These mini cabbage look-alikes may have been misunderstood in the past, but nowadays they’re holding court as a top choice for a delectable and satisfying vegetable.
Brussels sprouts can be boiled, steamed, oven roasted, braised, grilled and even enjoyed raw. Plus, 1 cup of raw Brussels sprouts is high in vitamin C and vitamin K and a good source of vitamin A, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B6, manganese and potassium.
Selecting and Storing
Choose firm, small, compact Brussels sprouts with a good green color and stem ends that are clean and white. Avoid those with wilted or yellowed leaves or that feel spongy. When possible, select sprouts of uniform size for more even cooking.
Do not wash or trim Brussels sprouts until you are ready to use them. Sprouts purchased on the stem can be kept on the stalk in the refrigerator if you have room. If not, remove them with a sharp knife and store loose sprouts in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator (discard the stem). Fresh sprouts will keep refrigerated for several days.
Trim any bruised or yellowed leaves if necessary as well as the stem end, being careful not to trim away too much so the outer leaves don't fall off during cooking. Cut an “X” in the stem end of each sprout so the interior cooks as quickly as the outer leaves.
Regardless of cooking method, test for doneness by inserting the tip of a knife into the stem end, which should be barely tender. (Overcooking activates the cabbage-like odor that can be pretty unappealing.)
5 Ways to Make the Most of Brussels Sprouts
Roasted. Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts is a simple all-purpose recipe with delicious results. Try one of our tasty twists by adding rosemary and Parmesan-Reggiano or follow the recipe for Sweet-and-Sour Brussels Sprouts. Enjoy roasted Brussel sprouts as a side at dinner and use leftovers in a salad the next day or as a pizza topping.
In a salad. Searching for a gluten-free vegetarian side dish or main course? Flavorful and hearty Warm Millet Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Creamed Mushrooms and Sage is a match.
Raw and shredded. Brussels sprouts belong to the brassica family, along with kale and broccoli, and they’re terrific treated to the same sort of salad preparations. TryBrussels Sprout and Apple Salad, a medley of flavors: salty, sweet, spicy and savory. Tip: Use a mandoline or the shredding blade on your food processor to quickly shave Brussels sprouts.
In a stew. Slow cooking makes for soft sprouts that have been infused with flavor. Beer Braised Beef Stew with Brussels Sprouts is a filling and comforting German-inspired dish made with savory beef and winter vegetables.
Steamed. Gentle cooking methods keep the sprouts extra green. Steamed Carrots and Brussels Sprouts with Tarragon is a colorful and flavorful side that’s easy to prepare.
Have leftover roasted Brussels sprouts? Use them as a pizza topping like in our Brussels Sprout and Chicken Pizza with Parmigiano-Reggiano or add them to a frittata.
Check out our best of Brussels sprouts recipe collection and get cooking! Do you have a favorite Brussels sprouts recipe? Let us know.
Orginally published in 2013. Updated February 2016.