Introduction: Learn to Love Brussel Sprouts

Picture of Learn to Love Brussel Sprouts

Many people out there hate brussel sprouts and I can almost guarantee that they hate them because they grew up with steamed mushy bitter brussels from a freezer bag, maybe coated in lard or butter to "help" them go down. Yuck!

Get over your fear with delicious roasted sprouts!

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

Between 1/4-1lb of FRESH brussel sprouts (Never ever use frozen brussel sprouts as a dishes focal point!!)
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Black Pepper(preferably fresh)

Optional: Balsamic Vinagrette and Salad Bacon/Precooked bacon

Step 2: Toss the Sprouts

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Put the brussel sprouts in a plastic bag or large bowl.
Pour in enough olive oil to coat them thoroughly.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

Too much olive oil isn't a huge problem, but drain excess off if there is a lot in the bottom of the bowl/bag.

Be careful with the salt! You can always add more salt when they are done cooking.

Step 3: Cook

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Preheat the toaster oven to 400 degrees, I set it to Broil.
I put down tinfoil in the bottom for easy cleanup.
Place your brussel sprouts in a single layer and make sure there is some room between them. If they are crammed too close together the air doesn't circulate well and they aren't as crispy in the end.
Set your timer for 25 minutes.
Turn the sprouts over every 7-10 minutes. This makes sure they don't burn too much on one side and are crispy all over.
You will see some browning/black color, but that is what you want. You will smell burning if they have stayed on one side for too long. If you get there in time you can simply turn them and they should be fine.

You can use a regular oven for this, but make sure the rack is in the middle.

Optional: At 20 minutes add half a cup of the bacon over the sprouts. This will make the bacon really crispy and add more fat and salt. Yum!
If you want to get really crazy put some shredded cheese on top...though this is taking away from the brussel sprout experience, I can't really argue with cheese.

Step 4: Done!

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Serve hot/warm.
Do a taste test and make sure it is salted and peppered to your liking.
If too salty you can try mixing them with more olive oil to try and rub some of the salt off.
Add a small dish of balsamic vinagrette for dipping if you like.

If you don't love brussel sprouts after this then you definitely hate them and are a lost cause and I'm so so sorry you had to eat them again!


linny (author)2012-04-30

Broiling!Wonderful! But I have another amazing tip that REALLY WORKS if you want to BOIL them a la the old-fashioned way & eliminate the off-putting odor -- get this, BOIL them with a cup of Sprite added to the water, which somehow miraculously removes the smell, that otherwise kills kids' appetites. No kiddin': adding a bit of this kind of soda pop does away with the characteristic smell that puts many people off.
I UNDER-cook slightly my brussels sprouts (al dente) & then melt a pat of butter to top.

Another very cool use of brussels sprouts is to GRATE a few RAW ones into your salad. We do this in Denmark, where Ilive.
I won a recognition for the above sprite -idea in a family recipe anthology back in the 1990s. Adding a dollop os Sprite really, absolutely works if you want to erase the smell of brussels sprouts in your home. it was quite by accident that I ever came to do this. Possibly it may work with other types of cabbages, too.

Flash635 (author)2012-04-29


Goodhart (author)2010-07-03

Huh? I have "always" loved long as I can remember......

Spl1nt3rC3ll (author)2009-11-08

 I was under the impression this was the normal way to cook brussel sprouts, it's how Mom always makes them. Guess I'm lucky! Never understood all the hate for them, I love these things!  

These go great served with roasted string beans. 

mikaelthemycologist (author)2009-08-20

When I cook my brussel sprouts by first boiling them in salted water for seven minutes. Then I sauteé them in butter with garlic for three minutes. That's the same way I eat Bidens pilosa

kelli_enkeli (author)2009-07-05

I just used your recipe. Fantastic! As a kid i only ate brussle sprouts when the old lady down the street watched us for the evening, blech! I had very enjoyable brussle sprouts later in adult life but was never able to recreate the good ones until now! So easy, little oil, salt ... delish!

valamas (author)2009-06-27

I already like Brussels Sprouts but the recipie was awesome - and should make everyone love Brussels!

Calorie (author)2009-06-18

These things are all over the UK. And Brussel Sprouts are dirt cheap. It's a good way to eat as a student. That and porridge (oat meal.) I use to lightly saute mine with the best olive oil (my flatmate was from Greece and had an olive orchard) and used fresh cracked pepper with table salt. I always had good outcomes with frozen sprouts as well. Just adapt this process to the microwave. I can attest that this is indeed a tasty way to eat these vegetables.

luvit (author)2009-06-17

we have a lot in common.. i learned to like river dancing.

cucumbersome (author)2009-06-17

I like brussel sprouts. Another good way is to sautee them just briefly with pistachios and then squeeze fresh lemon juice over it and sprinkle it with salt. It was a recipe from Bon Appetit I think. Way to spread the brussel sprout love!

suebhoney (author)2009-06-17

Here's another really tasty way to eat brussel sprouts.... boil or steam them till just barely cooked. Cut sprouts in half, put in saute pan with some olive oil and butter and saute till golden brown, add in some walnuts just before they're done. yummy!

zascecs (author)2009-05-28

I guess I could try to eat some brussel sprouts this way...

PCPkillz (author)2008-10-06

How do you find fresh, non-bug-infested brussel sprouts? When I was young my dad got some from a farm stand and they looked so good...the first one tasted great...the second one had little black bugs in it. Now I'm afraid to try them again.

sonialicious (author)PCPkillz2009-05-28

Y'know, it used to freak me out too, but now I find it reassuring, I mean, at least they're not dripping with insecticide. In any case, I let my salad and vegs soak in a bowl of salted water before peeling, slicing, dicing, chopping. It seems to kill any bugs.

goosezilla (author)PCPkillz2008-10-06

Well, I get them from the farmers market and from the grocery store and haven't run into bug problems yet. Though, bugs are a risk no matter what produce you are buying. I guess cut into a couple and see if everything looks okay? Just go for what you can find. You can do this recipe with frozen brussel sprouts if you defrost them first, but they won't be nearly as firm. This reminds me of an ancient joke: What's worse than a worm in your apple? Half a worm!

mcadwell (author)2009-05-09

I didn't really care for Brussels Sprouts when I was younger but ended up liking them as a young adult when I found out that putting ranch dressing on them is pretty tasty.

erGuiri (author)2009-05-01

From wikipedia: Whatever cooking method is employed, care must be taken not to overcook. Overcooking releases the sulphur smelling glucosinolate, sinigrin. This is the reason many people profess to dislike Brussels sprouts; only ever having tried them overcooked with the accompanying sulfuric taste and smell.

walkr (author)2009-01-10

sounds good, but i don't know about the whole addition of bacon to this dish lol thanks! will try tomorrow with some capers....mmmm

MacUserMDM (author)2009-01-10

What we do in the kitchen for Brussels Sprouts: Cook in juice instead of water, gives them a lovely sweetness and no bitterness. And then there is no need for butter, which will cut down your fat content. If you use purple grape juice they get a nice purple color to them which looks cool on the plate.

Hepgeek (author)2009-01-10

Steamed, then quickly sauteed in some butter with toasted, chopped pecans. Will make a believer out of any sprout hater. Just don't overcook them!

Father Christmas (author)2008-12-12

ehhhhhh. I generally say that there is very little food that bacon cannot make better. for me, brussel sprouts are one of them...

nibbler125 (author)2008-11-19

i know this sounds wierd but iv never had them before. my parents never bought them oh well who needs brain development anyways.

shortbus.clw (author)2008-10-30

WOW! Thank you so much for this Instructable. I now have a new favorite vegetable. Brussel Sprouts, olive oil, pepper, and salt. Everyone I know and those I bump into get an earful of this concoction.

phoenix124 (author)2008-10-18

lol almost anything buttered, salted, and mixed with bacon is good :) looks fantastic :)

wolf555hound (author)phoenix1242008-10-27

wow, just that snetnce gave me heart burn and clogged my ateries just i bit

sciamannikoo (author)2008-10-06

Sorry for sounding bitter, but... Why I should see aceto balsamico almost everywhere? I mean, besides the fact that the TRUE aceto balsamico di Modena is something that few people could afford, especially if they put it everywhere, since is veeeery expensive, even the cheap version, what does it have so special? Since few years ago nobody knew it and people uses to enjoy anyway any kind of food. Now seems that without it, meals are tasteless. I'm Italian and, sadly, also Italians people use to do that.

goosezilla (author)sciamannikoo2008-10-06

I'm not sure what the difference in varieties of Balsamic are, but we have a wide range of types and prices over here. The younger vinagrettes are watery and sour and quite cheap. The older ones are thick like honey, much sweeter, and very expensive(sometimes over a 100 bucks a tiny bottle). I think most people in the States are referring to the cheap stuff when they talk about balsamic vinagrette. It's just really yummy vinager as far as I know. Maybe it's been made more popular through advertising? I'm not sure. It is very good though!

sciamannikoo (author)goosezilla2008-10-06

Indeed, the "think" and expensive version is the actual Aceto Balsamico di Modena. All the other ones are just a commercial (AKA affordable) version. I'm not arguing about the taste: is it indeed tasteful. I'm just thinking that people in Italy and around the world are using it more or less everywhere and to me seems more a trend than a touch of "art". Is almost like putting cream in some dishes (e.g. Pasta alla carbonara), but with a difference: cream isn't in most of the recipes, but it helps smoothing the taste when something went wrong during the procedure, even when people says that is to "mantecare" (I suppose the English word is "to whisk") ;)

Calorie (author)sciamannikoo2008-10-18

Tastes good, then eat it.

TallIowegian (author)goosezilla2008-10-07

Heartell the less distinguished balsamic can be 'reduced' with gentle heat to a syrupy consistancy, and thereby much improved. Can't vouch for that however.

BigD145 (author)2008-10-17

Buttered and salted is quite good. You just need to make sure you don't overcook them. Mushy sprouts are like mushy spinach. Ew.

shooby (author)2008-10-17

Nice! They can be browned in a similar way using a frying pan. I always add a little balsamic vinegar, about 2 teaspoons for the amount you've shown here.

Stockvillain (author)2008-10-16

I kinda favor them steamed & dressed with a little sea salt and olive oil [along with a good helping of broccoli and cauliflower], but I think I'll try this one out. It looks pretty good to me. Love them stinky little Hell-cabbages!

Xolin (author)2008-10-16

I don't want to be a great big grammar policeman here, but, they are "Brussels Sprouts"; because of their (probable) origin in Belgium....

jessyratfink (author)2008-10-04

I do 400 degrees for about 35-40 minutes. I like mine really crispy on the outside. They're amazing with carrot and potatoes, and with basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary mixed in with the salt and pepper. :D

chriskarr (author)jessyratfink2008-10-10

Not to be mean, but how can you actually like these things? I mean, they taste and smell just like garbage. They're disgusting. Granted, I've never tried any special recipe; my parents just boiled them in salt/oil water. Maybe I WOULD like them more if I tried this recipe... I guess it's only fair to give every Instructable a chance.

jessyratfink (author)chriskarr2008-10-10

Boiling them is the worst possible way to eat them. I would definitely eat them this way, or maybe sauteed with some butter and herbs. No one knows how to probably boil brussel sprouts these days! My gramma was wonderful at it, but I hate them anytime someone else makes them.

chriskarr (author)jessyratfink2008-10-10

Gramma rules, eh? =) Sounds good to me. I kinda' have a fear of them, so, next time I have to or I get the chance to make them myself, I'll look up this recipe. Wish me luck! =)

(I just don't want the veggie monster to get me!)

goosezilla (author)jessyratfink2008-10-04

Mmmmm...Yeah. I like them crispy too, but I also like the insides still kinda al dente. It's so hard to go wrong!

actsofsubterfuge (author)2008-10-08

As people grow up, their tastes change. Horizons broaden and so forth. But about a year ago I realized I was no longer a child. I was at my college dining hall and in the healthy section they had a big plate of steamed Brussels and this uncontrollable urge came over me. I have ALWAYS hated Brussel sprouts, and in the mind of someone raised on Calvin and Hobbes, discovering that you in fact like something as appalling and specifically anti-childhood as Brussel sprouts can be quite traumatic. Anyway, the point is I damn near live off of them now and I will absolutely be trying your recipe out :)

crapflinger (author)2008-10-06

step 1....cover the stuff in velveeta step 2....don't need's got velveeta on it

dentsinger (author)2008-10-06

I agree my first disdain towards these were in early childhood, but I think it was from one bite that I really can't even remember. To this day I shiver at the sight of them, but I wonder if I really do hate them. I've had the same aversion to mushrooms as well. I'm not much of a vegetable eater for some reason. Anyway, I wonder what these taste like sometimes.

thingy (author)2008-10-06

O also cut a little "x" into the bottom of each sprout. It helps them soak up flavor... MMMMmmmmmmmmm... Flavor.

thingy (author)2008-10-06

A little parmesean cheese tossed in would put them in the atmosphere.

solo.card (author)2008-10-05

This instructable doesn't make sense. There is no learning involved! Sprouts were my first true love!

goosezilla (author)solo.card2008-10-05

Heheheheehe. Excellent!

Sanclous (author)2008-10-05

WOW That looks so good, I'll definitely give that a try! Although to be honest i'm quite satisfied with the frozen ones boiled and covered in butter haha, but ya nice one

canida (author)2008-10-05

Mmm, sounds good. I've got a pound of sprouts in the fridge to roast - thanks for reminding me! I've also made a great dish involving pre-cooked sausage & chestnuts that are then tossed with sprouts and roasted. Fantastic stuff.

PKM (author)2008-10-05

I like your idea! Too many great green vegetables are maligned because people don't know how to cook them properly. I was literally shocked the first time I ate fresh spinach, because I was used to frozen/canned spinach being this stringy lank bitter watery mess, and discovered that fresh leaf spinach is delicious.

discontinuuity (author)2008-10-04

I don't really like brussel sprouts, and I've had them fresh from a garden. It's that soapy flavor and a texture like cauliflower that get me. Never tried grilling them, though.

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