Roasted Brussel Sprouts

If you think you don’t care for brussel sprouts, try this recipe and you may find yourself rethinking the lovely little cabbage-like treats. The bonus: they’re incredibly simple to prepare.

  • Brussel sprouts – the quantity will depend on whether you’re setting these out as appetizers, a main course salad or to accompany a chicken or turkey dinner. For your first time, buy a couple of dozen or so and you’ll soon see that you can play this recipe by ear.
  • Olive oil – three tablespoons if you’re preparing two pounds of sprouts; I simply eyeball it. Use grapeseed oil if you prefer.
  • Dried, unsweetened cranberries – to taste; I’ll use anywhere from one third to one half cup when preparing a couple of dozen sprouts. The recipe I originally used for roasting these sprouts called for bacon and parmesan cheese. Instead, I substitute dried cranberries for a colour kick and for their great taste.
  • Sea salt – to taste
  • While not technically an ingredient, you’ll want to ensure you have parchment paper at hand

Optional ingredients – We’ve been getting farm-fresh brussel sprouts that are delicious with almost no seasoning, and I enjoy them with nothing more than olive (or grapeseed) oil, sea salt and dried cranberries. If you want to take this dish in a different direction, go for the maple syrup, bacon and parmesan cheese!

  • Pepper – to taste
  • Maple syrup – up to two tablespoons
  • Bacon – if preparing two pounds of the sprouts, use up to six slices, crumbled
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved – to taste

You’re more likely to buy your Brussel sprouts after they’ve been removed from the stalk, but here’s a look at the stalks on which they grow!

  1. Trim the ends of each brussel sprout.
  2. Soak the brussel sprouts for 10 – 15 minutes in a bowl filled with water. You may prefer to simply rinse them, but I do this so that any bits of soil that may be inside the compact leaves slip out to the bottom of the bowl rather than your serving plate. Drain your sprouts, and you won’t have any soggy taste.
  3. While your sprouts are soaking, preheat the oven to 400 F / 200 C.
  4. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. After you’ve soaked them, tear or cut off and compost the outer leaf from each sprout.
  6. You may choose to roast your brussel sprouts whole; it’s a matter of preference and how much chopping you’re inclined (or not) to do. I prefer cutting them in half, so that you get more of those crispy outer edges and the lovely colours that come with roasting.
  7. Set your sprouts on the parchment paper.
  8. Drizzle the sprouts with olive oil, and season with a bit of salt. If you’re going the maple syrup and pepper route, you’d also add them at this point.
  9. Mix the sprouts to coat all sides with the olive oil and, if you add it, maple syrup. You can do this in a bowl, but I simply pull up the edges of the parchment paper and roll the sprouts around a bit.
  10. If you’re adding bacon, pre-cook it and crumble it ahead of time so that you can also add it to the sprouts when you pull them out of the oven.

Dried, unsweetened cranberries add colour and a flavour kick to these sprouts

A tip

When you cut and set out the sprouts on the parchment paper, you may want to pull off additional outer leaves here and there, and cluster them in one area of your baking sheet. These will become extra crispy and delicious! They’ll also likely be done when you flip your sprouts half way through their roast, so you can set them in the serving dish to await the rest of the batch or let people nibble away on them as a pre-meal treat.


  1. Place your tray of Brussel sprouts in the oven. You’ll want to roast them for a total of 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Since you’ll turn your sprouts half way through to ensure even roasting and colours, set your timer for 15 minutes and then turn them.
  3. Set your dried cranberries aside, so that you can sprinkle them over the finished product when you serve the sprouts.
  4. If adding bacon to your sprouts, this is when you’d cook and then crumble your bacon.
  5. If adding parmesan cheese to the toppings, this is also when you’d grate or shave whatever amount you wish to use.

If serving with bacon and parmesan cheese, toss the sprouts and bacon together (you’ll likely forgo cranberries in this case) before serving, and sprinkle with shaved parmesan cheese.


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