Brussels sprouts, once the brunt of jokes about how terrible vegetables taste, deserve a much better place at the table. In fact, once you know how to cook Brussels sprouts, they’re quite delicious! Fried in bacon fat, chopped in salads—it’s all about how you make them! Cook them wrong, and they can be mushy and bitter–not exactly the most enticing presentation for any vegetable.
Why all the fuss over Brussels sprouts? Brussels sprouts are a member of the Brassica oleracea family of cruciferous vegetables, which also includes broccoli, cabbage, and kale. These vegetables are known for their cancer-preventing properties, as they contain high levels of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Brussels sprouts have only recently become popular in the United States, but they have been grown in Europe since the 16th century. If you’re looking to add Brussels sprouts to your repertoire of vegetables, here’s a guide on how to cook them.
How to cook Brussels sprouts and enjoy the rich flavor of this underrated veggie
As you’re preparing your Brussels sprouts, the first step is cleaning them, just like you would any vegetable. For Brussels sprouts, start by trimming the stem end and removing any brown or yellow leaves. Rinse the sprouts under cold running water. At this point, you can either leave them whole or cut them into halves or quarters.
Once you’re ready to cook the Brussels sprouts, you have a few different methods to consider. Here’s an introduction to some of the ways you can cook them.
Boiling Brussels Sprouts: Start by filling a pot with enough water to cover the Brussels sprouts. Bring the water to a boil and then add the sprouts. Cook for three to five minutes or until tender. Drain and serve immediately.
Steaming Brussels Sprouts: Fill a pot with an inch or two of water and insert a steamer basket. Add the Brussels sprouts to the basket and cover the pot. Cook for three to five minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Roasting Brussels Sprouts: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the sprouts in half and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper as desired. Roast in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Grilling Brussels Sprouts: Preheat grill to medium-high heat (about 375 degrees F). Cut the sprouts in half and place on a grill safe pan or foil packet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper as desired. Grill for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
Braising Brussels Sprouts: Start by heating some oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook for three to five minutes or until slightly softened. Stir in a cup of chicken broth, cover, and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Sautéing Brussels Sprouts: Start by heating some oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Sautéing and Roasting Brussels Sprouts: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the Brussels sprouts in half. In an oven-safe iron or steel skillet, heat some oil over medium heat. Place the Brussels sprouts cut-side down so they sit flat, and season with salt and pepper. Cook them for about five to 10 minutes, or until they begin to brown on the bottom. Then move the skillet into the oven and roast them for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Pairing Brussels sprouts with other foods for flavorful dishes
Onions/Garlic/Shallots: Sauté onions, garlic, or shallots in olive oil over medium heat until softened. Add the Brussels sprouts for the last 10 minutes or so.
Walnuts: Toast walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Add the walnuts during the last few minutes of cooking.
Caraway & Fennel Seeds: Toast caraway seeds and fennel seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Save and sprinkle over Brussels sprouts after they cook.
Mustardy Vinaigrette: Whisk together Dijon mustard, white vinegar, honey, salt & pepper to taste. Drizzle over cooked Brussels sprouts.
Bacon: Cook your bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon; then add halved brussel sprouts and cook until tender.
There are many different methods that can be used depending on your preferences, enjoy!
Do you have a favorite way to cook Brussels sprouts?
Brussels sprouts have gone from most hated to almost most loved! With our Bountiful Brussels Sprouts Gardening Guide, you’ll have everything you need to know about growing and enjoying this delicious food.