If you’re like me, you probably had childhood interactions with steamed or boiled Brussels sprouts. I’m sorry. But, there is hope. Learn how to saute Brussels sprouts and discover how they were meant to be eaten.
I am now a diehard fan of Brussels sprouts. Sauteeing leaves them well caramelized, and the flavor is sweet and nutty. And, don’t worry about a mushy texture. You get a crispy sear with plenty of bite to it.
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts
These are the things I keep in mind when preparing to saute Brussels sprouts:
First, always use fresh Brussels sprouts. Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that you can use frozen Brussels sprouts. They aren’t your friend.
(And if I’m wrong here? Tell me the secret to actually cooking and enjoying frozen Brussels. I’m always open to learning new things.)
Second, heat the pan before putting in the oil. It helps to use an oil with a higher smoking point instead of butter.
Third, if you tend them too frequently, they won’t sear. The best-tasting Brussels sprouts are the ones with browned and blackened areas on the edges where they develop a crispy char.
Let the Brussels sprouts sit in the pan long enough to brown on one side before tossing them. Those crispy bits really are the best part!
How to Saute Brussels Sprouts
Follow these directions on how to saute Brussels sprouts:
Prep the Brussels Sprouts: Clean them, then trim off the stem. Slice them lengthwise. And, remove any leaves that are yellowing. Pat them dry. Any excess water will result in steaming them.
Prep the pan: Get out your largest skillet (with sloping sides) or sauté pan (with vertical walls). For me, this Misen pan is the perfect skillet for sauteeing. Put the pan on a burner set to medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes.
Begin Sautéing: Add several tablespoons of oil and the Brussels sprouts to the pan. Season well.
Toss Frequently: Sauté comes from the French word for “jump” because of the way this cooking technique moves the food around. Many cooks use the pan itself to toss their Brussels sprouts.
If you’re risk averse like me, you can use a utensil to stir the Brussels sprouts or tongs to turn them. Either way, let them sit only long enough to brown a bit before you toss them.
It doesn’t take long to saute Brussels sprouts. Start checking them after 8 minutes. By that point, they should be turning brown and have started to soften.
Give them a taste test. If they are not finished, check again in 1 minute. They should be well-seared and fork-tender when you pull them off the heat.
And because bacon makes everything better, add some in the next time. Brussels sprouts with bacon, sliced almonds, and roasted garlic is a side dish dream. A drizzle of red wine vinegar brings all of the flavors together in this easy recipe.
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts can easily be turned into creamed Brussels Sprouts with garlic and parmesan. Sprinkle them with bacon and you won’t want to share!
How to Saute Brussels Sprouts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts sliced 1/4-inch thick
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon pepper adjust to taste
- Warm a large skillet over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes.
- Add oil and Brussels sprouts to the pan. Saute the Brussels sprouts about 8-10 minutes, tossing frequently while cooking.
- When Brussels sprouts are caramelized, remove from heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.