This air fryer BBQ brussels sprouts recipe is so easy, fast, and delicious. The brussels sprouts are coated with a BBQ-inspired rub, and they crisp and caramelize in the air fryer in the best way. They're the perfect weeknight or summer side dish.
These air fryer brussels sprouts are spicy, sweet, salty, and delicious. The air fryer creates perfect little pockets of crispiness in less than 10 minutes with minimal cleanup. The BBQ-inspired seasoning is easy to throw together with spices you probably already have in your pantry.
These BBQ brussels sprouts are perfect for spring and summer gatherings. Pair them with a piece of grilled meat, baked beans, and potato salad, and you have the perfect summer meal. They're also perfect for routine weeknight meals because they're so so easy.
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
- Brussels sprouts
- Light brown sugar- The brown sugar gives these brussels sprouts a sweet flavor, like any BBQ rub should. If you're following a Paleo diet, use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.
- Oil- This is for coating the brussels sprouts. It helps the spices stick, and makes the brussels sprouts delightfully crispy. We use avocado oil, but regular vegetable oil works too.
- Spices- paprika, salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, and ground cayenne. If you really hate spicy stuff, leave out the ground cayenne.
See recipe card for amounts.
Step 1: Make the BBQ rub. Add brown sugar, paprika, salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, mustard powder, and ground cayenne to a small bowl. Mix to combine.
Step 2: Add brussels sprouts, oil, and the BBQ rub to a large mixing bowl. Use your hands or a spoon to mix everything until the brussels sprouts are evenly coated with oil and spices.
Step 3: Add the brussels sprouts to your air fryer basket. Cook at 390°F for about 9 minutes. Stop the air fryer every 3 minutes to shake the basket and check doneness. Your brussels sprouts are done when they're tender and slightly crispy on the outside.
- If your air fryer allows, line your basket with aluminum foil or air fryer liners for easy clean up.
- Mix the brussels sprouts and spices with your hands. It's so much easier than trying to get everything all mixed up with a spoon. Just get messy.
- You can make a double batch of this if you have a bigger air fryer than I do. I don't recommend shoving too many brussels sprouts into a small air fryer, because they won't crisp up as well. Ideally, they should be in a single(ish) layer on the bottom of your air fryer basket.
- Don't skip the brown sugar. It's tempting to make this recipe slightly healthier by omitting it, but it makes the brussels sprouts caramelize so nicely, and gives them the sweet BBQ flavor. If you must make a healthier substitution, use coconut sugar instead.
- Air fryer cook times vary based on your machine, so check your brussels sprouts every 3 minutes to ensure that they don't burn. Take them out once they're tender and slightly crispy.
Frequently asked questions
These brussels sprouts are usually delightfully crispy. If yours don't crisp in the instructed cooking time, try cooking them a bit longer or add a bit more oil.
We cook ours for 9 minutes at 390°F. We pause our air fryer every 3 minutes to shake the basket (to redistribute the brussels sprouts) and check for doneness. They're done with they're tender and slightly crispy.
Yes! Use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar in the BBQ rub.
More Air Fryer Recipes
Looking for other great air fryer sides? Try these: