Caramelized Brussels Sprouts are an easy and simple Brussels sprouts dish that anyone can make and it tastes so delicious. The Brussels sprouts are caramelized in the pan with olive oil and finished off with a bit of fresh lemon juice. From trimming the Brussels sprouts to cooking them, this delicious side dish is ready in 30 minutes.
About this recipe:
I think Brussels sprouts get a bad wrap because many people grew up with terribly cooked Brussels sprouts and still do not know how to cook them to minimize their naturally bitter flavor. In this recipe, allowing the Brussels sprouts to caramelize on a hot sauté pan with olive oil really brings out the delicious sweet flavor and the lemon juice and salt make sure there is no bitterness.
These sautéed Brussels sprouts not only taste amazing but it has the perfect crispy and charred outside with a firm bite on the inside. No mushy Brussels sprouts anymore.
I make lots of Brussels sprouts from Brussel sprouts pasta to Italian style Brussels sprouts, and though these all taste great, I always prefer my Brussels sprouts in this very simple way, caramelized with olive oil and lemon.
Here is what you need to make this recipe:
- Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts are loaded with so much nutrition like calcium, vitamin K, Vitamin C, fiber, and so many others. You can read more about Brussels sprouts benefits here.
- Lemon. Lemon is the acid in the recipe that is going to help cut the natural bitterness in the Brussels sprouts.
- Olive oil. Make sure to use a good quality olive oil.
- Salt and pepper. I like to use kosher salt in all my recipes. If you are using table salt I recommend switching to Kosher salt because it makes a much better seasoning when cooking.
These are all simple ingredients and very manageable. You want to make sure you use good quality olive oil since there are only a few ingredients in this recipe so every ingredient's flavor will really stand out.
Also, when you are making these sautéed Brussels sprouts, you want to exercise lots of patience and let those sprouts sit uninterrupted
Here is how to make them:
- Pre-heat your olive oil in a large flat bottom pan over medium-medium high heat.
- Prepare and trim your Brussels sprouts.
- Add your Brussels sprouts to the hot pan making sure they are all touching the pan. If you need to, cook the Brussels sprouts in batches to ensure each one touches the pan so it can caramelize.
- Cook for 5 minutes.
- Now flip them over.
- Cook another 5 minutes.
- Add your lemon and seasoning and cook for a few more minutes or until a fork can pierce the Brussels sprouts.
Buying prepared Brussels sprouts versus prepping your own:
I have a few tips for preparing Brussels sprouts which makes all the difference in the world in the final product. I am not a fan of already prepared Brussels Sprouts (the ones cut in half already) because they are dried out and the tough stem piece at the bottom is left on. Because of this, I do prefer to clean and trim the Brussels sprouts at home.
Another thing I have also noticed on more than one occasion that there will be a little gray on the outside of the Brussels sprouts. That is definitely not what I want to eat.
Here is how to trim Brussels sprouts for cooking:
To clean and prepare your Brussels sprouts the first thing you want to do is rinse them well. After this, I like to remove the outermost layer of the Brussels sprouts if it looks dirty.
Once you do this you will cut off the woody end (just the tip) because this will not become tender during cooking. This is the part they leave on when you buy the "cleaned and trimmed" ones at the store. It is not what I want to bite into.
How to make perfect Caramelized Brussels sprouts:
To cook really crisp Brussels sprouts with a nice caramelized outside, you need to make sure you do not over crowd the pan and you are working with a good hot heat. You will want to work with a very large flat bottom pan when you make these. This will ensure that every Brussels sprout are making contact with the heat and not steaming.
The next thing you want to do is be patient. You need to let these Brussels sprouts get nice and caramelized in the pan so resist the urge to flip them constantly.
I will leave my Brussels sprouts on the pan for a good 5 minutes on a medium high heat before I try to flip them over. If you are nervous that you are burning them, go ahead and flip one of them to check.
The last thing is do not salt your Brussels sprouts until the very end. Salting the vegetables during cooking draws out their juices. Vegetables will not caramelize in liquid.
What to serve with Sautéed Brussels sprouts?
There are so many great things to serve with sautéed Brussels sprouts but here a list of some of may favorites:
- Chicken Tarragon
- Pork Chops with Záatar Cream sauce
- Pasta Aglio e Olio
- Ottolenghi's seeded chicken schnitzel
- Easy Lemon Butter Chicken
- Chicken Saltimbocca
Here are some more Brussel sprouts recipes you may like:
- Italian Style Brussels Sprouts
- Brussels Sprouts and Potato Gratin
- Hot Dogs with Asian Style Brussels Sprouts
- Brussels Sprouts Pasta
- Brussels Sprouts with Potatoes and Pancetta Hash
I have converted haters with this Brussels sprouts recipe and now I have it requested by our guests when they come to visit. Give this a try and I promise you will love it too!
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
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- 1 pint or bag of Brussels sprouts whole (not shredded)
- ⅛ cup of olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 1 heaping teaspoon of kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
- First you want to prep your brussel sprouts by rinsing them well the cutting off the stalky ends.
- Next, slice your brussel sprouts in half paying attention to making sure they are all around the same size so they all cook at the same time. If you get the rogue large brussel sprout that occasionally happens, then go ahead and quarter it to make it the same size as the other halves.
- In a large heavy bottom pan, heat your olive oil on medium heat. Once pan is heated, add your brussel sprouts to the pan making sure they are not overlapping and that they are all touching the pan.
- You are going to be browning them and getting a nice caramelized outside.
- Cook them without touching them for about 4 minutes. You will hear some pops and discussion coming from the pan and that is ok!
- After 4 minutes toss them around with a spatula and you should start to see the nice browning happening. Press them all back down in the pan after tossing so they do not overlap and Cook for another couple minutes.
- Now, at this stage squeeze your lemon over the top and add your salt. The lemon will start to sizzle and begin steaming your brussel sprouts while the salt will start pulling the moisture from them.
- Go ahead and toss around again and flatten out again.
- Just keep repeating this process every couple of minutes until the brussel sprouts are fork tender (about another 5 minutes).
- Taste and add any additional salt and pepper and enjoy!
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here