Elevate your meal with Balsamic Sautéed Brussels Sprouts. This perfect side dish is quick, healthy, and bursting with flavor. Make this easy recipe as is or customize it to include crispy bacon, fresh herbs and more.
If you want veggies to disappear from plates, you'll need to make them in a way that is packed with so much flavor that everyone will want seconds.
In my opinion, the best cooking method to ensure delicious flavor of all your favorite (and maybe not so favorite) vegetables is to either roast or sauté.
It can be amazing how such simple ingredients (like roasted carrots and asparagus) transform into such a great side dish when cooked the right way.
Take Brussels sprouts. If you have ever eaten them boiled or steamed, you know what I mean. They're just so meh.
But today's recipe is their redemption.
With caramelized edges and a sweet-savory glaze from balsamic vinegar, they are Brussels sprouts elevated to a whole new level.
- Brussels Sprouts: The star of the dish- look for firm, fresh Brussels sprouts with tightly closed outer leaves. Slice off the core if large and then cut in half. Cut really large sprouts into quarters.
- Avocado Oil: Avocado oil is perfect for sautéing due to its high smoke point and mild flavor. You can substitute it with olive oil or canola oil.
- Salt and Pepper: Seasoning with salt and pepper enhances the flavors of the Brussels sprouts. Feel free to use your preferred type of salt (kosher, sea salt, or table salt) and adjust the amount to taste. If you'd like to add more seasoning, you could try incorporating some red pepper flakes or garlic powder as well.
- Balsamic Vinegar: Balsamic vinegar adds a tangy sweetness that complements the earthy Brussels sprouts. We cook it down a bit in the pan to achieve a bit of a balsamic reduction with a glaze-like texture.
1. Prepare the Brussels Sprouts. Start by trimming the ends of the Brussels sprouts and cutting them in half lengthwise. Large sprouts can be cut into quarters.
2. Heat the Oil. In a large skillet or frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Make sure the oil is evenly distributed across the pan.
3. Cook. Once the oil is hot (but not smoking), carefully add the halved Brussels sprouts to the pan, placing them cut side down in a single layer and reduce to medium heat. Sprinkle with seasonings and cover pan with a lid.
Let the Brussels sprouts cook, undisturbed, for about 6-8 minutes, allowing them to start to caramelize. By the end of this time, the flat sides should be starting to get golden brown.
4. Stir. After the initial cooking time, remove the lid and give the Brussels sprouts a gentle stir.
5. Add Balsamic Vinegar. Pour the vinegar directly into the pan and then cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, uncovered over medium low heat. This gives the vinegar a chance to reduce into a more glaze-like consistency.
6. Stir. Stir to coat the sprouts with the reduced vinegar and remove from heat.
Leftovers and Storage
To Store: Keep any leftover balsamic Brussels sprouts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I don't recommend freezing as they may become mushy.
To Reheat: To reheat, use the oven (350°F for 5-10 minutes), stovetop (medium heat in a little bit of hot oil), or microwave (in 30-second intervals) until warmed through.
Make it Your Own
- Maple: Enhance the sweetness of this quick side dish by drizzling 1 tablespoon of maple syrup over the sprouts during the final minute of cooking.
- Bacon: Start by frying up 4 strips of bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon, crumble it, and set it aside. In the same pan, cook the Brussels sprouts in the remaining bacon drippings in place of the avocado oil. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon on top just before serving.
- Cheesy: Add a gourmet twist by sprinkling grated Parmesan cheese, Pecorino Romano, or crumbled feta cheese over the sprouts while they're still hot allowing the cheese to melt slightly.
- Add a Garnish:
- Nuts or Seeds: Sprinkle toasted and chopped pecans, almonds, walnuts or pepitas on top just before serving.
- Herbs: Toss the sprouts with chopped herbs such as thyme, rosemary or parsley just before serving to infuse them with a burst of fresh, aromatic flavors.
Balsamic Sautéed Brussels Sprouts are a great healthy side to complement your main dish. Try them served with:
- Roast Chicken
- Baked Salmon
- Pork Tenderloin
- Grilled Steak
- Frittata (who says Brussels sprouts can't be a breakfast food?)
Key Tips for the Best Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
- Trim and Halve Evenly: Ensure uniform cooking by trimming the stem ends of your flavorful sprouts and halving them evenly.
- Don't Overcrowd the Pan: For the best browning and caramelized flavor, avoid crowding the pan- you want to keep them in a single layer. If you have a large batch, cook them in batches to give each sprout enough room to shine.
- Cut-Side Down for Caramelization: The best way to achieve caramelized edges is to arrange them cut-side down when you first place the sprouts in the pan.
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Balsamic Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Trim the stem ends of the Brussels sprouts and remove any discolored outer leaves. Cut them in half lengthwise for even cooking.
- Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts, cut side down, in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Reduce heat to medium and let them cook without stirring for about 6-8 minutes until the flat side starts to caramelize and the sprouts are becoming tender..
- Stir and pour the balsamic vinegar into the pan alongside the Brussels sprouts and cook for another 2-3 minutes, allowing the vinegar to reduce.
- Stir to coat the sprouts with the reduced vinegar and serve.