I think Brussels sprouts might be my favorite vegetable. But I understand that this is an unpopular opinion.
It wasn’t love at first sight – these things seldom are – but you could say it all started back in the day when I was visiting Nashville, amidst the excitement and unknowns of another budding relationship.
One Sunday night, when I was having dinner with friends, we poured leftover walnut and sage brown butter onto roasted Brussels sprouts, and couldn’t believe how delicious it was.
In truth, I shouldn’t have been all that surprised, having tasted the sweet caramelization of Brussels sprouts for the first time at a restaurant less than a year before, and then again in my own kitchen when I attempted to replicate it at home.
But, as we sometimes do when we’re busy or distracted or generally not tuned in, in the following months, I’d managed to forget all about it. The Nashville Brussels sprouts, thank goodness, made a more lasting impression. And I’ve seldom been without them ever since.
It’s funny how that works, you know? One day, you have plain, unremarkable vegetables – or, say, that person you hadn’t thought much of previously. Until one day, they do something impressive, and you think, “Huh. I never noticed that before!”
And sometimes, that’s enough to change your interactions forever after, to set you on a course to a whole new path in life. Other times, you forget and move on, and have to be impressed all over again.
For us, Brussels sprouts are that love that came quietly, without seeking it out, expecting it, or planning for its entrance into our routines.
Through gentle persistence, it’s become the vegetable that most often accompanies our Sunday night dinners, a favorite side dish on busy weeknights, the thing we pick up from the produce department “as a treat” but not the kind that we need to indulge in only occasionally.
Nowadays, we like ours served very simply – barely dressed, just sauteed or roasted enough to turn soft and golden, with crispy edges that crunch when you take a bite.
We cook them in coconut oil, with hefty dashes of salt and pepper, maybe with some red chili flakes thrown in. And that’s really all you need.
This little cabbage-like vegetable was once barely even an afterthought, but now, I celebrate it!Print
An oft-maligned green vegetable gets a makeover with our caramelized red chili version. It’s a spicy and flavorful way to enjoy Brussels sprouts. Read more.
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, washed and quartered
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until fully melted. Add Brussels sprouts. Season with chili flakes, salt, and pepper, and toss to coat.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook until the sprouts are soft and golden, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
- Category: Vegetables
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Side Dishes
Keywords: Brussels sprouts, chili pepper, spicy
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prepare Vegetables and Measure Remaining Ingredients
Wash and quarter the Brussels sprouts. Set them aside.
Measure out the remaining ingredients, and set these aside as well, so they will be ready when you need them.
Step 2 – Season and Cook
In a large skillet, melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the prepped veggies.
Stir in the chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Toss a couple of times to coat.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook the sprouts until they are soft and golden, stirring occasionally.
This should take about 30 minutes total.
Want to shave off some cooking time? You can cook the veggies in the pressure cooker before finishing off in the pan with the other ingredients!
Why You Should Eat More of These Green Wonders
I used to hate Brussels sprouts, but ever since I discovered they could be spicy and delicious like they are in this particular recipe, I’ve been all about them.
Another reason to love on these little green buds of deliciousness is all the healthy nutrients that come along with them. Brussels sprouts are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, and high in dietary fiber. And there’s some potassium and vitamin A in there as well!
Really, you need to be making sprouts on the regular. And this is the perfect way to do it. The simple ingredients and the easy cooking process make it a dish that you will want to serve alongside just about any entree you are cooking for dinner.
What would you like eat with these little green balls of deliciousness? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to give the recipe a five-star rating if you loved it!
And if you love your Brussels sprouts, check out some of these tasty recipes:
- Sesame Sage Roasted Vegetables with Barley
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Toasted Walnuts & Dates
- Pasta with Shaved Brussels, Leeks, and Pine Nuts
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on March 6, 2012. Last updated: October 6, 2021 at 11:03 am. With additional writing and editing by Meghan Yager and Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
The staff at Foodal are not medical professionals and this article should not be construed as medical advice. Foodal and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet, or using supplements or manufactured or natural medications.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.