Orange-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

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A delicious and easy recipe for orange-glazed brussels sprouts with butternut squash! Tossed with sweet, tangy sauce, cranberries, and crunchy pecans.

Orange-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts have become my new obsession. Roasted, fried, sauteed, it’s all good. I’m serious! It could be that as you age you have fewer taste buds, or maybe I’ve finally figured out how to make them irresistibly tasty. I’d like to think the latter, but either way this combo of earthy sprouts with sweet butternut squash is the way to go.

Did I mention the orange glaze? If I were a vegetable, I definitely wouldn’t mind being bathed in a luscious spiced honey citrus sauce. When you serve this colorful bowl of honey orange glazed brussels sprouts and butternut squash for the holidays, they’ll be shining right next to your gigantic golden-brown turkey.

bowl of brussels sprouts with diced butternut squash

Brussels sprouts look like cute baby cabbages and have the same flavor and robust texture. For larger sprouts, I like to cut them in half down the center and blanch them in a large pot of salted boiling water for a few minutes.

This makes the center more tender and easier to eat. These edible buds stay intact after cooking, making it easy to add some interesting texture and smoky flavor by charring them in a pan after blanching,

close up of brussels sprouts, walnuts, and cubes of butternut squash

Butternut squash jumped to the top of my list, and he eats it up like candy. I’ve tried to get creative with butternut squash macaroni and cheese and Indian chickpea curry. I thought that he would enjoy this dish during our holiday feasts. Plus the honey orange glaze has a touch of cinnamon and thyme which I know he will gobble up.

What is the purpose of blanching the brussels sprouts?

Raw brussels sprouts have dense layers of leaves and cooking helps to soften the texture of the vegetable. Trimming the sprouts and cutting them in half exposes more surface area of the vegetable to cook efficiently. A quick dip in boiling salted water called blanching does two things. They become more tender and the color changes. The salted water flavors the vegetable and weakens the pectin that holds the plants’ cell walls together. This is important because overcooked vegetables turn a dull olive green color. So the faster you can cook the sprouts, the more vibrant green it will look. To fully prepare brussels sprouts it takes about 6 to 8 minutes of blanching or  7 to 9 minutes of steaming. (Source: The Science of Good Cooking (Cook’s Illustrated Cookbooks)

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Orange-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

A delicious and easy recipe for orange-glazed brussels sprouts with butternut squash! Tossed with sweet, tangy sauce, cranberries, and crunchy pecans.
Pin Print Review
4.08 from 14 votes
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings 5 servings
Course Side
Cuisine American

Ingredients

Orange Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • zest of one orange
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice, fresh-squeezed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • ½ teaspoon thyme, fresh chopped

Brussels Sprouts

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved
  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 1 squash)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted

Instructions 

  • Combine all glaze ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Swirl to coat the pan, then add in butternut squash.
  • Sprinkle the squash with a ¼ teaspoon of salt, stir to coat in the oil, and spread out in a single layer. Allow it to cook for 5 minutes without stirring, so that the pieces begin to brown lightly.
  • Stir and redistribute the pieces and allow it to cook for another 5 minutes. Stir again and cook until the squash is fork-tender, about 15 minutes total. Remove the squash from the pan and pour into a bowl.
  • As the squash cooks, bring enough salted water to cover the brussels sprouts to a boil. Add the halved sprouts and cook until tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Drain well and shake off excess water.
  • Heat another tablespoon of oil over medium heat using the same pan. Place the blanched sprouts cut side down, and sear until nicely browned, about 3 minutes.
  • Turn over and sprinkle sprouts with ½ teaspoon of salt and cook for an additional 3 minutes until browned. Reduce the heat to low and add the squash back to the pan, and the orange glaze. Season with more salt and pepper as desired.
  • Stir in the cranberries and pecans right before serving. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Nutrition Facts
Orange-Glazed Brussels Sprouts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 400 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 6g30%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 13mg4%
Sodium 325mg14%
Potassium 394mg11%
Carbohydrates 38g13%
Fiber 6g24%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 850IU17%
Vitamin C 115.5mg140%
Calcium 60mg6%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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8 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Claudia | The Brick Kitchen says

    YES brussel sprouts are the best, aren’t they? Especially sautéed like this, and they go so well with other autumnal flavours like the honey glaze and pecans you have going on here. I haven’t used much butternut squash but it sounds like a lovely way to cook it, will have to give it a go! <3

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I am LOVING brussels sprouts right now! I really like the combination of earthy, sweet and salty. Sweet potatoes are a good substitute too 🙂

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you Rachel! I just saw your maple roasted brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, a perfect healthy side!!!

        • Jessica Gavin says

          I haven’t tried it yet, but if I would make a guess: Cook the butternut squash on the saute setting following the recipe, transfer to another pan, and then I would cook the brussels sprouts whole with 1 cup of water for 2 minutes on high pressure and then quick release. Drain the water and saute the brussel sprouts until lightly browned and add back in the squash to warm. Let me know how it goes!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Patricia- I don’t see why you couldn’t make the brussels sprout and butternut squash, freeze them and then defrost the night before in the refrigerator (or in microwave), and reheat with the orange glaze. Let me know how it turns out 🙂

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