Weeknight Dinner Staple: Roasted Brussels Sprouts

roasted Brussels sprouts

I almost couldn’t bring myself to label a vegetable as a dinner staple. I was never much of a vegetable fan. I’m more of the “only eat your pile of peas to get your dessert” type. That was the rule in my house growing up; you had to eat all the vegetables on your plate. Usually I knew exactly how many there were, suffering and whining my way through all fifteen of those mushy peas, counting down one by one as I got closer to the finish. Eyes on the prize. No pain, no gain.

As a chocolate lover, it’s hard to admit, but I have to confess something. I tend to hit up the vegetables for a second helping now. I know…what! Well, wait, just kidding. I never go back for round two when it comes to peas. Not even firsts. I still hate peas, but maybe I’ll come around.

Roasted veggies changed my whole produce perspective. Asparagus, cauliflower, parsnips, and Brussels sprouts are a few of my favorite sides with dinner lately, all of which I could take or leave normally. But when roasted, give me all the veggies.

A little olive oil, salt, and pepper is all you need to whip up some tasty vegetables, my friends. Whatever else you add (ahem, garlic) can enhance the flavors, but these basics are enough to get you somethin’ good.

Here are the steps I follow for roasted Brussels sprouts. They can be thrown together in no time, making a quick, easy, and healthy side dish. Or hey, if you decide you only want to eat veggies for dinner, this is a judgement-free zone. But you should probably follow up with some ice cream, just sayin’.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt (we’ve been using freshly ground pink Himalayan salt lately, so good, but kosher or regular old iodized table salt will do just fine)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Panko breadcrumbs (optional)
  • Additional 2 teaspoons olive oil (optional, if you toast breadcrumbs)

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°F. Trim ends off Brussels sprouts and cut them in half. A lot of the leaves will fall off in the process. It’s up to you whether or not you want to use those. I use most of them; they crisp up and taste like a potato chip (sorta). Who doesn’t love chips?

Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium heat until almost simmering. Add Brussels sprouts to pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Don’t skimp on the salt and pepper for this one! Cook until Brussels sprouts are browned. I love how the Brussels sprouts come out when browned a bit before putting them into the oven to roast, but you can skip this step if you prefer not to use the extra pan. If you skip this step, you’ll need to increase your cook time in the oven.

If you want to add a little extra crunch, add panko breadcrumbs. I add them to the pan on the stove a few minutes before transferring the Brussels sprouts to a baking sheet to give them time to brown a bit. Alternatively, you can toast your breadcrumbs in a separate pan before adding them to the Brussels sprouts (a recommendation that I love from my Aunt Julie!). To do that, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium-high heat in a small pan. Add ¼ cup panko. Mix well and stir often until breadcrumbs are toasted, about 2-4 minutes. Then, add them to the Brussels sprouts in pan on stove and mix.

Once the Brussels sprouts are browned, transfer them to a baking sheet. Bake at 350°F for about 20-25 minutes. I find that to be enough time, but if you like them extra roasted, keep ’em cooking.

This is the point when I usually start picking at the chips and eating them before they get to my plate.