These delicious crispy Parmesan garlic Brussels sprouts are a healthy keto side dish, bursting with flavor and are easy to get on the table!
I can still remember the first time my mom served Brussels sprouts.
She steamed them, so they had a nice, bright green color.
And that’s where I reach the end of the nice things I could say about them…
Don’t get me wrong.
My mom is a fantastic cook!
But the Brussels sprouts tasted like something cooked with sweaty socks.
Fast forward 30ish years, and I was at a nice local restaurant with friends.
She persuaded me to try their Brussels sprouts, but I was pretty skeptical.
But hey, I’m a grown up now, so I put on my big girl pants and gave them a try…
And then, I was converted!
Because these were not the sprouts of my youth.
These were crispy and had an amazing balsamic glaze.
My husband and I had to throw down over who got the last one.
From that point on, we began to always order Brussels sprouts when we go out to eat.
Then, when we were stuck at home throughout most of 2020 I decided to learn how to make these veggies with the same kind of flavors on my own.
Making Brussel Sprouts at Home
Both my husband and I avoid any added sugars so I didn’t try to create any glazed recipes.
Our favorite way to eat them was roasted with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic at 450F for about 30 minutes until they got crispy.
They’re so good that way!
Then, when we got an air fryer I decided to try making them with it.
Not only did they cook up to perfection in less than 15 minutes, they actually turned out even crispier.
Just the way we like them.
One of our favorite local restaurants tosses theirs in grated Parmesan cheese and adds pine nuts.
They also serve them with a garlic aioli which is extra delicious!
So now when I whip up our new favorite low carb side dish at home, I often add at least Parmesan cheese.
And if I’m making these for company, I add some toasted pine nuts too.
You can easily prep the veggies a day or two in advance, then just toss them with the seasonings and oil and pop them in the air fryer just before you’re ready to serve dinner.
Then try to get them into a serving bowl before everyone picks at them when they’re freshly roasted…
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How to Trim Brussels Sprouts
It’s so easy to prepare your Brussel sprouts.
I usually use a paring knife, and first cut the ends off.
Those ends tend to get a little brown so trimming them off makes the sprouts look more appealing.
It also helps you to easily remove any of the outer leaves that are a little browned or droopy looking.
If your sprouts are on the smaller side, you can just cut them in half.
Larger sprouts should be cut in quarters.
Since we like ours extra crispy, I actually cut all of them into quarters, and sometimes eighths!
And that’s it!
I told you it was easy.
I like putting the prepped veggies in a bowl so I can easily toss them with olive oil and seasonings.
What if I Don’t Have an Air Fryer?
If you don’t have an air fryer yet, don’t worry! You can still make this yummy Italian side dish recipe.
You’ll need to roast the sprouts longer, and they won’t be quite as crispy, but they’re still delish.
Simply place the trimmed and seasoned Brussel sprouts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast them for 30 minutes at 450F, stirring every 10 minutes.
I resisted getting an air fryer for a long time, but then a friend showed me her Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven combo.
We’ve always been a toaster oven family, and ours was on its last legs.
I love that the appliance looks stylish and it serves multiple purposes!
One thing to note: air fryers can get really hot and have even cracked countertops!
I highly recommend getting a silicon mat like this one to put under your air fryer.
I love that it’s translucent and doesn’t hide the pattern of my counters.
How to Make Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
You don’t need any kinds of special ingredients for this recipe.
All you need is:
- Fresh Brussels sprouts
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Minced garlic (fresh or the bottled kind is fine)
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Pine nuts (typically found in the baking section with other packages of shelled nuts)
- Lemon juice
- Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder
Once you’ve trimmed the Brussel sprouts, toss them with the olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
If you have another kind of air fryer, you can skip this next step.
Lining your sheet with parchment paper makes it super easy to clean up!
Also, if any pine nuts fall through the holes in the basket, you can easily dump them back into your Brussel sprouts just before serving.
Toss the trimmed sprouts with the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper and then transfer them into the air fryer basket.
Your sprouts will cook faster if you don’t fill up the basket as much as I did in the picture above.
If your air fryer requires preheating, preheat it to 375F.
Then cook the Brussel sprouts for about 5 minutes.
Stir or shake them after five minutes so that all the edges are exposed to the air.
Some of the leaves will look a little charred, and that’s the goal.
Those crispy leaves don’t taste burned, I promise!
Return the pan or basket to the air fryer for another five minutes.
Give the pan another shake or stir and put the pine nuts on top and drizzle with the lemon juice.
Return the pan or basket to the air fryer for about 2 more minutes.
Just long enough for the pine nuts to get toasted, and to crisp up the rest of the sprouts.
Once the sprouts are the perfect amount of crisp, remove them from the air fryer and transfer them to a serving bowl.
Try not to eat too many of them!
And be careful because they’re really hot…
Add the Parmesan cheese and toss until it’s mixed in throughout the dish.
Can I Make These Dairy-free, Whole 30, Paleo, or Vegan?
It’s so easy to make this recipe dairy-free!
This one simple change also makes this into a Whole 30-compliant, Paleo, and vegan recipe.
The best part? It still tastes so good!
Instead of using Parmesan cheese, use nutritional yeast.
If you’ve never tried nutritional yeast, stop making that face…
I completely understand what you’re thinking because I thought it too.
It kind of sounds gross.
Don’t let the name fool you, though: nutritional yeast is actually really good!
It has a wonderful nutty flavor that makes it the perfect substitute for Parmesan cheese if you avoid dairy.
It tastes really amazing combined with Parmesan cheese if dairy isn’t a problem for you.
How to Store and Reheat Crispy Brussels Sprouts
If you have any Brussel sprouts leftover, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.
For best results, reheat them on a baking sheet in the oven at 350F or in the air fryer.
You can reheat them in the microwave, but they’ll lose any crispiness.
These brussel sprouts are also delicious on a green salad, no reheating required.
Roasted veggies tend to get mushy when you freeze them, so I don’t recommend this recipe as a make-ahead freezer recipe.
Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe
- Glass Mixing Bowls I’ve had this set of nesting bowls for over 25 years!
- Paring Knife This is my favorite paring knife, ever.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Cuisinart Air Fryer Toaster Oven or Ninja Max XL Air Fryer
- Silicon Heat-protecting Mat
Be sure to leave a star rating and review after you make the recipe!
This helps other people to find and enjoy it too.
Plus it means the world to us!