Frozen Brussels Sprouts Air Fryer Recipe (Very Easy!)

Nicole Austin

You can easily cook frozen Brussels sprouts in an air fryer — just follow these simple steps.

Brussels sprouts are a leafy green that took me several years to learn to appreciate. But with this frozen Brussels sprouts air fryer recipe, you can love them instantly, and with no fuss.

After a childhood where Brussels sprouts and lima beans were randomly forced upon me (okay, that’s probably a little dramatic), it would be years into my adulthood before I tried them again. In fact, I still haven’t gone back to lima beans- there’s no point.

But becoming a mother made me want to eat healthier, and also at least offer my children the option of seeing what foods they preferred, so I dabbled in Brussels sprouts every now and then.

Frozen Brussels Sprouts Air Fryer Photo

I do admit that there are still certain types of preparation that make me dislike Brussels sprouts, and I do tend to love adding another topping or ingredient so I can enjoy them fully (though let’s admit, roasted Brussels sprouts with crispy bacon is a pretty good compromise…).

While I enjoy indulging in savory Cranberry Pecan Roasted Brussels Sprouts for a really hearty, healthy holiday side, or Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sriracha next to a grilled chicken breast for a special guest, on busy weeknights, I want something a lot more convenient and basic that takes less time and effort.

Convenience is the name of the game when it comes to air fryers, and being able to air fry some of the more pungent green veggies like broccoli has really made life easier, and tastier.

Also, air fryers are the best way to fry frozen vegetables without thawing, meaning you can decide last minute or after a busy day to have something a little better for you on your plate — that’s something I can’t pass up.

So, without further ado, let’s get you back into Brussels sprouts!

Frozen Brussels Sprouts Air Fryer Picture

Why Should I Air Fry Brussels Sprouts?

Air fryers make frozen vegetables crispy, hot, and absolutely cooked to perfection without much time or effort (something I am always a fan of!)

They don’t get soggy, which is the downfall of most people’s experiences with Brussels sprouts. If you’re only used to having them boiled or steamed, you will be shocked when you have them in a new and better way.

Air fryers do use a small amount of oil, but it’s truly minimal. You can technically skip it when air frying Brussels sprouts, but I wouldn’t recommend it- the oil helps with the texture, which is half the battle.

You will want to pay attention to the size of your sprouts when you plan your cooking time, but that’s no big deal. This recipe favors smaller sprouts, but larger ones just require a little more time. And it works for all sizes of Brussels sprouts!

Frozen Brussels Sprouts Air Fryer Image

How to Make Air Fryer Frozen Brussels Sprouts

For the best results, follow these easy steps for making air fryer Brussels sprouts. Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to work in batches to keep the sprouts in one even layer.

  1. Add the frozen sprouts directly to the air fryer basket in a single layer, avoiding overlap.
  2. Cook for 10 minutes at 375 degrees F. You can round up the temperature if you can only set it in increments of 10.
  3. Remove the basket of the air fryer and add the sprouts to a large bowl.
  4. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, broth, water, or a mild sauce (such as soy sauce or balsamic vinegar). Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. (Optional: add simple seasonings like onion powder and garlic powder, too.)
  5. Return to the air fryer and cook for an additional 5 minutes, or until they begin to crisp and turn a golden brown.
  6. Remove from the air fryer and return to the bowl you used for toppings.

It’s THAT easy! Only 15 minutes of cook time, total.

Now the fun part… topping and tossing!

You can stir in or lightly top your crispy sprouts with either a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, crumbled bacon bits, balsamic glaze, teriyaki sauce, maple syrup, miso glaze, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and more!

Playing around with flavors will help you discover a newfound love for Brussels sprouts, and can help you pair them with other delicious sides.

I know a restaurant that adds everything bagel seasoning! At the very least, add a little salt.

Cranberry Pecan Roasted Brussels Sprouts Photo

How to Freeze Your Own Brussels Sprouts

If you want to preserve fresh sprouts for later, you can purchase them fresh while they’re in season and freeze them for future use.

Freezing fresh vegetables may seem daunting at first, but you can do a few simple things to make it easy and convenient.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for freezing fresh Brussels sprouts:

  1. Prepare the sprouts. Cut off any of the stalk and leftover root ends from your sprouts. Remove any yellowing or wilted outer leaves. Soak the sprouts in a salt and water solution (1-3 tablespoons of salt per gallon of water) for 30 minutes to remove any potential insects, then rinse thoroughly.
  2. Sort and blanch the Brussels sprouts. Group your freshly washed sprouts by size so you can blanch them for the right amount of time. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Blanch smaller sprouts for 3 minutes, medium for 4, and large for 5. Immediately remove from water and plunge the sprouts into ice water to stop the cooking process. Move to a clean kitchen towel and pat dry.
  3. Freeze. Spread the cool, dried sprouts on a baking sheet and freeze for an hour.
  4. Store. Transfer the now-frozen sprouts into resealable plastic freezer bags. Label and date the bags.
How to Parboil Brussels Sprouts Image

Tips For the Best Frozen Brussels Sprouts

Here are four tips to make your freezing process more successful:

  • Make sure your sprouts are completely dry before freezing.
  • Label the bags in advance to know the “use by” date.
  • Use freezer-safe reusable bags to save money.
  • If you don’t have enough room in your freezer for a cookie sheet, you can place sprouts into the freezer bag in a single layer and lay flat to freeze.
Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sriracha Photo

Can You Freeze Brussels Sprouts Without Blanching?

You can freeze uncooked Brussels sprouts without blanching, but they may be softer and mushier.

They will also not keep for as long in the freezer. Rather than a one-year storage time, you will need to use unblanched frozen sprouts within three months.

It’s also likely that the sprouts will lose their bright, pleasant color, which affects presentation.

For these reasons, we highly recommend taking a few minutes to blanch your Brussels sprouts before freezing.

If you need help understanding the difference between blanching and parboiling, we’ve got you covered. It can be a bit confusing since the processes are so similar, but there are a few distinct differences.

In short, blanching keeps the natural color and texture of the vegetable intact for later use, and parboiling starts the cooking process with boiling so your foods can finish being prepared using another method.

If parboiling your Brussels sprouts is actually what’s best for your recipe, use our complete how-to guide on parboiling Brussels sprouts.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Salad Pic

What to Serve with Brussels Sprouts

Here are some excellent options to pair with this easy side dish:

You really can’t go wrong with any of these options! Be sure to also check out some of our other easy air fryer recipes, too.

Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sriracha Picture

Try more of our easy air fryer recipes today!

Nicole is a self-published author of fiction novels, and a lover of food and spending time in the kitchen with her six children. She lives in coastal Maine where she loves exploring new recipes especially those that can save time, money and wow a crowd.

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