Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Maple, Walnuts and Feta
Thanksgiving eating demands focus, discipline, and careful allocation of stomach real estate. No matter how tempting the dips or tasty the cheese tray, the promise of sides such as Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Maple, Walnuts, and Feta keep my pre-meal grazing in line.
Once the buffet line opens, however, better watch my pointy elbows—with sweet potatoes, cranberries, and these fabulous Balsamic Brussels sprouts up for scooping, I’m guaranteed to lose my sense of restraint.
Lightly crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and coated with a sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar + maple syrup glaze, Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Maple, Walnuts, and Feta are one of my absolute favorite fall side dishes. In fact, they were one of the first recipes to appear on this blog.
With Thanksgiving meal planning all aflutter I thought today would be the ideal opportunity to dust this recipe from the archives (I posted it two years ago, nearly to the day), give it a photo makeover, and celebrate one of my favorite seasonal ingredients, Brussels sprouts. Plus, I just wanted to eat them again.
Although I love Brussels sprouts every which way (ahem, Brussels Sprouts Bacon Pizza), I’ve found this recipe to be the one that even Brussels sprouts skeptics enjoy. Tossing the Brussels sprouts in balsamic vinegar and maple syrup prior to roasting gives them an addictive, caramely coating as they bake, and a sprinkle of salty feta and toasty walnuts adds creaminess, warmth, and crunch.
One of the reasons that I love Thanksgiving so dearly it is that it is a celebration of blessings. Friends and family gather around the table without distraction. The focus of the holiday is each other and of course, the food! My favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is the sides, and part of why I adore them so much is that they are a reflection of the bounty of the season: squash, potatoes, cranberries, and of course…Brussels sprouts.
When cold weather hits, it’s easy to mourn the loss of summer fruits and veggies, but recipes like Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts are an inspiring reminder of how much bounty is to be found right here, right now. It’s enough to fill a Thanksgiving table, second helpings included.
Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Feta
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, — discolored leaves removed and cut in half
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts — toasted
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Toss Brussels sprouts with maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
- Roast 35-40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, stirring once or twice to promote even browning. Remove from pan, toss with walnuts and feta, and serve.
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