From boiled to air-fried, we compared six different methods to cook Brussels sprouts.
Brussels sprouts are tiny members of the cabbage family that often divide opinions! Love them or loathe them, these little greens pack a flavourful punch and offer impressive nutritional benefits.
In this exploration, we look at six distinct cooking methods for Brussels sprouts to reveal the ultimate way to savour them. From preserving their tender crunch to elevating their natural sweetness, we uncover the nuances of each method and discover the secrets to unlocking the best flavours.
Whether you’re an avid Brussels sprouts fan or a curious sceptic, get ready to reimagine this vegetable!
Here’s a secret: if you aren’t a fan, you might just be preparing them incorrectly. Avoid overcooking, especially if serving them plain, or try finely sliced raw Brussels sprouts in salads for a unique earthy, subtly peppery bite.
The cooking comparison: 6 methods to cook Brussels sprouts
Boiling allows the savoury earthiness of Brussels sprouts to really shine, with a few subtle hints of crisp pepperiness. Be sure not to overboil to retain their vibrant colour and crisp bite.
Toss them in a lemon-butter sauce for a delightful zesty touch that enhances their earthy flavours.
RECIPE TO TRY: Creamy lemon-butter sauce
Steamed Brussels sprouts offer a flavour profile similar to boiled ones – earthy with a subtle peppery bite. As with boiling, don’t over-steam if you wish to serve Brussels sprouts with a bright green hue.
Pair them with a creamy cheese sauce to maintain their tender texture while adding depth and indulgence to the dish.
Microwaving produces a similar flavour profile to boiling and steaming. The end result is earthy and savoury with a distinctive light peppery bite. However, they can overcook easily, so monitor them closely for crispness and vibrancy.
Combine microwaved Brussels sprouts with a tangy balsamic glaze for a quick, crispy treat balancing sweet-tart flavours with earthiness.
Pan-frying allows Brussels sprouts to caramelise beautifully while retaining their vibrant green colour and crispness. The result is super savoury and moreish; a little earthy but with a rich caramelised flavour depth.
Try Brussels sprouts sautéed with crispy bacon bits and caramelised onions for the ultimate treat!
MUST-MAKE RECIPE: Pork ribeye with Brussels and bacon
Despite some colour change and shrinkage, roasting showcases Brussels sprouts’ earthy, nutty sweetness the most.
They can be enjoyed as is straight out the roasting tray, or try elevating roasted Brussels sprouts by adding a touch of honey and toasted almonds for a delightful blend of sweet, crunchy and nutty flavours.
Though air-frying may shrink Brussels sprouts slightly, as seen with the roasting method, it delivers seriously flavourful Brussels sprouts.
The outer leaves become beautifully crisp while the middle remains nice and tender, resulting in Brussels sprouts that have a wonderful earthy savouriness to them with subtle peppery notes and hints of charred sweetness.
Season them with garlic powder and parmesan cheese for a savoury, crunchy delight!
MUST-TRY RECIPE: Brussels sprout chips