Air Fryer Smashed Brussel Sprouts: Crispy Garlic Parmesan

Crispy smashed Brussels are the perfect snack or appetizer! They’re easy to dip, and healthier than a fried chip, while you can satisfy your craving for crispy. Once I saw air fryer smashed brussel sprouts on TikTok, I knew I had to jump on the craze and make my own!

air fryer smashed brussel sprouts recipe dinners done quick featured image

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Brussels sprouts are cooked, smashed, and crisped to perfection in this easy recipe with just 6 ingredients. The air fryer does a great job of making browned, caramelized edges with a pleasant crunch!

You can season your smashed Brussels in a variety of ways. I’m doing garlic and parmesan here today, but I’ll give you some other great choices if that’s not your thing.

To save time, I like cooking my sprouts and smashing them ahead of time. Then, it’s just a quick season and a trip through the air fryer to serve them up hot and fresh in 10 minutes!

holding up an air fried smashed brussel sprout

It’s a great appetizer option for the holidays, as Brussels are a perfect fall and winter vegetable. Even if you don’t normally like them, this crispy, flavorful take may change your mind!

Ingredients List

ingredients to make air fryer smashed brussel sprouts
  • 10-16 ounces whole Brussels sprouts, fresh or frozen, washed and trimmed if fresh
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Ingredient Tips and Substitutions

  • You may use fresh or frozen Brussels. This recipe requires the sprouts to be precooked before smashing, so I opt for the frozen so I can steam in the bag for convenience. Most frozen bags are 10-12 ounces. If you use fresh, it will be 16 ounces in a bag, but after trimming them you’ll end up around 12 ounces total I find. However, if you need to adjust the seasoning levels for what you have, feel free!
  • You can substitute fresh garlic in place of the garlic powder, but I find it tends to get a little overly brown for my tastes in the air fryer. This is a personal preference, though
  • Other great seasoning options include: paprika, thyme, or red pepper flakes for a little heat!
  • Feel free to add finishing touches such as a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze, cooked crumbled bacon, a squeeze of lemon juice, or some shredded parmesan!
  • Good dipping sauce options are: ranch dressing, garlic sauce, tahini, hummus, or garlic parmesan sauce!

Step By Step Instructions

  1. Pre-cook your Brussels sprouts. You may do this by microwaving on high for 5 minutes in a steamer bag, microwave steamer, or microwave safe dish with a lid and about ½  cup water added. Alternatively, boil in salted water on the stovetop for about 10 minutes. Allow the sprouts to cool for 5-10 minutes, then pat dry
precook your brussels and let them dry
  1. Smash the sprouts flat using the bottom of a drinking glass, a flat plate, bottom of a bowl, or even a tortilla press. Keep them as even as possible, and don’t overmash them so they break apart
smash the cooked brussel sprouts flat using a glass
  1. Preheat your air fryer to 380°F (or the closest setting your specific air fryer has)
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, seasonings, and parmesan cheese together and mix well
in a medium bowl combine olive oil, seasonings, and parmesan cheese together
  1. You can either toss the smashed Brussels carefully in the mixture or brush it onto them. Tossing gives you more even coverage and is quicker, but you’re also more likely to break them apart so it’s your choice here
toss your smashed brussel sprouts in the mixture for even coating
  1. Place the seasoned, smashed brussel sprouts into the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer
place seasoned brussel sprouts in air fryer basket
  1. Cook on the air fry setting for 10 minutes at 380°F, pausing halfway through to flip the sprouts over (I use a fork or a pair of tongs), until the edges are brown and crispy
  2. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce if desired, and enjoy!
overhead view of air fryer smashed brussel sprouts on a plate

More Unique Brussels Sprouts Recipes to Try

Recipe FAQs

Can I Use Frozen Brussels Sprouts for This Recipe?

Yes, you can absolutely use frozen Brussels sprouts for this recipe. In fact, I find it easier to steam them in the bag and save yourself time.

However, you may trim and boil or steam fresh sprouts as well, if preferred.

How Do I Make the Brussels Sprouts Crispy in the Air Fryer?

To make them crispy, ensure they’re thoroughly dried after boiling or steaming. Also make sure to brush or spray oil on all sides before air frying.

You can always add an additional spritz of oil during cooking, or add additional cook time if they’re not quite brown enough for your liking.

What Seasonings Work Best with Smashed Brussels Sprouts?

Common seasonings include garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper.

Parmesan, balsamic vinegar, and bacon are other popular toppings or additions for added flavor. Experiment to find your favorite combinations!

Can I Prepare These in Advance and Reheat Them?

While smashed Brussels are best when freshly made, you can reheat them in the air fryer for a few minutes to regain some crispiness.

For a better make ahead option, precook and smash your Brussels sprouts ahead of time and refrigerate them for up to 48 hours. Then, season and air fry to crisp up just before serving.

What’s the Ideal Texture for Smashed Brussels Sprouts?

Smashed Brussels should have a crispy exterior with a tender, almost creamy interior.

Adjust the cooking time to achieve your desired texture.

Can I Add Cheese to the Smashed Brussels Sprouts?

Yes, parmesan cheese is a popular option to add to smashed Brussels sprouts.

You can add it before or after cooking (or both) depending on your desired level of flavor.

Recipe Pro Tips

  • I smashed my sprouts to about ¼” thickness and found that to be perfect, but as long as you don’t mush them so much that they break apart, any thickness is fine
  • They will release additional water as you smash them, which I recommend dabbing up. This will help them to get crispier after air frying!
  • If you don’t preheat your air fryer (I’m guilty of it sometimes too), cook for 7 minutes on the first side, then flip and do an additional 5. This will make up for the preheat time generally (but if you need to add 1-2 more minutes that’s fine)!
  • I made this recipe in my 8 qt Ninja Dual Zone air fryer and was able to fit 18 sprouts in at a time. For smaller air fryers, you may need to cook in batches (overcrowding will result in them not being crispy)
closeup view of air fryer smashed brussel sprouts piled up on a plate surrounded by fresh brussels

Storage and Reheating Tips

  • Smashed brussel sprouts are best enjoyed fresh. However, you may store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2-3 days if needed. I do not recommend freezing, as they tend to fall apart
  • To reheat, air fry for 2-3 minutes at 400°F to re-crisp them
  • If you would like to prepare them in advance, cook, smash, and season the sprouts. Refrigerate for up to 48 hours and then just cook them in the air fryer before serving (so it only takes 10 minutes)! This makes them quick and easy for entertaining!

More Air Fryer Vegetable Recipes to Try

Final Thoughts

These air fryer smashed brussel sprouts are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, and perfectly seasoned with garlic and parmesan flavors.

In fact, I don’t even like brussel sprouts normally, and I adore these! They make a perfect appetizer or snack, and are perfect for dipping.

The air fryer does a great job of getting them browned and caramelized so that they’re bursting with flavor. If you do the prep ahead of time, it takes just 10 minutes to get them on the table, making for a quick and easy option for entertaining.

air fryer smashed brussel sprouts recipe dinners done quick featured image

Air Fryer Smashed Brussel Sprouts Parmesan

These air fryer smashed Brussels sprouts are crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. With flavors of garlic and parmesan, they’re perfect as a snack or appetizer!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 17 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American, Vegetables, Vegetarian
Servings 2
Calories 205 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 10-16 Ounces whole Brussels sprouts, fresh or frozen (washed and trimmed if fresh)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tsp garlic powder
  • ½ Tsp salt
  • ½ Tsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Pre-cook your Brussels sprouts. You may do this by microwaving on high for 5-7 minutes in a steamer bag, microwave steamer, or microwave safe dish with a lid and about ½  cup water added. Alternatively, boil in salted water on the stovetop for about 10 minutes. Allow the sprouts to cool for 5-10 minutes, then pat dry
    10-16 Ounces whole Brussels sprouts, fresh or frozen
  • Smash the sprouts flat to about ¼” thickness using the bottom of a drinking glass or similar. Keep them as even as possible, and don’t over mash them so they break apart
  • Preheat your air fryer to 380°F (or the closest setting your specific air fryer has)
  • In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, seasonings, and parmesan cheese together and mix well
    2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tsp garlic powder, ½ Tsp salt, ½ Tsp black pepper, 2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • Toss the smashed Brussels carefully in the mixture or brush it onto them evenly
  • Place the seasoned, smashed brussel sprouts into the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer
  • Cook on the air fry setting for 10 minutes at 380°F, pausing halfway through to flip the sprouts over (use a fork or a pair of tongs), until the edges are brown and crispy
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce if desired, and enjoy!

Notes

  • You may use fresh or frozen Brussels. I opt for the frozen so I can steam in the bag for convenience. Most frozen bags are 10-12 ounces. If you use fresh, it will be 16 ounces in a bag, but after trimming them you’ll end up with less. Adjust seasoning as needed depending on your specific quantity
  • You can substitute fresh garlic in place of the garlic powder, but I find it tends to get a little overly brown for my tastes in the air fryer. This is a personal preference, though
  • Other great seasoning options include: paprika, thyme, or red pepper flakes for a little heat!
  • Feel free to add finishing touches such as a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze, cooked crumbled bacon, a squeeze of lemon juice, or some shredded parmesan!
  • Good dipping sauce options are: ranch dressing, garlic sauce, tahini, hummus, or garlic parmesan sauce!
  • The sprouts will release additional water as you smash them, which I recommend dabbing up. This will help them to get crispier after air frying!
  • If you don’t preheat your air fryer (I’m guilty of it sometimes too), cook for 7 minutes on the first side, then flip and do an additional 5. This will make up for the preheat time generally (but if you need to add 1-2 more minutes that’s fine)!
  • I made this recipe in my 8 qt Ninja Dual Zone air fryer and was able to fit 18 sprouts in at a time. For smaller air fryers, you may need to cook in batches (overcrowding will result in them not being crispy)
  • Smashed brussel sprouts are best enjoyed fresh. However, you may store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 2-3 days if needed. I do not recommend freezing, as they tend to fall apart
  • To reheat, air fry for 2-3 minutes at 400°F to re-crisp them
  • If you would like to prepare them in advance, cook, smash, and season the sprouts. Refrigerate for up to 48 hours and then just cook them in the air fryer before serving (so it only takes 10 minutes)
  • Exact nutritional values will vary based on brand of ingredients, any sauces or sides added, and actual quantity consumed, so please consider this a guideline only

Nutrition

Serving: 164gCalories: 205kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 7.1gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 2.8gCholesterol: 4.3mgSodium: 687mgPotassium: 561mgFiber: 5.7gSugar: 2.9gVitamin A: 190.7IUVitamin C: 105.2mgCalcium: 84mgIron: 1.6mg
Keyword air fryer smashed brussel sprouts, air frying vegetables, brussels sprouts recipe air fryer, crispy brussels sprouts, ninja air fryer smashed brussel sprouts, smashed brussel sprouts parmesan
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Katie Vine