Hate Brussels sprouts? This recipe will make you think again. These aren’t your mom’s boiled Brussels sprouts, bitter and tough.
Admittedly these Brussels sprouts are probably less healthy, but I’m all about the baby steps you know? I mean the government said pizza is a vegetable, so I think this is at least a couple steps up from there.
These pan-roasted Brussels sprouts work amazingly as a side dish, can be dressed up with bacon and a balsamic glaze or can be worked into a variety of pasta dishes. I’ve served these at countless dinners and parties and have converted even the most ardent Brussels sprouts haters to lovers.
Willing to give it a try? Alright, let’s go.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5-10 minutes
Total Time: 10-15 minutes
Servings: 4 sides
16-24 brussels sprouts
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons water
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup pancetta (optional)
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (optional)
3 tablespoons honey (optional)
1. Cut your Brussels sprouts in half, as seen above, by cutting first at the base. Then place the brussel sprout on its newly flat base and slice in half.
The main reason I think people hate Brussels sprouts is because they can be ridiculously bitter. The good news is that the bitterness at the core — literally. By exposing the bitter core, we can reduce that bitterness by cooking it through.
2. Place your largest flat frying pan on the stove with enough oil to lightly coat the bottom fully. If you’re adventurous try frying bacon or pancetta in the pan first, remove the meat and use the leftover oil.
Turn the stove on to medium high, and wait till the oil is hot.
Pro Tip: You can test this by adding just a drop or two of water to see if it pops — if it does, your oil is ready.
3. Pour your Brussels sprouts in and arrange flat side down (I like to use chopsticks or tongs to do this).
4. After about half of the oil has been cooked into the sprouts, add about 4 tablespoons of water in and put a lid on. Turn the heat down to medium.
Adding the water and putting a lid on it allows more rapid browning of the flat side of the Brussels sprouts while the steam trapped inside the pan cooks the rest of the sprout.
5. Check every minute or so until there is a slight translucency to the top leaves of the Brussels sprouts. If you see this your Brussels sprouts should be cooked.
Check the flat sides by flipping a few over — they should be deeply caramelized. It’s even ok if you want to char them a bit.
6. Remove them from the heat and season with salt and pepper, plus seasonings of your choice.
I like a little heat, so I add cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. If you’re fancy you can reduce balsamic vinegar on the stove with some honey to create a glaze, mix sriracha and honey for a little sweet and spicy action or add bacon from some extra crunch.
Ready for some more veggies? Try these other recipes: