5 Secrets For Making Brussels Sprouts Taste Better

Brussels sprouts get a bad rap for being a bitter and unpleasant-tasting vegetable. Done the right way, however, they can actually be quite tasty—not to mention nutritious! Instead of struggling to swallow a plate of bland, boring and boiled Brussels sprouts, try these tips and tricks to turn this dreaded cruciferous vegetable into a gourmet staple.

1. Roast Them

Roasting your Brussels sprouts takes away some of their bitterness, making the outsides crisp and the insides tender. To roast, simply toss the veggies in some oil with salt and pepper, and put in the oven. Check out Ina Garten’s recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts here.

brussels sprouts photo
Flickr | mealmakeovermoms

2. Massage Them In A Salad

Like kale, Brussels sprouts can be “massaged” to reduce the bitterness and make the leaves more tender, which is a perfect way to enjoy the cruciferous vegetable as a salad. To massage, sprinkle on some salt and olive oil, and using your hands, knead the Brussels sprouts to soften.

brussels salad photo

3. Sauté Them

If you don’t have time to roast your Brussels sprouts, you can sauté them in some olive oil or butter instead. Like roasting, sautéing the vegetable will not only soften it, but make it taste slightly sweeter. Add some spices or sauté them with garlic for more flavor. Here’s a sautéed Brussels sprouts recipe from Martha Stewart to try.

brussels sprouts photo
Flickr | Laurel Fan

4. Pair Them With Sweet Flavors

Because Brussels sprouts have such an intense flavor, they pair well with sweeter flavors for balance. Try serving your Brussels sprouts with some candied nuts or fruit for an easier-to-handle flavor. You can also use flavors like balsamic vinegar or maple to add some sweetness to your savory dish.

brussels sprouts photo
Flickr | cajsa.lilliehook

5. Shred Them

Shredding your Brussels sprouts can make them more palatable and easier to consume. Toss them raw in a salad, or sauté them after shredding. Stores like Trader Joes sell pre-shredded Brussels sprouts, but you can also do it yourself using a food processor, grater, or knife.

brussels sprouts photo
Flickr | Andrea_Nguyen

With a little creativity, your Brussels sprouts may be the most popular dish at dinner!