How to Make Sweet and Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

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Ever wondered about the best way to cook Brussels sprouts? Some say roasted sprouts are ideal, while others prefer to sauté them. However, some folks must love the traditional steamed and boiled Brussels sprouts, as many recipes still call for this method even today. 

And then others will no doubt contend that the best way to have Brussels sprouts is not to have them at all. The cruciferous vegetable has long suffered a bad rap, with its drab shade of green, pungent smell, and sulfuric flavor when overboiled. 

But if you’re reading this, you’re already a fan of Brussels sprouts, or you’re possibly warming up to the idea of giving them another shot. In this article, we’ll walk you through a recipe for maple-roasted Brussels sprouts and discuss the different cooking methods for these unique but majorly misunderstood mini-cabbages. 

We’ll also provide a few variations to change the flavor and go through some tips on preparing and storing them. No bloated, smelly vegetables here.

How to make Brussels sprouts

Edalin – stock.adobe.com

This recipe makes four servings, takes 10 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook, with a total time of 40 minutes.

Ingredients

2 pounds Brussels sprouts

3 tablespoons melted coconut or olive oil

1/2 tablespoon chili flakes or cracked black pepper

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

More salt to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425℉.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Prepare the sprouts by cleaning them, slicing off the stems, and cutting them in half.
  4. Dry the sprouts using a clean kitchen towel. Removing the extra moisture will help them become crispy.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the sprouts with the rest of the ingredients, minus the additional salt. 
  6. Place the sprouts cut side down on the baking tray and put a slight amount of space between them to avoid layering.
  7. Put the Brussels sprouts into the oven for 20-30 minutes. The cooking time will depend on how tender or caramelized you want your sprouts. If you like them only slightly tender, you may want to go with the shorter cooking time. If you want to caramelize them, cook for 30 minutes, adding five or 10 minutes if you want to take it to the max.
  8. Once you remove them from the oven, add additional salt to taste if you find they need more.

Nutritional values

Calories: 190 

Carbohydrates: 34 grams

Protein: 7 grams

Fat: 11 grams

Saturated fat: 8 grams

Sodium: 74 milligrams

Fiber: 8 grams

Sugar: 17 grams

Original recipe: The Flavor Bender

Different ways to cook Brussels sprouts 

  • Sauté: You can sauté Brussels sprouts with a bit of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. It will only take around 12 minutes, sautéing for 10 minutes and cooking in 1/3 cup of water for two minutes. Season them and enjoy.
  • Shredded: Before using your desired method to cook your sprouts, you can shred them much like cabbage by slicing off the bottoms and slicing them thinly with a sharp knife or food processor. 
  • Stir fry: This cooking method is much like sautéing, except the heat is higher, and you’re cooking much faster, in a constant motion. Using an oiled wok or pan over medium-high heat, stir fry the sprouts until they brown lightly. Leave them for one minute, observing until they’ve caramelized. Remove them from the heat and serve immediately.
  • Roasting: Some may also refer to this as baking. As detailed in this recipe, you can roast your sprouts by cutting off the ends, slicing them in half, and arranging them cut side down in a lined baking sheet. Avoid overcrowding the pan by spacing them a smidge. Bake the Brussels sprouts for 20-30 minutes, depending on your desire outcome.
  • Stuffed: Did you know you can stuff Brussels sprouts? All you have to do is halve them, scoop out their insides, and stuff the centers before roasting. Many ingredients make a delicious stuffing for these small veggies, including various cheeses and bacon. Also, if you’re wondering what to do with the centers, there’s no need to toss them in the compost right away. Save them and use them in another meal or cook them alongside the stuffed ones to stretch the recipe further.
  • Grilled: You can easily grill your sprouts by cleaning them, chopping them in half, and threading them onto metal skewers. Toss them on the barbecue over high heat for about 10 minutes or until they’re tender. Keep in mind that wooden skewers could catch fire. If you’re going to use them, soak them for 10 to 30 minutes in water before adding your sprouts.
  • No-cook: You can enjoy your sprouts raw in a salad, coleslaw, or simply munch on them with a bit of seasoning or as is. Keep in mind, they’re cruciferous, so some may not be able to eat this type of vegetable raw.

When it comes to cooking Brussels sprouts, it’s not how you cook them that could give them an undesirable look and scent. It’s overcooking them that you want to avoid.

What can you serve alongside Brussels sprouts?

  • Pork: Try serving your Brussels sprouts alongside pork chops or tenderloin. Add a side of potatoes to complete your meal.
  • Chicken: Pair your Brussels sprouts with roasted or barbecued chicken and complete with a side of potatoes or rice. Here are some chicken thigh recipes to help you with some dinnertime inspiration.
  • Pasta: Brussels sprouts are a fantastic side to pasta, but you may also want to try incorporating them into the dish teamed up with bacon and parmesan.
  • Risotto: Add some sprouts to lemon risotto or top your favorite risotto recipe with a combination of parmesan and bacon.

Brussels sprouts variations

  • With bacon: For a meaty accent to your dish, combine cooked bacon pieces with your sprouts before serving.
  • With parmesan: You can go about this two ways: top your sprouts with shredded parmesan, or mix it in before serving for a pop of sharp and nutty cheese.
  • With roasted nuts: For some extra flavor, crunch, and nutrients, mix toasted almonds, pecans, walnuts, or pine notes in with your sprouts.
  • All of the above: Sprouts, bacon, and parmesan seem somewhat of a dream team. Add toasted nuts, and you may want to serve this as your main dish.
  • Thai roasted:
  1. Combine two minced garlic cloves, two teaspoons soy sauce, and two tablespoons sweet chili sauce.
  2. Toss this mixture with one pound of roasted sprouts and return the sprouts to the oven, broiling for five minutes until the sauce is bubbling and caramelizing.
  3. Observe them to avoid burning.
  • On pizza: Brussels sprouts are also enjoyable as a pizza topping.

How to store, freeze, and reheat

Leftover Brussels sprouts can be refrigerated in an air-tight container for up to four days. You can reheat them in a skillet over medium-low heat. To freeze them for later, place them in a reusable bag or container in your freezer for up to 12 months. Cook them right from frozen in a skillet with olive oil or butter. You can also heat them in the microwave. 

How to prepare Brussels sprouts

nblxer – stock.adobe.com

When getting ready to cook Brussels sprouts, you’re going to want to clean them and trim off the ends. You can clean them by placing them in a bowl and covering them with water before draining. Or you can rinse them in a colander under running water. 

Next, you’ll want to trim off the ends. Since these veggies are so small, a paring knife is an ideal tool for the job. Carefully trim off the bottom and remove any discolored outer leaves. If you’re cutting your sprouts in half, cut them lengthwise through the stem to keep the layers intact.

You’ll sprout about it.

Whether you’re cooking them for a holiday meal or looking to introduce more vegetables into your meal plan, Brussels sprouts are full of fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants. They’re also low in calories and sodium and contain no cholesterol, depending on how you dress them.

If you’re here looking for recipe inspiration, check out Gopuff’s blog to see what’s cooking. Gopuff will also come to the rescue when you notice you’re out of ingredients. Place an order and have it to your door in a matter of minutes with their delivery service.

Another way to avoid running out of or missing ingredients is planning your meals a week in advance and creating a shopping list accordingly. That way you’ll spend more time cooking and less time shopping. You’re bound to save some cash that way, too.

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