Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Here’s how to make the absolute best crispy roasted brussels sprouts in the oven, that are perfectly golden and caramelized on the edges, but not dried out. If you need help loving this vegetable, this is one of my favorite ways do it. This entire recipe can made in 35 minutes!
Making a big tray of these is one of my staples for weeknight dinner, and it’s a hit every time. Much like other roasted vegetables like Roasted Cauliflower or Roasted Carrots, it’s all about that oven roasted caramelized flavor. You want the brussels sprouts golden brown and caramelized on the edges, but still tender in the middle.
Often times people roast them too long in order to get them golden, but then they dry out. Brussels sprouts are tough to eat when there’s no moisture left, no matter how crispy they are! That won’t be an issue here.
Why This Recipe Is The Best
Maximizes browning and caramelization – This is the best way of cooking for getting that delicious browning we all love, but without the deep fryer. These are so good when properly caramelized that I only season them with salt and pepper.
Still tender and not dry inside – I’ll go through some tricks for oven placement that will give you a crispy exterior without drying out the middle. The inside remains tender.
Simple and unfussy – This is such an easy side to prepare, and I’ll throw it on the side of a main course like Pork Tenderloin, Beef Wellington, or Parmesan Crusted Chicken and call it a day. You can certainly jazz up this recipe by tossing it with bacon bits and some balsamic, but it truly doesn’t need it. However, I’ve included some flavor suggestions at the end of the post.
Check for bugs – I know it’s gross, but I’ve noticed that there can sometimes be little bugs in the sprouts, and not just the organic variety. Make sure to look closely before purchasing from the grocery store.
Size matters – You can use this recipe and method for any size brussels sprouts you find, but I’ve noticed I tend to like smaller sprouts, as they cook more evenly.
Make sure they’re firm – Give a few of them a squeeze and make sure they are relatively firm. If they’re on the softer side, that means they’re not very fresh. If you’ve ever seen sprouts on the stalk at the store (which I usually see around holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas), you can see and feel how firm they are. Starting with fresh produce always makes a big difference in flavor.
Step by Step Overview:
To start preparing the brussels sprouts, trim and halve each one, then place in a big mixing bowl. Then add salt, pepper, and olive oil.
You may also use any fat of choice that can tolerate high heat cooking, as an alternative to the olive oil. Duck fat, tallow, and lard are all amazing for flavor!
Toss in a bowl, not on the pan
Do not make the mistake of trying to toss the brussels sprouts in the salt, pepper, and olive oil directly on the sheet pan, instead of in a mixing bowl. You really can’t toss them as effectively and evenly on the sheet pan. It does dirty a mixing bowl, but the oil disperses much more evenly, which makes a big difference for browning.
I follow this rule for every roasted veggie I make. It’s also a lot easier than trying to do it on the sheet pan.
Start them all cut-side down
Spread the brussels sprouts onto a rimmed sheet pan, with the cut flat sides facing down. Yes, this will take a second to flip them all over properly, but then each and every piece will have the best browning on that flat side, which maximizes deliciousness.
Make sure there’s a little bit of space between the pieces, and that they’re in a single layer (and not piled up on top of each other). This ensures that they will brown instead of getting steamed.
Here I have two pounds on a half sheet pan, which is about the maximum you should do to ensure they have space. If you have more, I recommend using more than one baking sheet.
How long to roast them
While it will vary slightly depending on size, 25 minutes is usually how long it takes to roast brussels sprouts so that they are golden brown and crispy, but not dried out. The outer leaves should be visibly crispy and browned, but still be tender inside.
Now flip a few of the pieces over and check the bottom. They should hopefully look like this, with some nicely golden parts on the flat surface:
Use smart oven placement to finish
If the brussels sprouts are not golden enough on the bottom to your liking, then put the sheet tray back into the oven, setting it on the bottom floor of the oven. This is assuming you have a gas oven. If you have an electric coil on the bottom of your oven that’s in the way, then adjust the rack so that it sits right above the coil, and put the tray on that.
Continue baking for 2-3 minutes, checking for brownness on the bottom. The intense close heat should brown them sufficiently within a couple minutes.
How to Serve Them
The Roasted Brussels Sprouts are now ready to serve, either as is, or with some other flavors. Here are some ideas:
- Drizzle over some balsamic reduction or Balsamic Vinaigrette.
- Grate some parmesan cheese over the top and sprinkle with a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Toss them with Lemon Vinaigrette or fresh lemon zest.
- Sprinkle on some Everything Bagel Seasoning (it’s weirdly good).
- Drizzle over some tahini.
- Toss with crispy bacon bits (you can make it at the same time as the recipe. See How to Cook Bacon in the Oven).
- For a really special occasion, toss with Candied Pecans, crumbled Ricotta Salata, and pomegranate arils.
Enjoy! Roasting in the oven truly does make for the best vegetables, and this is the perfect side dish for customization. This recipe is suited to nearly every dietary style, being gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, Whole30-compliant, paleo, and more.
Recipe FAQ and Tips
Leftovers will last in the fridge for 3-4 days, but keep in mind that brussel sprouts get kind of stinky as leftovers. They taste best freshly roasted.
Yes, in the oven, in a skillet, or in the microwave. Oven: 300F for 5-8 minutes, until warmed through. Skillet: medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring as needed to prevent scorching. Microwave for 30-60 seconds, depending on the amount. The microwave is easiest, but will make them a little bit soggy.
Vegetables generally don’t freeze well. Technically you can store them in an airtight container for up to 3 months, then thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating, but the texture won’t be the same.
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Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- 2 lbs brussels sprouts
- 1/4 cup olive oil*
- 3/4 tsp salt**
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Trim and halve the brussels sprouts, then place in a large mixing bowl. Toss the cut halves with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Spread the cut halves out on a sheet pan, arranging them cut side down.
- Roast for 25 minutes***, until they're tender and have browned and caramelized on the bottom and edges. If the brussels sprouts are not sufficiently browned on the bottom to your liking, place them on the oven floor and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until well-browned. Keep your eye on them so they don't get burned. If you have an electric oven with a coil on the bottom, position a rack right above it and roast.
- Serve promptly while warm, and enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
Post updated in December 2018. Originally published March 2011.