25-Min Happy Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Recipe (Quick and Easy)
These roasted Brussels sprouts with balsamic glaze are great as a side dish. The recipe is quick and easy and tastes delicious. You should definitely try it even if you are a bit scared of the tiny cabbages just like I was in the beginning.
I must admit I was a bit reticent about these veggies. I can’t even tell you why because I simply love cabbage and all cruciferous. However, I tried the sprouts really late, about five years ago for the first time. I was completely satisfied with the taste and cooked them numerous times after that D-Day.
My advice is to give them a chance. Besides the great taste, they’re also packed with a lot of vitamins and minerals. The low calorie intake makes the sprouts suitable for many diets.
Origins of Brussels Sprouts
You are maybe wondering why they are called Brussels sprouts. As you might have guessed by now, the name was borrowed from the city of Brussels, in Belgium. This happened because it is said that the veggies were cultivated in Belgium starting with the year 1200 approximately. The first written evidence dates from 1587.
Brussels sprouts reached the United States with the help of the French settlers who brought them to Louisiana in the 18th century. California’s Central Coast was the land of the first American sprouts cultivation in the 1920s. The production began to be significant only in the 1940s.
The small cabbages are not very fond of heat so you can usually eat them in winter. The temperature range is between 7-24C (45-75F) but they prefer it a little bit colder.
Fun Facts About Brussels Sprouts
Why Should You Eat Brussels Sprouts?
As I previously told you, there are only 43 calories in 100 grams of Brussels sprouts. This means they can be a perfect addition for your diet. Plus, they contain a lot of valuable nutrients, like vitamin C or K.
Vitamin K is essential for bone health and blood clotting. Half a cup of sprouts brings you 137% of the daily requirement for vitamin K.
Vitamin C has antioxidant properties, helps with the iron absorption and promotes immune strength. Brussels sprouts are one of the best vegetable sources of vitamin C.
Being cruciferous veggies, they also contain a high amount of fiber. Along with other greens, vegetables and whole grains, they help you meet your fiber needs and keep your gut healthy.
There are studies which show that the veggies from this family can keep the blood sugar levels steady, partially due to the high fiber amount. That is because fibers don’t rush through the body but move slowly and decreases the rate of sugar absorption in the blood.
It is always easy to add the sprouts into your diet as a side dish or appetizer. There are many ways to cook them. You may choose between roasting, steaming or boiling, or even sautéing them in some butter. They will taste equally delicious.
Tips for Buying and Storing Brussels Sprouts
If you haven’t seen them by now, you should know that these plants have thick stalks which are covered with little sprouts, all looking pretty much the same. You will also notice some giant leaves at the top of the stalks. Since they love low temperatures, their season starts at the beginning of September and lasts until March. You will find they taste best after the first frost because cold will make the sprouts produce sugar and you will be able to enjoy their sweetness.
In most cases, they are sold cut off the stalk but you may also find them not cut especially in peak season. Depending on when you are planning to use the sprouts, buy them on the stalk (they will last longer) or the loose ones if you are feeling like you definitely need to enjoy them the same day.
I usually prefer buying small and cute sprouts because they are sweet and tender. The larger ones have a flavor similar to the cabbage. If you like that, go for the larger ones. Make sure they have a vibrant green color, that is how you know they are fresh. Also they should be firm and don’t have many spots.
To store them, place the sprouts in a plastic bag and take it to the fridge. They will keep fresh and crisp for up to three days. You can still enjoy them later but the flavor will change and get stronger.
How to Cook Brussels Sprouts?
They are pretty easy to cook. You just need to pay attention because overcooking will turn them into a mush. You can also eat them raw but the best flavor comes up when cooking a bit. In both cases, it is recommended that you trim the ends.
When roasting, you will get their best concentrated sweetness and a bit nutty flavor. You may serve them with bacon, for example, but also with dressings such as a balsamic glaze or a vinaigrette.
How to Roast Brussels Sprouts?
To prepare them, you must first trim the ends. You can also cut into halves or leave them whole. I chose the last option because my sprouts were very small and I preferred the texture a bit crunchier.
After getting the veggies ready, line a baking tray with parchment paper and place the sprouts inside. Drizzle some olive oil, season with salt and pepper and take the tray inside the oven. Roast for 15 minutes, flip them over and roast for 10 minutes more.
Roasted brussels sprouts with balsamic goes together so well. This Brussels sprouts recipe requires a balsamic glaze made out of maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.
You have the option of drizzling it after you remove the veggies from heat. I wanted my sprouts a bit caramelized, so after flipping them over I added the glaze and let them cook.
How Many Calories in Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic?
Crispy Brussels sprouts may have more than 43 calories/100 grams depending on the glaze you add. For example, olive oil has 119 calories/tablespoon. If you are on a low-calorie diet, you may add less or ditch it completely. One teaspoon of maple syrup contains 18 calories. It’s up to you what you add to your sprouts so they will fit your nutritional needs.
How to Make Brussels Sprouts with Bacon?
I must confess that I like this recipe best: Brussels sprouts with bacon. The nutty flavor and tender texture of the sprouts pair in a magnificent way with crunchy bacon.
There are two ways to prepare this treat: you can cook the bacon separately or together with the sprouts. I chose to cook them together, so I placed the bacon bits over the sprouts and got some crispy Brussels sprouts and crunchy bacon.
Oven roasted Brussels sprouts go also well with bacon if it is cooked in a cast iron skillet, nonstick frying pan or stainless steel pan. You can fry it for a few minutes on each side and then chop it into small pieces.
How Long to Cook Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts?
Around twenty-five minutes are enough for the Brussels sprouts recipe. You should not forget to flip them over to avoid burning on one side. They will look a bit golden-brown here and there and that is perfectly ok.
In case you leave the veggies too much time in the oven they will get brown all over and begin to soften.
What to Eat with Brussels Sprouts?
Oven roasted Brussels sprouts pair well with a large variety of foods.
Roasted brussels sprouts with balsamic goes well with many types of proteins. These include pork, chicken, fish, duck, seafood, beef. Even vegetarians or vegans can add some protein intake to their meals by including tofu or legumes.
How to Reheat Roasted Brussels Sprouts?
There is a universal law of reheating and it’s pretty easy to remember: the best way to reheat a dish is by using the same method you used for cooking. It applies for crispy Brussels sprouts too. Just pay attention to set the oven to a lower temperature. A high one is great for cooking but since the veggies are already cooked you risk burning them. Use a lower temperature instead that will help the food heat through and remain crisp. It also works for Brussels sprouts with bacon.
Tips for Making the Best Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Make sure you don’t overcrowd them. If they overlap, you have the chance of getting some steamed sprouts instead of roasted ones. If you have a large quantity of veggies, consider using multiple trays.
You need a high temperature to get those charred edges and crispy outer leaves. So go over 400F. I personally roast them at 425F but set your oven anywhere between 400F and 450F.
In order to have the perfect roasted sprouts, also preheat the baking tray. Turn on the oven and place the tray inside. After everything is nicely heated, remove the tray. Be carefully as it is sizzling hot. Place the sprouts inside and take it back to the oven.
Happy cooking roasted brussels sprouts with balsamic!
- 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 slices organic bacon
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Trim the ends of the sprouts. Cut in halves or leave them whole if they are really small.
- Transfer the sprouts to a baking tray. Sprinkle salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle the olive oil. Toss to coat.
- Roast for 15 minutes at 425F.
- Meanwhile mix together the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup in a bowl. Chop the bacon.
- Flip over the sprouts and drizzle the balsamic glaze. Stir again to coat.
- Top with bacon bits and return to the oven.
- Roast for 10 more minutes.
- Top with some more freshly ground pepper and serve warm.
- Don’t be afraid to add any toppings you prefer to the Brussels sprouts with bacon. Fresh herbs are always a great idea: you may choose between parsley, rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme, basil or cilantro. In case you like hot food, spice them up with a pinch of cayenne and some dried chilies. Pecans, hazelnuts, pine nuts or almonds can enhance the nutty flavor. Even dried cranberries or pomegranate works well.
- In case some of the leaves fall off the sprouts, don’t you dare throw them away! I believe they are the best part of the roasted Brussels sprouts recipe. They are crunchy and crisp and extremely delicious.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to four days. Put them in an airtight container first. When you want to enjoy them, simply place the sprouts in a baking tray and reheat them at 350F for 5-10 minutes, making sure they don’t burn.
- Do not prepare them ahead as they taste best exactly after removing from the oven.