How To Cook Brussels Sprouts
Everything You Need To Know

Learn how to cook Brussels sprouts. We'll teach you all you need to know like shopping and prep tips, cooking techniques, and even seasoning ideas based on the flavors you love.

People either seem to love or hate these little veggies - there's usually no in between. It took me years before I would try them because I was the pickiest eater EV-ER. I didn't like the smell of them, and they looked like little mini brains, which sort of scared me.    ;)

But one day, after a lot of coaxing, I finally gave them a try. The heavens seemed to open and a choir of angels started singing. Absolutely and totally delicious. I'd like to share with you some tips that will help you to cook up your Brussels sprouts so you, too, can enjoy these yummy little cuties.

By the way, remember to put an "S" on the end AND capitalize -- it's Brussels not Brussel, named after the city of Brussels in Belgium. Sorry to be SO persnickety!    :)

How To Select Brussels Sprouts

When selecting your Brussels sprouts, organics are always preferred. But since they're NOT one of the top 7 most pesticide-laden veggies that should be purchased organic it's okay to buy them in their non-organic form.

Beware that some harvests tend to be very "buggy" and the little critters really like to burrow inside. So it's important to choose sprouts that are firm and tight -- the more compact the better.

Choose small to medium-sized veggies as they tend to be more flavorful. Uniform size allows for uniform cooking. Look for a bright-green color.

Also, I like to pick quite a few up (one at a time) and feel their weight in my hand. If you do this, you'll come to realize that some are VERY light and others are heavier. I prefer and recommend those that are heavier because they have more substance once the outer leaves are stripped away.

Avoid heads that are soft, yellowed, have dark spots or a dark-colored end, or whose leaves are opening up.

How To Clean and Prep Brussels Sprouts

Fill a bowl with clean, filtered water. Add about 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, lemon or lime juice -- (or any other edible acid, even white vinegar) which will help to clean your veggie more thoroughly. By the way, don't skip this step -- it's very important, especially with Brussels sprouts which could be harboring potential insects.

Cut the tail of each head right up to the base of the veggie, then cut in half which will allow the outer leaves to fall off. (Smaller heads do not have to be cut in half.) Remove any remaining dirty outer leaves and discard. Soak in the prepared water for 10 minutes or so. (The edible acid will kill any tiny critters.) Rinse.

Your veggie is now ready to be used in any Brussels sprouts recipe.

At this point you can use your veggie in any way you'd like. If you'd like to leave it whole, be sure to cut a tiny "X" in the base for more even cooking.

How To Cook Brussels Sprouts

Here are the cooking techniques we use and recommend for Brussels sprouts.

Click the one you'd like to learn more about for complete cooking instructions.

A red oven
A ceramic-coated saute pan with a lid
A collapsible steamer

"I make something that I call Brussels Sprouts Hash. I like to slice the veggies in half, then julienne the halves. Then I sauté them in a skillet with shallots in a bit of organic Earth Balance until they are just starting to caramelize.

"At this point, I add a couple of tablespoons (or more depending on your preference) of pure maple syrup and sauté for a couple more minutes. Finish off with toasted, chopped pecans, a little salt and pepper, and DEVOUR."

West Virginia

Brussels Sprouts Vegan Flavor Matches

Create your very own recipes with some of your favorite ingredients from this list of foods that match perfectly.

(What are Flavor Matches?)

  • Almonds
  • Apples
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Bacon, vegetarian (Eat sparingly -- this is not a health food.)
  • Bread Crumbs
  • Butter, non-dairy (I like organic Earth Balance)
  • Caraway
  • Cardamom
  • Carrots
  • Cheese, non-dairy (especially Parmesan, Swiss, and Monterey Jack)
  • Chestnuts
  • Cream, non-dairy
  • Dill
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit
  • Green Onions
  • Hazelnuts
  • Lemon
  • Maple Syrup
  • Miso
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard
  • Nutmeg
  • Onions
  • Oranges
  • Parsley
  • Pecans
  • Pepper, Black
  • Peppers, Sweet
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Rice
  • Rosemary
  • Sea Salt
  • Savory
  • Shallots
  • Sour Cream, non-dairy (Eat sparingly -- this is not a health food.)
  • Sugar, organic
  • Tamari, organic
  • Thyme
  • Vinegar
  • Walnuts
  • Wasabi

Try This Tasty Brussels Sprout Recipe...

Brussels Sprouts Risotto

Brussels Sprouts Helpful Hints

  • Brussels sprouts are at their healthiest and most beautiful when they're in season -- fall and winter;
  • When cooking Brussels, they can give off a rather unpleasant odor, usually when boiled. To avoid, wrap a piece of bread in cheesecloth and add it to your pot.

Happy cooking!

If You Like Brussels Sprouts Try...

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