I’ve been cheating. On Brussels sprouts. After more than a decade of cooking this stellar (if mis-maligned) vegetable in what I *thought* was the one and only way to make it taste delicious, I’ve become hooked on an entirely new (and faster) preparation method: Sautéed Brussels Sprouts.

A pan of sautéed brussels sprouts with balsamic

Charred and crispy on the outside, lightly caramelized and meaty on the inside, and ready to serve faster than you can say “hustle!” these sautéed Brussels sprouts have become my new go-to quick and easy side dish.

When cooked properly, Brussels sprouts taste fantastic, even addictive. While Brussels sprouts can be bitter raw, cooking them at a high temperature ensures they have a rich, caramelized flavor, and a tender, satisfying (but not mushy!) texture.

A well-cooked Brussels sprout will speedily displace whatever childhood trauma sad, mushy boiled Brussels sprouts inflicted upon you in the past.

Up until this point, classic Roasted Brussels Sprouts (and their elevated spinoff Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic) have been the side dish stalwarts of our dinner routine. I mix up a pan and pop them into the oven several night a week.

Then, a few weeks ago when I’d planned to roast Brussels sprouts, I realized that due to poor planning, the oven was occupied with other endeavors. I’d have to find an alternative way to cook our Brussels sprouts. I turned to my trusty cast iron skillet and made sautéed Brussels sprouts on the stovetop instead.

DYAMITE!

The texture and flavor of these sautéed Brussels sprouts is outstanding. So outstanding in fact, they have (for the moment at least) replaced roasted Brussels sprouts as my preferred cooking method.

All you need to make sautéed Brussels sprouts is a heavy-bottomed pan, some olive oil, salt, and 10 minutes over medium-high heat.

I’m going to encourage you to add a splash of acid and maybe a handful of nuts or cheese if you feel so motivated, but if you like, you can just throw the halved Brussels sprouts in the pan and call it a day.

If you’ve been searching for a way to get more vegetables into your diet that a) doesn’t take too much work and b) you’ll actually enjoy eating, this easy sautéed Brussels sprouts recipe is the place to start.

Looking for even more ways to cook delicious, healthy Brussels sprouts (in addition to roasted and sautéed?) Try them shredded in this Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad. Shaving the spouts thinly and topping them with plenty of lemony dressing also helps to remove their bitterness.

Crispy sautéed Brussels sprouts in a pan with balsamic, pine nuts, and fresh herbs

How to Make the Best Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

You’ll also see sautéed Brussels sprouts called pan fried Brussels sprouts, pan roasted Brussels sprouts, or pan sautéed Brussels sprouts. All of these terms refer to the same method of cooking the Brussels sprouts with oil in a large skillet over high heat. The ingredients are basic, the recipe prep is straightforward, and the results are exceptional.

The Ingredients

  • Brussels Sprouts. These delicious little green veggies are packed with Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and Vitamin C. Once sautéed, the sprouts will have a crisp, caramelized outside and tender but firm inside.
  • Olive Oil. Be generous to ensure the sprouts caramelize in the pan.
  • Kosher Salt. Kosher salt is critical to making your Brussels sprouts tasty. I always recommend kosher salt because it has a more pure, soft taste than table salt (which tastes metallic due to the treatment process that keeps the salt free-flowing). Season the sprouts as you go along, then at the very end to taste.
  • Black Pepper. As much or as little as you like.
  • Acid. Brussels sprouts crave acid; a splash will balance and perk up their flavor. In this recipe, I use balsamic vinegar, though you can also try lemon juice, pickled onions, or an entirely different vinegar.

No acid on hand? Just leave it out and vow to try Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar a different day. Your sautéed sprouts will still be tasty, I pinky promise.

The Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottom skillet (a cast iron pan is a good choice), then add your Brussels sprouts. Cook undisturbed until caramelized.
  2. Add spices and stir. Continue to cook and stir until the Brussels sprouts are deep dark golden brown.
  3. Remove from the heat, and stir in the vinegar. Finish the sprouts off any way you like: a handful of Parmesan cheese, nuts, or herbs, or simply enjoy them just as the are. Serve hot and DIG IN! 

How to Trim Brussels Sprouts

  • Before trimming, I recommend washing your Brussels sprouts to remove any dirt.
  • To Trim: Use a knife to cut off the tough stem end of each Brussels sprout. Then, remove any yellow or damaged leaves, and cut each Brussels sprout in half lengthwise, from tip to trimmed end.

The Difference in Taste and Texture Between Sautéed Brussels Sprouts and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

While both oven roasted and pan sautéed Brussels sprouts have similar qualities—both taste addictively crispy and caramelized on the outside and distinctly savory—I have observed some differences between the two.

  • Oven roasted Brussels sprouts tend to be softer all the way through the interior.
  • Pan roasted Brussels sprouts stay firmer. They’re still delightful to eat, but they don’t totally melt in your mouth the way baked sprouts do.
  • So which is better? Honestly, I’m torn! I enjoy them both for different reasons and appreciate the variety. Try them both and see what you think.

Crispy sautéed Brussels sprouts in a pan with balsamic and pine nuts

Recipe Variations

  • Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon. Dice 4 slices of bacon, and cook them in your skillet. Once crispy, remove to a plate. Then, cook your sprouts in the bacon drippings. Top your finished sprouts with the crispy bacon pieces. YUM!
  • Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Herbs. Add a tablespoon of fresh herbs to your sprouts at the end. I used parsley, but cilantro and mint would be delicious too.
  • Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan. Toss a handful of Parmesan over the sprouts at the end. Feta and goat cheese are other, super tasty options.
  • Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Onions. Add ½ cup of thinly sliced onions to the pan with your Brussels sprouts. They’ll crisp and caramelize in a most excellent way.
  • Pan Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Nuts. Stir a handful of chopped, raw nuts into the pan with the Brussels sprouts at the very end. Continue stirring, allowing the residual heat from the pan to toast the nuts. For today’s recipe, I used pine nuts. Walnuts and pecans are two of our other favorites.

What to Serve with Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

More Easy Vegetable Sides

How to Store, Reheat, and Freeze Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

  • To Store. Place cooked Brussels sprouts in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a large skillet on the stove over medium-low heat until warmed through, adding in a splash of balsamic vinegar to perk them back up. You can also microwave the Brussels sprouts on a microwave-safe plate until warm. Add fresh toppings as desired. My other favorite method is the oven: warm at 350 F until heated through (about 5 or so minutes).
  • To Freeze. Brussels sprouts can become soggy, so I don’t recommend freezing them. However, you certainly can freeze them if you don’t mind the less-than-optimal texture. Place cooked and cooled Brussels sprouts in an airtight freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Recommended Tools to Make Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

Easy sautéed Brussels sprouts in a skillet with balsamic, Parsley, and pine nuts

We’ve been gobbling up this pan sautéed Brussels sprouts recipe. Pan frying is a fresh, healthy way to cook Brussels sprouts. Try it on a weeknight, and it’s an easy recipe for dinner parties too.

Do you cook Brussels sprouts at home? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

A pan of sautéed brussels sprouts with balsamic

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

5 from 41 votes
Pan sautéed Brussels sprouts are a quick, easy way to make delicious Brussels sprouts you'll want to eat every night! Crispy, caramelized, and addictive!

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 20 mins

Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons raw pine nuts or chopped raw walnuts, almonds, or pecans (optional)
  • Chopped fresh herbs like parsley cilantro or mint (optional)
  • A handful of Parmesan feta, or goat cheese (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Heat a large cast iron or similar sturdy bottomed skillet over medium high for 4 minutes. Add the oil. As soon as the oil is hot and shining (but before it starts smoking), swirl to cost the pan, then add the halved Brussels sprouts. Shake the skillet a little and prod them so that as many as possible are cut-side down. Let sit completely undisturbed for 5 to 8 minutes, until they develop a dark, tasty, caramelized sear.
  • Add the salt and pepper. With a wooden spoon or spatula, stir the Brussels sprouts. Continue cooking, stirring every few minutes, until the Brussels sprouts are browned all over and just turning tender the inside, about 6 to 8 additional minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the vinegar, then the pine nuts or almonds. Let the residual heat of the skillet toast the nuts, stirring them very often so that they toast evenly on all sides and do not burn (if they aren’t toasting, return the skillet to low heat). As soon as the nuts are toasted, transfer the sprouts to a serving plate and sprinkle with fresh herbs. Enjoy hot.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Place cooked Brussels sprouts in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a large skillet over medium-low heat until warmed through. You can also microwave the Brussels sprouts on a microwave-safe plate until warm. Add fresh toppings as desired. 
  • TO FREEZE: Brussels sprouts can become soggy, so I don’t recommend freezing them. However, you certainly can freeze them. Place cooked and cooled Brussels sprouts in an airtight freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to 12 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4) without toppingsCalories: 114kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 4gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPotassium: 441mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 855IUVitamin C: 96mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 2mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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89 Comments

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  1. Brussels sprouts have always been my favorite vegetable. My husband also loves them so that’s good because we have them alot. I prefer the tiny ones but if they only have the jumbos, I just split them so that they all cook evenly. I totally agree that sauteing them or roasting the little guys are hands down the best way to make them – no mush or bitterness. I use balsamic as the acid and we do like crumbled bacon on top sometimes. If there are leftovers, I have no problem finishing them up for lunch!

      1. Delicious and super easy recipe! The browning in the beginning and the balsamic really make this dish. Our teenage daughters have been requesting this every week (they actually want it very few days. lol!) since I made it about 6 weeks ago. Thank you for sharing.5 stars

  2. This recipe was delicious! I made it last night, fully anticipating I would be eating it by myself since my husband strongly despises Brussel sprouts. He took a bite, declared it “not bad!” And proceeded to eat several more bites! Thanks for another recipe win :)5 stars

  3. Awesome! I used smoked almonds, white balsamic vinegar, and skipped the parm cheese. Yummy! Next time, I’ll double the vinegar. 5 stars

  4. Amazing! I have only cooked fresh brussel sprouts one other time in the oven and they were a big fail. I was skeptical this time so I only made half a batch, that was a mistake. I asked my son to at least try one… he was begging me to make the rest after they were all gone! Definitely recommend this to everyone!5 stars

  5. Loved it. My mom always boiled brussels sprouts and I liked them and all, but never really though to make them since I’ve been married. Now I do! This recipe is fabulous.5 stars

  6. What a GREAT variation on the traditional oven roasted brussels. This was a HUGE hit, even with those that didn’t normally like brussels. 

    I added bacon and pine nuts at the end. Will be using this as my go to from now on!!!!

    Thanks 😊 5 stars

      1. Hi Amaya! I haven’t tried this recipe using frozen Brussels sprouts, but you could experiment. Fresh is certainly preferred, but I think you could try it with frozen. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  7. I love them this way! Been making them like this for years.
    Try them with a pinch (just a pinch!) of red pepper flakes, a little garlic and some Parmesan cheese. Yummy!5 stars

  8. You’re absolutely right! This method is far beter than roasting in the oven, or even air frying. I just seasoned with salt and pepper and some lemon juice and they were the best I’ve ever had. Never going back. Thank you!!5 stars

    1. Hi Tim, I’m so sorry this happened! I’m not sure what might’ve caused it. Were you using a cast iron pan? I hope you were able to enjoy the recipe!

  9. For years I have sauteed my brussels sprouts the same way as this recipe recommends. But this time, no oven, no regular frying pan, instead big cast iron skillet on the stove top. I have ruined a whole lot of good food (a ton of it) with out-of-date/bitter/nasty tasting old olive oil. To buy real olive oil is a pain. (research research research so much fake O.O that’s really just regular cooking oil) Today I partially thawed a frozen bag of brussels sprouts, chopped some of them in half, then dumped them into a hot C.I. pan. I continually moved them around until they started cooking, then sea salt and course black pepper, then about 1/3 of a stick of salted butter. Kept them moving until they were still tender and not burnt. (burnt is good too, so is bitter garlic) This recipe inspired me to get my one pound bag out of the freezer this morning, cook them up and make them disappear. Thank you! Bon Appetit’5 stars

  10. My new favorite brussel recipe! My 5 year old decided he liked them after trying this one so you know it’s good!5 stars

  11. My husband loves Brussels sprouts. I dislike them immensely. I’ve been roasting them, but wanted a little different recipe for today’s Easter dinner. I sauteed them in olive oil with onion. They were delicious!! Even I loved them and will made these often. I added a splash of Balsamic vinegar. Thank you for this delicious recipe.5 stars

    1. I’m so pleased that this recipe was a hit, Corry! Thank you for taking the time to share this kind review!

  12. Fabulous brussel spouts! I made them with sliced onion and balsalmic vinegarette. The best recipe for brussel sprouts I’ve seen.5 stars

  13. I pan seared brussel sprouts in hot olive oil, with just salt and pepper, until crispy, some darker than others. Removed them from the heat, and splashed them with a cranberry-pear balsamic vinegar. Honestly, by FAR the best I’ve ever had. Ever. Thank you for this amazing recipe. Only downfall: it makes an oil-spattered mess on the stovetop—but it was worth it!5 stars

  14. Although this  is the first time I’ve prepared sauteed brussel sprouts for my family, it is definitely not the last. What an incredibly flavorful, aromatic, and addictive dish. Thank you for enlightening us! It is a new family favorite!5 stars

  15. medium high way to high for a cast iron pan.  ( electric stove). thats all we use.   low to medium maybe adding more time moving them around a little more.  scorched these little midget cabbages.  other than that flavor would have been good. thank you for the recipe  5 stars

  16. I just tried this recipe and ate the whole plate. Even licked the plate afterwards. Def making this again.5 stars

  17. I have never made our eaten Brussel sprouts. I looked at your recipe and was being very careful not to mess it up and then throw it out. I must tell you it was delicious!!! Now I think I didn’t do enough. Cause I’m gonna let my kids try it and I know they will like it. So thank you, now I have another vegetable to add to the table. 🙃5 stars

  18. I just made it. Threw a little balsamic and Parmesan when it was done. It was perfect. Even my husband who hates Brussels Sprouts enjoyed this recipe.
    Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  19. Can’t wait to try it. Have you tried cooking them with garlic and coconut oil? I highly recommend you do.5 stars

  20. I bought some Brussels sprouts at the farmers market without knowing what I was going to do with them. I just followed your recipe and finished it with the vinegar, parsley and parmesan cheese and it was delicious! Thank you!5 stars

  21. Fantastic. Finished with balsamic raspberry vinegar and goat cheese. Lovely recipe, would not have thought of goat cheese: most excellent addition. As per suggestion, had it with pork steak (not my favorite but the DH loves it) and it actually helped me appreciate the pork. Excellent pairing, along with a Sauvignon Blanc.5 stars

  22. I absolutely love this recipe! Who knew I liked brussel sprouts? I make them plain and simple with just the olive oil, kosher salt and a little splash of red wine vinegar and they are fabulous! Thank you so much5 stars

  23. Never have I ever tried cooking or tasted bruseli sprouts in Nepal . Moved to Japan, trying out new recipes. Trying this recipe today. 🙏 Thank you.5 stars

  24. OMG OMG OMG.

    I had eaten brussels sprouts only once before, about 15 years ago. Me and my dad probably didn’t cook them enough and they were bitter and sour as hell. I couldn’t image why people would eat such a thing.

    I decided to give them another try, and cooked them following this recipe. They were fabulous! Even fabulous seems like an understatement!

    Thank you so much for sharing this and enriching my culinary experience!5 stars

    1. Diana, this brings me so much joy! I came to Brussels sprouts late in life and am still making up for lost time. I am so pleased to know you enjoyed this!

  25. Made these with chopped walnuts and balsamic vinegar. My cast iron pan was already in use in the oven so I just used a big nonstick pan and they still turned out great! Thanks!5 stars