How to Cook Brussel Sprouts (w/Recipe}

Our family has long been a fan of the often maligned, little brussel sprout!  I remember how my kids when they were just little, would beg me to make brussel sprouts for all of those special meals. Thanksgiving, Birthdays, Easter and Christmas;  really??…what kids want brussel sprouts for their birthday dinner…lol.

When I began cooking brussel sprouts I knew very little about them, in fact, I am certain the first time we had them, they were frozen and from a bag.  I guess I must have spied them in the frozen grocery section and decided they would be a nice change from peas!  (I have not had good luck with the frozen version and prefer fresh.)

Did you know that brussel sprouts are actually the edible buds found on the stalk of the brussels sprout plant?  I have only seen them in the form below at the Farmer’s Market.  I usually buy them bulk in the produce aisle of the supermarket or in a bag from Costco.

How to Cook Brussel Sprouts

{Photo attribution: Captmondo (CC)}

I wasn’t sure what to do with this somewhat foreign (to me) vegetable so I just followed the directions on the bag and either steamed or boiled them, with less than stellar results.  Cooked either of these ways, I found them to be rather bland with a strong cabbage-like taste.  But, they were a change from the regular vegetables, and for some unknown reason, my kids just loved them.

Over the years, my daughter and I have often experimented with the cooking of this vegetable and have finally come up with a winning recipe.  My daughter, Shannon, is actually the author of this delicious recipe for Caramelized Brussel Sprouts.  As much as I would like to claim this recipe and the accompanying photos as mine, they are all hers.

How to Cook Brussel Sprouts

 

How to Cook Brussel Sprouts

When time permits, I have always found it much simpler to prepare a dish when you gather your ingredients and do all the prep work before beginning to cook.  You may have heard French chefs refer to this process as, “mise en place” or “put in place”.

How to Cook Brussel Sprouts

Caramelizing the shallots.  If you don’t have shallots you could use a red or white onion, however, the onion flavour will be a bit stronger.

How to Cook Brussel Sprouts

The brussel sprouts are beginning to caramelize, this process makes them taste a bit sweeter.

brussel sprouts w correct spelling

The tasty finished product!

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How to Cook Brussel Sprouts (w/Recipe}
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ - 2 pounds brussel sprouts
  • 5 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • ⅓ cup hot water (if needed)
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Wash and remove the outer leaves from brussel sprouts, trim stem end and cut in half. If brussel sprout is smaller, you can leave whole & just cut an X in the bottom to allow heat to penetrate.
  2. In a large skillet, cook bacon until evenly browned, remove bacon from skillet, drain excess grease leaving a couple tablespoons of grease behind.
  3. Stir butter and olive oil into the bacon grease, add shallots and cook until translucent.
  4. Add the halved brussel sprouts and pan fry, stirring frequently until the brussel sprouts are golden and tender, yet still slightly firm, about 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn them or they will taste bitter. Add ⅓ cup hot water if pan is getting dry and sprouts aren't cooking).
  5. To re-heat bacon, add it back to the pan for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
  6. Squeeze lemon juice over cooked brussel sprouts and season with salt and pepper.

If you have never had them, I hope you will give the little brussel sprout a try, they are actually quite delicious and a different taste from our regular green vegetables.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to ask and I or my daughter will do our best to answer them.

Do you like to eat brussel sprouts?  Do your kids like them?

How do you cook them?

Comments

  1. Well it sounds good, but I’ve never been a fan of the brussel sprout. But this recipe might make me try them!

  2. Older Mommy, while I do not enjoy the title of your blog, I do very much enjoy your recipes! As an older mommy, how long would you say that is “too long” to have a bag of brussel spouts in your freezer?

    Your son,
    Jarod

    • hahaha…you are such a funny guy! If you cannot remember how long they have been in the freezer or are thinking it has been “too long”, you know my motto…”if in doubt, throw it out”.

      Love your mom!

  3. I must admit that I have never cooked brussel sprouts, but this recipe looks so good, and the addition of bacon and onions would remove any concern I had about “bland”. Can’t wait to try this one!

  4. My girls are 5 & 8 and they LOVE Brussels sprouts served with just a touch of Himalayan Pink salt. We have them weekly!

  5. Dawn Monroe says:

    I love brussel sprouts but I dont have them because I only know one recipe. This one looks great. I had never seen the plant before, neat.

  6. Made tonight…delicious! thanks for sharing!

  7. Toni Burbidge says:

    My sister makes a very similar recipe, but adds some chill flakes right at the end to give it a little spice!
    It’s absolutely delicious :)

  8. Jessica Fowler says:

    Hi!
    I had never tried Brussels Sprouts before today and I have historically hated vegetables, until recently. I guess I’m getting old, haha (I’m 28). Anyway, I made this exactly as written and it was life-changing! My husband likes Brussels Sprouts and hasn’t eaten them in years because I didn’t think I would like them. So thank you so much!
    Jessica

  9. I loved this Monica! Another reason to love Brussel Sprouts! Definitely will try it with bacon too!

  10. Thank you for recipe, i did not know either how prepare this vegetable, What I did is I added broccoli and asparagus and it worked great, my family loved it and Ill make it again for sure!!!

    • Hi Maggie, adding broccoli and asparagus is a great idea! I love layering the same colour vegetables in this way but have never done it with brussel sprouts. Glad you liked the recipe!

  11. I love sprouts and always look forward to them coming into season. I usually just have them boiled until they still have a bit of bite with a tiny bit of salt and some vinegar. They’re also good in stir fries and soup! Will be trying your recipe soon. It sounds delicious!

  12. Judith Mitchelly says:

    Made this tonight, was great tasting.Thanks for sharing.

  13. Sounds so good but could I use frozen brussel sprouts?

  14. hi, quick questions! How do you carmelize your sprouts without any sugar or other sugar based ingredient (molasses or sirup) ??

  15. Karen-Maria says:

    It’s delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!!

  16. I grew up eating them, but we always had them cold. Boil them briefly to cook, dump in cold water to stop the process, then toss in oil and vinegar with chunks of sweet onion. Bit of salt and pepper, throw in the fridge and wait for dinner. I was craving them one night and my boyfriend always swore he hated them but i made some anyways and had to fight him off, this is the only way he eats them and he’s hooked!
    But I’m definitely going to give this recipe a try!

    • YUM…the way you have brussel sprouts sound delicious Michelle! I am definitely trying your recipe and I am thinking your way would be perfect on those hot summer days!

  17. D. Jackson says:

    I’m not a fan of Brussel sprouts, but this recipe converted me! Delicious!

  18. I made these for Thanksgiving and they were delicious and easy! Thanks for the great recipe! I featured it on my blog where I write about trying out ideas I find on Pinterest. Check it out! https://iampinderella.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/thanksgiving/
    Christine recently posted…ThanksgivingMy Profile

  19. termat1@seznam.cz says:

    Well, I´m just looking for recipes for nice things I can cook for myself and this is pretty cool. I think I will get back to find out some more simple recipes. :)

  20. I’ve always made them almost exactly as yours , only thing difference , i sprinkle some Parm cheese over the brussel sprouts at serving time .. thats the Italian in me ..lol

Trackbacks

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  10. […] #4 Caramelized Brussel Sprout & Bacon ~ Over the years my daughter and I have often experimented with the cooking of this vegetable and have finally come up with a winning recipe.  My daughter, Shannon, is actually the author of this delicious recipe for Caramelized Brussel Sprouts.  As much as I would like to claim this recipe as mine, it is all hers! […]

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