Simple Roasted Brussel Sprouts (Foolproof Recipe!)- Slender Kitchen

Simple Roasted Brussel Sprouts (Foolproof Recipe!)- Slender Kitchen

Crispy and caramelized Roasted Brussels Sprouts make the perfect side to your meal! Ready in just 30 minutes from prep to finish, they couldn’t be easier to make and will change your mind about Brussel sprouts.

Brussels sprouts are hands down one of my all-time favorite vegetables. I love them raw in crunchy salads. I love them with pasta or cooked on the grill.  But my favorite way to eat them is roasted!

Roasting Brussels sprouts until they are dark brown and crispy in the oven is magic. Try something simple like today’s roasted sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Or try something more creative like these Crispy Balsamic Brussels Sprouts, Crispy Asian Brussel Sprouts, or Garlic Bacon Sprouts. Either way, roasting this vegetable is where it shines and they truly are the perfect side dish. Great for a family dinner or special enough for a holiday or special occasion.

Since these roasted sprouts are so delicious, consider doubling the recipe. Leftover Brussels sprouts make a great addition to sandwiches (Brussels sprout grilled cheese!), pita pizzas, omelets, veggie wraps, salads, quinoa bowls, and more. 

The other great thing about this dish if you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for new ways to add a little extra nutritional value to your fridge contents.

Roasted Brussels sprouts really pack a punch, with great fiber content as well as vitamins K, C, and A. That means they’re great when you’re fighting off a cold and for general gut health. Baked Brussels sprouts even pack in some protein, although you’ll still need a protein element in your meal to feel full.

How to Roast Brussel Sprouts

Too many times, people make roasted vegetables and don’t get the deeply caramelized, crispy outcome they are expected. Follow these steps to ensure good results every single time. 

  1. Choose the right sprouts: Choose small to medium sprouts with leaves that are bright green with the outer leaves still intact. They should be firm when touched and free from any browned or wilted spots. Also, try to choose sprouts that are similar in size so they roast in the same amount of time.
  2. Prep sprouts: Trim the stem side and remove any wilted or browned outer leaves. Then slice the sprouts in half through the stem. This surface area is where you will get the best browning since the flat edge can rest against the hot baking sheet.
  3. Arrange the sprouts: Toss the sprouts in enough oil that they are well coated but not greasy. Then place them cut side down on a sheet pan in a single layer. Make sure to leave space. The number one reason that vegetables don’t get browned is that the pan is too crowded. For even crispier sprouts, preheat the baking sheet as well. 
  4. Roast at a high temp:  To get that delicious caramelization, the sprouts need to be cooked at high heat. Just don’t cook over 450 degrees or the olive oil can get bitter. 
  5. Let the sprouts caramelize: Make sure you don’t move or shake the pan too early. Check one sprout after about 15 minutes. if it is nicely browned, give the pan a shake. If not, just leave them face down. Brussels sprouts don’t actually need to be flipped. 
  6. Season again: Taste a sprout and sprinkle with salt and pepper as needed. Usually, I find they need some extra salt and pepper. If they seem dry at all, drizzle some extra olive oil or balsamic vinegar.

How to Pick Brussel Sprouts

So, you’re at the grocery store and there are so many options. With the dizzying number of choices in produce these days, how do you pick the best Brussels sprouts for dinner? It really depends on what you are making.

If you’re the type of person who likes to make your own soup stock, you can grab Brussel sprouts on the stalk. Slice the Brussels sprouts off, and freeze the stalk to use with celery, carrots, and chicken bones for nutrient-dense soup stock.

If you buy your Brussel sprouts loose, reach for the ones that are bright green, dense, and firm. This means that the leaves are fresh and still clinging together tightly, which will produce the best texture when you roast them. If you like your veggies sweet, grab the teeny tiny Brussels sprouts – these are usually the sweetest, softest ones.

As a general rule, Brussel sprouts are sweeter later in the season. Like kale, they get sweeter and softer after the frost.

What to Serve with Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Now you’re all set to roast the Brussel sprouts, now, you have to choose an entrée. These pair well with just about anything and you can add spices and herbs to match the flavors of what you are cooking. Here are some of our favorite mains.

For vegetarians, Brussel sprouts make a great addition to a hash, omelet, or frittata. Vegans should include brown rice, tofu or beans, and sweet potato for a delicious meal with complete protein.

Recipe Ideas and Variations

After you’ve made this recipe a few times, you’ll be able to do it in your sleep. Even though salt, pepper, and olive oil pair well with just about any main course, you might want to spice it up.

The best way to do that is with a delicious marinade. Whip up your marinade beforehand, and then toss your halved Brussel sprouts in a bowl with the delicious sauce before or after baking.

  • Honey mustard: Honey, mustard, a little oil and vinegar, and your Brussels sprouts will be transformed into a sweet and tangy delight.
  • Miso: For Japanese fusion enthusiasts, toss your sprouts in some miso, oil, and lemon juice before throwing them in the oven.
  • Smoky: For a South-American feel, try some smoked paprika, chili powder, or cumin along with your oil and salt.
  • Add more veggies: Toss some parsnips, carrots, apples, or potatoes in with your sprouts for a tasty veggie roast.
  • Balsamic Marinade: Try adding this delicious vegetable marinade made with balsamic vinegar after the sprouts are finished roasting.
  • Lemon Parmesan: Finish the dish with lemon zest and parmesan cheese. Add some sliced almonds for crunch. 
  • Herbs: Grab some fresh thyme, oregano, rosemary, or dill to sprinkle over the roasted sprouts. 

How do you roast Brussel sprouts without them getting soggy?

Here are the three tricks that guarantee crispy sprouts every time.

  • Make sure the sprouts are cut in half through the stem and well coated in oil.
  • Place the halved sprouts cut side down on a baking sheet in a single layer. Do not crowd the pan or they will steam.
  • Bake them at a high temperature, at least 400 degrees, and do not move them until they are nicely browned on one side. 

Why aren’t my Brussel sprouts crispy?

The most common reason that Brussel sprouts come out soggy is that the baking sheet is too crowded. There should be some space between each sprout so the moisture can evaporate. If they are too close together, the moisture steams the vegetable. 

What’s the best way to clean Brussel sprouts?

Start by removing any wilted outer leaves and debris. Then rinse the whole sprout in water or soak them if they are especially dirty. Dry the sprouts really well. If you rinse halved sprouts, use a salad spinner to remove any excess moisture in the leaves. 

Are Brussel sprouts bitter? How to remove bitterness?

Brussel sprouts are part of the cabbage family and can be slightly bitter. Choosing small to medium-sized sprouts reduced the bitterness. Roasting will also reduce the natural bitterness since they sweeten as they cook. You can also counteract the bitter flavor by adding sweeter ingredients like balsamic vinegar, honey, maple syrup, or a little lemon.

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