Easy Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Easy Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Growing up, I thought brussels sprouts were dis.gus.ting.

While I’m confessing, I might as well tell you that I didn’t like avocados either.

Clearly, the first 16 years of my life were an epicurean wasteland.

It turns out that my problem with brussels sprouts was that I was eating them (or not eating them, as the case was) steamed.

And in my teenage self’s defense, I still think steamed brussels sprouts are kinda gross.

But do you know what’s amazing?

Roasted brussel spouts. Oh my goodness, roasted brussels sprouts are so deliciously amazing. And when you add some balsamic vinegar into the mix? Heaven!

They are nutty and just a drop sweet, thanks to the wonderful caramelization that comes from roasting veggies.

Not only have I come to love roasted brussels sprouts as an adult, but my eight- and ten-year old sons already love them!

In fact, whenever I make a pan of these, I find myself swatting away their hands so they don’t eat them all before dinner. (Not that that would be the worst thing in the world.)

I figured that if I could get my boys to ask me to make something that has been dubbed “the world’s healthiest vegetable”, then I just had to share this “recipe” with all of you on KOAB. (Recipe is in quotes because I’m not sure something this easy can technically qualify as a recipe.)

We tend to make two pounds of brussels sprouts, so we double the rest of the ingredients, as well. My family of five can easily eat all two pounds in one meal!

* Note on kashrut: There are varying opinions as to whether brussels sprouts can be sufficiently cleaned and checked with regard to bug concerns. I know that many, therefore, do not eat fresh brussels sprouts. If you want to make this recipe with Bodek frozen brussels sprouts, I think your final product will be a very close approximation.  I do recommend roasting them from frozen, rather than letting them defrost, to avoid sogginess. Check the cook time – they might not need as long. Try turning up the heat for the last two minutes to expedite the caramelization.

** Note on Cost: The price per pound of brussels sprouts varies with the season. Good thing they’re in season right now — you can currently get a two-pound bag at my Costco for just $3.50. (Yup, add brussels sprouts to the list of things to buy at Costco!)

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What’s your favorite easy veggie side dish? Do you have any childhood food dislikes that have became an adulthood favorite?


  1. Mara – I cannot wait to try these. I HATED them as a child but had them roasted and grilled over the summer and loved them. I will be trying this recipes SOON! THANKS

  2. Mara – I hear you! My mom so overcooked frozen veggies, I couldn’t eat them. My fresh veggie epiphany came in middle school when leaving for a field trip. The Science teacher had us put our heads out of the bus windows and popped a fresh pea from the pod into each of our mouths. (Try doing that now, it wouldn’t work.) It was so sweet and delectable that I was hooked. As soon as I was on my own, fresh veggies ruled the day.

    Fast forward to having children. The kids never really liked fresh veggies. A bunch of years ago we ended up in a situation where allergies, etc… caused a change in how we cooked. Hmm, how was I to reinvent fresh veggies, which I usually slightly steamed or stir-fried, and learn how to use unfamiliar fresh veggies? I decided to hang around the fruit and veg market and when someone grabbed a veggie, I asked them how they cooked it. I had so much fun and folks loved sharing their recipes. A winner: almost any green veggie sautéed in fresh garlic and a little bit of olive oil.

    The kids loved this and started picking the green beans, broccoli, kale, spinach, escarole, out of the pan. I didn’t stop them and it became a game to see if they could finish the veggies before dinner. Who was I to argue? Hubby was concerned as the kids were eating out of the pan. I shushed him and whispered, “They’re eating vegetables!”. He understood. To this day, if they are home, they eat the veggies out of the pan and we love it! (For those concerned about manners, the kids have excellent table manners. We limited the filching from the pan to veggies only.)

    Brussels sprouts – if you eat fresh and feel you can clean them well enough, try cooking them on the stalk. Great presentation and yummy. The directions are usually attached to the stalk, though it’s easy to find recipes on the internet. I’m going to try the balsamic vinegar as soon as I can get to Costco for the Brussels Sprouts. We love balsamic vinegar.

  3. I have been looking for Bodek frozen
    brussel sprouts for over two years. I am unable to find them anywhere, including the big cities like Chicago, Baltimore and NY.

  4. Barbara Phipps says

    I hated asparagus for exactly the same reason! My mother boiled it and it was mushy!–or, even worse, she served canned. I was in my late 30s before I found out it could be good steamed crisp tender or grilled. It’s YUM.

  5. Pretty sure I’ve never come close to a brussel sprout in my life, but those look delicious ~ if I ever get courageous enough to try them, I’ll let you know. 😉

  6. Haven’t tried with balsamic yet but I will, they are delic with just roasting in over with olive oil or meyer lemon oil, if you think these are good then also try cauliflower and roast the same way-yummo.

  7. I have never heard of bugs in Brussels Sprouts. In The Netherlands (Holland) it is a very popular vegetable and always eaten fresh ! Never found bugs in them as well.
    I will certainly try out your very intriging receipe. To me it seems delicious and it is something new for me. Thank you very much.

  8. I have these in the oven now, they are so pretty! I think I have the urge to microplane some parmesan on them when they come out, but I am gonna try it without first! I love Brussels sprouts! 🙂

  9. They didn’t even ‘sort of’ need parm! Although I am sure it would be good cuz parm added to anything is great, but HOLY SMOKES these were sooooo good on their own. So much so, that my husband who hates them, now says he likes them! Thanks!

  10. Do you roast them cut side down or up?

  11. In the oven now!!! I love balsamic vinegar do it can’t go wrong. When I told my husband that’s what I’m making for supper he looked at me like a little kid being forced into spinach!!! I’m betting he loves them!!

  12. I must have done something wrong. The outside was yummy but, the insides were bitter tasting. Mind you, these cake from a small town grocery store in Central Illinois so they probably aren’t the best quality. I will try again this summer when I can get them fresh at a farmer’s market!!

    • Mara Strom says

      Oh no! Were they hard or mushy inside? I think they have to be el dente so to speak – that’s the sweet spot (literally sweet) with brussels sprouts.

  13. I made these a couple weeks ago and am about to make them again tonight. I use frozen brussel sprouts but at the end of the cooking time, I turn the broiler on and give them a few more minutes. They came out perfect! Not mushy at all!

  14. Cindy Haveman says

    If I use frozen sprouts, are they too hard/solid to be cut in half ? Thanks


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