How To Cook Brussel Sprouts Perfectly, 3 Ways

Homemade Roasted Green Brussel Sprouts in a Bowl

How To Cook Brussel Sprouts Perfectly, 3 Ways

Brussels sprouts are full of excellent nutrients and vitamins essential to your health. Yet, these little green vegetables get a bad rap for not being tasty! In fact, many moms have heard the battle cry of their youngest tots, “Ewwww, brussel sprouts! No way, am I eating those.” You know sprouts are full of essential vitamins and can be tasty when cooked to perfection, but how can you convince your little one? Are you looking for ways to cook this nutrient-packed vegetable that is enjoyable? If you are, read on to find out how to cook Brussels sprouts perfectly! 

The Controversial Flavor of Brussel Sprouts

Brussle sprouts belong to the Brassica family. Their relatives are broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and collard greens. Therefore, it makes sense that the brussels sprouts' flavor is a bit earthy and sometimes bitter. 

The flavor of Brussels sprouts will change depending on how they are prepared. Since this vegetable is slightly bitter, adding something acidic will help reduce the bitterness. Who knew? Therefore, if you do not care much for Brussels sprouts' bitterness, add balsamic vinegar or lemon juice to the recipe. Doing so will highlight the vegetable's sweetness and reduce the bitter taste. 

How to Cook Brussel Sprouts That Your Kids Will Want to Eat

One thing is for sure: your kids either love Brussels sprouts or can't stand them. However, adding flavor and crispiness to your Brussels sprouts that may have your child begging for seconds is possible! 

There are several different ways to cook Brussels sprouts. Boiling and microwaving are the quickest ways to zap up a side dish for dinner. Yet, both methods will produce soggy, mushy, and bitter Brussels sprouts. However, to cook your sprouts to perfection, the preferred method is roasting, followed closely by pan frying. Now, let's look at what you need to cook Brussels sprouts perfectly! 

How to Cook Brussels Sprouts Perfectly: Oven-Roasted


  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Lemon Juice or Balsamic Vinegar (optional)


  • Oven
  • Baking tray
  • Parchment paper 
  • Bowl
  • Spoon for mixing


First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 

While you wait for your oven to preheat, trim off the stem of your Brussels sprouts. This is an important step because when left on, your Brussels sprouts will be chewy and difficult to swallow. If your Brussels sprouts are already trimmed, skip this step. After you trim the stem, remove any outer leaves that look discolored or tough.

Next, wash your brussels sprouts. This will give you a clean sprout to prep and season! 

If your Brussels sprouts are whole, cut them in half. Then, toss them in olive oil and season them with salt and pepper. 

Lay each sprout on a baking tray that is lined with parchment paper. Be sure to line the sprouts in an even layer with the cut side facing down. This will ensure that each sprout is cooked evenly, resulting in the crispy outer texture we love! 

Roast in the oven for 30 minutes. While your Brussels sprouts are cooking, check often. You will know your sprouts are done when they have a crispy brown outer layer and are soft enough for a fork to go through without resistance. 

This is the simplest way to make delicious Brussels sprouts. However, feel free to experiment with different flavors and ingredients. 

Adding lemon juice or balsamic vinegar halfway through cooking will reduce the bitterness of your Brussels sprouts and bring out a sweet flavor. It is also possible to pan-fry Brussels sprouts to reduce cooking time yet deliver the same yummy flavor!

Baking sheet with roasted brussel sprouts on light background
Brussels sprouts are delicious after roasting. Roasting in olive oil on high heat will bring the sweet flavor out, reduce bitterness, and give a crispy, brown outer layer that is hard to beat!

©Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

How to Cook Brussels Sprouts Perfectly: Pan-Fried


  • Brussel sprouts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon juice or balsamic vinegar (optional)


  • Cast iron skillet or pan
  • Spatula


De-stem your sprouts and remove the discolored and hard leaves from the outer layer. Wash and cut in half.

Heat your cast iron skillet or pan for four to five minutes until hot. Then, add the olive oil to the hot pan.

Once the olive oil is hot, add the Brussels sprouts to the pan. You will want to mix the Brussels sprouts around until most of them have their cut facing downward in the pan. Allow the sprouts to cook for five to eight minutes until their outer layer is brown and caramelized.

Once the bottom layer is caramelized, add the seasoning to the sprouts and continue to stir for about eight more minutes until the sprouts are brown everywhere.

Remove the sprouts from the heat. While still in the pan, add the lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. Mix throughout the sprouts and allow to heat for a few more minutes.

Remove from the pan and enjoy as a tasty side dish!

Vegetarian cuisine. Homemade Brussels Sprouts roasted with olive oil on black slate background. Copyspace, top view, flatlay.
Pan-frying is a delicious way to quickly cook Brussels sprouts. Add balsamic vinegar or lemon juice to cut down on the bitter flavor and bring the sweetness out.

©Yuliia Kononenko/Shutterstock.com

How to Cook Brussels Sprouts Perfectly: Air-Fryer


  • Brussel sprouts
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  • Air-fryer


Cut the stems off your Brussels sprouts, and remove the discolored and hard leaves on the outer layer. Cut each sprout in half.

Coat the Brussels sprouts with olive oil and spices.

Add the sprouts to the air fryer and cook at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for five minutes.

Toss the sprouts, and cook again for five minutes. Toss again and cook for another two to four minutes.

Serve hot!

An electric Air Fryer on table with blurred kitchen background. Lifestyle of new normal cooking.
Air fryers are becoming increasingly popular. Air-frying Brussels sprouts will produce a crispy outer layer and scrumptious flavor that your taste buds will love!

©Casezy idea/Shutterstock.com

Delicious Options to Add to Your Brussels Sprouts

These toppings and ingredients make delicious additions to your Brussels sprouts and are fun to play around with flavor and texture! 

  • Different types of cheeses
  • Honey
  • Butter
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Grapes
  • Chestnuts
  • Corn
  • Lemon juice
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Kale
  • Onions
  • Bacon


  • Roasting Brussels sprouts will produce the best results. Pan-frying is a close second.
  • Microwaving Brussels sprouts will make them mushier.
  • Add something acidic to cut through the bitter flavor of Brussels sprouts and make them sweeter. 
  • Baby and small Brussels sprouts are sweeter than larger Brussels sprouts. 
  • Sea salt can reduce the bitterness of Brussels sprouts. 
  • Use a temperature of at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • The high temperature will allow the Brussels sprouts to caramelize. It is the caramelizing that gives a nutty, delicious flavor. 
  • Roasting Brussels sprouts will allow their natural sweetness to shine through. 
  • Boiling Brussels sprouts don't produce the best results because the result is mushy and bitter sprouts. 
  • Microwaving Brussels sprouts will leave them mushy and bitter as well.
  • Air frying is also an excellent way to deliver crispy Brussels sprouts quickly. 
  • Soaking Brussels sprouts in water for ten minutes will soften their middle.

Yummy Ways to Eat Brussel Sprouts

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