Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts

Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

I thought I'd share my all-time favorite brussels sprouts recipe with you. It's a slightly extended version of the one I included in Super Natural Cooking, but to be honest, calling it a recipe is a bit of a stretch. It involves a skillet, less than five ingredients, about ten minutes of your time, and minimal culinary skills. You end up with vibrant green, tender brussels sprouts that become deeply golden and crusty where they touch the pan. I then lightly dust the whole pan with cheese and serve. This time of year it's not unusual for us to cook them like this two or three times a week.

I was a brussels sprout hater for most of my life. Boiled brussels sprouts? No thanks. This is a different beast entirely. And I feel confident saying this golden-crusted version has the ability to turn even the most vigilant brussels sprout haters around.

brussels sprouts recipe

A couple shopping tips before you get started, look for brussels sprouts that are on the small size and tightly closed. The tiny ones cook through quickly, whereas larger ones tend to brown on the outside long before the insides are done. When the weather is mild, I finish them with a lighter, salty cheese, like Parmesan, but if it's stormy and cold, I opt for a heavier, more melty cheese, like a regular or smoked Gouda (or gruyere).

Try not to overcook them, and eat them as soon as they come of the stove if at all possible.

I also wanted to take a minute to thank the many of you who have recently taken the time to send me such nice letters about my site and my book. I love reading them and hearing about how some of the recipes and ideas I highlight make it into your own kitchen. Because I've been travelling so much lately I'm even more behind in responding than usual (but doing my best), just know I really do appreciate each note you send.


Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

This is the only way to eat brussels sprouts: cut in half and cooked until deliciously tender inside and perfectly brown and crusted on the outside.

Use brussels sprouts that are on the small size and tightly closed. You can finish these with many different types of cheese but I tend to go for Parmesan when the weather is good. I trade that in for heavier cheeses like gruyere or Gouda in colder weather. I finished them off with some toasted hazelnuts the other night - delicious!

24 small brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing
fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated cheese of your choice

Wash the brussels sprouts well. Trim the stem ends and remove any raggy outer leaves. Cut in half from stem to top and gently rub each half with olive oil, keeping it intact (or if you are lazy just toss them in a bowl with a glug of olive oil).

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in your largest skillet over medium heat. Don't overheat the skillet, or the outsides of the brussels sprouts will cook too quickly. Place the brussels sprouts in the pan flat side down (single-layer), sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt, cover, and cook for roughly 5 minutes; the bottoms of the sprouts should only show a hint of browning. Cut into or taste one of the sprouts to gauge whether they're tender throughout. If not, cover and cook for a few more minutes.

Once just tender, uncover, turn up the heat, and cook until the flat sides are deep brown and caramelized. Use a metal spatula to toss them once or twice to get some browning on the rounded side. Season with more salt, a few grinds of pepper, and a dusting of grated cheese. While you might be able to get away with keeping a platter of these warm in the oven for a few minutes, they are exponentially tastier if popped in your mouth immediately.

Serves 4.

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Your Comments

November 11, 2007

Thank you for the awesome recipe! I love simple stuff like this. I have never even had a brussels sprout, but I am so excited to try them now!


November 11, 2007

I bought brussels sprouts yesterday just so I could make the recipe from the book. So looking forward to them!


November 11, 2007

I make these all the was the first thing that I made out of your book and still one of my favorites. I'm the only one that I know that likes them because everyone else hates brussel sprouts but I can buy a pound of sprouts and eat them all in one sitting. I love them!

My favorite cheese to use is a pecorino.


Pieds Des Anges (Kyla)
November 11, 2007

Oh gorgeous. I'm a brussel sprouts hater too, but I've started to warm up to them late in life.


November 11, 2007

Try a grating of nutmeg on them or actually grate the spouts into a green salad


November 12, 2007

I love Brussels sprouts and have shredded and sauteed them but never just in time!


November 12, 2007

I loved the sound of this recipe in your book Heidi - just waiting for the first sprouts of the year now!

As an ex sprout hater I wasn't sure if I was just warming to them now because my tastebuds have changed with age, but apparently they have been selectively cultivated in recent years to omit the bitter tasting varieties (a job very well done I think!)


November 12, 2007

I hated Brussels sprouts since I can remember! I gave up trying to find the way I could eat them.
Maybe I'll give them one more try with this recipe.
Hope it will work 'cause I know how healthy they are.


November 12, 2007

Yum! My mother taught me to make Brussels sprouts like this when I was a child. The only difference is a splash of tamari goes in the pan when the sprouts are caramelized and a squeeze of lemon at the table. I'll have to give this a go with my hubby's favorite cheese, extra sharp well aged white cheddar, and see if he'll give them a taste. He's a professed veggie hater so any opportunity to slip one onto his plate is a blessing.


November 12, 2007

This is the only way I can eat Brussels sprouts, too. My taste buds still remember the boiled ones my mother used to make, and I rebel a little bit at the thought of those (and the aroma -- hoooo, boy, not good). But when they are sauteed or oven roasted, they are delicious.


November 12, 2007

I just made brussels sprouts last night! I roasted them with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and fresh lemon juice, and I couldn't srop eating them!


YOYO's Cooking
November 12, 2007

love the brussels taste~

the first photo seemed to be turned 90 angle :)


November 12, 2007

I love brussels sprouts. Sadly I also love a man who recoils in horror at the mere sight of a picture of them, let alone the real thing. I cook them for myself, when he out, very much as your recipe describes. I also love them in a simple soup with potatoes and chicken broth. Beautiful photo!


November 12, 2007

thanks for the recipe and as always gorgeous pictures!


Laura Grace
November 12, 2007

Heavens. I hated brussels sprouts as a child when my mom boiled them to death -- bitter, bitter, bitter! But potatoes and brussels sprouts roasted together are killer. I do have a question -- I'm never able to find fresh ones that look good, always wilty and kind of flowered open, so I buy organic, frozen ones. I think they taste awesome, so am I really missing out?


November 12, 2007

as always while reading your post i feel like you're an old friend. congratulations on the success of your book. it couldn't happen to a nicer gal and i hope we get to meet sometime as you are not only an inspiration but have been so instrumental in my own blog life!

i love the brussel sprouts. i too recently roasted them in the oven but i think the covering of them and the small size would make it even better. and cheese = cheese makes everything better. much much better!

i just adore you heidi. thanks for doing what you do...


November 12, 2007

Brussels sprouts -- did anyone like them as a child? Rare ones, probably. I sure hated them, but so many others I can now eat them like snacks. Oh, they're good. Thanks for a simple recipe.


November 12, 2007

I just passed up some brussels sprouts at the market yesterday, I think I will go back and get them to day.
The best part ' pop them in your mouth'
I guess I will forget about asking for a dipping sauce :)

Thank you


November 12, 2007

Here are some layman tricks for this recipe.
1. Roast the brussel sprouts in a 400 degree oven for around 20 minutes or to taste on a cookie sheet or cast iron skillet. Yes it takes longer, but what you add in time you also gain in free hands to go cook the rest of the meal.
2. Use an olive oil sprayer to spray the cookie sheet, place down the sliced brussel sprouts, then spray the back of them again with the olive oil sprayer. You'll use as little oil as the hand rubbing method she offers and it's as fast as the glug and toss method she suggests as an alternative, but uses less oil.
3. If you want another great variation on this recipe, swap out the 1/4 cup cheese for 1 cup of shelled, chopped, roasted chestnuts. Sprinkle them on the oiled cookie sheet with the brussel sprouts and spray with oil and roast. The flavor combination is decadent!!


November 12, 2007

I’ve never been able to eat Brussels sprouts….it all dates back to boiled ones I was served for lunch as a child and sitting at the table until dinner time because I would not eat them. My husband loves them though…so I may give this a shot, just for him


November 12, 2007

This is how my husband's mother cooked brussels sprouts when he was growing up. He was shocked to find out that I'd never eaten brussels sprouts, as he's always loved them.


November 12, 2007

I'm one of the few who's always loved brussel sprouts, even as a child. But I think they're much more a part of English traditional cooking then in the US. I think the trick to them is to not overcook them, which is easily done, and that's where the mushy bitter taste comes in. My sister-in-law does an amazing way of cooking them, where she quickly zaps them in a microwave (just because when you're cooking a Christmas lunch, it saves time) and then saute them with leeks and bacon. They are fabulous.


November 12, 2007

Perfect recipe for the holidays---thanks!


November 12, 2007

Thanks Heidi! I'll join the chorus of "I hated Brussel sprouts as I kid." I didn't realize until about a year ago that it was just the horrible way (boiled ) that they were prepared that inflicted terror on me. Just made some roasted sprouts with kale and chesnuts. Yummy!


November 12, 2007

We have eaten brussels sprouts for years this way! My four children request them by the bowlful and my teens make them for their friends. We grew them this year and they are a cinch. And so healthy!


November 12, 2007

Mmmmm, I love making Brussels sprouts like this. So quick and easy and tasty! Only difference is I don't use cheese -- instead, as soon as the sprouts are done, I turn off the heat and pour a bit of balsamic vinegar into the pan. It bubbles up and gives the sprouts a fabulous glaze.


November 12, 2007

Your post is so timely. Only yesterday while at Pasta Pomo devouring their brussels, I commented to my guy that I should whip up a batch of yummy brussels but was lacking the necessary bits to make them a little special. Throw in a little garlic in the mix and I'm a happy camper!! :o)


November 12, 2007

Perfect! Just in time for the holidays and something that is SIMPLE!


November 12, 2007

I get cravings for brussels sprouts almost everyday (I'm not joking even in the slightest way - I love vegetables; especially cruciferous ones!!), so I appreciate reading this new way of enjoying them (minus the cheese, of course), since I usually just eat them plain, steamed.


November 12, 2007

Roasting brussel sprouts is so simple, these look beautiful.

I've seen my share of sprouts before, but never with that fantastic purple tint - Kinda like a pistachio.


November 12, 2007

When I was younger I HATED brussel sprouts - I despised my mother when she would put those little green balls of vegetables on my plate and swear I had to eat them before I could get up from the table. With each bite I glared at her! Thank God our taste buds mature with age huh. I remember finally when I was a teenager my grandmother made some brussel sprouts and I don't remember if it was the spices she used or if there was some sauce but I actually liked them. They weren't mushy but were nice and crisp on the outside like your recipe. I think the cheese would be an awesome touch too. Thanks.


Mrs Redboots
November 12, 2007

We love brussels sprouts. A Christmas treat is to have them sautéd with lardons and chestnuts, but even plain boiled are heaven. Or sliced very thinly and stir-fried.

I served brussels sprouts to an American friend who is visiting us, and she was amazed at their size - apparently at home in Kansas they are twice the size that you get them here in London!


November 12, 2007

By the reading the comments it's obvious people have a love-hate feelings about brussel sprouts. I love them, my other half- he loathes them- But, maybe with this recipe in hand I will be able to undo the memory of his mother's boiled brussel sprouts! Wish me luck-


November 12, 2007

oh these are making me so hungry! I do mine almost the same except i put the tiniest amount of white wine in at the start of cooking so it infused them and use a butter olive oil mix. Oh lovely little orbs!


November 12, 2007

I tried out your lentil burgers for dinner tonight. Despite your warning about using colors other than black, I used green ones (they were what I had on hand). The patties did fall apart a little when you picked them up, but they were mighty tasty. I think next time I'll cut them in half and then throw them back in the pan for a minute. Or just try it with the more solid black lentils, either way.


November 12, 2007

This brussel sprout recipe looks amazing! I am longing to make them, but alas, my roomate doesn't like the smell. I just wrote a post about it, "Cooking smells that turn you off."

Love your site, and am constantly inspired by the cooking, writing and images.



November 12, 2007

Hmmm brussel sprouts. I have a love-hate relationship with them. Mine always turn out crunchy all over, never tender like you mentioned. Will try out your recipe :)


November 12, 2007

I made this tonight ... fantastic!!


November 12, 2007

My friend shared this recipe with me earlier and it is now my new favourite way to make Brussels sprouts! Sometimes I like squeezing a bit of lemon over them--yummy!


November 12, 2007

I've never had trouble loving brussel sprouts. To me they are little cousins of cabbage....and we Indians have great ways of dealing with cabbage :)


November 12, 2007

I love brussels sprouts prepared this way! I make them just like you do, except I also add some red seedless grapes to the pan the last minute or two. Sometimes, I'll saute some pancetta in there too. Delicious!


November 13, 2007

No s on brussel. What's not to like? I don't understand people who "don't like" . If there's no texture, strong taste or religious problem, it's just a question of being spoiled. My sister-in-law "doesn't like" chicken dark meat. What is that? Much more important - and touching - is the mother of five who says her favorite piece of the chicken is the neck. And so it goes.


November 13, 2007

That's how I like it, simple, back to basics yet with a gourmet flair. YES, straight from the pan ! Oh .... I'm in heaven !!

Thanks for the inspiration. I'll check out your book. En-JOY,


November 13, 2007

I am not a fan of Brussel Sprouts...but I have to say your pic does make it look inviting Heidi:)

good Luck with your new book!



November 13, 2007

What a great recipe! I played around a bit with the basic idea and ended up with a delicious one-pan dinner.

I sauteed garlic and onion in the olive oil, then added 1 large potato, thinly sliced, and 10 spears of asparagus, split lengthwise and halved. I covered and let them brown and get nice and soft inside, and crispy outside.

At the last second, I broke out a second pan and threw a piece of cod in. When it was cooked through, I cut it into small pieces and tossed it with the rest of the veggies. I didn't have parmesean, but a grating of fresh cheese would have topped it off.

To serve, I squeezed a bit of lemon on top and added a bit more salt and pepper. It was absolutely delicious, and took 30 minutes from from chop to first bite.


November 13, 2007

My daughter and I both are long time lovers of brussel sprouts. I firmly believe that the reason why some people hate them is because they have only been served the frozen overcooked ones. There is such a difference.

These look delicious. Usually I either roast them in the oven or cook them in the microwave with just a little water clinging to them and sprinkled with a little garlic salt and lemon zest. When done I drain off any liquid and add the juice of a lemon and a tablespoon of butter and shake well to get a creamy lemon sauce. I have converted several people this way because I always have them on Thanksgiving.


November 13, 2007

Hi! I love your site! I always get great recipe ideas. :) I see that people have already suggested this, but as a fellow brussel sprout hater myself, the only way I can eat them is roasted with toasted walnuts, and hit with some lemon juice, parmesan, and walnut oil right at the end. i also like zesting orange peel on them before roasting. i find roasted veggies are always great though.... even roasted onions are absolutely delicious as a side dish! Good luck with all your culinary endeavors! I will look for your book!


November 13, 2007

i've always hated brussel sprouts, but i keep seeing them at the farmer's market lately and thinking maybe i'll give them one more try... if i do, this will be my recipe!


Paula from Only Cookware
November 13, 2007

I have never been a big fan of brussel sprouts so this is a great little recipe.


November 13, 2007

I never minded brussel sprouts. My mother didn't typically overcook them (though they were steamed or boiled) and, most importantly, sometimes they came with /Hollandaise/.


November 13, 2007

I never had brussel sprouts as a child because it is not common where I live...but I loved this veggie ever since my very first taste of it as an adult! :) Thank you for sharing what looks to be another wonderful way to love my sprouts! :)


November 13, 2007

These look fantastic. I grew up with brussel sprouts too---loved 'em, as do my parents and sisters---and we could always tell who had zero chance of fitting into the family if that person turned up the nose at brussel sprouts. My favorite method is roasting with balsamic vinegar.


November 14, 2007

I made your brussels sprouts and ultimate veggie burger recipes last night, they came out fantastic. I almost finished eating all the brussels sprouts before my veggie burgers were done cooking. I ended up using parmesean cheese and throwing it right in the pan to get some crispy cheese wings on there. And for the burgers I used canned garbanzos but fresh alfalfa, clover, and radish sprouts that I grew in my new automatic sprouter! Came out awesome. I definitely think I'll throw some garlic in both recipes next time I make it.
Love your site, the design makes it work.


November 14, 2007

great recipe, my friends and i have been on a brussel sprouts kick for a year or so. we have got the recipe down to thinly sliced, stir fried in butter and olive oil and finished with balsamic vinegar and toasted pine nuts.
i like the addition of cheese and especially garlic--what doesn't go better with cheese and garlic?


November 14, 2007

I just saw brussel sprouts the other day at the store--they were still on their stalk. I've never seen them like that before! Are they better that way?


November 14, 2007

Try using paprika instead of pepper, and pouring some leftover onion & mushroom gravy on the side, with the sprouts atop a bed of white rice... you'll be amazed!


Rose Marie
November 14, 2007

I love brussel sprouts. I usually try to get the fresh one still on stalk over frozen ones. There is no big difference as far as I can tell though, just preference.
I will have to try this out on a semi-brussel sprout hater.
They sound great.


November 15, 2007

i make mine just like this, except instead of cheese i garnish with chopped up apples (uncooked!) and pistachios. the flavors go together SO well.


November 15, 2007

I've just walked out to my garden and picked a handful of brussel sprouts in order to try this recipe. (Luckily the deer haven't demolished them yet!) You have inspired me once again! Thanks for a terrific website!


Christopher T. VanDijk
November 15, 2007

I love this! I've been tossing them in a pan with some garlic and olive oil, but never thought of adding a touch of cheese. Great idea. Love the site.


November 15, 2007

I have always hated brussel sprouts, but I gave this recipe a try and I am so glad I did. Such a different flavor when they are prepared this way! Just yummy! Thanks so much for this recipe.


November 15, 2007

I like to finish my brussles sprouts with browned butter and toasted breadcrumbs. I wonder how this would work, substituting for the cheese?


November 15, 2007

Wow, I can't wait to try this...even when I was a little girl, I've always LOVED brussels sprouts...but have never had them any other way than steamed and buttered. This way of preparing them sounds heavenly!


November 16, 2007

This is almost identical to the "Brussels sprouts a la Cockaigne" recipe in Joy of Cooking, right down to the cheese.


November 16, 2007

Heidi, I'm eating a plate of these Brussels sprouts as I type this, and I'm delighted... Thanks so much 4 the recipe ;-)


November 17, 2007

Heidi, I love your book. I very rarely buy books, and they had it at a nearby library and it is gorgeous.

Last year I made brussel sprouts with cheese and didn't like it. Now we normally have them sauteed with butter and yellow peppers.


November 18, 2007

Ive always loved brussels sprouts, even as a kid, strange but true. Your recipe sounds amazing (and looks great too). Thanks for sharing a new take on one of my fav. veggies....'I kind a like them all' LOL!!!


November 18, 2007

SPROUTS!! SPROUTS!! Did I hear someone say sprouts? I have loved sprouts since the first one was fed to me at the wee age of almost 1. Ha HA yes feed me more sprouts. Can't wait to try this recipe!!


November 19, 2007

Thank you SO much. I have also been the victim of the bagged smelly boiled Brussels Sprouts....
Then this weekend, I went to a specialties market, and saw a bag of these...FRESH
They looked so good, and then I remembered the recipe here. So, I did it..I broke down...and I can now say my fears have been alleviated...
These are truly awesome. I need to work with it, as I would have preferred them to be softer...but, I played this same recipe off on a stack of fresh Asparagus the next day...and they got soft and tender when cooked, they just need a little time on lower heat...then a last minute sear for the browning...YUM


November 19, 2007

yummy, yummy :). makes an anti-Brussels sprout kinda girl change her mind! Thanks!


November 20, 2007

these were incredible - served with aged gouda, my new favorite salty grating cheese. My husband and I love brussel sprouts, and now even our two year old gobbled these up. That is an accomplishment!


November 21, 2007

OMG, these were fantastic. Never would have thought of cheese.


November 21, 2007

amazing! i actually had cheese prepped to use, but decided against putting it on, and no regrets about lost cheesy flavor.
I also added a little tumeric to my salt and pepper, which brought in a nice flavor as well as a subtle golden glow.


November 21, 2007

This was fabulous.