How to Make Brussels Sprouts that Don’t Taste Like Crap


I’m a Brussels sprouts freak. I’d even go as far as saying that they are my favorite food.  But, I understand why most people don’t share my love for these miniature cabbages: Brussels sprouts can taste like crap unless you prep them correctly. Here are some tips on how to make this vegetable actually taste good.


1. Don’t Eat Frozen Ones!

One summer, I was craving Brussels sprouts. Since these are seasonally available in the cooler months, I settled on buying a bag of them frozen. I proceeded to cook them like I normally would. Ravenously, I lifted one into my mouth.

It was disgusting!

Frozen Brussels sprouts become all soggy when you cook them. They lose all their savory taste and only the bitterness remains. I’ve never tried canned Brussels sprouts but I imagine that they are 100x worse than the icky frozen ones! Since many people are introduced to Brussels sprouts as the frozen or canned variety, it is no wonder that they hate them.

2. They’ve Got to Be Fresh

First off, they MUST be fresh! When picking Brussels sprouts, look for small ones (not as much bitterness). They should have a nice bright green color and their little leaves should be compact together. Avoid any sprouts which are pale or yellowing.

1) Prep the Brussels Sprouts:

  • First, wash them thoroughly.
  • Cut off the hard remnants of their stem. This will allow them to cook faster and more evenly.
  • Cut them in half. If you have really big Brussels sprouts, then cut them in quarters.

2) Steam the Brussels sprouts until they are bright green.
Steaming will get the bitter flavor out of the Brussels sprouts so you are left with only tasty green goodness. You will know they are ready when you can slide a fork into them without applying too much pressure. They should NOT be mushy though! Alternatively, you can boil the sprouts but steaming preserves more of the nutrients in them.

Tip: Add some lemon juice to the water when steaming to add a fresher flavor!

3) Roast or Sauté
I like to sauté my Brussels sprouts in butter with lots of garlic. Just heat a bit of veggie butter and add the chopped garlic and sprouts at the same time. Add salt to your liking. I let mine sauté until they are browned on the cut side. Roasting them usually takes about 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees F.

4) Add Toppings
To get a nice dose of B12, top your sprouts with nutritional yeast. Or, for a really nice wintertime treat, toss in some roasted chestnuts with the Brussels sprouts!

Brussels Sprouts Nutritional Facts

(78 grams = 1/2 cup Brussels sprouts)

Vitamins and Minerals  Amount %DV  
Vitamin A                   604IU 12%  
Vitamin C 48.4 mg 81%  
Vitamin K 109 mcg 137%  
Thiamin 0.1 mg 6%  
Riboflavin 0.1 mg 4%  
Niacin 0.5 mg 2%  
Vitamin B6 0.1 mg 7%  
Folate 46.8 mcg 12  
Pantothenic acid 0.2 mg 2%  
Magnesium 15.g mg 4%  
Potassium 247 mg 7%  
Copper 0.1 mg 3%  
Zinc 0.3 mg 2%  
Manganese 0.2 mg 9%  
Selenium 1.2 mcg 2%  

Want to go Vegan but have Vegetables? When prepared in the right way, vegetables are delicious.

Image credits:
4/13/09: Obsessed by Bobbi Bowers Attribution-ShareAlike License)

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Diane Vukovic

Diane Vukovic is a vegan mom, health nut, and kitchen diva. When she's not deducing veggie nutritional facts, she's probably dancing crazily with her daughter or traveling somewhere in Europe.