Fried Brussels sprouts have become a menu staple — and for good reason. The tiny cabbages caramelize and crisp while maintaining enough structure to work as a dipping vessel. Of course, deep-frying them is something of a project and doesn't yield the healthiest results. We wanted to see if we could use the air fryer to make “fried” Brussels sprouts that kept their virtuous qualities but tasted as decadent as their deep-fried counterparts. Our first attempts were promising but not perfect. Since we usually achieve crispiness (when not frying) by using a very hot oven, we tossed the Brussels sprouts in a little oil and roasted them in the air fryer at 400 degrees. They crisped up quickly but tasted raw inside: The air fryer was doing too good a job at browning. We tried adding a splash of water before cooking the sprouts, hoping the resulting steam might soften them faster, but no luck. The solution turned out to be more obvious: Lowering the heat to 350 degrees gave the sprouts time to soften on the inside while the outside crisped. The results mimicked the deep-fried sprouts so well that we were inspired to create a version with another beloved fried vegetable: crispy shallots.
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
The Brussels sprouts are delicious with just a squeeze of lemon, but irresistible with Lemon-Chive Dipping Sauce (recipe follows). If you are buying loose Brussels sprouts, select those that are about 1½ inches long. Quarter Brussels sprouts longer than 2½ inches.
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon wedges
Toss Brussels sprouts with oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper in bowl; transfer to air-fryer basket. Place basket in air fryer and set temperature to 350 degrees. Cook Brussels sprouts until tender, well browned, and crispy, 20 to 25 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with lemon wedges.
Air-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Shallots
Add 3 thinly sliced shallots to bowl with Brussels sprouts along with oil, salt, and pepper.
Lemon-Chive Dipping Sauce
Whisk ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 2 teaspoons juice, ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, and ¼ teaspoon garlic powder together in bowl.
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