How To Roast Brussels Sprouts

How To Roast Brussels Sprouts

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Meghan Splawn
Feb 27, 2017
(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Oven roasting brings out the best in all vegetables, including Brussels sprouts. The oven's heat caramelizes the Brussels sprout's leaves, turning them lacy and crisp while tenderizing their tough core. And that's just with a basic sprinkling of salt and pepper! Once roasted, Brussels sprouts can be served as a side straight from the oven, or you can toss them with a few other kitchen staples to turn them into a showy number studded with bacon and glazed with honey.

Oven-roasted Brussels sprouts require three things: a hot oven, halved and trimmed Brussels sprouts, and enough time for the sprouts to transform into tender, tasty morsels. You'll need a good baking sheet and some oil, salt, and pepper, but anything else is superfluous. Here's how to get the very best Brussels sprouts by oven roasting.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Roasted Brussels Sprout Basics

A hot oven is essential for perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts, so give your oven plenty of time to preheat. While the oven gets hot, rinse the Brussels sprouts, then trim and halve them. Begin by removing the woody end and any yellow or brown leaves. Once trimmed, halve the Brussels sprouts from top to bottom, leaving the stem in place to hold the leaves together. Then toss the halved sprouts with oil and season with salt before roasting. The oil can be as simple as vegetable oil or as flavorful as avocado oil, but you'll want to avoid delicate extra-virgin olive oil, nut oils, or regular butter (although ghee and clarified butter work well here).

Keep your sprouts fresh: The Best Way to Store Brussels Sprouts

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Tricks for the Ultimate Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Of course, there are a few tips to help you turn out a perfect pan of Brussels sprouts. Here are the most important ones.

  • Pick the right sized Brussels sprouts: Brussels sprouts can be as small as gum balls or as large as clementines. Shop for sprouts that are about 1 1/2 inches wide, or about the size of a meatball. Make sure all of your sprouts are about the same size so they'll cook evenly.
  • Scale up or down: You can roast as many sprouts as you like, scaling the amounts in the recipe up or down. Just be sure there is some space between your sprouts on the roasting pan so they roast and don't steam.
  • Place the sprouts cut-side down: Trim and halve the sprouts and roast them with their cut side against the baking sheet. The cut side will caramelize beautifully while the outer leaves crisp.
  • Keep the leaves: Don't discard the outer leaves that fall away as you cut the sprouts. Roast them right along with the Brussels sprout halves; they turn into incredibly crisp little chips.
  • Roast them until they are brown and delicious: Don't shy away from toasty color on the sprouts — caramelization is also flavor. The cut sides and the outer leaves should both get brown and crisp.
  • High heat required: Avoid mushy roasted Brussels by roasting at a high temperature. The minimum recommended temperature for roasted vegetables is 400°F.
  • Cook simply and dress at the end: Some sauces, like soy sauce, can hide the Brussels sprouts color while cooking, while others, like barbecue sauce, can burn in the heat of the oven. To avoid either of these pitfalls, roast the Brussels sprouts as simply as possible (with just oil and salt) and toss with more flavorful sauces afterwards.

Read more: 3 Tips for Better Roasted Brussels Sprouts

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Seasoning Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Hot out of the oven, you can douse your roasted Brussels sprouts with any number of flavorful spices or sauces. Sometimes I put a few pats of butter and a sprinkling of Italian seasoning on the baking sheet while it is still hot and then toss to coat. My kids love maple syrup and mustard, while my husband would eat his weight in Buffalo wing Brussels sprouts. The sauce will make them less crisp, so be sure to eat them right away!

Seasoning Combination Suggestions

  • Chopped apples and crumbled cooked bacon
  • A few dashes of fish sauce and red pepper flakes
  • Chile paste and chopped, salted peanuts
  • Hot sauce and blue cheese crumbles
  • Maple syrup, grainy mustard, and toasted pecans

How To Roast Brussels Sprouts

Serves 6 to 8

What You Need

Ingredients
2 pounds Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons oil or fat, such as olive oil (not extra-virgin), avocado oil, or melted ghee
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Equipment
Chef's knife
Cutting board
Rimmed baking sheet
Measuring spoons
Spatula or tongs

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven: Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F.
  2. Trim and halve the Brussels sprouts: Trim the bottoms from the sprouts if they appear dry or yellowed, and peel away the loose outer leaves. Cut each Brussels sprout in half through the stem.
  3. Toss with oil and season with salt: Place the Brussels sprouts in a medium bowl. Add the oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the salt and toss to coat again.
  4. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast: Transfer the seasoned sprouts to a rimmed baking sheet and arrange them cut-side down. Roast until the leaves are dark brown and crisp, and the bottoms of the sprouts are browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Season as desired: Serve immediately, or toss with additional salt or your favorite sauce or seasonings.

Recipe Notes

  • Storage: Leftover roasted Brussels sprouts can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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