Crispy Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts with a cranberry balsamic glaze gives new life to your leftover cranberry sauce.
I was never a big fan of Brussels sprouts, until I had them deep fried at a favorite restaurant. The outer leaves were like mini, crispy chips with the perfect amount of salt, and drizzled with a tangy, sweet sauce. Mind blowing, but I had a hard time replicating this at home, until I bought an air fryer.
To say I love my air fryer is an understatement. I mean, I really, really love this thing for many reasons, one of them being crispy Brussels sprouts with that tangy, sweet sauce.
Using Leftover Cranberry Sauce
This time of year, I have an abundance of cranberry sauce that usually just sits in my refrigerator and then gets tossed out after a week with other uneaten holiday leftovers. It’s wasteful, and I always feel a little guilty when that happens.
This year, however, I made a list of all of the ways I could better use my leftovers, including the leftover cranberry sauce, which turned out to be the perfect sauce for my crispy Brussels made in the air fryer.
How Do I Prepare Brussels Sprouts?
Have you ever looked at the bottom stem of a Brussels sprout? It’s a little ugly, a little tough, and not the most pleasant thing to eat. Trim that stem, you’ll be glad you did. For a quick cook with maximum crispiness, cutting the Brussels in half is a must-do, otherwise you run the risk of uneven cooking and less crispiness.
Don’t Throw Away The Loose Leaves!
As you trim and cut the Brussels sprouts in half, some of the outer leaves will fall away. Save these – they’re like gold and the best part, in my opinion, about crispy Brussels. They turn into those crunchy little chips that I mentioned and that alone may be enough to turn you into a Brussels sprouts fan.
Use Any Kind Of Cranberry Sauce
This sauce in this recipe works with any kind of cranberry sauce, so if you don’t have whole-berry sauce, or if you’ve made your own, it can be used interchangeably.Print
- 16 oz. fresh, whole Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼-cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
- 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- Preheat air fryer to 400°F.
- Cut Brussels sprouts in half, lengthwise, transfer to a bowl along with any loose leaves. Toss with olive oil and salt; set aside.
- When air fryer is ready, transfer oiled Brussels sprouts to air fryer basket; set bowl aside. Cook 7 minutes, shaking basket halfway though.
- Meanwhile, in a microwave-safe glass container, stir together cranberry sauce, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and sugar. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir and set aside until ready to use.
- Remove Brussels sprouts from air fryer; transfer to same bowl used to toss with oil. Drizzle cranberry-balsamic glaze over Brussels sprouts, toss to coat. Serve warm.
- If you like your fried Brussels saucy, make a double batch of the cranberry-balsamic glaze and use the extra for dipping.
- Add chopped raw bacon to the air fryer, along with the Brussels sprouts, for more crispy textures and smoky flavor.
This post originally appeared in November 2021 and was revised and republished in October 2022.