If you show up at my father's house with a bagful of fresh Brussels sprouts to be cooked, he will howl and complain like a 3-year-old confronted with liver and onions.
Such, then, is the sweet satisfaction of seeing this dyed-in-the-wool Brussels sprouts avoider pick these roasted emerald jewels out of the pan and munch on them like candy.
These are roasted Brussels sprouts that even my dad can love.
Video: How to Make Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Tip for How to Roast the Best Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Brussels sprouts are my sister Karen's contribution to our holiday dinners. Ridiculously easy to make, there's not much to it.
You can roast them right in a cast iron frying pan in the oven, which is helpful if your regular roasting pan is already in use. And a large cast iron pan is just the right size to hold a pound of sprouts.
If you don't have a cast iron pan, you can use a roasting pan.
What Is the Secret Ingredient for the Best Brussels Sprouts?
The key to success with roasted or baked Brussels sprouts (according to my sister and I agree with her completely on this) is salt. Salt makes the roasted caramelized flavors pop!
Salt the sprouts generously as they are going into the oven, more than you might normally salt vegetables. Once out of the oven, taste and salt again if need be.
The recipe calls for a pound of Brussels sprouts. We'll usually make a little more, just so we have more to snack on. We can eat them like popcorn!
Ways to Adapt This Recipe
Roasted Brussels sprouts are wonderfully versatile! Here are just a few ideas of how you can change up the recipe:
- Add nuts: Toast some pine nuts, roughly chopped walnuts, or slivered almonds on the side and toss them with the roasted sprouts to serve.
- Brighten with vinegar: You can easily use apple cider vinegar in place of the lemon juice called for in this recipe, or balsamic vinegar.
- Add a sweet touch: Omit the Parmesan at the end and instead toss with a tablespoon of maple syrup or pomegranate glaze.
- Add bacon or pancetta: Chop up some bacon or pancetta and cook on medium until browned. Replace some of the olive oil in this recipe with the bacon or pancetta fat to roast the sprouts. At the end, toss the sprouts with the cooked chopped bacon or pancetta.
- Roast with other veggies: Roast a pound of cubed butternut squash, golden beets, or sweet potatoes along with the sprouts. Brussels sprouts play well with with root vegetables and winter squash.
More Brussels Sprouts to Add to the Mix
- Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Shallots
- Honey Chipotle Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Brussels Sprouts with Black Bean Garlic Sauce
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Lemon
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate Balsamic Glaze
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, rinsed, ends trimmed, and rough outer leaves of larger sprouts removed
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice (can sub apple cider vinegar)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Prep the Brussels sprouts:
Place the trimmed Brussels sprouts in a large bowl. Toss with garlic and lemon juice. Toss the sprouts with olive oil to coat them well.
Spread the Brussels sprouts out in a large cast iron frying pan or roasting pan in a single layer with plenty of space between them. Sprinkle generously with salt (at least half a teaspoon) and a few turns of black pepper.
Roast in oven:
Put the sprouts in oven on the top rack, roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring the sprouts about halfway through the cooking.
Adjust the timing depending on the size of the sprouts and your particular oven. When the sprouts are ready, they should be nicely browned and some of the outside leaves crunchy. The interior should be cooked through, so that the sprouts are easily pierced with a fork.
If the sprouts look like they are getting too browned (they should be well browned, not burnt), move them to a lower rack or lower the heat.
If after cooking for 30 minutes the sprouts aren't browned enough, put them under the broiler (or increase the heat to 500°F) for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle with Parmesan:
Toss with Parmesan (if using) and add more salt to taste to serve.