Few foods have experienced as dramatic a transformation as Brussels sprouts—for years they were maligned as being mushy and smelly, but these days you can barely find a hip restaurant that doesn't serve them. It's easy to see why: when cooked correctly, these little brassicas have a wonderfully sweet and nutty flavor. If you have relatives that are still stuck in their old Brussels sprout-hating ways, we've got all the recipes you'll need to change their minds—roasted sprouts with balsamic vinegar, fried ones with shallots and chilies, rich Brussels sprout gratin, and more.
Easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts
There are lots of ways to cook Brussels sprouts, but the easiest is to toss them with salt, pepper, and oil and roast them in a hot oven. When I say hot I mean it—500°F will crisp the sprouts up and give them a nutty sweetness, while lower temperatures will bring out the unpleasant sulfurous flavors that used to scare people away.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Shallots With Balsamic Vinegar
We're serious about cooking Brussels sprouts as hot as possible—we even like to preheat the roasting pan in the oven to brown and crisp the sprouts as thoroughly as possible. In this recipe we flavor the roasted sprouts with sliced shallots and balsamic vinegar, the latter of which turns into a tart glaze when it hits the hot pan.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Chorizo and Sherry Vinegar
Brussels sprouts and cured pork were practically made for each other—bacon or pork belly are obvious choices, but I'm particularly fond of paprika-scented Spanish chorizo. Here we sauté the chorizo with shallots, then drain the cooking oil onto the sprouts and roast them. Once they come out of the oven we mix everything back together, toss with sherry vinegar and honey, and serve.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Bacon, Pecans, and Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette
This recipe pairs sprouts and pork too, but this time we go with bacon. We also add crunchy toasted pecans and dress everything with a vinaigrette made with maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. Be warned: These are so good that you might eat them all before they make it to the table.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Kimchi and Ginger
For a less traditional take on Brussels sprouts, check out this Korean-inspired recipe. The sprouts work surprisingly well with funky kimchi and fish sauce and pungent ginger. Acidic rice wine vinegar and just a little sweet honey round out the flavors, and chopped mint adds a hit of freshness.
Fried Brussels Sprouts With Shallots, Honey, and Balsamic Vinegar
Roasted Brussels sprouts are delicious, but there's an even better way to prepare them: deep-frying. Hot oil is perfect for bringing out the nutty flavor of the sprouts and leaving them with crispy nooks and crannies to soak up sauces like this sweet-and-tangy dressing made with honey and balsamic vinegar.
Fried Brussels Sprouts With Shallots and Chilies
Where the last recipe uses honey to play up the sweetness of Brussels sprouts, this one leans heavily towards the savory side with a blend of fish sauce, ginger, lime, cilantro, and Thai bird chilies. Bird chilies are brutally spicy—if you don't think your family will be able to handle them, you can swap in a jalapeño or serrano instead.
Seared Brussels Sprouts With Bacon Lardons
Searing Brussels sprouts in a hot pan gets them super crispy without the time commitment of roasting or the mess of deep-frying. You could sear them in oil, but we prefer to cook up cured pork (in this case bacon lardons) and then use the rendered fat. If you want you can try adding other ingredients, too—this variation includes sweet shallots.
Warm Brussels Sprout Salad With Bacon and Hazelnut Vinaigrette
Brussels sprouts can also be made into salad, but since the leaves are fairly tough you might want to go with a cooked salad rather than a raw one. Here we char the sprouts in rendered bacon fat and dress them with a bacon and sherry vinaigrette emulsified with lightly crushed hazelnuts and honey.
Salt-Wilted Brussels Sprout Salad With Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese
If you would rather serve Brussels sprouts raw, salt-wilting is a great way to tenderize them enough to be palatable. This salad gets the perfect texture from a combination of raw and wilted sprouts, which we mix with crunchy toasted hazelnuts, creamy goat cheese, and a citrusy tangerine vinaigrette.
Over-the-Top Creamed Brussels Sprouts Gratin
Roasting sprouts with bacon or deep-frying frying them isn't exactly light, but Thanksgiving is a time for serious gut-busters. This rib-sticking gratin fits the bill—we make it with bacon, heavy cream, and shredded cheese. As a bonus, the entire dish can be prepared at the beginning of the week and thrown in the oven just before dinner on Thursday.
Creamy Brussels Sprouts and Mushroom Lasagna
We're big fans of squash lasagna, but that's not the only version of the dish appropriate for the Thanksgiving table. Shredded Brussels sprouts work wonderfully in lasagna as well, particularly when they're layered with mushroom duxelles and white sauce. Like the gratin, this can be prepared almost entirely in advance.