Beautifully crispy Brussels sprouts in a delicious, nutty maple balsamic marinade are waiting for you. These vegan roasted sprouts don't require any added oil and are super simple to make. A delicious addition to any autumn or winter meal, these oil-free roasted Brussels sprouts are sweet, salty and nutty with great texture. This recipe satisfies vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, whole food plant-based lifestyles and are for everyone.
These Brussels sprouts are fantastic for the holidays. Try them with one of these Thanksgiving recipes.
Why this recipe is loved:
Quick: With an air fryer, it's ready in just 20 minutes.
Easy: Just stir together the sauce, toss the halved sprouts in it, and place in the air fryer or oven.
Oil-free: Often roasted Brussels sprouts are coated in oil, but not these! They get crispy without the need. Of course, if you'd like to add oil, that's up to you.
Crowd pleaser: This is the kind of recipe that can get those who think they don't like Brussels sprouts to realize that they do, as long as they're made like this.
Refined sugar free: We just add a touch of real maple syrup instead of highly processed sugar.
How are these roasted brussels sprouts oil-free?
Typically, the delicious crispiness comes from the use of oil. Since I try to get my fats mostly from whole-foods, I prefer to avoid cooking with oil whenever possible. I’ve tried different ways of cooking Brussels sprouts without oil and wasn’t 100% satisfied - they usually didn’t turn out crispy enough. But that was before I tried using one of my favorite recipe-helpers to save the day. What would that be? You guessed it - the not-so-secret secret is pecan butter!
Brussels sprouts have a fantastic texture, especially when roasted. With all their little nooks and crannies, they work well with the sauce, too.
For the sauce, we're using:
Balsamic vinegar: The less expensive version is fine here. It brings a nice fruity zing.
Maple syrup: Just a bit to add some sweet.
Tamari: Just a bit to add some salt. If you're ok with gluten, soy sauce works just as well. Coconut aminos can substitute in a pinch, but I'd use slightly less balsamic in that case.
Pecan butter: This adds a rich creaminess that works as an oil replacement. If you don't have pecan butter, almond butter is a great substitute.
A note on Pecan Butter
Pecan butter is a recipe I typically have on-hand at all times, all year round. If you haven’t had a chance to make it, now is the perfect time to give it a go! Trust me, if you like pecans in any way, you’ll love this nut butter. Make a batch and use it yes as a delicious toast spread, and in other delicious ways, too, like the following:Radicchio Harvest Salad with Pecan Dressing
Pecan butter is really easy to make, too. It just takes 12 minutes in the oven and about 1-2 minutes in the food processor. That’s it! Other nut butters can take a bit more effort to get nice and creamy - not pecan butter.
So, now that you have pecan butter on-hand, let’s make these brussels sprouts! Don't have a chance to make it? If you have almond butter, that will work too - the flavor profile will be less rich but it will still be really delicious.
THE AIR FRYER I USE: BREVILLE SMART OVEN AIR
After our toaster died, we knew we wanted to replace it with a toaster oven, and after researching air fryers, this one won out because it uses stainless steel trays instead of nonstick. It also has so many functions we use regularly, like baking and dehydrating. It’s a little pricey, but we’ve found it’s well worth the money so far - we use it every day. Our conventional oven is used much less often now! This convection and air fry toaster oven cooks so much faster with crispier oil-free results, so it’s now our go-to.
Simply combine ingredients for the sauce, toss the Brussels sprouts in it, then lay them evenly on a baking tray or air fryer tray and roast them in the oven or air fryer. Note: The air fryer tends to cook in about half the time as a standard oven.
Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe (vegan, oil-free)
- air fryer
Make the sauce
- In a bowl big enough to hold the brussels sprouts, stir together the pecan butter, balsamic vinegar, tamari, and maple syrup to form a sauce.
Prep the brussels sprouts
- Clean the Brussels sprouts by rinsing and drying them, then removing the stem base and any undesirable leaves. Cut them in half and add them to the bowl.
- Once about half of the Brussels sprouts have been cleaned and trimmed, set the air fryer to 400 degrees for 9 minutes. Then finish cleaning and trimming.For oven roasting, set the oven to 400 degrees (F).
- Fold all of the trimmed brussels sprouts into the sauce until well coated.
- To air fry, line an air fryer tray with a silicone baking mat, then pour the Brussels sprouts onto the mat and evenly distribute them. If not using a baking mat, pour the Brussels sprouts onto the air fryer tray over the sink so that any sauce drippings drip into the sink. When the air fryer is ready, put them in to roast. If they don’t look sufficiently roasted after 9 minutes, add another minute at a time until they do. If oven roasting, evenly distribute them on a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet and roast them for 20 minutes; add more time until they reach the desired color.
- Sprinkle with the garlic salt, if using, and pepper, then serve. Best eaten immediately.
General food safety
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands and ingredients well before using
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove