For the Best Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe Follow These Few Simple Steps
Brussels sprouts are a healthy veggie closely related to broccoli and cabbage. Oven roasted Brussels sprouts transforms this potent cruciferous vegetable into a richly tender, pleasant and aromatic delicacy that will delight taste buds, and have your cells singing!
When it comes to new foods, especially strong flavored vegetables, your children might disagree with the word “delicious” and Brussels. But don’t assume they won’t like it. The more variety children are enthusiastically exposed to from the earliest age, the more cultured and adaptable will be their palate.
Our editor, LeAura, said that when her kids were in school they used to love Brussels until kids at school made fun of them for having them in a school lunch. Like all cruciferous vegetables — Brussels sprouts can be odiferous, so maybe not the best choice for a school lunch!
All of the cruciferous vegetables tend to have strong odor when cooked and which is most noticeable when you pop open the storage containers of the cooked veggies. However, the roasted brussels sprouts and its relatives in the sulfurous brassica family, like cauliflower and broccoli, are all less potent smelling when roasted. It seems that roasting veggies not only brings out the sweet taste but also a sweeter aroma.
So if brussels are prepared well, even picky eaters can enjoy them. Roasted brussels sprouts are a great way to introduce them to this hardy vegetable since roasting brings out the best flavors in any vegetable.
In this article we will explain how to make the best Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts in several different ways.
Roasting veggies is the easiest way to bring out the most flavor and sweetest, taste and aroma.
5 Ways to Make the Best Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Roast Brussels sprouts (crispy, in the oven)
- How to roast Brussels sprouts on the grill
- Brussels sprouts with bacon
- Roast Brussels sprouts without oil
- Air fryer Brussels sprouts
Fun Facts About Brussels Sprout
- This vegetable falls into the same family as broccoli, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower, Brassica oleracea.
- The name comes from Brussels, Belgium, where residents first grew these little cabbages, so while it’s often written as brussel sprouts, it should actually always be written as Brussels sprouts.
- If you do not cook sprouts skilfully, they turn bitter due to the presence of sulfur compounds they emit.
- California is America’s top grower of this vegetable.
- Kids rank cruciferous vegetables (including this one) on their most-despised food list. (They probably haven’t had them roasted 😉). And here’s another delicious kid-friendly creamy broccoli casserole recipe.
Roasting brings out the best flavors and sweetest aromas in any vegetable.
What Are Brussels Sprouts?
The Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health shares some interesting nutritional information about this super-healthy vegetable.
RELATED: If you like to garden, you may want to grow an easy cruciferous kale. We haven’t yet had great success growing Brussels where we are as we don’t have enough sun, but the kale is growing great, and we love it in these baked kale chips and this wonderful Tuscan kale white bean soup.
Delicious, low cal and highly nutritious, Brussels sprouts pack a powerful nutritious punch to your diet.
Brussels Sprouts Nutrition
You’ll enjoy better health by including these cute little cabbages on your menu more often.
Brussels Sprouts Nutritional Value
Per 4 ounce serving:
- Calories: 43
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Vitamin A; 38 mg
- Carbohydrates: 8.95 grams
- Vitamin C: 85 mg
- Vitamin K: 177 mg
- Sugars 2.2 grams
- Dietary fiber: 3.8 grams
- Folate: 61 mg
- Choline: 19.1 mg
- Calcium: 42 mg
- Iron: 1.4 mg
- Magnesium: 23 mg
- Phosporous: 69 mg
- Potassium: 389 mg
- Sodium: 25 mg
- Zinc: 42 mg
These vitamins and minerals offer you complete nutrition, especially for vegans or vegetarians who sometimes lack minerals in their diets.
A Note About Organic Vegetables
As with all vegetables, you receive the best nutrition by choosing organic produce, which provide additional benefits.
Benefits of Organic Vegetables
- NO UNHEALTHY CHEMICALS: Herbicides, preservatives, or pesticides, can cause inflammation, allergies or sensitivities.
- MORE NUTRITIOUS: Organic foods provide a more complete nutrition than their chemically-altered alternatives. Organically-grown vegetables yield higher amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
- HEALTHIER PREGNANCIES: A study published by Science Direct explains how consuming organic foods reduced pesticide-exposure during pregnancy.
- HARMLESS TO POLLINATORS: You do your part to help future harvests by protecting pollinating insects from exposure to insecticides that contribute to reductions in food production.
- GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT: Eating organic foods is one more way to contribute to Mother Nature. In addition to farmers raising the veggies without chemicals and pollutants, foods often come to the retailer from closer locations reducing fuel, energy consumptions, emissions, and transportation costs.
Choosing the Best Brussels Sprouts
Making the best brussels sprouts starts at your market. Whether you’re making oven roasted Brussels sprouts or popping your little cabbages into the air fryer, select the most vibrant offerings you can find.
You usually purchase this veggie individually by the pound. However, you might also find them in a mesh bag. Regardless of how your grocer displays them, follow these hints.
Selecting Brussel Sprouts
- APPEARANCE: Sprouts should look full, rounded, and green.
- Avoid Brussels sprouts that appear yellow or dry.
- Avoid rusty-looking water spots.
- FIRMNESS: Give the Brussels sprouts a gentle poke—you want them to feel firm and resilient, not spongy or mushy.
- SIZE: Bigger is not better! The larger they are, the longer they were in the field. This extra growing time can cause them to contain more sulfurs, which can have a stronger bitter taste. Smaller = sweeter.
- SMELL: If you notice a significant or unpleasant odor, pass up the sprouts.
- SEASON: The peak season is autumn. Be selective when looking for Brussels during the rest of the year–you’ll find them, but choose carefully!
How to Clean Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are fairly simple to prepare. Follow these easy steps:
- Rinse the Brussels under cold water to remove any grit or dirt; gently pat dry.
- Remove the outer leaves or any yellowed or rusty-looking parts.
- Cut off the bottom stem
- Decide if you want to cut the sprout in half or remain whole. I generally halve to make more crispy outer edges (the best part!)
Serving Ideas for Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Many people enjoy eating roasted Brussels sprouts served simply, with olive oil, salt, and fresh-cracked black pepper.
However, you can use many tasty twists to finish off your Brussels after you roast them. Some of the most popular ways to serve them include the following:
- Roast Brussels sprouts with crispy-fried and crumbled bacon for a salty crunch
- Roast Brussels with mushroom and onions tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar.
- Drizzle roasted Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar
- Roast Brussels sprouts with garlic or garlic-infused oil
- Serve caramelized onions over oven-roasted Brussels sprouts to play up the sweetness
- Give your sprouts a healthier spin by air frying without oil
- Drizzle on a tiny amount of sesame oil and sesame seeds for an exotic, Asian-inspired flavor (a tiny bit of sesame oil goes a really long way!)
Basic Recipe for Roasting Brussels Sprouts in Olive Oil
Once you master this basic technique, you can create your own favorite flavor combinations.
Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- One pound of Brussels sprouts
- Extra virgin olive oil about 1/8 cup
- Pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- Clean the Brussels sprouts, rinsing under cold water, removing the outer leaves, remove the bottom stem, and cut them in half (for faster roasting and more crispy edges…yum!)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the Brussels in a medium-sized mixing bowl, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with olive oil. Use a wooden spoon to ensure some oil coats each bite.
- Spread the Brussels on the baking pan, flat side down. Roast for 20 minutes
- After 20 minutes, use tongs to flip over each sprout to the rounded side. Close oven, and roast for another 15 minutes.
- Watch the Brussels towards the end – you want them highly charred, but not overcooked. Overdoneness will turn them bitter.
How to Make Four Variations of Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Let’s look at how to modify this technique.
How to Roast Brussels Sprouts on the Grill
Follow the same preparation technique as for oven roasting. Put the sprouts onto a grill mat to prevent them from falling through the grates.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Follow the same preparation steps as the oven roasting method. However, you will also add 2 strips of bacon to the parchment paper. When you flip over the Brussels, you’ll also turn over the bacon. Before you serve the veggies, crumble the bacon.
Here is a photo of mine, made with bacon and garlic.
Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
Swap out the oven or grill and make air fryer Brussels sprouts.
Season the Brussels with salt and pepper. Switch out the extra virgin olive oil for a pump or two of olive oil or sunflower oil spray–a gentle spritz will do just fine!
Load the fryer basket evenly, ensuring space for airflow as you roast. Set the appliance at 375° and fry for 8 minutes. Shake the basket, and set the timer for five more minutes. They will have a nice, browned color when they finish roasting.
Here’s a review of best air cookers, including pros and cons of popular brands.
No Oil Brussels Sprouts
If you are on a low-fat diet or avoid oils, you can also make a no-oil version of the air fryer recipe. Prepare and cook the Brussels following the same method. They will have a wonderful, unique flavor, but the color will be lighter without the oil.
Although they will be slightly less crispy, they will taste scrumptious nonetheless.
Regardless of how you prepare roasted Brussels sprouts, you will enjoy the distinct flavors and reap the rewards of adding this healthy cruciferous vegetable to your menu.