Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Jump to recipe
If you're not careful, these magical bites will disappear from the baking sheet before they make it to the table! Who knew we had to guard our vegetables?

If you’re not careful, these magical bites will disappear from the baking sheet before they make it to the table! Who knew we had to guard our vegetables?

 

 

 

 

I remember the first time my older son ate a Brussels sprout. A toddler at the time, he popped one into his mouth, and the edges of his mouth curled upward and his eyes grew wide.

“Yummmm!” he declared. “More?”

I was mildly mystified and equally gratified because these were most definitely not the words that came from my mouth when Brussels sprouts appeared on my childhood dinner plate. 

Steamed to a decidedly mushy state, the Brussels sprouts of my youth were a far cry from the crisp, caramelized roasted counterparts that have become so popular today. 

When roasted, Brussels sprouts-and so many other vegetables for that matter-need little more than a light coating of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to truly shine. So, for years, I resisted the temptation to do more. 

Why add extraneous ingredients? No need to mess with perfection. Simpler is so often better. Right? 

 

If you're not careful, these magical bites will disappear from the baking sheet before they make it to the table! Who knew we had to guard our vegetables?

Noting that I had several Brussels sprouts recipes on this site, but none for roasted sprouts, a friend recently encouraged me to fill that void. I almost went with the aforementioned barebones preparation that my family has enjoyed for years, highlighting the technique required to achieve that magical golden color and just-right texture. 

Before doing so, it seemed only right to be open-minded and experiment a little. As is often the case, “a little” experimenting led to my family eating A LOT of Brussels sprouts over the course of several weeks. 

And they were so happy! Especially when I hit upon the following recipe that struck me as simple with a little something extra. A just-right balance.

That “something extra” takes the form of Parmesan and balsamic, which are added in the final five minutes of cooking. This allows for the desired caramelization to occur first with enough time for the extras to be incorporated into the recipe without burning. 

 

How to make these Brussels sprouts really shine:

  • For maximum crispness and browning, make sure the sprouts are completely dry. Residual moisture will create steam, which works against these two goals.
  • Place the halved sprouts cut-side down on the baking sheet. The sprouts will brown where they come into contact with the baking sheet, so taking a minute or two to do this allows for maximum contact with the hot sheet. 
  • Include the leaves that fall off the sprouts while halving them as they will become extra crispy in the oven and provide an added layer of texture to the finished sprouts.
  • A dark-coated baking sheet aids browning more than a light one. (An old baking sheet that was light but has been stained dark over the years works well, too.) If you only have a light-colored sheet and struggle with getting your roasted vegetables to brown, try increasing the oven temperature by 25℉.
  • Along those lines, while parchment (or foil or a silicone mat for that matter) makes for easier cleanup, putting a layer of something between the vegetables and the extremely hot baking sheet changes how the heat is transferred and, as a result, how the vegetables cook. That is to say, vegetables roasted with one of these barriers will tend to be paler with fewer deeply-colored, crisp edges.
  • I opt for a small amount of garlic powder instead of minced, raw garlic. The latter burns too easily when roasting vegetables at high heat.
  • Go light on the balsamic: the small amount called for in the recipe adds a welcome hint of acid without overpowering the dish. 

 

What happens if my sprouts are small or inconsistently sized?

There’s a local market stand that prizes its baby sprouts, picked just after the first frost when their natural sugars are the highest. Deliciously tender and diminutive as they are, I’ve cooked these in 15 minutes total, without halving first. 

If your sprouts happen to be small, they may cook more quickly and not brown quite as much as a result. In this case, you could also roast them whole. Without the cut sides, there will be less contact with the pan and less browning, but they will still taste great.

If your sprouts are a mixed bag in terms of size, halve the large ones and leave the small sprouts whole so they cook through in approximately the same amount of time. Don’t worry if the sizing still seems a little inconsistent, as the disparity will add to the overall texture. 

 

Roasted Brussels sprouts soar to new heights thanks to a few choice ingredients and a few helpful tips. Vegetables never disappeared so fast!

Save and use any outer leaves that detach while halving the sprouts, as these become extra crispy and delicious in the oven. I often pluck off a handful of the outer leaves if they don’t fall off naturally!

Roasted Brussels sprouts soar to new heights thanks to a few choice ingredients and a few helpful tips. Vegetables never disappeared so fast!

Get your Parmesan and balsamic ready to quickly stir into the sprouts in the final minutes of roasting.

Roasted Brussels sprouts soar to new heights thanks to a few choice ingredients and a few helpful tips. Vegetables never disappeared so fast!

Place the coated sprouts and any leaves on the oiled or sprayed baking sheet, cut-side down, for maximum surface contact.

Roasted Brussels sprouts soar to new heights thanks to a few choice ingredients and a few helpful tips. Vegetables never disappeared so fast!

Remove the sprouts from the oven when they are golden and mostly cooked (but not quite) and then coat them with the Parmesan and balsamic before roasting for 5 more minutes. After stirring them, there’s no need to place them cut-side down again for the final stint in the oven. 

If you're not careful, these magical bites will disappear from the baking sheet before they make it to the table! Who knew we had to guard our vegetables?

One pound of Brussels sprouts disappears quickly in our house. I often make 1½ times the recipe to accommodate my family. The recipe doubles easily, too. Simply aim to keep some space between the sprouts, and if that cannot be achieved, go to a second baking sheet. 

Roasted Brussels sprouts soar to new heights thanks to a few choice ingredients and a few helpful tips. Vegetables never disappeared so fast!

Warning: these have a tendency to vanish before ever making it to the dinner plates! That said, while they taste best fresh out of the oven, I consider myself lucky if there are leftovers to enjoy.  

 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan
Yield: 3-4 servings (easy to make 1½ - 2 times the recipe)
Parmesan provides a crusty, cheesy finish to these easy roasted Brussels sprouts, and a touch of balsamic vinegar ratchets up the flavor a few more notches. Vegetables never disappeared so fast!
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 tablespoons (28ml) olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon EACH freshly ground black pepper and garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar*
  • ¼ cup (20g) grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425℉, and spray or grease a large, rimmed baking sheet.

In a large bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to evenly coat. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer with the cut sides facing down.

Roast for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom and nearly tender. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the Parmesan and balsamic. Toss to evenly coat, and then continue roasting for 5 minutes or until the sprouts are just tender and golden brown.

Notes

*I’ve used lemon juice in place of the balsamic with good results, although my family and I think the balsamic version is the winner. Also, I use a basic, grocery store balsamic. No need to use anything fancy!

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments

  1. Lee Post author

    Awesome!! I’ve finally decided to give Brussel sprouts a try, and so far i have had mixed results. Since every recipe of yours i have tried has been an instant winner, i cannot wait to try this one!!

    Reply
    1. Ann Post author

      Thank you so much for the kind words…and I can’t wait to hear if you end up liking Brussels sprouts a little more!

      Reply