Crispy, ever so tender, and scrumptious air fryer smashed Brussels sprouts with balsamic glaze are impossible to pass up.
Smashed Brussels Sprouts Air Fryer
Why boil them? Why smash them? The puzzled looks and questions my family had were hilarious. That is likely because they have never seen me boil or steam Brussels Sprouts on purpose.
And when I smashed them? I’m reasonably sure they thought I had lost my mind. It seemed ridiculous to them and might to you as well.
However, once they tasted the crispy edges drizzled with a touch of balsamic, I was not the crazy one for long. The sprouts were all devoured before we could sit down to dinner. Note to self, plan on doubling or tripling this recipe the next time.
When making air fryer smashed Brussels sprouts, leave them whole after trimming and cleaning them. You will boil them whole. Watch them closely as they near the end of the cooking time.
The recipe says to boil them for 10 minutes. But we all know sprouts vary in size, so watch them closely for the last 2-3 minutes and drain them as soon as they reach the fork-tender stage.
After letting them cool for 5 minutes, you can smash them. The cooling time is up to you. They are easier to handle this way without burning your fingertips. Smash them using a heavy flat bottom glass or measuring cup.
They can be slippery little things when you are trying to smash them. If you find yourself chasing them around the pan, try using a small piece of parchment paper between the sprout and the glass you are using to smash them. That can be just enough to hold them in place sometimes.
Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts Balsamic
I use the COSORI Air Fryer for all of my air fryer recipes. I’m partial to a square basket air fryer as I find it easier to fit more food into the basket. This is a 5.8QT air fryer, one of the largest machines I’ve found that works effectively.
The machine is a bit retro with simple knob controls. It turns out that I really like the basic settings and ability to set the time and temp like a traditional appliance. I’ve used a few different air fryers with pre-programmed settings and I found I was still tweaking the times.
This air fryer is surprisingly easy to clean and the two-part basket locks together (it’s literally impossible for it to detach the way some do) until you open the latch and then push the button to release it. I simply wipe down the baskets with a sudsy dish scrub brush or sponge, rinse and let them air dry on the counter.
Smashed Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
You will need these ingredients to make this recipe:
- Brussels sprouts
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- balsamic reduction or balsamic glaze
Balsamic Glazed Vegetables
There are endless ways to make and season vegetables. A quick drizzle of balsamic glaze has become one of our favorite ways to add a touch of extra flavor. I keep this balsamic reduction glaze on hand for a quick burst of flavor on roasted or sauteed vegetables.
Fluffy sweet potatoes with crisp edges are tossed with crumbled bacon and drizzled with balsamic glaze to make these roasted sweet potato bites.
Oven-roasted cabbage with balsamic and roasted onions is nothing short of a crazy obsession. Try it, and you will understand.
Air Fryer Smashed Brussels Sprouts
- ½ pound Brussels sprouts trimmed, and left whole
- olive oil spray
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- balsamic reduction or balsamic glaze
- Preheat the air fryer to 350°F. Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts to the boiling water and cook until fork-tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Let cool for about 5 minutes while continuing to drain.
- Place the slightly cooled Brussels sprouts on a flat plate or small sheet pan and use a glass or heavy measuring cup to press down and flatten each sprout until it splits open.
- Lightly coat the basket of the air fryer with olive oil spray and spread the Brussels sprouts across the pan. Spray the smashed Brussels with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Air fry for 10 minutes, until the edges have browned and are beginning to crisp. Turn the sprouts over, and air fry for an additional 5 minutes until deeply browned and crisp.
- Transfer the Brussels to a plate and drizzle with balsamic reduction or glaze before serving. These are also great served with Bang Bang Sauce.