Crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Maple Lemon Glaze
These lemon maple-glazed air fryer Brussels sprouts are crispy, addictive, and ready in just 15 minutes! With only 6 ingredients, plus oven instructions, this easy maple Brussels sprouts recipe is perfect for any night.
A quick soak makes them tender inside and crispy outside. And the maple lemon glaze adds just the right balance of sweet and tart. Enjoy these tasty sprouts as a quick weeknight side or Thanksgiving and Christmas side dish!
This easy maple brussel sprouts air fryer recipe comes together with just six simple ingredients and they are vegan-friendly. Here are what you need:
For the Brussels sprouts:
- Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (quartered if large): Fresh Brussels sprouts are the star of this recipe. Halving or quartering to similar sizes helps them cook evenly.
- Olive oil: The olive oil coats the sprouts and helps them get crispy in the air fryer.
- Coarse sea salt: Sea salt seasons the sprouts and enhances their flavor. More can be added after cooking if desired.
- Garlic powder: Garlic powder provides a savory, aromatic flavor. The powder also adheres to the sprouts better than raw garlic would.
- Maple syrup: The maple syrup gives the sprouts a subtle sweetness and helps them caramelize.
For the maple lemon sauce:
- Maple syrup: More maple syrup makes the sauce sweet.
- Lemon juice: The bright acidity of the lemon balances out the maple’s sweetness.
Substitutions and variations
- Keto diets: Substitute sugar-free maple syrup to make this recipe lower in carbs. You may need to adjust the amount to taste.
- More flavor: Season the Brussels sprouts with a touch of smoked paprika, onion powder, black pepper, or Korean chili flakes (gochugaru) before air frying.
- Add bacon: Add a touch of bacon crumbles for maple bacon brussel sprouts.
- Balsamic glaze: You can also add a few drizzles of balsamic vinegar to the sauce for a tangy flavor and sprinkle with cashew parmesan cheese.
- A thicker sauce: Double the maple lemon sauce ingredients. Simmer the sauce in a small pot over low heat with a bit of cornstarch slurry until it reaches your desired thickness.
- For frozen brussel sprouts: You can make this dish with frozen brussel sprouts. Simply follow my Air fryer frozen brussel sprouts recipe for the cooking time and temperature.
How to make air fryer maple brussel sprouts
This simple air fryer brussel sprouts with maple syrup dish comes together quickly. Just a quick soak and prep time, a few minutes in the air fryer, and a toss in the maple lemon sauce is all it takes to make this flavorful side.
- Rinse the halved sprouts and soak them in a large bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. This helps them cook up tender. Drain and pat completely dry.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F for 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, toss sprouts with olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and 1 tbsp maple syrup until coated.
- Arrange sprouts in a single layer in a fryer basket. Some overlap is okay.
- Air fry for 10 minutes, tossing halfway through.
- Meanwhile, combine 1.5 tbsp maple syrup and lemon juice for sauce and whisk in a small bowl.
- Transfer sprouts to a serving bowl and drizzle with maple lemon sauce. Season with more salt to taste. Enjoy!
Why do you soak brussel sprouts before air frying
Soaking the Brussels sprouts in cold water for 10 minutes before cooking is the secret technique for achieving both crispy exteriors and tender interiors. The soaking prevents the sprouts from burning or drying out during cooking, allowing them to cook through to perfection
How to make ahead, store, and reheat
Getting dinner on the table quickly is made simple with this maple glazed Brussel sprouts. With just a little advance planning, these crispy brussels sprouts can be enjoyed again and again.
- Make-ahead: Trim and halve or quarter the Brussels sprouts up to 1 day in advance. Keep dry and store in the fridge until ready to cook.
- Storage: Once cooked, transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Reheat: These taste great served cold or at room temperature straight from the fridge. For hot Brussels sprouts, pan roast the leftovers over medium-high heat to gently warm them through.
What to serve with maple glazed brussel sprouts
These candied brussel sprouts air fryer recipe make a fantastic side for all kinds of meals. Their sweet, lemony glaze and crispy texture complement both veggie-centric sides and hearty protein entrees. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- More sides: Complement the maple Brussels sprouts with other fresh sides like sauteed mushrooms and cauliflower recipe, paleo roasted cauliflower recipe, or crisp air fryer zucchini and squash.
- Hearty mains: For a satisfying meal, serve the sprouts with maple spatchcock chicken, tender air fryer short ribs, or bang bang salmon bites.
- Don’t skip soaking the sprouts – this is the key to achieving crispy exteriors and tender interiors!
- Coat the Brussels sprouts with maple syrup before air frying so they crisp up and caramelize well.
- Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket – a slight overlap is okay but don’t pile the sprouts up too much. Work in batches for large amounts.
- Toss the basket midway through cooking for even browning.
- Taste and season the finished sprouts before saucing – adjust salt or other seasonings to your taste.
- Make the maple lemon sauce while the sprouts cook to maximize efficiency.
- If unsure about the doneness, use a digital food thermometer – sprouts are done when an inserted thermometer reads between 190-200°F according to some sources.
Overcrowding the basket prevents air circulation and leads to uneven cooking, while skipping the pre-soak dries out the sprouts – both can cause burning.
Blanching is not necessary – the 10-minute soak in cold water helps the sprouts cook gently and evenly. Blanching can make them waterlogged and less crispy.
Not soaking to rehydrate the sprouts, overcrowding the basket, using a low air fryer temperature, and overcooking can all prevent Brussels sprouts from getting crispy in the air fryer.
Brussels sprouts are at their peak season in the fall and early winter after enduring frosty weather, which causes the sprouts to develop a sweet, nutty flavor.
More Air fryer side dishes you might like
If you love how the air fryer turns Brussels sprouts crispy and flavorful, try it with other veggie sides too! The air fryer brings out the best in vegetables, so explore more ways to use this handy appliance for more gluten-free sides and appetizers.
- Din tai fung green beans air fryer (perfectly crisp garlic green beans from Taiwan’s most famous eatery)
- Air fryer corn ribs (buttery sweet corn riblets air fried to perfection!)
- Salt and pepper tofu air fryer (crispy tofu puffs, tossed with a salty and peppery seasoning)
- Air fryer Chinese eggplant (crisp outside and buttery inside. Asian eggplants tempura style made in an air fryer!)
Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Maple Lemon Glaze recipe
- 1.5 lb. Brussels Sprouts
- 2.5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt, plus more to taste
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp keto maple syrup, or regular maple syrup
For the maple lemon sauce:
- 1.5 tbsp keto maple syrup, or regular maple syrup
- 2 tbsp lemon juice, about half of one whole lemon
- Trim the bottom end off of Brussel sprouts and slice them in half. For extra large ones, quarter them.
- Rinse and soak them in cold water for 10 minutes. This will help the sprouts taste more tender in the center. Make sure you drain and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.
- Preheat your air fryer at 400F for 5 minutes. In the meantime, toss the sprouts with olive oil, salt, garlic powder, and maple syrup in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the sprouts to the fryer basket and spread them out to an even layer. Some overlap is okay. Air fryer for 10 minutes. Toss the basket after 5 minutes to ensure evenly cooking on all sides.
- In a separate small bowl, make the maple lemon sauce.
- Transfer the brussels sprouts to a serving bowl and toss with the maple lemon sauce. Taste and adjust with more salt, if needed. Serve warm.
- To make this in the oven: Toss sprouts as directed, and spread them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 400°F for 35-40 minutes, shaking pan occasionally, until browned and tender.
- The secret to crispy outside and tender inside brussels sprouts is to soak them. Soaking the Brussel sprouts for 10 minutes prior to cooking prevents the sprouts from burning, drying, and perfectly cooking sprouts.
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