charred brussels sprouts on a plate with lemon

How To Make Charred Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts can be really great or really terrible. I honestly don’t feel like there’s much of an in-between. It’s true, there are dozens of flavor combos that elevate this humble vegetable, like mustard, balsamic, crushed pecans, and bacon. But without a solid foundation for those ingredients to sit on…your poor spouts will only be *blah* at best. Which is why I bring you- my Charred Brussels Sprouts.

Just a handful of ingredients and a few minutes of your time, you’ll quickly realize charred Brussels sprouts are THE way to go. Once you’ve gotten the basics down you can play allllll day long with endless flavor combos based on the season or other side dishes you might be serving. Heck. These charred Brussels sprouts just might become the main dish!

Charred Brussels Sprouts

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Recipe by Susanna Grace Course: MainCuisine: FlemishDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

12

minutes
Calories

80

kcal
Total time

22

minutes

If you’re looking for Brussels sprouts that have tender insides and crispy, crunchy outsides, packed full of flavor using just a few ingredients- you’ve just found them!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (bag) Brussels sprouts, washed and slice in half

  • 1 Tablespoons Oil, I used olive

  • 1/2 teaspoon each Salt + Ground Black Pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon Red pepper flakes

Directions

  • Before you begin prepping, place a large skillet (12” plus if you have it) on the stove and turn to low.
  • Thoroughly wash your Brussels sprouts, trim the bottoms, and slice in half.
  • Add your oil (higher smoke point) and toss. Add your salt and toss. Add your ground black pepper and red pepper flakes and toss. The key here is to make sure everything is thoroughly coated.
  • Turn your pan to medium, and dump your sprouts, spreading out to make sure there’s space in-between each one. This may require you to work in two batches. 
  • Once spread out, leave alone. No seriously. Leave them alone for at least 5-6 minutes. This is where the magic happens. Turn one or two over to verify they are caramelizing, and if you see a nice char, go ahead and flip everything over to the other side.
  • Once flipped, do not move. Wait another 5-6 minutes.
  • Place back in the bowl you originally tossed in, or into a bowl you plan to serve from! Best when served immediately. 

Recipe Video

Notes

  • The oil and seasoning recommendations are just recommendations! Some bags of Brussels are larger or smaller. Some of the actually Brussels themselves are larger or smaller. The key is to make sure everything has a nice coating of seasoning which may require a bit less or bit more of oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes!
  • On the Brussels note. Those smaller in size will naturally taste sweeter once charred or roasted. Also, fresh Brussels or bust. You cannot char frozen or canned.
  • High heat is key. You want to make sure your Brussels are immediately sizzling once they hit the pan. If not. Remove from the pan, and increase the heat for a minute or two. Try again. High heat is imperative to allowing the natural chemical reaction in Brussels to convert from bitter to sweet. This holds true for roasting as well.
  • If you plan on adding any sauces or liquids such as honey or balsamic or soy, I’d recommend adding during the last minute or two of cooking. Give a good toss and then allow to sizzle before removing and serving. Remember, the more liquid you add, the less crispy your Brussels will be! 
  • Please note the nutritional information below was calculated using a calculator designed by: Verywell Fit. This information is accurate to the best of my knowledge, but should not be taken as medical advice 🙂 

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Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container


Calories80

  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Sodium 67mg 3%
  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Potassium 9mg 1%
  • Total Carbohydrate 10.5g 4%
    • Dietary Fiber 4.3g 18%
    • Sugars 2.5g
  • Protein 3.9g 8%
  • Calcium 3%
  • Iron 8%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Charred Brussels Sprouts Pan Fried VS Oven Roasted

It’s important to note that there’s not a right answer here. Both pan and oven charring Brussels sprouts yield amazing texture and flavor. Once you’ve tried both, you’ll probably swear by one or the other. And hey, that’s the best part of this whole cooking gig- at least for me. I GET TO figure out what I love most and then repeat it. You GET TO do the same.

What’s the deal with charring anyway? How does it work? According to Bruno Xavier (processing authority at Cornell’s Food Venture Center) it boils down to this, “Chemically speaking, char is formed by heating organic matter without the presence of oxygen, in a process known as pyrolysis.” For an in-depth read and tons of tips on achieving the perfect char, for both vegetables and meat, I think you’ll find this article worth the read!

Similarities:

Let’s start with what these two methods have in common and what they both require. Space. It doesn’t matter if you’re pan frying or oven roasting… the more you crowd your sprouts the more those suckers will steam instead of crisp up. This holds true for all vegetables.

Size. In both of these circumstances size matters. If you have an assortment of sprouts, some larger and some smaller, I recommend leaving the small ones whole and slicing the larger ones in half. The goal here is to have everything cook at an even rate so you don’t end up with some crispy and some mushy.

Differences:

Personally, I like the control that pan frying charred Brussels sprouts gives me. I can start with bacon, remove, and use that same fat to fry my sprouts. I can control which ones I turn over and when. Some sprouts might need more time than others and I can easily remove what needs to be removed and keep sizzling what needs to keep sizzling! Much harder to do in the oven.

However, oven roasting (I recommend 425f / 218c) is a bit easier. So when I’m stressed, running short on time, already have a stovetop filled with pots and pans, or am sitting on the patio with hot wings on the grill… oven roasting certainly becomes my preferred method. Nothing like having one oven rack loaded with sprouts and another loaded with herb roasted potatoes.

Let Me Know

Do my charred Brussels sprouts sounds like something you’d try? Maybe you have a favorite seasonings or add ins you’d like to share? I’d love to hear how you season your sprouts in the comments! That way, we can all learn together 🙂

While you’re at the sharing and commenting, please Save to Pinterest or Share on Facebook. I need all the support I can get to keep on growing this dream of mine. A place where practical beats perfect- and simple, delicious food is a lifestyle. A place where together, we can begin filling homes and tables with joy.

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