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.
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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.
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.
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
- Chop up oven-roasted bacon and sprinkle it on top
- Drizzle on a balsamic vinegar glaze for a sweet and tangy combo
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese or sprinkle with garlic powder
- Add chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans for crunch
- Toss with Italian dressing
These sprouts pair well with
Frequently asked questions
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
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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