3 Ways to Cook Brussels Sprouts

Think you hate Brussels sprouts? 3 healthy recipes that might change your mind.

From the WebMD Archives

Reluctant to embrace Brussels sprouts?

"I grew up eating them overcooked and thought they were horrible," admits Judy Simon, RD, CD. She's a clinical dietitian at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. But when she moved to Washington, a top sprout-growing state, she tried them new ways, including roasted and sliced raw in salads.

"I absolutely love them now," she says.

These leafy gems are packed with nutrition and terrific flavor when prepared properly. A member of the cabbage family, Brussels sprouts have a mere 28 calories in a half cup, but more than 130% of your daily value of vitamin K, a key nutrient for bone health. They also have glucosinolates, plant chemicals that may lower your risk of certain cancers.

"Just don’t overcook them like Grandma did," Simon says. Roast, sauté, or steam them, and check out our recipes for other delicious options.

Slaw and Order

Shred or slice Brussels sprouts thin, and pair them with fruit and nuts. It's a novel way to introduce this star veggie to doubtful diners. Serve this slaw as a side dish with pork.

Brussels Sprout Slaw With Apples, Currants, and Walnuts

Makes 6 servings



2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp salt

freshly ground pepper


1½ lbs Brussels sprouts, cleaned and shredded or thinly sliced

1 large apple, thinly sliced

¼ cup currants

¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted


1. First, make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, honey, mustard, and salt and pepper.

2. In a large bowl, combine Brussels sprouts, apple, currants, and walnuts. Add salad dressing and toss thoroughly. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving.

Per serving: 156 calories, 5 g protein, 20 g carbohydrate, 8 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 6 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 232 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 46%

Bring Home the Bacon

The combo of roasted Brussels sprouts and delectable bacon will convert even the fiercest Brussels sprout skeptic. This dish calls for balsamic syrup, sometimes called balsamic glaze, a tasty condiment found in large grocery stores and gourmet shops.


Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Bacon

Makes 6 servings


1½ lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

2 tbsp olive oil

¼ tsp salt

freshly ground pepper

2 tbsp cooked, crumbled bacon (about 2 strips)

1 tbsp balsamic syrup

2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. In a large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts, oil, and salt and pepper. Spread mixture in a single layer on an 11x17-inch baking sheet. Place pan in the upper half of the oven, and stir sprouts once after 15 minutes. Continue roasting until Brussels sprouts are brown and tender, about 25-30 minutes total.

3. Transfer Brussels sprouts to serving dish. Combine with bacon, drizzle with balsamic syrup, and garnish with cheese. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 118 calories, 5 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 1 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 231 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 47%

Veg Out

This simple, satisfying dish is an easy way to get more vegetables in your day, and it's a perfect meal to serve vegetarians. The recipe works extra well with toothsome pasta shapes, such as orecchiette ("little ears" in Italian) or rigatoni, which stand up well to the hearty vegetables.

Pasta With Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower

Makes 6 servings


1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

1 lb cauliflower, cut into small florets (about ½ medium head)

1 large carrot, peeled and diced small

3 large shallots, chopped

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

12 oz whole-grain pasta (such as orecchiette, fusilli, or rigatoni)

½ cup panko breadcrumbs

½ cup chopped fresh

Italian parsley, divided

freshly ground pepper

½ tsp salt

juice of ½ lemon

2 tbsp feta cheese


1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pot with water and heat to boiling.

2. In a large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrot, and shallots with 2 tbsp olive oil. Place vegetables in a single layer on an 11x17-inch baking sheet. Roast 25–30 minutes until soft and golden brown, stirring once or twice during cooking.


3. Cook pasta in the boiling water according to package directions. Drain well, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.

4. Pour remaining tablespoon of olive oil into a small skillet. Add breadcrumbs and toast over medium heat until golden brown (about 4 minutes). Transfer breadcrumbs to a small bowl and combine with 2 tbsp parsley. Set aside.

5. In a large serving bowl, toss together pasta, roasted vegetables, remaining parsley, pepper and salt, and lemon juice. Gradually add reserved pasta water as needed to achieve desired consistency. Garnish with breadcrumb mixture and feta cheese. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 353 calories, 14 g protein, 60 g carbohydrate, 10 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 6 mg cholesterol, 10 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 326 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 25%

WebMD Magazine - Feature Reviewed by Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD on October 20, 2014



Judy Simon, MS, RD, CD, clinical dietitian at the Women’s Health Clinic at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle.

Harvard School of Public Health: "Vitamin K."

The Linus Pauling Institute of Micronutrient Research; "Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Risk."

The Old Farmer’s Almanac: "Brussels Sprouts."

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: "Brussels sprouts, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt."

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