How to Cook Brussels Sprouts + Best Brussels Sprouts Recipes
How to cook Brussels sprouts! Learn all about this wonderful veggie, get plenty of creative Brussels sprouts recipes, and learn to make our favorite roasted balsamic Brussels sprouts. They are a delicious and easy vegetarian, gluten-free side dish for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, or everyday dinners.
Brussels sprouts have always been a favorite vegetable in my family. My kids ask for them with dinner regularly, and are always surprised to hear that someone doesn’t like these little cruciferous gems.
We use Brussels sprouts in dishes like Lentil Shepherd’s Pie, as a side dish like shown here, and even as the star of some dishes like Brussels Sprouts Tacos. Like some of our other more detailed articles such as How to Cook Lentils, How to Cook Quinoa, How to Cook Chickpeas, Spaghetti Squash, tofu, tempeh, and Pumpkin, we’ll cover all things Brussels sprouts here.
At the bottom you’ll find the printer-friendly recipe for these crispy oven roasted balsamic Brussels sprouts that are perfect as a healthy holiday side dish. First though, we’ll go over how to trim Brussels sprouts, how to cook them, and check out some more creative Brussels sprouts recipes. Let’s go!
What Are Brussels Sprouts?
Brussels sprouts are like tiny cabbages that grow on a 2-4 foot tall stalks. They were first popular around Brussels and Belgium as early as the 13th century (1). In season beginning in the fall, they grow well in cooler climates, between 45-75 degrees F. They can be eaten raw, where they taste best thinly shaved and dressed as a salad, or cooked.
Brussels Sprouts Nutrition
Like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale, Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables and very healthy for most people. They are a relatively low-calorie, high-nutrient food. You can read all about he health benefits of cruciferous veggies over on Food Revolution if you’re interested.
3 oz. of raw Brussels sprouts contains 43 calories, 9 grams carbohydrates, 0.3 grams of fat, and 3 grams of protein. They are a good source of vitamins C and K.
How to Trim Brussels Sprouts
Before cooking your sprouts, you’ll want to make sure to wash and trim them. When you buy Brussels sprouts on the stalk, you can simply pull them off or use a paring knife to help you. When buying them off the stalk, the ends are often brown.
Trim the brown ends off the Brussels sprouts and remove a few of the outer leaves. As you can see here, there is often debris or aphids lurking in those outer leaves. It’s no problem, just pull them off and give another rinse if needed.
How to Cut Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts can be cooked whole, halved, quartered, or shaved. We like whole Brussels sprouts (unless they are very large, and they they are halved), best for roasting and sauteeing. Halves and quarters work well for stir fry an other dishes, while shaved pieces make a quick saute and are great raw in salads.
How to Cook Brussels Sprouts
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts
Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute shaved, halved, or quartered Brussels sprouts with salt and pepper until tender. I like to saute sliced shallots and garlic with these and top with toasted hazelnuts.
Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts
Oh yes, you can make them in the Instant Pot pressure cooker. Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot liner and fit with a steamer basket. Fill with whole Brussels sprouts. Lock the lid, with valve sealing and set to pressure cook (high) for 1 minute. Immediately carefully quick release the pressure. Carefully remove the steamer basket and discard the water.
Select saute (high) and heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the Brussels sprouts back into the pot with the hot oil to crisp up. Season with salt and pepper and add 1 tablespoon of balsamic, if desired.
Oven Roasted Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic
Bye, mushy flavorless Brussels sprouts of yesteryear, bye. There are so many ways to make them flavorful and crispy. A favorite is with a balsamic glaze. The best way to do this is to roast the Brussels sprouts either halved or whole (we prefer whole), then, while the pan and sprouts are still very hot from the oven, splash in about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. The heat will caramelize the balsamic just enough to glaze the Brussels sprouts. So easy, right?
Once you’ve washed and trimmed your Brussels sprouts, toss them in a big sheet pan. Though many are halved in this image, we now prefer roasting them whole. Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using a metal pan is preferred, as it will result in crispier Brussels sprouts that cook faster, though you could also use a ceramic or glass baking dish.
Give the pan a shake, or flip the sprouts a couple of times while they are cooking in the oven so that they brown somewhat evenly. They are done when they are crisp on the outside, tender-crisp on the inside, and dark brown in some places. Add the balsamic right away so it can caramelize and coat the sprouts.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm right away. We’ve found that Brussels sprouts don’t reheat very well.
How do Brussels Sprouts Grow?
The small round sprouts grow in a helical patter off of 2-4 foot tall stalks.
Are Brussels Sprouts Healthy?
Yes! They are very healthy for most people. They are part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which is known to have a whole host of health benefits.
Can Dogs Eat Brussels Sprouts?
How Many Calories in Brussels Sprouts?
There are around 43 calories per 3-oz. of raw sprouts. Of course, if you add oil, that will quickly increase.
Are Brussels Sprouts Keto?
Yes, they are. If you follow a vegan, keto, or paleo diet, you can definitely still enjoy Brussels sprouts.
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils, optional for garnish
Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Trim a thin sliver off the ends of the Brussels sprouts. Cut any very large sprouts in half lengthwise, while leaving smaller sprouts whole. Peel a few of the outer leaves off. It's common to find dirt or aphids hiding within these outer leaves.
- Place the Brussels sprouts onto a metal baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Roast for 35-40 minutes, tossing once or twice to ensure even browning. Brussels sprouts should be browned crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
- Remove from the oven and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with any additional salt and pepper. Serve warm garnished with pomegranate arils, if desired.
Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts
- Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot liner and fit with a steamer basket.
- Fill with whole Brussels sprouts.
- Lock the lid, with valve sealing and set to pressure cook (high) for 1 minute.
- Immediately carefully quick release the pressure. Carefully remove the steamer basket and discard the water.
- Select saute (high) and heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the Brussels sprouts back into the pot with the hot oil to crisp up and cook until they are tender on the inside.
- Select cancel. Season with salt and pepper and stir in 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, if desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 113Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 157mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 3g