How to Cook Brussels Sprouts

See How to Roast, Steam, Sauté, and Toss These Tiny Cabbages

There are many ways to cook brussels sprouts. Roasting has become the go-to method of late, but proper steaming is wonderful, as are raw preparations, searing, and using these doll-size cabbage heads as ingredients in other dishes. Find some of my favorite ways to use fresh brussels sprouts below.

  • 01 of 09

    How to Prep Brussels Sprouts

    Removing External Leaves from Brussels Sprouts
    Removing External Leaves from Brussels Sprouts. Photo © Molly Watson
    First things first, brussels sprouts need to be trimmed before you cook them. I trim off the stem end - particularly if it's started to brown at all. Some people cut an "x" into the stem to help the core cook more evenly, or even cut the core out. I find both to be a lot of work for very, if any, may off. One thing I'm fussy about, though, is peeling off the darker outer leaves of sprouts - they have a stronger flavor and longer cooking time than the paler green leaves...MORE underneath.

     

  • 02 of 09

    How to Roast Brussels Sprouts

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    Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Photo © Molly Watson

    Roasting tames the sharp edge of brussels sprouts and heightens their inner sweetness. Roasting brussels sprouts is super easy too, in the end it really comes down to popping them in a hot oven. Yet, even i will admit there is a bit more to it. For step-by-step details see How to Roast Brussels Sprouts. You may then want to take leap and make my favorite: Bacon-Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

  • 03 of 09

    How to Bake Brussels Sprouts

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    Brussels Sprouts Gratin. Photo © Molly Watson

    Okay, sure, baking is a lot like roasting (see above). I'm using it here, however, to refer to making a baked casserole - or gratin, to be fancy - of brussels sprouts. I particularly like this recipe, since it uses both bacon and cream. Yummers.

     

  • 04 of 09

    How to Steam Brussels Sprouts

    Steamed Brussels Sprouts. Photo © Molly Watson

    There are two simple tips for keeping steamed brussels sprouts delicate and tender instead of stinky and soggy: keep the water to a minimum (that is, truly steam them) and don't overcook them. See How to Steam Brussels Sprouts for a full recipe.

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  • 05 of 09

    How to Sauté Brussels Sprouts

    Brussels Sprouts in Pan
    sf_foodphoto / Getty Images

    Use a hot pan and enough oil or butter to keep the brussels sprouts from sticking to bring out the nutty flavor of brussels sprouts while turning them wonderfully tender. See Recipe for Brussels Sprouts Sauté for more.

  • 06 of 09

    How to Make a Brussels Sprouts Salad

    Spicy Brussels Sprouts Salad With Almonds and Mint. Photo © Molly Watson

    If the idea of raw brussels sprouts sounds like a bit much to you, give this Spicy Brussels Sprouts Salad a try. It's a real favorite of mine, and the spicy dressing counters the sharp flavor of raw brussels sprouts nicely. Or give this Brussels Sprouts Slaw a whirl - the creamy dressing similarly tempers that raw cabbage bite. See my favorite Brussels Sprouts Salads here.

     

  • 07 of 09

    How to Grill Brussels Sprouts

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    Grilled Brussels Sprouts. Photo © Molly Watson
    Yep. You can totally toss brussels sprouts on the grill. I tend to do this when I have slightly larger-than-average sprouts on hand (all the better to keep them on the grill!), but the method of tossing them with oil and popping them on a not-too-hot grill until browned and tender works with sprouts of all sizes. See the recipe for Grilled Brussels Sprouts if you want more specifics.

     

  • 08 of 09

    Brussels Sprouts In Soup

    Brussels Sprouts & Potato Soup. Photo © Molly Watson

    As long as you're cooking them in a rich broth, brussels sprouts can be cooked in soups without taking on the funky edge of boiled cabbage. Cook them gently and only just until tender in this Brussels Sprouts & Potato Soup to find out for yourself or give Cream of Brussels Sprouts Soup a whirl (literally).

     

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  • 09 of 09

    Brussels Sprouts In Pasta

    Brussels Sprouts Pasta. Photo © Molly Watson

    The nutty flavor of brussels sprouts can be used to excellent effect in a pasta dish, like this one that uses eggs and freshly grated cheese to make a quick sauce.