The Best Brussels Sprouts

I created this Brussels Sprouts recipe a few years ago, and it has been a hit at family holiday dinners. It’s also a great side dish for any event. Brussels Sprouts have a bitter flavor, and this bitterness is usually what makes them unappealing. You have to do something to them to balance the bitterness out. The worst mistake I see is when they are served whole, with very little seasoning.

To balance out that bitterness and add a great kick, I use the sweetness of shallots and brown sugar with a pinch of crushed red pepper for some heat. Brussels sprouts can handle a lot of seasoning, so I give them a liberal dousing of salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Adding the fresh garlic and shallots at the end of the cooking time prevents them from burning. Also, I halve the sprouts lengthwise, which makes them easier to eat and gets a nice caramelization on the inner part of the sprouts. The end product is a smoky, sweet, garlicky Brussels sprout dish.

Brussels sprouts are named after Brussels, the capital city of Belgium. The Brussels sprout is in the wild cabbage family.

This recipe will have you adding Brussels sprouts to your grocery cart regularly. I know for a fact that after you try this recipe you will never look at these healthy little gems the same way. Enjoy!!!

Happy cooking and happy eating!

~ Chef Kev

Chef Kevin Warren’s Best Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Ingredients:

1 lb. Brussels sprouts
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp crushed red pepper
1/2 cup golden brown sugar
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp water (optional/as needed)

Method:

  1. Using a pairing knife, cut off the knobby tip of each sprout, then cut each sprout lengthwise. Place prepared sprouts in colander; rinse
  2. Pat dry, season liberally with kosher salt and pepper and paprika. Use your hands to toss, coating seasoning throughout all of the sprouts
  3. On medium-high, heat butter in a large non-stick pan until it foams and browns slightly. Add sprouts cut side down.
  4. After a minute or two, check a couple of the sprouts—they should be golden brown and caramelized for the next step: Sprinkle brown sugar and crushed red pepper. Give the pan a good toss to distribute the brown sugar and red pepper.
  5. Reduce heat to medium. Add chopped shallots and garlic, cover and steam about 3-4 minutes or until cooked through. (If the pan is too dry at this point, add 2 Tbsp of water before covering.)
  6. Remove top from pan and toss once more to distribute all of the flavors evenly.

Professional Chef’s Tip: Shallots and garlic both burn easily, so it is very important to reduce the heat before adding them

For a healthier version of this recipe, use olive oil instead of butter and decrease salt