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Super Simple Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Roasted Brussels sprouts are hands down one of my all-time favorite vegetables. I love them raw in crunchy salads. I love them steamed with a touch of butter. And I especially love roasted Brussels sprouts, cooked until dark brown in the oven with a touch of olive oil, salt, and pepper. They rank up there with these Crispy Balsamic Brussels Sprouts.

Usually, I double the recipe when I make these as a side so I have extras for lunches during the week. They made a great addition to sandwiches (Brussels sprout grilled cheese!), pita pizzas, omelets, veggie wraps, salads, quinoa bowls, and more. You can alter this recipe for different calorie counts – cut out the oil or use a cooking spray for an ultra-light version. If you prefer butter to oil, you can make substitute butter for the olive oil. The butter adds richness and makes them a killer side for family get-togethers or potlucks.

The other great thing about this dish if you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for new ways to add a little extra nutritional value to your fridge contents. Roasted Brussels sprouts really pack a punch, with great fiber content as well as vitamins K, C, and A. That means they’re great when you’re fighting off a cold and for general gut health. Baked Brussels sprouts even pack in some protein, although you’ll still need a protein element in your meal to feel full.

Roasted Brussels sprouts in a bowl on a wooden table.

How to Pick Your Sprouts

So, you’re at the grocery store and there are so many options. With the dizzying number of choices in produce these days, how do you pick the best Brussels sprouts for dinner? It really depends on what you are making. If you’re the type of person who likes to make your own soup stock, you can grab Brussel sprouts on the stalk – those are usually available at farmer’s markets or co-ops. Slice the Brussels sprouts off, and freeze the stalk to use with celery, carrots, and chicken bones for a nutrient-dense soup stock.

If you buy your Brussel sprouts loose, reach for the ones that are bright green, dense, and firm. This means that the leaves are fresh and still clinging together tightly, which will produce the best texture when you roast them. If you like your veggies sweet, grab the teeny tiny Brussels sprouts – these are usually the sweetest, softest ones. As a general rule, Brussel sprouts are sweeter later in the season (like kale, they get sweeter and softer after the frost). I’m impatient, though. I snatch them up as soon as they’re available and add a little marinade to the roast to balance out that early-season bitterness.

Now you’re all set to roast the Brussel sprouts – now, you have to choose an entrée. These pair well with just about anything, since they’re a great low-calorie side for a heavy meal, and the perfect richness for a light meal of lean protein and brown rice. I personally love to bake these alongside with chicken thighs rubbed with lemon slices. Brussel sprouts also go great with grilled seafood, like salmon or scallops, or lean beef. For vegetarians, Brussel sprouts make a great addition to a hash, omelet or quiche. Vegans should include brown rice, tofu or beans, and sweet potato for a delicious meal with complete protein.

Change It Up!

After you’ve made this recipe a few times, you’ll be able to do it in your sleep. Even though salt, pepper and oil pairs well with just about any main course, you might want to spice it up, and the best way to do that is with a delicious marinade. Whip up your marinade beforehand, and then toss your halved Brussel sprouts in a bowl with the delicious sauce before baking.

A great marinade for classic American cooking is honey-mustard. Honey, mustard, a little oil and vinegar, and your Brussels sprouts will be transformed into a sweet and tangy delight. For Japanese fusion enthusiasts, toss your sprouts in some miso, oil, and lemon juice before throwing them in the oven. For a South-American feel, try some smoked paprika, chili powder, or cumin along with your oil and salt.

There’s also no shortage of other delicious ingredients that can add interest to your Brussel sprouts. This autumn vegetable goes great with anything you roast, but nothing can beat the taste of all the harvest veggies together. Toss some parsnips, carrots, and potatoes in with your sprouts for a varied and gorgeous veggie roast. For those who like it sweet, add a chopped apple and sprinkle some apple cider over the roasting pan.

Roastied brussels sprouts on a baking sheet with brown edges.

This recipe originally was posted in 2012 and this is the photo that I shared back then. It has been updated with new photos and information.

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