Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
Let’s add a little sparkle to our side dish routine! Balsamic Brussels Sprouts are a mini revamp of a little green veggie that I’ve been taking for granted lately.
Brussels sprouts are like my favorite pair of sweatpants. I count on them.
With their warm, crispy, caramelized outsides and tender insides, they are a pleasing addition to just about any meal. They taste fantastic, and they are great for you too!
Even those who profess to not being a fan of B. sprouts have changed their tune once they’ve tried them roasted (just check out the reviews on these Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic).
Brussels sprouts look like mini-cabbages. While the two are related (both are members of the cruciferous family, along with broccoli, cauliflower, and kale), they are distinct.
One important commonality that all cruciferous veggies share: the oven transforms them from bitter to sweet (check out these Cabbage Steaks for another example). It’s a quality you can harness in your own kitchen.
In fact, roasted Brussels sprouts are so sweet and tasty, I make them in some fashion at least twice a week. Any leftovers are eaten at lunch the next day.
- Classic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with just olive oil, salt, and pepper are my most-cooked recipe at home. They’re here for me, always.
- If my oven is occupied, these Sautéed Brussels Sprouts create the rich crispiness on the stovetop in less time than oven roasting.
- If I’m in the mood for minimal effort, these Roasted Frozen Brussels Sprouts do not require chopping.
Add the fact that these green gems are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and Vitamin C, and I have all the more reason to make them a regular event.
But even the most reliable of comforts needs some fresh pizzazz from time to time.
Time to change out of sweatpants and take our Brussels sprouts on a date!
We’re hitting the town, balsamic style.
Roasting Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup (or balsamic and honey) enhances the sprouts’ natural sweetness.
The balsamic concentrates and turns into a reduction. Generous seasoning keeps a salty/sweet balance.
Don’t be surprised when it’s love at first bite!
And for your next date, I heartily suggest these Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts, which are another superb source for special flare.
If you cannot decide between the swagger of balsamic or bacon (tough choice!), I have roasted Brussels sprouts with balsamic AND bacon below; just see my list of recipe variations.
How to Make Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
The coating of a sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar + honey or pure maple syrup caramelizes the Brussels sprouts to a candied perfection.
Enjoy them just as they are, or top your finished balsamic Brussels sprouts with Parmesan or feta for even more interest.
- Brussels Sprouts. When caramelized and roasted, Brussels sprouts quickly top the chart of my favorite veggies.
- Olive Oil. To help the Brussels sprouts crisp to perfection. Don’t skimp.
- Balsamic Vinegar. A little sweet, a little tangy, and a lot delicious. The balsamic makes the Brussels sprouts pop!
- Pure Maple Syrup or Honey. Sweetness and addictive caramelization. Most often, we go the maple route, but this recipe is equally delicious as honey balsamic Brussels sprouts.
- Cheese. An optional but highly encouraged addition. Both feta and Parmesan are wonderful with this recipe.
The Directions (Oven Method)
- Lay the Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil for easy clean up (or just prepare yourself for a sheet pan scrub). Toss them with the oil, maple syrup or honey, and seasoning. Make sure they’re cut side down and spread into a single layer for maximum crispiness.
- Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. Drizzle balsamic on top, then toss to coat. Bake for another 8 to 10 minutes. Finish with cheese (if using), and ENJOY!
To Make this Recipe in the Air Fryer Instead
Follow these easy steps to make balsamic Brussels sprouts in the air fryer:
- Add the cut Brussels sprouts to the air fryer basket. Top with oil, syrup, and spices, tossing to coat. Cook for 15 minutes at 400 degrees F.
- Drizzle balsamic over the sprouts, and toss. Cook for another 2 to 4 minutes.
If you’re feeling exceptionally adventurous for a whole new Brussels sprouts style (rather than just new flavors like those we’ve covered so far), try Smashed Brussels Sprouts or Brussels Sprouts Chips.
Roasted Vegetable Storage Tips
- To Store. Refrigerate Brussels sprouts in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F.
- I do not recommend freezing cooked Brussels sprouts, as their texture will be mushy once thawed.
- Bacon. Crumble a few slices of my Oven Baked Bacon over the top of your finished sprouts.
- Honey. Swap the maple syrup in this recipe for honey.
- Brown Sugar. Omit the maple syrup. Whisk the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar together until combined, then toss with the sprouts as directed.
- Feta. Our favorite! A shower of feta over the top adds richness and makes these taste like creamy balsamic Brussels sprouts.
- Parmesan. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top, either at the end or during the last few minutes of baking.
- Stovetop Option. To make sautéed balsamic Brussels sprouts on the stovetop, add balsamic vinegar to my Sautéed Brussels Sprouts recipe during the last few minutes of cooking.
What to Serve with Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
Versatile, easy to make, and delicious, you can pair Brussels sprouts with any of your favorite mains. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
- Chicken. These would be delicious alongside Chicken Cacciatore or Sheet Pan Italian Chicken.
- Burger. This recipe would be an easy and tasty side for a Steak Sandwich with Caramelized Onion and Brie.
- Pasta. Serve your Brussels sprouts with Instant Pot Cauliflower Mac and Cheese or Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta.
Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe
- Baking Sheet. The roasted vegetable MVP.
- Fish Spatula. Perfect for flipping roasted vegetables.
- Measuring Cups. You can measure and stir your ingredients in these.
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Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts - tough bottom stem ends trimmed, discolored leaves removed, and cut in half lengthwise from stem to end
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese or 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese - optional
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. For easy clean up, line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the Brussels sprouts in the center of the pan and top with olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat, then spread into a single layer on the baking sheet. For maximum crispiness, flip the Brussels sprouts so that the cut sides are touching the baking sheet. If your baking sheet is too small to hold all of the Brussels sprouts without crowding them, spread them between two pans.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven. Drizzle the balsamic over the top. With a spatula, gently toss to coat the Brussels sprouts with the balsamic and promote even browning, then return to the oven. Continue cooking for 8 to 10 additional minutes, until the sprouts are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.(If you are roasting on two sheet pans, switch the pans' positions on the upper and lower racks after you add the balsamic). through. Don't be alarmed if the outsides of the Brussels sprouts become quite dark; this is the balsamic and maple syrup caramelizing. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle with cheese, either directly on the sheet pan or after transferring the Brussels sprouts to a serving plate. Serve hot.
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