How to Roast Brussels Sprouts
Right this way for golden, crispy perfection.
By Layla Khoury-Hanold for Food Network Kitchen
Layla Khoury-Hanold is a contributor at Food Network.
Brussels sprouts are a polarizing veggie known for their bitter bent, but roasting them until they’re caramelized and crisp-tender is a surefire way to convert any haters. Brussels sprouts are a staple side at Thanksgiving in the U.S.; however, this versatile autumn-winter veggie goes way beyond the holiday table, too. Read on to get our top tips for perfect roasted Brussels sprouts, plus our favorite classic and unexpected ways to use Brussels sprouts.
How to Buy Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are generally sold by the pound and can be found from early fall through winter at most supermarkets. At farmers markets, they’re often sold on the stalk — a bonus because they keep fresher longer that way. From the stalk, simply cut each sprout at the base end when ready to use.
Whether you’re at the grocery store or farmers market, look for Brussels sprouts that are firm, bright green and heavy for their size. The sprouts’ outer leaves should be intact and tightly packed. Avoid sprouts with yellowing or torn leaves (which indicates age), holes or black or brown spots on the leaves or stem, which can indicate fungus or decay. It’s said that smaller sprouts are more tender and sweeter, while larger sprouts have more of a pronounced cabbage flavor profile. Pick sprouts that are about the same size so that they’ll cook at the same rate.
Brussels sprouts roasted in the oven with spices, salt, black pepper and Italian herbs. It"u2019s the healthy, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free side dish that goes with just about anything. Brussels sprouts are antioxidant powerhouses, low in calories but high in many nutrients, especially fiber, vitamin K and vitamin C.
Brussels Sprouts Roasting Tips
Here are a few tips and tricks to help ensure delicious roasted Brussels sprouts with a crisp-tender texture and crispy, caramelized edges.
1. Don’t Crowd the Pan
Use a large, rimmed baking sheet and arrange your halved Brussels sprouts cut side down in an even layer, without overcrowding them. If you have a large batch of Brussels sprouts to roast, it’s best to spread them out over two pans and position them on separate racks to ensure that they crisp up. If you try squeezing all the sprouts onto one pan, you run the risk of steaming them instead of roasting them.
2. Crank Up the Heat
Preheat your oven to a high enough temperature to guarantee crispy, golden edges and a tender, cooked-through interior. We like to roast our sprouts at 400 degrees F, but up to 425 degrees F works too. Any higher than that and you’ll risk burning the oil and imparting bitter flavors.
3. Do Not Disturb
Rather than flipping your sprouts halfway through cooking as you might with other roasted vegetables, it’s best to leave the sprouts alone, for the most part. Shake the pan from time to time to ensure that they brown evenly.
4. Don’t Stop Too Soon
Your caramelization preferences might vary, but don’t pull the sprouts from the oven too soon. You’re looking for a deeply golden hue on the flat, cut sides and a slight yielding when the sprouts are pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.
How to Roast Brussels Sprouts, Step-by-Step
1. Trim the Brussels Sprouts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While the oven pre-heats, prep the sprouts. To feed 6 eaters, trim the stem ends from 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, then pull off and discard any yellow outer leaves. Cut big sprouts (those that are 1 inch in diameter or larger) lengthwise in half (small or tiny sprouts can be left whole).
2. Season the Brussels Sprouts
Toss the Brussels sprouts with a few glugs of extra virgin olive oil, season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
3. Roast the Brussels Sprouts
Roast the sprouts for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly.
4. Serve and Add Salt
Sprinkle with more kosher salt and serve immediately.
How to Use Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Brussels sprouts make an ideal side dish, but they also impart a sweet-savory vegetable flourish to hearty mains and add heft to lunches and leftovers.
Zhuzh Up Your Roasted Sprouts
To finish sprouts, try adding a flurry of fresh lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of balsamic syrup or hot honey, a dash of hot sauce or a spoonful of mint pesto. For a small but mighty upgrade to your roasted sprouts, top them with toasted breadcrumbs, such as Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemony Herb Breadcrumbs (pictured above) or these Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter Breadcrumbs. We also love roasting sprouts with unexpected or complementary extras, such as bacon and walnuts, garlic, grapes or carrots.
Bulk Up Salads and Grain Bowls
WINTER LAYERED SALAD WITH BEETS AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS Food Network Kitchen Walnuts, Barley, Pink Grapefruit, Red Wine Vinegar, Shallot, Honey, Dijon Mustard, Olive Oil, Mesclun Mixed Greens, Brussels Sprouts, Beets, Pomegranate Seeds,WINTER LAYERED SALAD WITH BEETS AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS Food Network Kitchen Walnuts, Barley, Pink Grapefruit, Red Wine Vinegar, Shallot, Honey, Dijon Mustard, Olive Oil, Mesclun Mixed Greens, Brussels Sprouts, Beets, Pomegranate Seeds
Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved
Try combining roasted sprouts into substantial salads and hearty grain bowls—we especially love this Roasted Vegetable and Polenta Salad and this Spicy Quinoa Bowl with Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes. Sub roasted sprouts in for recipes that call for raw preparations, like this Winter Layered Salad with Beets and Brussels Sprouts (pictured above) or this Brussels Sprouts Salad, featuring a medley of dried cranberries and blueberries, smoked almonds and shaved Manchego.
Stack ‘Em Into Sandwiches
Sandwich fillings might not be an obvious choice for sprouts, but they work especially well in toasted sandwiches, like this Brussels Sprouts and Salami Panini (pictured above) or an umami-packed Brussels Sprout and Bacon Grilled Cheese. For a sandwich that begs you to eat the rainbow, check out this customizable Roasted Vegetable Sandwich.
Twirl Them Into Pasta
Fold in chopped, roasted sprouts to this sweet-savory Rigatoni with Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts and Bacon, use them to bolster a crowd-pleasing Orecchiette with Vegan Sausage and Brussels Sprouts (pictured above), or julienne roasted sprouts to replace the shredded raw ones in this brilliant Caesar Veggie Pasta Salad.
Step Up your Thanksgiving Leftovers Game
Use sprouts to add creative flavor punch to leftovers, like this Thanksgiving Spoon Salad. Or use them as an unexpected topping for nachos, as with these Leftover Thanksgiving Nachos (pictured above). Or for a next-day dose of holiday comfort, finely chop leftover sprouts and add to this bubbly, golden Creamed Baked Brussels Sprouts dish.
Turn Them Into Appetizers
Turn roasted sprouts into elegant autumnal appetizers, as with these Brussels Sprouts in a Blanket (pictured above) or these Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts, paired with an irresistible creamy lemon dip.