Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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Delicious roasted brussels sprouts recipe, ready in just 20 minutes! The trick to flavorful, crisp bites on the outside with tender centers involves two cooking methods; steaming and roasting, which both happen in the oven.

Serving spoon lifting oven roasted brussels sprouts off of a sheet pan.

Eating brussels sprouts look like bland mini cabbages, and some people shy away from them because they can taste bitter, rubbery, or mushy. But these unassuming tiny buds are loaded with flavor if cooked properly. I’ll show you how to maximize their taste potential in the oven.

Roasting creates a high-heat environment that quickly generates new surface flavors and colors due to caramelization. However, the hot, dry heat alone doesn’t firm up or tenderize the insides. The sprouts need steam to pre-cook them first before roasting.

Raw brussels sprouts in a white colander.

Brussels sprouts selection

Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables that you can often find year-round, although their peak season is from September to February. You can find them still attached to their stalks or sold loose, trimmed, and packaged.

Look for green leaves that are firm to the touch and compact. Typically smaller sprouts are sweeter. Check the stems for browning and cracks. Avoid those pieces. For even cooking, choose ones that are similar in size.


For this recipe, try to find brussels sprouts that are 1 ½ inches long and cut them in half. If smaller than 1 inch, keep them whole. Cut them into quarters if you have jumbo-sized sprouts larger than 2 ½ inches. Trim off any browned and bruised outer leaves.

Halved brussels sprouts on a cutting board.

Season and steam first

Choose a neutral-tasting, high smoke point oil to withstand the eventual roasting temperatures. Simply toss the sprouts with olive oil, a small amount of water, salt, and pepper. Tightly cover the tray with foil. The water turns into superheated steam, which cooks the interior of the sprouts.

The cooking method is similar to blanching but saves you an extra pot to wash. This 10-minute process minimizes moisture loss and makes the sprouts taste slightly sweet instead of bitter. When you remove the foil, the buds will be bright green and firm yet tender.

How to roast brussels sprouts

After steaming the sprouts and pre-cooking the interiors, it’s time to drive off the moisture on the surface. Roasting at 500ºF (260ºC) allows the exposed sprouts to caramelize, adding extra flavor. Place the halved sprouts cut-side down. 

The sheet pan holds heat more efficiently than the hot air in the oven, so anything touching the metal will brown more quickly and develop more flavor. After about 9 to 12 minutes, the surface sets into a deep golden brown color with crispy edges.

Serve with additional toppings

Brussels sprouts on a sheet pan partially covered in foil.

These sprouts pair well with

Frequently asked questions

How long should you roast brussels sprouts?

Using a two-step method, brussels sprouts should be covered and steamed in the oven for 10 minutes, then roasted until crispy for 9 to 12 minutes.

Should brussels sprouts be cut before roasting?

For pieces 1 inch and more extensive, then they should be halved. More contact with the pan yields a better golden, crispy texture on the surface. Smaller pieces should be left whole.

Should I blanch my brussels sprouts before roasting?

Pre-cooking helps to soften the interior without overcooking. It activates a particular enzyme to make the cell walls sturdy yet tender. Either briefly blanching or steaming is recommended before roasting.

Top down view of roasted brussels sprouts in a white bowl.

Pre-cooking enhances the texture

To avoid rubbery, burnt, or dried-out pieces, briefly steam them first. For 2 pounds of sprouts, only 1 tablespoon of water is necessary. Steaming keeps them firm and tender by activating the enzyme pectin methylesterase at 120 to 160ºF (49 to 71ºC). The enzyme helps the link with the calcium ions to strengthen the bonds in the cell walls so that the sprouts don’t become mushy.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Fork-tender roasted brussels sprouts ready in 20 minutes. This recipe uses the steaming and roasting cooking methods for improved taste.
4.91 from 43 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Course Side
Cuisine American


  • 2 pounds brussels sprouts, 1 to 1 ½” long
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • Preheat Oven – Place the oven rack in the upper-middle position and set the temperature to 500ºF (260ºC).
  • Prepare the Brussels Sprouts – Trim the stems and cut each piece in half lengthwise. If smaller than 1-inch, keep them whole. If larger than 2 ½-inches, cut them into quarters.
  • Season – In a large bowl, combine the brussels sprouts, olive oil, water, salt, and pepper.
  • Steam – On a large rimmed baking sheet, spread the brussels sprouts cut-side down in an even layer. Tightly wrap the sheet pan with foil. Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Roast – Remove the foil. Roast until the sprouts are deep golden-brown and tender, about 9 to 12 minutes, depending on the size.
  • To Serve – Season with salt and pepper, and serve warm.

Recipe Video


  • Storing: Cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 12 months.
  • Reheating: Microwave on high in 15 to 30-second intervals until hot. Rewarm in the oven on a foil-lined baking sheet at 350ºF (177ºC) until hot and crisp, about 10 to 12 minutes. Reheat in a pan over medium heat until hot.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 8 servings
Calories 95kcal (5%)Carbohydrates 10g (3%)Protein 3g (6%)Fat 5g (8%)Sodium 246mg (10%)Potassium 441mg (13%)Fiber 4g (16%)Sugar 2g (2%)Vitamin A 855IU (17%)Vitamin C 96.4mg (117%)Calcium 48mg (5%)Iron 1.6mg (9%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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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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21 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. JJ says

    Nice! My daughter-in-law makes these often, and adds roughly chopped garlic cloves with the bake. She keeps the heat lower, and stirs often. For those garlic-lovers, this is a terrific add-in.

      • Anna Leah says

        Love the steam then roast method because it means I’m munching on the sprouts sooner. I roasted them a wee bit longer because I like to crisp up the loose leaves that have fallen off the cut sprouts so that they’re like chips. I drizzled balsamic vinegar and grated lemon zest on them. Yum!

  2. Cheryl says

    My mouth is watering reading this. Have never tried the steaming method before roasting, but will have to do this from now on. I love my roasted sprouts with a simple sauce of olive oil/honey/grainy French mustard and rosemary and garlic, then tossed with walnuts and raisins. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Jessica. I do have one question – If the sprouts are frozen and then thawed, do they need to be steamed first before roasting as well? Thanks. I usually just use frozen sprouts steamed and buttered and then fresh for roasting.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Wow Cheryl, you are a brussels sprouts queen! I’ll have to try your combo, I love sweet and savory. If the frozen sprouts are raw, I would drain them really well and still steam and then roast. If they are pre-cooked, I would keep using them how you already do. Let me know how it goes!

  3. Nancy says

    Question please – no where do you mention stirring them up during the cooking time. Do you leave them cut side down the whole time? I normally roast my brussels sprouts and stir them around half way thru cooking. Thank you.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Nancy- I leave them cut down the whole time so they get nicely browned. If you notice them getting too browned when roasting at 500 degrees, you can certainly stir them halfway through 🙂

  4. Lorraine says

    Hi Jessica, long time reader first time commenting. I made one tweak. After steaming during the roasting step, about 8min in, I shoved the sprouts to the border of the pan and added bacon strips to the middle (following your oven-roasted bacon recipe). Luckily the timing worked out and both things got perfectly roasted/ crisp. Also made the miso-glazed salmon. Don’t know how to send you a photo of the whole plate of Jessica-tested recipes. Thanks!

  5. Judy Caywood says

    Delicious and healthy. And I want to add I like Lorraine’s idea for the bacon too. yummy

  6. Ashley Walton says

    Hi Jessica! I thought olive oil shouldn’t be cooked at such a high temp? Is it because you steamed them first, so the olive oil is absorbed before broiling?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      It just needs to be between that temperature range to activate the enzyme to prevent it from becoming mushy, in that 10 minute steaming period it should hit that range.

  7. Joyce says

    I hope you are still cooking in Dec 2021!
    Your recipe for pre steaming sprouts states …1. oven 220c. and then…2. 120-160c. Which is it please, I don’t want to wreck them. Thank you.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I sure am still cooking! Roast at 500ºF (260ºC). You don’t need to change the temperature. The 120 to 160ºF is just the temperature that activates the pectin enzyme during the steaming process.

  8. Mae Mae says

    Quick question, has anyone ever used the brussel sprouts that are fresh cut and ready to eat, that come in a steamable microwavable Bag? I was hoping as I scrolled through the comments, that this question would have been answered, but did not see it in any of the comments.
    Is it okay to steam them in the bag in the microwave, maybe reducing the recommended steam time? And then roast them? Has anybody ever used this method/short cut?
    Thank you, long time reader, first time commenter, well actually question asker.

  9. Frances says

    Perfect way to cook brussels without them becoming overly dark and brurnt, ( I have done that!) I added thyme, just used misto oil spray, and roasted red onion at same time. Wonderful thankyou

  10. Joetta says

    FINALLY a recipe that solved my roasting problem. Seems obvious to steam them first, but I never would have thought of this technique. It worked perfectly and the Brussels came out soft on the inside, roasted and crispy on the outside. We will be using this as the base to all our roasted veggie recipes. Thank you!!!

  11. Valerie C. says

    What is the serving size? These are absolutely delicious! Thanks for another wonderful recipe Jessica ❤

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