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Air-fried Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan Cheese

Brussels sprouts, the unsung hero of the vegetable world, are often overlooked or met with skepticism. But what if I told you there’s a magical way to turn these humble greens into a mouthwatering delight? There are many ways to prepare this wonderful vegetable, and recently, I have started to air fry them versus oven roast – I find this technique especially useful when I am preparing a roast dinner with all the sides but don’t have enough oven space to prepare our favourite dishes.

Let me share my experience of making Air Fried Brussels Sprouts and how this method differs from traditional oven roasting. Brace yourself for a crispy revelation that might make you fall in love with this simple vegetable.

Air Frying vs. Oven Roasting: The Crispy Showdown

Before we dive into the delicious details, let’s address the question on many minds: What sets air frying apart from oven roasting?

Air frying is a cooking technique that harnesses the power of hot air circulation to crisp up food without the need for excessive oil. It’s like the lovechild of roasting and frying, resulting in a beautifully browned exterior with a tender interior. In contrast, oven roasting relies on the radiant heat of an oven, often requiring more time and oil to achieve that desired crunch.

Now, let’s talk Brussels sprouts. These unassuming little green orbs, when subjected to the magic of air frying, undergo a complete makeover. The circulating hot air in the air fryer works its charm, turning them into bite-sized delights that are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.

But what truly sets this dish apart is the way it showcases the natural flavours of Brussels sprouts. The high heat of the air fryer caramelises their outer layers, imparting a delightful sweetness while preserving their earthy goodness. And the best part? You get all this without the excess oil and long oven roasting times.

The Delicious Transformation

So, what makes Air Fried Brussels Sprouts so incredibly delicious? It’s the perfect marriage of texture and taste. The air fryer’s high-velocity hot air ensures that each sprout gets a crispy, golden exterior, elevating it from a simple green vegetable to a delightful snack or side dish.

The natural nuttiness and subtle bitterness of Brussels sprouts come to life in this preparation method, creating a symphony of flavours that’s both comforting and invigorating. And when you add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, as I do in my recipe, the umami richness takes it to a whole new level.

Basic Ingredients for Air-fried Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts:

Brussels Sprouts: The main ingredient, Brussels sprouts, are high in fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants. They provide a slightly bitter, nutty flavour that becomes sweeter when roasted.

Olive Oil: Olive oil helps in roasting the Brussels sprouts evenly. It adds a mild, fruity flavour and helps in browning and crisping.

Minced Garlic: Garlic adds a pungent, aromatic flavour that complements the nuttiness of the Brussels sprouts.

Lemon Juice & Rind: Lemon juice adds freshness and acidity, balancing the richer flavours, while the rind provides a zesty, fragrant note.

Chilli Flakes: They introduce a spicy element, adding complexity to the overall flavour profile.

Salt & Black Pepper: Salt enhances the overall flavour, while black pepper adds a mild heat and earthiness.

Parmesan Cheese: It adds a salty, nutty, and savoury flavour and creates a deliciously crispy topping when melted and browned.

alternative ingredients

Brussels Sprouts: Try broccoli or cauliflower for a similar texture.

Olive Oil: Canola or avocado oil are good substitutes.

Garlic: Garlic powder or shallots could be used.

Lemon Juice & Rind: Orange or lime can offer a different citrus twist.

Chilli Flakes: Smoked paprika or cayenne pepper for a different kind of heat.

Parmesan Cheese: Pecorino cheese, Gran Padano, or Manchego cheese are great alternatives to Parmesan cheese.

Preparation Tips for Air-fried Brussels Sprouts

  • Ensure Brussels sprouts are of similar size for even cooking.
  • Dry the sprouts thoroughly after washing to avoid steaming in the air fryer.
  • Toss the ingredients in a bowl to coat evenly before air frying.

Serving Tips for Air-fried Brussels Sprouts

  • Serve immediately while they’re crispy.
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice before serving can enhance the flavour.

storage tips

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in the air fryer or oven to restore crispiness. Avoid microwaving as it can make them soggy.

Air-fried Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan Cheese

Servings: 6 people
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes


  • 750 g brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp lemon, rind
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes, (optional)
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese, grated


  • Preheat the air fryer to 200°C.
  • In a large bowl, add the Brussels sprouts, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, lemon rind, chilli flakes, salt and pepper, and mix well.
  • Evenly spread the Brussels sprouts mixture in the air fryer and air fry for 8-10 minutes. Remove from air fryer, toss the Brussels sprouts and air fry  for an additional 5–10 minutes or until the sprouts are golden-brown in colour.
  • Remove from the air fryer, toss the Brussels sprouts with the Parmesan cheese and serve.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @cookingwithzahra on Instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithzahra so we can see all the deliciousness!

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