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bowl full of grilled brussels sprouts.

What are Brussels sprouts

I never fully understood what Brussels sprouts were until I was walking through a farmer’s market in Belgium and came across this huge stalk of cabbage-like balls.

woman holding stalk of Brussels sprouts in market.

That’s when I realized both how they grew and why they were called Brussels sprouts (Brussels is the capital of Belgium).

I have another recipe on my site for how to cook the full stalk of sprouts, but most of the time, you’ll find the vegetable already removed from the stem and sold individually in the grocery store.

The sprouts are cruciferous vegetables, similar to cabbage and cauliflower. They can taste a little bitter and skunky, if not cooked properly.

But when you season the tiny cabbages and cook them in the Ninja Grill, the outer leaves will crisp up and the centers will almost melt in your mouth, making them both a healthy and delicious side that’s sure to become a family favorite.


grilled brussels sprouts ingredients: brussels sprouts, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Brussels Sprouts: The recipe calls for 2 pounds of fresh Brussels sprouts. You can usually find these in the vegetable section of your grocery store.
  • Olive Oil: This will help crisp the the leaves of the sprouts.
  • Balsamic Vinegar: The vinegar will add a nice tartness to your sprouts. You can also use apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar.
  • Salt and Pepper: You can also use other herbs and seasonings to expand the flavors. Cumin, garlic powder or lemon pepper are nice options.
Substitutions: In place of the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, you can also use bottled vinegar-based salad dressing.

How to cook Brussels sprouts in a Ninja Grill

  1. STEP ONE: Cut the raw Brussels sprouts in half. You can also remove the stem at the bottom if you’d like. However, it can cause the leaves to separate. Place them in a large bowl.
knife slicing brussels sprouts in half.
  1. STEP TWO: Set the Ninja Grill function to air crisp and the temperature to 400f degrees. Set the time to 20 minutes. Place the air fryer basket in the grill.
If you have the Ninja Woodfire Outdoor Grill, add smoke by pushing the Woodfire Flavor Technology button.
  1. STEP THREE: Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to the bowl of Brussels sprouts and toss to coat.
stirring seasoned brussels spouts.
  1. STEP FOUR: Place the sprouts in the Ninja Grill in the air crisp basket and cook for 20 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes.
  1. STEP FIVE: Once the sprouts are brown and have a crispy texture and the centers are fork tender, they’re ready. Be sure to check both the smaller sprouts and larger sprouts. The large sprouts may need a little more cooking time.
grilled brussels sprouts in air crisper basket.
NINJA PRO TIP: To test if the sprouts are done, pierce a fork in the center of the cores or use an instant read thermometer and look for an internal temperature of 185-190F degrees.

How to serve grilled Brussels sprouts

Once the crispy sprouts are cooked through, remove the air crisp basket from the grill and pour them into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with some added salt and pepper to taste.

Dumping brussels sprouts from air crisper basket to bowl.

If you want to add even more flavor, a drizzle of bottled balsamic glaze, maple syrup or a squeeze of lemon juice is a perfect addition. You can also sprinkle on a little parmesan cheese or goat cheese.


Brussels sprouts are best when they are eaten right away, but you can also save them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Reheat them in the microwave or in a Ninja Grill set to the air crisp function at 375F degrees, until warmed through.

close up of bowl of grilled brussels sprouts.

Grilled Brussels sprouts don’t freeze and reheat very well, so only cook as many as you can eat within the week.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why won’t my Brussels sprouts get crispy?

If you cook your sprouts at 400F degrees on the Ninja Grill with it set to air crisp, you shouldn’t have any problems with the leaves getting crispy. The convection in the grill will circulate the hot air. If you cook at a lower setting, they may not crisp up as much.

Do you need to soak Brussels sprouts before cooking?

There is no need to soak them. It’s best to rinse them and remove any extra wrinkly or brown leaves, but otherwise, prep is really simple. Just slice, season and cook.

Can I add bacon to this recipe?

Yes, my friend. You can add bacon to any recipe. It’s the perfect food. If you do want to add bacon, I recommend dicing it and mixing it in with the sprouts after they’ve cooked for about 5 minutes.

Are they called Brussel sprouts or Brussels sprouts?

Technically, they are named after the capital of Belgium, which is Brussels. So the correct term is Brussels sprouts.

Main dishes on the Ninja Grill

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5 from 4 votes

Ninja Grilled Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Air fryer Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar cooked in a Ninja Grill is a low carb, easy recipe made quickly for a perfect side dish.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 2 lbs whole Brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp coarse ground black pepper


  • Prep: Rinse the sprouts and cut each one in half. Place them in a large bowl.
  • Heat Grill: Set the Ninja Grill cook function to air crisp, the temperature to 400F degrees and the time to 20 minutes. Add the air crisp basket to the grill.
  • Season: To the bowl of sprouts, add the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  • Grill: Place the sprouts in the air crisp basket in a single layer. Cook for 20 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes, until they are fork tender.
  • Serve: Remove to a serving bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.


If using a Ninja Woodfire Grill, you can add smoke flavor by pressing the Woodfire Flavor Technology button after selecting the grill cook function. I recommend only filling the smoke box half full, so the smoke flavor is mild. 
This recipe can be adjusted to cook fewer or more Brussels sprouts as needed.


Calories: 114kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 4gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 466mgPotassium: 451mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 856IUVitamin C: 96mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to rate it, leave a comment and save it so you can make it again. Show off your awesome results on social by tagging @girlscangrill

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christie vanover standing against wood wall.

Hey BBQ Family

I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and top 10 category finishes. I’m an expert grill reviewer for BBQ Guys, and I have appeared on the Food Network and Ninja Woodfire Grill infomercials. I established this website in 2015 to share my BBQ tips and recipes.

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