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Air Fryer Smashed Brussel Sprouts

Air fryer smashed brussel sprouts are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Ready in 30 minutes, these smashed brussels sprouts made in the air fryer are the perfect side dish or healthy snack. Even your picky eaters are going to love this recipe!

Air fryer basket filled with smashed brussel sprouts.

Why you will love this recipe

  • Easy to make – making smashed brussel sprouts in the air fryer is so easy. The brussel sprouts get so crispy as they cook in the air fryer.
  • Simple ingredients – these air fryer smashed brussel sprouts are made with such simple ingredients. You can find all these ingredients at your local grocery store (there are some suggestions on substitutions below). This recipe is naturally vegan, gluten free, Whole30 and low carb friendly.
  • Fun way to enjoy brussel sprouts –smashed brussel sprouts are such a fun way to enjoy brussel sprouts. They are great for dipping in your favorite sauce but are also great on their own.
Ingredients to make air fryer smashed brussel sprouts on marble countertop.
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Ingredients

  • Brussel sprouts – you can use fresh or frozen brussel sprouts to make these air fryer smashed brussel sprouts. You will need to steam or boil the brussel sprouts before smashing them.
  • Olive oil – olive oil helps to coat the brussel sprouts with the spices and also helps the brussel sprouts get crispy.
  • Apple cider vinegar – apple cider vinegar with the olive oil creates a dressing and also helps to give the dish flavor.
  • Spices: Salt, garlic powder, paprika, turmeric – these spices create so much flavor in these smashed brussel sprouts.

How to make air fryer smashed brussel sprouts

Bring a pot of water to a boil.

Cut any brown stems off the bottom of the brussel sprouts.

Brussel sprouts on wood cutting board, with stems being removed.

Add brussel sprouts to a steamer basket when the water has come to a boil. Steam for 7-9 minutes (small brussel sprouts for 7 minutes, larger for 9).

While the brussel sprouts are cooking, combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and spices. Stir well.

Once the brussel sprouts are soft, smash the brussel sprouts with a heavy cup or bowl.

Glass smashing brussel sprout on wood cutting board.

Put the smashed brussel sprouts in the air fryer, don’t overlap them. You will likely need to cook these in two batches. Brush some of the spiced olive oil mixture on each of the smashed brussel sprouts in the air fryer.

Cook in air fryer at 390F for 10 minutes. After 5 minutes, pause the air fryer and flip the brussel sprouts. Brush them with the rest of the olive oil mixture and finish cooking the last 5 minutes in the air fryer.

Top tips

  • Be sure to remove any brown stem from the brussel sprouts and also remove any loose leaves. If any of the leaves fall off, reserve them for a different recipe (or make them into a simple salad).
  • Smash the brussel sprouts to the same thickness so that they cook evenly in the air fryer..
  • Steam the brussel sprouts until they are easily smashed with a glass.
    • For smaller sprouts, this will be about 7 minutes.
    • For larger sprouts it will be closer to 9 minutes.
    • If you have different size brussel sprouts, remove the smallest ones around minute 7 then let the rest cook another minute or two while you are smashing the first batch you removed.
  • Cook these in batches unless you have a really large air fryer. You don’t want these to be stacked on top of each other or they will steam and won’t get the crispy exterior that makes them so delicious.
  • Every air fryer is different, so cooking time may vary based on your brand/model. I use a Ninja Air Fryer to test these recipes.
Smashed brussel sprout dipped in lemon tahini sauce.

How to serve

Other flavors use

  • Balsamic – omit the turmeric and paprika, add 1 teaspoon italian seasoning and use balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar
  • Ranch – omit the turmeric and paprika, add 1/2 tbsp. dried chives, 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • Spicy – add 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Sriracha – add 1 tablespoon sriracha to the liquid ingredients
  • Honey mustard – add 2 tablespoons dijon, 1 tablespoon of honey, and replace the apple cider vinegar with white wine vinegar
Hand holding a mashed brussel sprouts.

Common questions

Can you use frozen brussel sprouts?

Yes! Since you are steaming these brussel sprouts in advance, you can use fresh or frozen brussel sprouts. The timing will not be any different.

What if you don’t have a steamer basket?

If you don’t have a steamer, you can boil the brussel sprouts for 5-7 minutes (depending on size) or even put them in the microwave for 4-5 minutes to soften them.

Can you make smashed brussel sprouts in the oven

  • Steam the brussel sprouts 7-9 minutes until soft.
  • Smash the brussel sprouts and brush them with the dressing mixture.
  • Bake in 425F oven for 15 minutes, flip, brush with oil and bake another 10-15 minutes.

Storing leftovers

Fridge: Store leftover smashed brussel sprouts in a airtight container for up to 5 days.

Reheat in the air fryer at 350F for 3-4 minutes to help the brussel sprouts crisp up again. They will get slightly mushy in the fridge so reheating them in the air fryer is best for texture.

Smashed brussel sprouts in the air fryer basket.

Substitutions

  • Olive oil – you can use avocado oil, melted ghee or butter in place of the olive oil.
  • Apple cider vinegar – you can also use white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar.
  • Spices – check out the other flavor choices above

If you love this recipe, you should try

Air Fryer Frozen Brussel Sprouts

Shaved Brussel Sprouts Salad with Balsamic Vinegar

Maple Mustard Brussel Sprouts

Spicy Sriracha Brussel Sprouts

Vegan Brussel Sprouts Casserole

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Smashed brussel sprouts on white plate.

Air Fryer Smashed Brussel Sprouts

Air fryer smashed brussel sprouts are so delicious and fun to eat! Great as a side dish or as a snack for dipping. This healthy smashed brussel sprouts recipe is vegan, gluten free, Whole30 and low carb friendly.
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Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: air fryer smashed brussel sprouts, smashed brussel sprouts air fryer
Prep Time: 3 mins
Cook Time: 27 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Bring a pot of water with a steamer basket to a boil.
  • Cut the brown ends off the brussel sprouts. Remove any leaves that fall off.
  • Add the brussel sprouts to the steamer basket and steam for 7-9 minutes until soft (smaller brussel sprouts will cook in 7 minutes, larger will need 9 minutes).
  • Smash the brussel sprouts in a heavy cup or bowl on a wood cutting board.
  • Combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar and spices in a bowl. Stir well.
  • Fill the air fryer basket with smashed brussel sprouts (don't overlap the brussels). Brush the turmeric sauce over the top of the brussel sprouts. Cook at 390F for 10 minutes.
  • After 5 minutes pause the air fryer and flip the brussel sprouts. Brush them on the other side with the turmeric sauce. Cook for the remaining 5 minutes.
  • Repeat this process with the rest of the brussel sprouts, except only cook for 9 minutes since the air fryer will be preheated.

Equipment

Notes

Top tips
  • Be sure to remove any brown stem from the brussel sprouts and also remove any loose leaves. If any of the leaves fall off, reserve them for a different recipe (or make them into a simple salad).
  • Smash the brussel sprouts to the same thickness so that they cook evenly in the air fryer.
  • Steam the brussel sprouts until they are easily smashed with a glass. For smaller sprouts, this will be about 7 minutes. For larger sprouts it will be closer to 9 minutes. If you have different size brussel sprouts, remove the smallest ones around minute 7 then let the rest cook another minute or two while you are smashing the first batch you removed.
  • Cook these in batches unless you have a really large air fryer. You don’t want these to be stacked on top of each other. 
  • Every air fryer is different, so cooking time may vary based on your brand/model.
How to make smashed brussel sprouts in the oven
  • Steam the brussel sprouts 7-9 minutes until soft.
  • Smash the brussel sprouts and brush them with the dressing mixture.
  • Bake in 425F oven for 15 minutes, flip, brush with oil and bake another 10-15 minutes.
Storing leftovers
  • Fridge: Store leftover smashed brussel sprouts in a airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Reheat in the air fryer to help the brussel sprouts crisp up again (350F for 3-4 minutes). They will get slightly mushy in the fridge so reheating in the air fryer is best for the texture.
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
176
Fat
 
14
g
Carbohydrates
 
11
g
Fiber
 
5
g
Sugar
 
3
g
Protein
 
4
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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