Brussels sprouts are one of those foods – done well, they can be delicious. Done badly, they are the bane of a meal. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can cook Brussels sprouts, and we are going to look at some of the most popular options today, as well as offer some top ideas about what you should pair your sprouts with.
The best Brussels sprouts recipes all make the most of this strange vegetable, aiming to enhance the flavor without causing any mushiness or bitterness. Using fresh sprouts is a must; they have so much more flavor and texture when they haven’t wilted at the bottom of a fridge for weeks. Don’t be afraid to experiment and make sprouts interesting!
What Does Brussels Sprouts Pair Well With?
You can pair Brussels sprouts with almost any meal, but they are traditionally served with rich gravy dishes, roasted potatoes, and meat. They often accompany a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, and they are not a side that you should neglect, despite how often they are maligned.
Mustard is a great option to put with your sprouts because it lifts the somewhat earthy flavor and makes it richer and pleasanter. Alternatively, try some smoked paprika if you want to lend your sprouts a somewhat meaty flavor. This is particularly good if you are making a meal without gravy.
You might be surprised to learn that apples are another good option for Brussels sprouts, as the sweet flavor is ideal with the slightly bitter edge sprouts have. You can bake apples with the sprouts, or even serve some raw, crispy apples alongside your cooked sprouts.
Another great option is honey, which has the same effect as an apple when it comes to lifting away the bitter edge. You can use honey in most recipes with Brussels sprouts, or glaze it across the top to make these vegetables delicious. Brown sugar will have the same result, but honey offers more health benefits.
If you’re cooking for a refined palate, you might find that cider is a good choice. You can simmer your cider to reduce it, and then glaze your sprouts with it once they have cooked. This is perfect for a luxury meal, and the sprouts go very well with cider, just like they do with apples. Use a high-quality cider for the best results.
Worcestershire sauce is another popular pair for these veggies, giving them a salty, tangy taste that makes them very moreish. Note that you do not need a lot of Worcestershire sauce, so only use a few dashes across the vegetables, or you’ll drown out their flavor.
Try any of these to make your Brussels sprouts special, and possibly even the star of your Thanksgiving meal.
How Do You Make Brussels Sprouts Taste Better?
Cooked properly, Brussels sprouts should be tender, juicy, and very delicious. If you just boil your sprouts, they will often prove flavorless and unpleasant. So, how do you make Brussels sprouts taste better?
The trick is not to boil or steam them, which leaves them boring and often causes mushiness. Boiled sprouts have a tendency to be a little bitter, too, and it’s hard to flavor them when they are cooked in water.
Instead, try roasting or sauteing your Brussels sprouts. This infuses them with flavor, especially if you cook them with herbs or garlic and leaves the exteriors crispy and the interiors deliciously tender.
It’s also important to use Brussels sprouts up quickly, rather than leaving them to languish in the fridge. Fresh sprouts have much more flavor and a better texture, and they are a far better option.
Should You Cut Brussels Sprouts In Half Before Cooking?
You should only cut Brussels sprouts in half before cooking if you reduce the cooking time. Otherwise, you will end up with mushy sprouts that are very heavily overcooked.
However, if you’re roasting or frying Brussels sprouts, cutting them in half is a good idea, because it allows oil to coat more of the sprout, and makes it delightfully crispy and rich. More flavor can also get into the sprout, and the vegetable will cook more evenly, avoiding any risk of a raw middle or a burnt exterior.
Are Roasted Brussels Sprouts Healthy?
Anything cooked in oil is debatably healthy because it obviously contains a lot of fat. However, if you choose one of the healthy oils and do not use too much, Brussels sprouts can be very healthy.
These little vegetables contain some important nutrients, and they are a great way to make a Thanksgiving meal good for you as well as tasty.
They are a particularly good source of Vitamin K, and in half a cup of Brussels sprouts, you get approximately 137% of your recommended daily intake. Vitamin K improves your bone health and the ability of the blood to clot.
They also contain plenty of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, magnesium, iron, potassium, and phosphorus. They have high levels of antioxidants and are thought to offer some protection against diseases like cancer.
If fiber matters to you, they are also a good option because they contain plenty of this. Half a cup has a full two grams of fiber-packed into it, and this is a great way to improve your digestive health and avoid any issues with constipation.
Don’t leave sprouts off the menu just because they are sometimes unpopular, because they will give you a burst of health that is key for Thanksgiving. All you have to do is know how to cook them well – and that’s what we are going to cover next to ensure you get the most enjoyment possible out of your sprouts!
Best Brussels Sprouts Recipe
➔ 1 pound of Brussels sprouts, with the ends removed, washed
To make some truly delicious Brussels sprouts, you will need the following:
➔ 3 tablespoons of good olive oil
➔ ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
➔ 4 cloves of minced garlic
Step 1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F before you start.
Step 2) Wash the Brussels sprouts and pat them dry.
Step 3) Trim the ends off the sprouts and cut them in half, and then tip them into an oven-safe dish. The drier the sprouts are before you put them in the oven, the better they will cook.
Step 4) Sprinkle the Parmesan over the sprouts, and then stir in the minced garlic, the salt, and the pepper. Drizzle the olive oil across the top, and then toss the sprouts around until they are coated.
Step 5) Place in the oven and roast for around twenty minutes, until the sprouts have turned crispy and brown on the outside, and soft and sweet on the inside. You can add another handful of cheese to serve if you choose to.
If you would rather have shredded Brussels sprout recipes, you can do that too. These will cook much faster, and there is a whole load of options you can go for here. One of the best shredded Brussels sprout recipes involves cutting up red onion, butter, and plenty of sprouts. You can then add Worcestershire sauce for flavor and mince some garlic.
Once all the ingredients are combined, toss them in a pan for ten minutes, until the sprouts and onion are beautifully soft and delicious.
If you’d like to try a Brussels sprouts recipe fried, that’s also a possibility. Cut the sprouts in half so that the centers can cook properly, and then toss them into hot oil with a bit of garlic and some sliced onions.
Allow them to cook on low heat for a bit, and then turn up the heat and crisp the outsides. If you have the heat too high, to begin with, the sprouts may burn, but cooking them on medium and then increasing the heat will create a deliciously crispy experience. This is the best Brussels sprouts recipe fried, and you can add any herbs that you like.
It does particularly well with minced garlic, enriching the flavor, but you can also add sage, rosemary, or thyme.
If you like, you can make a roasted Brussels sprouts recipe with bacon by tossing it all into the oven and cooking it thoroughly.
Simply buy a packet of bacon, get a pound of Brussels sprouts, and any other flavorings you want (such as garlic, herbs, etc). Boil the sprouts until they are almost done, and then drain and dry them.
Next, toss them into a pan with bacon and herbs of your choice, and roast them. Any roasted sprouts are delicious, but a roasted Brussels sprouts recipe with bacon is exceptional because the sprouts will take on the saltiness of the bacon.
Don’t put raw sprouts in with bacon, because the bacon will be cooked before the sprouts are, and you will end up with burnt meat or underdone sprouts. Make sure you are making the most of the bacon fat to enrich the sprouts, too.
You can also add chestnuts to this recipe if you choose, or just stick with the bacon and sprouts.
What about Brussels sprout recipes sauteed? You have some great options here too. This is similar to frying them, but it’s definitely the case that cooking Brussels sprouts at a high temperature cut out that strong, bitter flavor they can sometimes have.
Sauteing your Brussels sprouts should lend them a rich, caramel taste instead, especially on the exteriors. To make Brussels sprouts recipes sauteed, toss the sprouts into hot oil in a heavy skillet, and allow them to cook undisturbed until they are starting to caramelize.
Once they are rich and golden on the outside, stir in any spices that take your fancy, and let them cook until the sprouts are deeply golden. Take them off the heat, and then stir some vinegar over them to lend them a bit of sharpness. You can serve these with cheese or anything else that appeals to you.
Finally, what about a classic Brussels sprouts recipe Thanksgiving? No family dinner is complete without these delicious green balls, and if you use these recipes, you can dispel your family’s dislike for the sprouts forever!
To make a Brussels sprouts recipe Thanksgiving, you want a no-fuss option. You can use any of the suggestions above, but if you want something extra special, why not try a honey balsamic glazed option?
For this, you will need some balsamic vinegar, some honey, some dijon mustard, garlic, olive oil, and plenty of sprouts. Make sure you are generous about your portions here; you want the sprouts to taste amazing!
Start by cooking the sprouts in oil and allowing them to cook for about four minutes without stirring them. Next, add some water and cover so that they can lightly steam. This should take about three more minutes. Add more water if necessary, and when the sprouts are tender, you can take them out of the pan.
Add the other ingredients and whisk them together, and then simmer for around seven minutes, so that they become thick and syrupy and rich. You should now have a good sauce for the sprouts to go back into.
Toss the sprouts in this sauce and cook for another three minutes, and then serve hot and sizzling. Nobody is going to turn their nose up at your version of Thanksgiving sprouts! Remember, you can adjust the quantities until you find one that is perfect for you and then stick to that. Just make sure you don’t burn the honey while it cooks.
Hopefully, you’ve found our best roasted Brussels sprouts recipes useful to you. You should definitely try some of these out, especially in advance of Thanksgiving dinner.
You will soon have some amazing tricks up your sleeve, perfect for wowing your guests and ensuring that sprouts are far from the least popular part of your meal. Remember, use very fresh sprouts for the best effect, and make the most of the heat to take away any bitterness that the vegetable may suffer from.