Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts: Five Ways
A quick and easy brussels sprouts recipe that will convert the biggest skeptics. Vibrant green, tender brussels sprouts that become deeply golden and crusty where they touch the pan, dusted with cheese.
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.
What makes this brussels sprout recipe special? It's so simple. And you end up with vibrant green, tender brussels sprouts that become deeply golden and crusty where they touch the pan. I then lightly dust them 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. Even if you're a sprout skeptic, this golden-crusted version has the ability to turn the most vigilant brussels sprout loathers around.
Shopping for Brussels Sprouts: What To Look For
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. 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. If it's stormy and cold, I opt for a heavier, more melty cheese, like a regular or smoked Gouda (or gruyere). Or(!), I'll skip the cheese altogether, and add a simple finishing shower of chopped nuts.
Cooking Brussels Sprouts:
My main quick pro-tip? Try not to overcook the sprouts, and eat them as soon as they come off the stove if at all possible. They're so great this way!
Golden Crusted Brussels Sprouts: Favorite Variations
Many of you have made these over the years, and mentioned variations in the comments. I wanted to highlight a few!
Gina noted, "I made a riff on these tonight that you might enjoy too. I used butter in the pan instead of olive oil, and added about a teaspoon of horseradish at the end and tossed the sprouts in it with the heat off before I sprinkled with parm. I had a similar dish at Coppa in Boston once and have not stopped thinking about them."
Rachel brought the turmeric angle, "added a little turmeric to my salt and pepper, which brought in a nice flavor as well as a subtle golden glow."
And Jessa brings the citrus, "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."
And the last two ideas?! Add two finely chopped cloves of garlic in the last minute of cooking, for any garlic lovers out there. Or, toss 2 tablespoons of your favorite pesto into to the skillet just as you finish cooking the brussels sprouts.
More Brussels Sprout Recipes:
There are a bunch of great brussels sprout recipes in the archives. I love the brussels sprouts in this caramelized tofu. Lentil Almond Stir-fry is a great cold weather option. This shredded kale and pecorino salad has a shredded brussels sprout option, the oregano pesto in this recipe is a fantastic wildcard. And this Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Apple recipe is also A+. Enjoy!
Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts Recipe
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 tend to finish them off with toasted hazelnuts, walnuts, or almonds. I've also noted five variations on this recipe in the body of the post. Enjoy!
- 1 pound of small brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup grated cheese or chopped nuts - 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 toss in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in your largest skillet over medium heat. Don't overheat the skillet, or the outsides of the 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 (or nuts). 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.
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thanks for the recipe and as always gorgeous pictures!
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!
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!
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!
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)
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.
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!
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.
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!)
Perfect recipe for the holidays---thanks!
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.
I love Brussels sprouts and have shredded and sauteed them but never just in half...next time!
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
Try a grating of nutmeg on them or actually grate the spouts into a green salad
Oh gorgeous. I'm a brussel sprouts hater too, but I've started to warm up to them late in life.
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.
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.
I make these all the time...it 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.
I bought brussels sprouts yesterday just so I could make the recipe from the book. So looking forward to them!
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!