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Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Recipe

air fryer brussels sprouts

When I think of stereotypical picky eaters, two foods come to mind:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts

I’m not sure who came up with these. But the myth that kids don’t like green, cruciferous vegetables is just not true!

I believe the real issue is how vegetables are both prepared and presented.

Why Kids Hate Vegetables

When I tell my mom about all of the vegetables my kids eat, she tells me of how she hated many of them growing up. Brussels sprouts are a common one. She just can’t believe my kids like them.

I tell her we roast or sauté them. My kids devour Brussels sprouts!

Her response: “Oh, my mom always boiled them. Yuck.”

RELATED: How and why you should roast your veggies!

air fryer brussels sprouts

There was a generation of kids served bland vegetables with no say in whether or not they liked them.

That same generation had kids and decided never to serve these “gross” vegetables to their own children.

Then the media perpetuated this lie that kids don’t like vegetables, while manufacturers created cheap, highly palatable food for kids. It is now marketed as “kid food.”

Now here we are. This last generation now has kids of their own…and we have to counteract the media and the myth.

picky eater approved air fryer brussels sprouts

I’m so glad that even though the picky eating lie abounds, new cooking methods are also popular!

Kid-Friendly Brussels Sprouts

It’s obvious that kids gravitate towards foods with a lot of flavor – a combination of fat, sugar, and salt. This is why processed food is so appealing.

However, you can make healthy, whole foods that have a lot of flavor and taste amazing. Even Brussels sprouts!

A few of the methods to make vegetables taste great include:

  • Roasting
  • Adding plenty of Real salt and seasoning
  • Sauteeing
  • Frying with healthy fat
Looking for more ways to get your kids interested in vegetables? Here are Five Simple Strategies to Make Veggies More Palatable!

air fryer brussels sproutsWhy We Love Healthy Air Fryer Recipes

If you go to any restaurant you see that half of the kid’s menu is fried food. Again, we are appealing to a child’s love of high flavor content.

Well, now you can appeal to that desire with healthy food by using the Air Fryer.

Let’s be honest – fried food tastes good!

But it’s usually not very healthy.

The problem is not the fat content. It’s the fat itself!

Most fried foods are made with rancid vegetable oils. But by using an Air Fryer, you control the quality of the fat. And you can make healthy fried food.

We love our delicious and healthy Air Fryer Sweet Potato Tot Recipe!

RELATED: How to choose an air fryer

air fryer brussels sprouts

Crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts

Back to the Brussels sprouts. Even vegetables can be air fried to give great flavor. Some hold up better than others. Brussels sprouts are definitely one of the vegetables that taste amazing when fried.

The outside is crispy. The inside is soft.

Then add plenty of Real salt and bacon. You’ve got a flavor explosion that kids can’t resist!

air fryer brussels sprouts

When I made these my kids hardly let me snap a picture because they couldn’t wait to dig in.

Must-Try Healthy Air Fryer Recipe

Other vegetables are great in the Air Fryer as well, such as cauliflower, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and even squash!

But Brussels sprouts with bacon definitely top our list.

RELATED: Kid-friendly parsnip fries

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air fryer brussels sprouts

Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Recipe

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  • Author: Mary Voogt, NTP (Contributing Writer)
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Air fryer
  • Diet: Low Fat


Crispy, salty Brussels sprouts with bacon cooked in an Air Fryer.


Units Scale
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, ends and outer leaves removed
  • 1/2 lb. thick-cut, nitrate-free bacon, cut in squares
  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that site!)
  • Salt (Use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase) to taste

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  1. Prepare the Brussels sprouts and bacon. Kitchen scissors work well for cutting the bacon.
  2. Set the Air Fryer to 375 degrees F. Set time for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat for 3 minutes.
  4. While heating, mix the Brussels sprouts with olive oil and salt in a bowl.
  5. Add the Brussels sprouts to the Air Fryer (with or without the crisper plate).
  6. Add the bacon.
  7. Cook for 9 minutes. Stir. Cook remaning 8 minutes.
  8. Serve warm.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 130
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Sodium: 538mg
  • Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
  • Need a little help getting healthy food on the table every day? Real Plans takes the stress out of meal planning and puts the nourishing food BACK on your table. There’s a plan for every diet type, including GAPS, Paleo, AIP, Whole30, vegetarian and more! You remain totally in control: use your own recipes, accept theirs, and teach the system what your family likes…Check out how powerful it is here!
crispy brussels sprouts

Healthy Air Fryer Side Dish

Air Fryer Brussels sprouts make a great side dish with just about any meal. They go well with:

Air Fryer Brussels sprouts with bacon even make a great salad topper! You might want to try it as part of your strategy to get kids to eat salad.

kid eating brussels sprouts

My kids like to just eat a big bowl as a snack.

Vegetables Kids Love

Don’t fall for the lie that kids don’t like vegetables. As a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and feeding expert, I can tell you it’s simply not true!

Instead, serve your children healthy veggies loaded with flavor! Let’s create a generation that enjoys green food and will eagerly serve it to their own kids. No tricks or marketing gimmicks required.

Do your kids enjoy Brussels sprouts? Have you ever tried cooking vegetables in the Air Fryer?
Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

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