Brussels sprouts are the come-back kids of the vegetable world. And, why not? They are totally delicious when made correctly, and pretty adorable.

(Did you know they also come in purple!? We spotted some at the farmers' market this week and had to snag them.)

If you too are looking for a few easy ways to enjoy Brussels, try one of these super easy methods for cooking them at home.  

Image: Daniel Bendjy.

Preheat oven to 450°. Quarter your Brussels sprouts and toss them with plenty of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them into a single layer on a baking sheet, being careful not to overcrowd them. Roast, tossing every 10 minutes or so, until the outer leaves begin to char, and the sprouts are fork tender, 25 to 35 minutes.

Fancy it up

Want a little sweet-spicy-salty action? Toss the sprouts with a tablespoon of brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup before roasting, along with some red pepper flakes for heat.


Shred your Brussels sprouts using a sharp blade or mandoline, then combine shreds (about 5 cups worth) with about a cup of shredded carrots, a handful of sliced scallions, 1/4 cup mayo, yogurt, or vegan mayo, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, a teaspoon of sugar, some black pepper, and a couple slices of crisp-cooked bacon or coconut "bacon". Mix well and let sit for about 10 minutes to allow the leaves to soften, then top with some toasted sliced almonds to serve.

Make it your own

Don't have any almonds? Use pistachios or pine nuts. Want an Asian flair? Use a little sesame oil and throw in some orange slices and crispy wontons in place of the bacon. These shreds will stand up to almost any flavor you throw at them, just be sure to have an acid of some kind to brighten up flavors and cook the Brussels.

Image: bhofack2.

Image: sf_foodphoto.


Sautéed Brussels will retain more of an al dente crunch as opposed to roasting and the fat you pan-fry the sprouts in can add a lot of flavor so be sure to start off with a glug of good olive oil or rendered bacon fat. Halve your brussels and heat fat of choice over medium-high in a large skillet. Place the sprouts cut-side down in the pan and leave them alone for about 5 minutes or until there is a good, caramelized char on the flat side. Give them a stir and continue to cook until they are browned all over and tender another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Jazz it up

Add some chopped garlic, fresh herbs, or slices of hot chili, and cook for another minute or 2 for more complex flavor.

Image: talynshererphoto.

Crispy-Tender Version

Halve a pound Brussels sprouts (about four cups). Heat 2-inches of oil over medium-high in a heavy-bottomed pot. Use a Brussels sprout leaf to test the oil, when it sizzles upon hitting the oil, you're ready to go. (If you like using a thermometer, then get your oil up to about 360°). Add 1/3 of halved Brussels sprouts, careful not to let the oil splash you. Fry, turning occasionally, until crisp, golden brown, and tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined tray with a slotted spoon and sprinkle with salt. Fry remaining sprouts in batches, returning oil to 360° between each batch.

Extra-Crispy Version

Trim the stem end of the sprouts and gently separate the leaves with your fingers, collecting them in a large bowl. When you reach the heart of the sprout, add the heart to the bowl with the leaves. Set about 2-inches of oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Heat until a Brussels sprout leaf begins to sizzle and crisp as soon as you add it to the oil. Fry the sprouts in batches, for about 30 seconds to a minute, removing the sprouts with a slotted spoon when crisp and brown. Drain them on a double layer of paper towels while you fry the rest of the sprouts.

Make 'em the star of the table

In a small bowl, whisk together a tablespoon of sriracha, 3 tablespoons honey, and the juice of one large lime. Once all the sprouts are fried, transfer them to a large bowl and sprinkle them generously with salt, then toss gently with a drizzle of the sauce until coated lightly. Add more sauce to taste. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve right away.

Image: John Shepherd.


Halve your Brussels sprouts. Fill a large, wide pot with 2-inches of water and place a metal steamer basket inside. Bring the water to a simmer, add the Brussels sprouts to the basket, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and steam until the Brussels sprouts are bright green (or purple!) and just cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then dress with butter of choice and plently of salt and pepper.

Get creative

Brussels are basically mini-cabbages so when they're steamed, they're ready to soak up anything you toss them with. Try coating the cooked sprouts with leftover homemade dressing, lemon, garlic, and parmesan, some pesto, fresh herbs, a quick ginger-sesame vinaigrette, or whatever flavors you are in the mood for.

Hero image: jrwasserman.

This article originally published on February 20, 2018.

About the Contributor
Felicia Campbell
Felicia Campbell is an award-nominated writer, editor, and producer. She is the author of The Food of Oman: Recipes and Stories from the Gateway to Arabia; numerous travel guides; and Chasing Iraqi Chicken: A Memoir (forthcoming). She writes about culture, travel, food, and lifestyle and has held editorial positions at Saveur, Times of Oman, Phoenix New Times, and Edible San Diego. She now works with authors as a developmental editor and writing coach, produces digital videos, and is developing a documentary series about endangered cuisines. Learn more at