Header image: Brussels Sprouts with Kimchi and Bacon from CHOW
It’s easy to understand why Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables that give a lot of people the heebie jeebies. All too often they get overcooked, disintegrating into a mushy, bitter pile on the plate.
But sprouts don’t have to be boiled into oblivion. There are a number of different ways to prep them, some of which make for results that are tender, others that are crisp, and some that are even crunchy. The sprout lovers among us all probably have a favorite method.
If you’ve only had less than favorable experiences with Brussels sprouts in the past, it’s time to give them a new and different spin. Here are nine recipes that showcase the different ways they can be done—you might even find one that turns you into a fan.
1. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Pecorino
Roasting your sprouts at high temperature ensures a crispy exterior and tender inside, concentrating their natural sweetness along the way. This recipe also ups the ante with salty pecorino and crunchy almonds. Get our Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Almonds and Pecorino recipe.
2. Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
You can eat your sprouts raw. When shredded finely, they pack tons of crunch. Here, they’re dressed up into a slaw, for a side that sits pretty next to meats, layers easily onto sandwiches, and more. Get our Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad recipe.
3. Steamed Brussels Sprouts with Tangerine Dressing
Steamed or boiled Brussels sprouts require savvy precision: cook ‘em too long and they’re smelly and soggy; too little and they’re tough and hard to crunch. But when you do them just right, they’re one of the most enjoyable and flavorful steamed veggies around. Get the recipe here.
4. Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Fried Capers
Like any sauteed greens, Brussels sprouts will wilt until tender in the pan. But since they have a bit of extra sturdiness to them, they hold up especially well against bold seasonings and add ons. Here, briny capers and a splash of sherry vinegar add a pleasant jolt. Get our Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Fried Capers recipe.
5. Brussels Sprout Chips with Sweet Chile Sauce
Even when we’re starting to get a little weary of deep fried anything and everything, we’ll still go for crisped up sprouts passed through sizzling oil. Frying brings out their sweetness and nuttiness and leaves them with pockets and crevices that will hold just about any sauce you slather on. Get the recipe here.
6. Spicy Sambal Sprouts
The little spaces in between the leaves of halved Brussels sprouts are ideal for holding seasonings and sauces. Stir frying allows them to pick up all that flavor in the pan, making them a natural fit for a number of Asian-inspired recipes. This one does it will sambal, the spicy, garlicky chili sauce. Get the recipe here.
7. Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Chanterelles
Fans of the brown bits take note: Brussels sprouts can handle a grill mark like few other vegetables. By setting them in a grill basket, you get all those smoky, charred notes on the outside and plenty of tender sweetness on the inside. Get the recipe here.
8. Brussels Sprouts Gratin
When all else fails, simply add cheese. Really, who could hate a Brussels sprout when it’s baked right into a pool of melty Gruyere and sprinkled with pancetta? Get the recipe here.
9. Braised Brussels Sprouts
To get sprouts that are loaded with flavor, let them braise. In this recipe, they go for a swim in white wine and broth, picking up an intensely savory dimension along the way. Get our Braised Brussels Sprouts recipe.
Miki Kawasaki is a New York City–based food writer and graduate of Boston University's program in Gastronomy. Few things excite her more than a well-crafted sandwich or expertly spiced curry. If you ever run into her at a dinner party, make sure to hit her up for a few pieces of oddball culinary trivia.