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How to cook Brussels sprouts

How to cook Brussels sprouts

To prepare sprouts, trim the base, removing any loose leaves. You can then steam, boil or roast them, either whole, halved, quartered or shredded – just make sure you don’t overcook them. You can also eat sprouts raw, shredded into salads. Cook the leaves in the same way as you would spinach or kale.

WATCH: Brilliant Brussels sprouts

READ: How to use up Brussels sprouts


You’re not fussy, it could be in your genes. Sprouts contain a chemical that only tastes bitter to people who contain a certain gene (roughly 50% of the population).


Brussels sprouts are not just for Christmas! They might get a bad rep, but they’re so tasty simply boiled (just don’t overdo it – that’s when they go mushy) and served with a little butter. Or finely shred their leaves and make into an epic salad.


Although Brussels sprouts are the quintessential Christmas veg, they’re actually in season from October all the way into March.


It’s best to keep sprouts in the fridge, and try to eat them as soon as possible after purchase (or picking!), as the leaves will start to discolour.

What are the health benefits?

High in vitamin K and folic acid, there's every reason to eat more sprouts! Brussels sprouts are also a great source of a vitamin called folate. Folate helps to reduce tiredness so we feel awake and alert.

How to Pressure Cook Brussels Sprouts

This method shows you how to pressure cook the Brussels sprouts themselves, with no frills.

I personally then love them sauted with pancetta or bacon.

Some people like them crispy, which you totally could do after this (above all if you have the Instant Pot Duo Crisp’s air fryer lid).

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

As much as we love roasted Brussels sprouts, the speed and ease of sautéed sprouts can't be beat.

These little guys are endlessly riffable. Throw in chili flakes, cumin seeds, fresh oregano, or any other flavors you love. Brussels sprouts also go great with cheese, as evidenced by our Cheesy Brussels Sprout Bake, so don't shy away from some shaved parm for garnish.

How do I prep my Brussels sprouts?

Start as you would with any veggie&mdashgive them a good rinse under cold running water. Next, use a paring knife to remove the stem, then use your fingers to pull off any yellow or damaged outer leaves. Et voila, a perfectly cleaned sprout!

Different Sizes of Brussels Sprouts

Different size brussels sprouts means different cooking times and over the years, we&rsquove found that readers who have made our brussels sprouts recipes have had varying cook-time results. It&rsquos always because of the different size of brussels sprouts that changes cooking times so we&rsquore hoping this visual explanation will help us all in getting the best results out of our brussels sprouts recipes.

We made a video to illustrate the range of different brussels sprouts sizes:

Some brussels sprouts are huge, almost equal to a standard large egg. While others are more around the size of a quarter, others can be as small as a nickel. This drives us nuts when we need about two pounds of the same size brussels sprouts for a recipe because we want everything to cook evenly.

The smaller brussels sprouts tend to have a sweeter flavor but their center leaves are a little tighter, often taking a little more time to cook or roast all the way through. While the larger ones might seem like they take longer to cook, the inside leaves are a little more loose and separated, allowing the heat and juices to flow through and cook quicker. It all seems the reverse of what it should be, so just remember, the more dense and tightly packed the leaves are, the longer it should be cooked.

There are so many other factors in a recipe that can change brussels sprouts cooking time from the amount of oil, spices, juices and cheese. Just try to find as many of the same size as possible to get consistent cooking. Cook them to your preferred texture and enjoy more brussels sprouts because now is the season to indulge in one of our favorite vegetables!

Brussels Sprouts Gratin Recipe: this is the magical recipe that has transformed so many brussels sprouts haters into lovers. The result is an addicting, creamy and tender brussels sprouts and cheese combo that can easily satisfy anyone craving mac and cheese. And it&rsquoll be a low carb version. Not low calorie, but definitely lower carb!

Easy Roast Brussels Sprouts Recipe : this was one of our very first recipes in 2009 and it&rsquos continually our go-to recipe for every craving we have.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Parsley Dressing Recipe : another everyday favorite that&rsquos bright with an awesome lemon dressing. Make double the amount because they&rsquore so delicious, you might have it as a full meal.

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce and Lime Recipe: Yes, it might sound odd&ndash fish sauce?! Try it, the umami flavor in each bite is incredible.

Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots Recipe: An oldie but goodie because who doesn&rsquot love bacon? and the shallots adds awesome flavor.

Cheesy Baked Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan and Onion &ndash a popular rendition of our sweet onion crack dip, but with a few brussels sprouts thrown in!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sriracha and Mint Recipe: A spicy sauce for all you sriracha lovers. And it&rsquos flowing over a ton of brussels sprouts. Yum.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Mom&rsquos Chili Fish Sauce &ndash a recipe with a Vietnamese twist to delicious fried brussels sprouts. To die for!

Teriyaki Glazed Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe: We love sauce, can you tell? Here&rsquos a fabulous teriyaki glazed beauty to make these veggies amazing.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Bacon and Pecans: a raw take on the brussels sprouts and it&rsquos a wonderful salad with salty bacon and crunchy pecans. And if you&rsquore craving more, here&rsquos a few more great ones to try.

Our 17 Best Brussels Sprouts Recipes for Any Occasion

Think you don&rsquot like Brussels sprouts? We promise that these tempting, easy-to-make recipes for sides and mains will change your mind. Whether you prefer them roasted with pieces of pancetta, sauteed in sesame oil with ginger and soy sauce, tossed into pasta with Pecorino, or shaved and sprinkled over pizza, there's a Brussels sprouts recipe here for every flavor palette.

Remember: when shopping, look for Brussels sprouts that feel firm to the touch. Skip over sprouts that have leaves with holes or appear wrinkly or shriveled. If you spot a few yellowish or dry-looking outer leaves, that's fine, but make sure the leaves look like they're tightly layered.

The best tool for prepping your Brussels is a paring knife&mdashthe small blade and lightweight handle give you full control and make removing the stem a breeze. Store them in the crisper drawer of your fridge in an airtight bag and (ideally) consume within three days of purchasing for optimal flavor.

Grilled Brussels Sprouts

If you thought brussels sprouts couldn't get any better, wait until you throw them on the grill. Follow the instructions below for A1 sprout skewers!

1. Pick Sprouts That Are All The Same Size

Believe it or not, despite being small, Brussel Sprouts vary greatly in size. Make sure when picking out of the bulk bin or choosing your bag of sprouts, that they are all around the same size. This will ensure even cooking, and will help the skewers lay flat on the grill.

2. Get Them Clean

Brussels sprouts aren't a particularly dirty vegetable (*cough* leeks) but it's still good to give them a good rinse to remove any debris. Trim the ends of the sprouts and discard any leaves that fall off in the process. Place trimmed sprouts in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Drain in a colander, pat dry, and continue with your recipe!

3. If You Want to Use Wood Skewers, Soak Them

In this and all cases, if you're going to use wooden skewers on the grill, make sure you soak them thoroughly. If you neglect this step, they may start to burn, or worse, catch fire. Soaking the skewers in water is the best way to avoid unwanted flames.

Tried this recipe? Comment down below and let us know how it went!

Editor's note: This intro was updated to add more information about the dish on May 24, 2021.

25+ Best Fall Brussels Sprouts Recipes to Wow Your Family This Thanksgiving

From feast-worthy sides to easy weeknight mains, you'll never wonder what to do with sprouts again.

If there's one green vegetable that stays stocked in our fridge's crisper for regular use in our fall recipe rotation, it's Brussels sprouts. That's because they're nearly perfect: They're in peak season from September to February. Properly stored, they'll last for ages in the fridge, so they're there when you need them. And whether you like them roasted, glazed, braised, or shaved raw into a salad, they can be sweet, crunchy, and nutritious&mdashhigh in fiber and vitamin C.

They weren't always this way. Years ago, they had a reputation for being bitter. However new varieties have made that largely a thing of the past, and now it's not unusual to see high-end restaurants serving Brussels sprouts appetizers and side dishes. They're easy to make at home, too.

But one of the best reasons to love Brussels sprouts is that, because they're so mild, they pair well with a wide range of foods, from crunchy toasted nuts to tangy vinegar, from rich cheese to decadent bacon or pancetta, to tart apples. Which means, of course, that you can keep them on hand all fall and winter long, and never get tired of eating them. Case in point: These two dozen plus recipes, which showcase our favorite Brussels sprouts cooking methods (and salads) both from our site and from our favorite spaces around the web. Whether you're looking for an easy one-pan meal, a simple weeknight pairing, or a Thanksgiving side that'll wow family and guests, we have the Brussels sprouts recipe for you.

How to Steam Brussels Sprouts

There are two simple tips for keeping steamed brussels sprouts delicate and tender instead of stinky and soggy: keep the water to a minimum (that is, truly steam them) and don't overcook them. See How to Steam Brussels Sprouts for a full recipe.

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Pee-yew! How to Avoid Smelly Brussels Sprouts

My experience with Brussels sprouts when I was younger was a smelly one. The little green balls would soak in a boiled water bath, stinking up the entire house. And people wonder why Brussels sprouts have such a bad rep.

What makes Brussels sprouts stink? Great question! And I have the answer.

Get the full story on Brussels Sprouts:

Like broccoli and cabbage, Brussels sprouts are rich in hydrogen sulfide gas. When heat is added, the gases escape, and out comes the stink.

There are ways to combat the smelliness of the sprout. According to Shirley Corriher, author of CookWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking, “The secret to cooking [Brussels sprouts] is to cook them less than five minutes.” Which means high-fast heat like a sauté or a quick broil in the oven.

Here are three recipes that use different preparations that all result in smell-free sprouts:

Brussels Sprouts with Peaches and Bacon: The Brussels sprouts are sautéed for a short time in bacon fat before being tossed with chopped peaches and maple syrup. Only sweet smells going on here!

Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, Pesto and Pecorino: The Brussels sprouts are added to the simmering pasta for the last 5 minutes of the pasta’s cooking time. It’s just quick enough to make the sprouts tender without overcooking them.

Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Citrus and Pecans: You can definitely eat Brussels sprouts raw and then they don’t smell at all. They have a delicate flavor and scent, actually. You just need to shave them or slice them very thinly. Here they have a light lemon and orange vinaigrette and they’re tossed with pieces of orange and pecans for a wintry take on coleslaw.

Step by step instruction on how to boil brussel sprouts

Step One: Add Your Water

Pour 1.5 liters of water into a large pot. The water should come no higher than a few inches within the top of the pot, to prevent any over-boiling. It is best to use cool, fresh water. This will help the water to boil faster. Also, using filtered water will make for fresher and better-tasting brussel sprouts. Tap water may contain unwanted minerals and bacteria which could adversely affect the flavor of your sprouts. The best way to avoid dirty water is to use a charcoal filter for tap water, or use bottled water. The water’s job is to boil your sprouts, not flavor them!

Step Two: Add Your Salt

Before you put your pot on the stove, add some salt to your water. For 1.5 liters of water, add about 1 teaspoon of salt. If you are using a different amount of water, adjust your salt by using this ratio. Salting your water will do a couple of things. First of all, it will add to the flavor profile of your brussel sprouts, as the boiling process will allow the salt to really sink into the brussel sprouts. Another benefit of adding salt is that it will bring your water to boil a little quicker, which cuts down your total cooking time! You can add regular table salt, or you can get a little fancy and use sea salt or pink Himalayan salt for some extra added minerals.

Step Three: Boil Your Water

Now that you’ve got the proper amount of water and salt in your pot, it’s time to get down to business. Cover your pot and put it on the stove over a medium-high heat. Let it come to a boil. This may take a few minutes, so you can get your brussel sprouts ready while the water is boiling. You can also prepare your lemon juice during this time if you want to get ahead of the game. Once the water is at a rolling boil, you can remove your pot from the stove to prepare for the next step.

Step Four: Add Your Brussel Sprouts

With your pot removed from the heat, carefully add your brussel sprouts. Put in about 300 grams of frozen brussel sprouts. The water will be very hot, so try not to splash too much. For safety, keep your face as far from the water as possible while putting the sprouts in. Of course, make sure that no children are around while you do this, as there is no telling where the water may splash. Replace the cover and place your pot back on the heat.

Step Five: Boil Your Sprouts

Once your pot is back on the heat, allow the brussel sprouts to boil for about 10 minutes. This will cook the sprouts most of the way through. As you near the 10-minute mark, check your sprouts regularly. Use a fork to test their firmness. When they are easy to pierce, but still firm in the middle, it is time to remove them from the heat. Don’t worry, that last little bit will be cooked later.

Step Six: Add Your Lemon Juice

To get a little more flavor into your brussel sprouts, add some lemon juice. Using a spoon, sprinkle in half a teaspoon of lemon juice into the water. There’s no need to stir, as when you return the pot to the heat, the boiling water will spread the juice evenly. You can use lemon juice from a bottle, but we recommend freshly squeezed lemon juice. Either will do, but the fresh lemon juice has that summery tang that you just can’t quite replicate!

Step Seven: Return to Boil

Now with the lemon juice, return your brussel sprouts to the heat and boil for an additional two minutes. This will disperse the lemon juice into the brussel sprouts. The extra time will also cook your sprouts that last little bit, bringing them to the perfect tenderness. Again, you can use a fork to test their firmness. It should now pass easily through the outer part of the sprout and meet just a little resistance through the center. Remove the pot from the heat.

Step Eight: Serve and Enjoy!

After you’ve removed your pot from the heat and allowed the water to cool for a few minutes, it’s time for the best part. Using a slotted ladle, serve your brussel sprouts. They work great on their own or as a nice pairing with steak or salmon.

So there you have it, perfectly boiled brussel sprouts in just about 20 minutes. Now you can have a fresh and delicious side to any meal which is ready to go in no time. Better yet, you’ll always know what dish you’re bringing to the family holidays and gatherings!