Brussels Sprouts and Bacon in the Air Fryer are the best and easiest way to cook this recipe! Only two ingredients needed to make this classic combination.
If you love brussels sprouts as much as I do, you'll also want to make: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic, Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad, Chicken and Brussel Sprouts with Mustard Sauce, or Brussels Sprouts Gratin.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND BACON
I am new to the air frying world, but have found that there are just certain recipes that work best in the air fryer.
When you use the air fryer, you can often reduce or omit the amount of oil you're using. No additional oil is needed when you make these Brussels Sprouts and Bacon!
I wouldn't blame you if you wanted to just make regular old roasted brussels sprouts, but this air fryer recipe is so darn easy and there's a ton of BACON!
How to make Bacon and Brussels Sprouts
First off, the ingredient list couldn't be easier to remember: 1 pound of bacon and two pounds of brussels sprouts.
I love me some bacon, but I cannot stand bacon where the fat hasn't been properly rendered. A lot of times, when bacon is used in a recipe, everything else cooks faster than the bacon and you're left with semi-raw bacon. Yuck.
Don't worry. I've got you covered.
- First step is to lay your bacon in a single layer in the air fryer. A little overlap is okay (photo 1). I used bacon ends and pieces rather than slices because it is cheaper.
- You'll cook this bacon for about 15 minutes (photo 2). Be sure to shake the basket or turn the bacon half way through. You want the bacon to be partially cooked.
- Chop the bacon into bite sized pieces (photo 3).
- While the bacon is cooking, you can trim the brussels sprouts (photo 4). If you wash them, be sure to do so well in advance so that they are fully dry.
- Toss the trimmed brussels sprouts and par-cooked bacon in a large bowl and then transfer to the air fryer (photo 5).
- Continue cooking for about 20 more minutes, until the bacon is fully cooked and the brussels sprouts start to brown (photo 6). Be sure to shake that basket about every five minutes!
Can these be made ahead?
You can make this recipe for bacon and brussels sprouts at the beginning of the week as part of your meal prep. You can also make them the day before Thanksgiving and then just reheat them on the day of.
How to reheat brussels sprouts and bacon:
Well... I actually think the best way is to throw them back in the air fryer. This will not only heat them up but will make them extra crispy.
I don't advise reheating them in the microwave as they will be softer and less crispy, however it doesn't change the taste. Plus, it's not always easy to bring the good ol' air fryer into work when there's a microwave readily available.
You can also spread them on a baking sheet and reheat in a 400 degree F oven for a few minutes.
Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
- 1 pound bacon (see note)
- 2 pounds brussels sprouts
- Add the bacon to the air fryer basket and avoid overlapping as much as possible. Cook on 360 degrees F for 15 minutes, turning half way through. The goal is to only partially cook the bacon.
- While the bacon is cooking, trim the brussels sprouts by giving the bottom a fresh cut and then slicing lengthwise to cut in half. Place in large bowl.
- Remove the bacon and chop into large pieces. Discard excess grease from the air fryer. Add chopped bacon to brussels sprouts and toss.
- Add partially cooked bacon and brussels sprouts to the air fryer. Cook on 400 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring every five minutes to ensure they are evenly cooked. Serve hot.
- I highly recommend using bacon ends and pieces. Just thinly slice any chunks. It's usually the same quality bacon but at less of a cost.
- Uncured bacon often cooks quicker than cured bacon. Just keep an eye on it while it's cooking to prevent burning.
- If you like them really crispy, pull the outer leaves off when you trim them but be sure to cook them up. The single leaves get completely crisp and are a nice addition.
- Because the bacon is salty, I didn't add any salt to the brussels sprouts.
- I find that they all cook a little bit differently depending on the size and shape of the fry basket.
- Always check on your food to prevent burning and don't hesitate to give it a good shake.