When you need a veggie side the whole family will devour, these easy air fryer brussels sprouts with bacon and balsamic are crispy, tangy, & always a crowd-pleaser!
Brussels sprouts are a true hit-or-miss vegetable. Nobody wants them when they’re overcooked and soggy, but when they’re crispy on the outside and fork-tender on the inside, they become the star of any meal.
This recipe for air fryer brussels sprouts with bacon is one of my favorite ways to make them for family and friends!
The bacon adds that wonderful saltiness while the air fryer cooks each sprout to crunchy perfection.
Finish with an easy balsamic glaze for a side dish that will have everyone asking for seconds!
Here’s what I’m going to teach you in this post:
- How to make brussel sprouts and bacon in the air fryer
- Tips and tricks for cooking bacon in the air fryer
- What to serve with this irresistible side dish
- The best way to reheat leftover brussels sprouts
This dish is elegant and tasty enough for entertaining guests but easy enough to whip up any night of the week.
The balsamic glaze adds a classy element, while the bacon makes it a universal crowd-pleaser. This is the kind of veggie recipe you’ll want to keep in your back pocket for any occasion!
How to Make Brussels Sprouts in the Air Fryer with Bacon
A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.
STEP ONE: Add the bacon in a single layer to the air fryer basket.
STEP TWO: Air fry at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, turning halfway through, until the bacon is mostly cooked but still soft. I recommend cooking the bacon separately at first to avoid excess bacon grease in your side dish.
STEP THREE: Meanwhile, cut the brussels sprouts in half lengthwise (quarters if they’re very large) and place them in a large bowl.
STEP FOUR: Drizzle the sprouts with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
STEP FIVE: When the timer is up, remove the bacon and chop into small pieces. Add the bacon to the bowl with the brussels sprouts and toss to combine.
STEP SIX: Discard any excess grease from the air fryer, then transfer the contents of the bowl to the air fryer basket.
STEP SEVEN: Air fry at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, shaking the basket every 5-10 minutes to ensure the sprouts are evenly browned.
STEP EIGHT: Use a slotted spoon to transfer the brussels and bacon to a serving bowl. You can drizzle with your desired amount of balsamic glaze or serve it on the side.
Can I Fry Bacon in my Air Fryer?
Absolutely! In fact, the air fryer is one of my favorite ways to cook bacon to crispy, sizzling perfection. It’s faster than cooking in the oven and turns out beautifully every time.
For this recipe, we want to slightly undercook the bacon before chopping so that it finishes cooking with the brussels sprouts.
If you’re making a batch of bacon by itself, be sure to check out my recipe for Air Fryer Bacon for the best cooking time and temperature!
You can also cook frozen bacon in the air fryer too!
Can Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts Be Made Ahead of Time?
You bet! If I’m making this side as part of a holiday meal or special occasion, I sometimes cook it ahead of time and then just reheat the sprouts before serving.
It’s a great way to minimize how much cooking you need to do the day of.
But unless I’m making a really elaborate meal, I usually just whip up this recipe when I’m almost ready to serve.
While the brussels sprouts are air frying, all you have to do is shake the basket, so it’s easy to handle other tasks in the kitchen. After 25 minutes, they’re ready to go!
Other Ways to Make Brussel Sprouts in the Air Fryer
There are plenty of ways you can jazz up this recipe, depending on your taste and preferences. Brussels sprouts and bacon are so good together you almost can’t go wrong!
One option would be to swap out the balsamic glaze for some Parmesan.
I recommend sprinkling it over the sprouts right when they come out of the air fryer so the cheese will stick without fully melting. It adds incredible flavor and even more crunch.
You can also switch it up with your dipping sauces! A sriracha-ranch, blue cheese dressing or garlic aioli would all be delicious options or you can coat your air fryer brussels sprouts with sweet chili sauce instead of the balsamic glaze for a new twist!
Try setting out a few different sauces and letting your family or guests grab whatever looks best to them!
You can even make frozen brussels sprouts in the air fryer too!
And, if you have a Ninja Foodi, I have directions for Brussels Sprouts in the Ninja Foodi too!
What to Serve With Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
- Buffalo Chicken Thighs
- Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks
- Instant Pot Crab Legs
- Teriyaki Salmon in the Air Fryer
- Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
- Tri Tip Crock Pot
How to Reheat Brussel Sprouts and Bacon in the Air Fryer
- Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F.
- Transfer the leftover brussels sprouts and bacon to the air fryer basket.
- Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until heated through.
Other Air Fryer Veggie Recipes You’ll Love:
- Air Fryer Carrot Fries
- Air Fried Blooming Onion
- Frozen Broccoli in the Air Fryer
- Smashed Potatoes in the Air Fryer
- 8 slices bacon
- 1 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Balsamic glaze
- Add the bacon in a single layer to the air fryer basket. Cook at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, turning halfway through, until the bacon is mostly cooked but still soft.
- Meanwhile, cut the brussels sprouts in half lengthwise (quarters if they’re very large) and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle them with olive oil, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- When the timer is up, remove the bacon and chop it into small pieces. Add the bacon to the bowl with the brussels sprouts and toss.
- Discard any excess grease from the air fryer, then add the contents of the bowl to the basket. Cook at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, shaking the basket every 5-10 minutes to ensure they are evenly browned.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the brussels and bacon to a serving bowl, then drizzle with the desired amount of balsamic glaze, or serve it on the side.
How To Reheat Brussel Sprouts:
1. Preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees.
2. Add brussels sprouts and bacon.
3. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until hot.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 189Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 570mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 11g
This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.