brussels sprouts with lemon garlic aioli pair well with a variety of main dish recipes, such as grilled, or Instant Pot chicken, steak or pork chops, roasted, grilled, or air fried fish, quinoa or brown rice bowls, pasta dishes, and salads.
If you make these crispy air fryer Brussels sprouts, please let me know. You can leave a comment and a star rating below.
Cooking with an air fryer is a great way to make crispy Brussels sprouts.
Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts are a tasty vegetable side dish, especially when dipped in the flavorful Lemon Garlic Aioli!
- 2 pounds Fresh Brussels Sprouts
- 2 Tablespoons Neutral Oil* such as Avocado (see note)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon Juice to taste (optional)
- ½ cup Mayonnaise
- 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
- 2 cloves Garlic, finely minced (recommend using garlic press for flavor)
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ⅛ scant teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Preheat air fryer for 3 to 5 minutes at 380°F.
While air fryer is preheating, prepare the Brussels sprouts by rinsing thoroughly and peeling away any loose outer leaves. Cut each Brussels Sprout in half lengthwise (along the core). Then add them to a large bowl and toss with the oil.
Once air fryer has finished preheating, place Brussels sprouts in air fryer basket in an even layer.
Close air fryer and set timer for 12 minutes. Shake the basket or turn the Brussels sprouts over at the halfway mark.
Start checking the Brussels sprouts for doneness at about 10 minutes in – to prevent over-browning. If needed, cook a few additional minutes for more tender Brussels sprouts.
Remove from air fryer once cooking has completed and add salt, pepper and lemon juice (optional) to taste. Add a dash of cayenne for some heat if desired.
Mix together mayonnaise, lemon juice, pressed garlic, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl.
Serve the Brussels sprouts hot, with a side of Garlic Lemon Aioli for dipping.
*Olive oil can be used, however, the Brussels sprouts will cook to a much darker color due to its much lower smoke point.
Air Frying Frozen Brussels Sprouts: When cooking frozen brussel sprouts, you won't be able to cut them, so use small Brussels sprouts. Spread them evenly in the air fryer basket. Set the temperature to 390°F and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes. This helps excess moisture to evaporate.