Remember when everyone hated Brussels sprouts? Remember when everyone started to love them again? These small green orbs are members of the cabbage family with the same ability to be enjoyed raw in salads or slaws or turned into tender, caramelized nuggets of goodness when cooked. But before you get to cooking them, you need to prep them.
If these green orbs are new to your dinner rotation (or hey, you just need a refresher), here is everything you need to know to prepare these wondrous vegetables before cooking.
The Essentials for Preparing Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts come in two market varieties: on the stalk or loose by the pound.
- Purchasing: Look for loose Brussels sprouts that feel firm when you give them a squeeze. Avoid leaves that have holes or are shriveled, wrinkling, orwithered. Some dried or yellow outer leaves are okay, but the leaves should be tightly layered together.
- Individual sprouts: Brussels sprouts sold by the pound are what you find most often at the market. They need to be trimmed of their dry ends and yellowed or damaged leaves before halving and cooking.
- The best tool: A paring knife is the best tool for the job since its small blade allows you to maneuver around the vegetable's circular base. Be sure to halve the sprouts down their length to keep the leaves intact at their core.
- Storage: Store fresh unwashed Brussels sprouts in a zip-top bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Try to prepare the Brussels sprouts within three days of purchase, as they tend to lose sweetness as they age.
Read more: The Best Way to Store Brussels Sprouts
On the stalk: If you find Brussels sprouts on the stalk, snatch them up, as this variety stays fresher for longer. Store them in fresh water, like flowers, and use a paring knife to remove them from the stalk before preparing.
Our Favorite Brussels Sprout Recipes
- How To Roast Brussels Sprouts
- Lemony Brussels Sprouts & Breadcrumb Spaghetti
- Cider-Glazed Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
- Honey-Mustard Brussels Sprouts
- Smoky Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Kielbasa
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts, Pomegranate Molasses & Shanklish
- Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Red Pepper and Corn
- Roasted Potatoes with Bacon & Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Winter Vegetables with Miso-Lime Dressing
How To Prep Brussels Sprouts
Serves 4 as a side dish
What You Need
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
- Trim the stem. Using a paring knife, trim off the bottom stem of the sprouts, especially if they are dry or yellowed.
- Remove yellowed or blemished outer leaves. Peel off and discard any outer leaves that are yellowed or blemished.
- Cut the sprouts in half. Cut the sprouts in half lengthwise through the stem.
- Separate leaves for Brussels sprout chips. Save any nice leaves that came off for roasting alongside halved Brussels sprouts to make crispy sprout chips.
- Storage: Refrigerate Brussels sprouts for up to 1 week.
- Make ahead: Brussels sprouts can be trimmed and halved up to 3 days in advance.