Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts (Photo by Keenan Loo on Unsplash)

Once shunned, Brussels sprouts now dance on foodie tongues, their caramelized coats hiding complex sweetness. Roasted to tender crispness, they surrender a nutty heart. Each bite is a revelation that elevates the humble sprout to culinary stardom. No longer Brussels bore, these versatile gems shine in salads, soups, and even as center-plate entrees, their bitter past a mere whisper in the symphony of flavor. Our list of the seven best ways to cook Brussels sprouts might help home cooks transform this once scoffed at veggie into something delish.

Good news for your heart health: a new study finds that women who eat more cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower may be 46 percent less likely to develop calcium buildup in their aorta, a major artery. So, next time you see Brussels sprouts at the market, don’t shy away. Embrace their newfound glory, roast them to crispy perfection, and prepare to be amazed by the sweet, nutty explosion of flavor that awaits. StudyFinds combed through nine trusted sources to help you discover the seven best ways to cook Brussels sprouts. Let us know your favorite recipes in the comments below!

green vegetable on brown wooden table
Brussels Sprouts on the stalk (Photo by Matt Seymour on Unsplash)

The List: Best Cooking Methods For Brussels Sprouts, Per Culinary Experts

1. Roasted

selective focus photography of grilled Brussels sprout, lemon wedge, and rosemary sprig
Roasted Brussels sprouts (Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash)

Roasting is easily the most popular method for cooking Brussels sprouts. All you need is an oven and a sheet tray! While oven-roasted sprouts (which are basically baked at high heat) might be a bit softer overall, you can still get that satisfying crunch, Better Homes & Gardens says. The outer leaves get beautifully charred, and any loose ones floating around the pan crisp up too. So you can enjoy the best of both worlds: soft and tender in the center, crispy and caramelized on the outside.

There’s a secret to getting perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts: even cooking! To achieve this, cut your sprouts into similar-sized pieces, writes Easy and Delish. This ensures they all cook at the same pace and have the same texture. Another key tip? Preheat your oven to a high temperature. This jumpstart creates crispy exteriors with soft, tender insides on your sprouts. Finally, for an extra crunch factor, don’t overcrowd the pan! Spread them out with some space between each sprout so they can roast evenly and get nice and crispy all around.

Roasting brings out tons of natural sweetness by caramelizing the sprouts, Taste of Home elaborates. Think depth of flavor without a ton of effort—that’s the magic of roasted Brussels sprouts. If you’re looking for a recipe to try, their roasted balsamic Brussels sprouts with pancetta sound like a winner!

2. Pan-Fried

bowlful of vegetable salad
Brussels sprouts in a cast iron skillet (Photo by Sebastian Coman Photography on Unsplash)

Pan-fried Brussels sprouts in a cast-iron skillet can be absolutely delicious. The caramelization that occurs at higher temperatures gives the sprout an almost potato-like quality. They’re perfect with steak, pork, or even a fried egg, All Recipes raves. And for an extra flavor boost, they recommend adding a touch of sugar to balance the bitterness and some bacon for a savory, chewy bite.

Pan-frying is the way to go, according to BBC Good Food. Just heat some oil in a pan over medium heat. Then, halve your Brussels sprouts and add them cut-side down. Let them sizzle for five to 10 minutes, carefully peeking every few minutes to monitor their browning. Once they’re nicely browned, add a pat of butter for extra richness. Flip them over and cook for another 10 minutes until they’re beautifully browned all around. Season with your favorite spices, and for a fancy touch, sprinkle with sesame seeds or flaked almonds.

Sautéed, pan-fried, seared, pan-roasted… they all mean the same thing, Better Homes & Gardens adds. This quick and easy method uses a hot skillet to sear the Brussels sprouts until tender-crisp and bursting with flavor. No matter what you call it, one thing’s for sure: it’s a delicious way to cook these little green gems!

3. Steamed

Steamed Brussels Sprouts
Steamed Brussels Sprouts (Photo by Elena Zajchikova on Shutterstock)

Steaming vegetables is widely considered one of the healthiest methods of preparation. This is because it retains more nutrients than other methods. It’s perfect for prepping them for other dishes or creating a simple side, Spend With Pennies comments. They even have a recipe for steamed Brussels sprouts topped with a decadent cheese sauce and crispy breadcrumbs – yum! Steaming is easy, too. Just fill a pot with a couple of inches of water, bring it to a simmer, and pop your Brussels sprouts in a steamer basket over the pot. Cook until nice and tender, and you’re good to go!

Steaming helps lock in vitamins, especially vitamin C, which is great for keeping you healthy, Real Simple adds. Don’t have a steamer basket? No worries! Real Simple says you can just pile the Brussels sprouts right into the pot with the water, following the same steaming time. Easy and healthy – that’s a winning combo!

Want a savory kick? Try coating them in a mixture of vegetable broth and mustard, Have a Plant suggests. Craving something lighter and brighter? Steam them until tender, then top with a simple squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a dollop of low-fat feta cheese. Steamed Brussels sprouts – so easy, so versatile!

4. Air Fryer

Sprouts getting a little boring in the oven? It’s time to ditch the rack and embrace your air fryer! This handy appliance circulates hot air around your veggies, making them extra crispy, sweet, and bursting with flavor, The Kitchn explains. Think way beyond soggy! Air frying might just be the secret to achieving the holy grail of Brussels sprouts: tender on the inside and perfectly crispy on the outside.

Air frying creates beautiful caramelization that adds tons of flavor. Simply toss your sprouts with a drizzle of oil and your favorite seasonings, then pop them in your preheated air fryer set to 375°F, Spend With Pennies states. Shake the basket every 5 minutes for even cooking, and voila! Perfectly tender-crisp Brussels sprouts in no time. For extra inspiration, they recommend checking out their favorite Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts recipe – yum!

Craving those addictive Brussels sprouts you get at fast food joints but without the guilt? Air frying uses minimal oil to create perfectly crispy, lower-calorie, lower-fat Brussels sprouts, Better Homes & Gardens adds. Plus, it’s incredibly convenient. They even have recipes like Air-Fried Brussels Sprouts and Air-Fried Brussels Sprouts with Maple-Bourbon Glaze that are ready in just 25 minutes. Talk about a weeknight win!

5. Grill

A man cooking on a charcoal grill outside
A man cooking on a charcoal grill outside (Photo by Vincent Keiman on Unsplash)

Bust out the grill and enjoy cooking in the great outdoors! Grilled Brussels sprouts pick up a crisp charred texture when cooked over an open flame. Slicing, dressing, and skewering your sprouts transforms them into flavorful treats, The Kitchn points out. The direct heat and open flame take them way beyond a simple side.

The smoky char adds a whole new dimension of flavor, taking these little veggies from side dish to star of the show, Taste of Home says. If you’re already a grilling enthusiast, get ready to elevate your veggie game!

Grilling Brussels sprouts sounds delicious, but let’s face it, those little guys can be a challenge – they’re small and can fall through the grates, Real Simple notes. Their solution? Thread them onto skewers for easy grilling and a stunning presentation. Plus, if your sprouts are on the larger side, simply halve them and adjust the cooking time for perfectly grilled goodness!

6. Instant Pot

Dinner in a flash? Your Instant Pot is the answer for perfectly cooked Brussels sprouts, Easy and Delish says. Their recipe features pantry staples like olive oil, bacon, garlic, broth, and of course, Brussels sprouts. With a quick pressure cook, you’ll have tender, flavorful sprouts ready to devour in no time. The ease of this method makes it a popular choice with busy home cooks.

The beauty of the Instant Pot for Brussels sprouts? It practically cooks them itself, adds Real Simple. Just toss in your Brussels sprouts and let the magic happen. They even have a handy tip: for smaller or larger sprouts, simply adjust the cooking time by 30 seconds per size difference. Easy, stress-free, and perfectly cooked Brussels sprouts every time!

An electric pressure cooker works just as well, Better Homes & Gardens shares. It’s their go-to for dishes like Pressure Cooker Maple-Bacon Brussels Sprouts, which are ready in under 30 minutes, with a pressure cooking time of just three minutes! We’re talking crazy-fast and incredibly flavorful Brussels sprouts—perfect for busy weeknights.

7. Shaved

Brussels sprouts aren’t just for roasting anymore! They can be enjoyed raw, too, adding a delightful crunch and heartiness to salads, writes The Kitchen. Short on prep time? No problem! They recommend using a bag of pre-shaved Brussels sprouts to save yourself some steps. Now that’s a salad with some serious bite!

These little green guys can be transformed into a delightful side dish in just 10 minutes, All Recipes adds. Simply shred or thinly slice them, then toss them in a skillet with butter, a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and some salt and pepper. That’s it! Fast, easy, and flavorful—perfect for busy weeknights when you want something beyond the ordinary.

Brussels sprouts can be the star of your next slaw! Simply shred them raw, toss them in your favorite mayo or vinaigrette, and use them in place of cabbage for a delicious twist, suggests BBC Good Food. Feeling fancy? Try a sprout salad with a citrus and pomegranate dressing or keep it creamy with a remoulade sauce.

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