Although you may remember them as the bane of your childhood existence, Brussels sprouts are the slightly smaller, but equally delicious, cousin of cabbage. Forget whatever you may have thought about Brussels sprouts in your youth and give them another try. When in doubt, pair sprouts with pork; whether it’s bacon, pancetta or even chorizo, no one will be able to resist your bacon-y Brussels sprouts.
On their own, Brussels sprouts are quite the superfood: They’re low in calories, yet packed with vitamin C, fiber and even protein.
Brussels sprouts grow on a long branch, and although it’s a shock at first glance, a stalk of Brussels sprouts is easy to manage; carefully cut off the individual sprouts and peel off the first layer of leaves before rinsing and cooking. Alternatively, purchase trimmed Brussels sprouts for a jump-start in the kitchen.
Thanksgiving is the perfect occasion to showcase your newfound love for sprouts. If you’re still curious about sprouts, check out this Brussels sprouts tutorial, then get cooking. Your mother would be so proud.
- If you’ve never made Brussels sprouts (or have never truly enjoyed them), start out with simple Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
- Deep-fried Brussels Sprouts are tossed with a miso-sake sauce and crispy bacon for an Asian take on classic flavors.
- Brussels sprouts are often roasted, but they can also be cooked on the stovetop. Get them nice and brown, then add water, stock or white wine to cook them the rest of the way. Try the method out with Tiffani Thiessen’s Balsamic-Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta (pictured above).
- Bal Arneson’s Indian Brussels Sprouts are tossed with garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, smoked paprika and fenugreek leaves for a fully flavored side dish.
- Anne Burrell’s simple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon are finished with toasted pine nuts and a bit of shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- Simply cooked Slow-Cooked Brussels Sprouts are the base for a great side dish. Add some fresh herbs or spices like crushed red pepper to give it a kick.
- The classic combination of Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Bacon is the perfect vegetable dish for your holiday table. Cooking the sprouts in bacon fat adds a whole lot of flavor to the sometimes-bitter vegetable.
- Blanch and then cool Brussels sprouts in an ice bath for Aarón Sánchez’s Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Chorizo.
- If you don’t have the time for roasted sprouts, try Shredded Brussels Sprouts, which cook up in a matter of minutes when sauteed.
- Emeril Lagasse grills the whole stalk of Brussels sprouts before cutting off the tiny cabbages and cooking them with bacon and white wine in his Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Hash.
- Parmesan-Crumb-Coated Brussels Sprouts are an easy side dish for the holidays. You can par-cook the sprouts until bright green and tender the day before you want to eat, then toss them in the oven to heat up right before you’re ready to sit down at the table.
- Peel the leaves off of Brussels sprouts for Chuck Hughes’ Brussels Sprouts Salad cooked in duck fat.
- Steamed Brussels Sprouts and Turnips are topped with a rich anchovy butter sauce. Cream-based sauces don’t reheat well, so eat all of the veggies on the first go-round, or serve the sauce on the side if you’re planning on having leftovers.
- Sunny Anderson’s Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon make a quick and easy side for a Southern-style meal. Serve the sprouts alongside Apple Cider Chicken, then finish off the meal with Upside-Down Cornbread Cake for dessert.
- A step up from the standard sprouts, Michael Symon’s recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with a Bacon, Mustard and Walnut Vinaigrette is sweet, rich and tangy all at the same time.
- Laura Calder utilizes the best of the season and reimagines Thanksgiving dinner with her recipe for Turkey Paupiettes with Chestnuts and Brussels Sprouts.
- Bacon-Braised Brussels Sprouts are tender from being braised, but they’re also crispy, tossed in panko breadcrumbs and baked in the oven.
- Rachael Ray turns Brussels sprouts into a full meal with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Mac and Cheese.
- Serve Mustard-Brined Pork Loin with Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with German Dumplings for a fully authentic meal. Don’t soak the pork for more than six hours or it will absorb too much salt.
- Instead of the usual bacon or pancetta, diced ham is thrown into the mix for Brussels Sprouts, Kale and Celery Root Gratin. So. Many. Vegetables.
- Gochujang is the flavor base behind Korean-Style Brussels Sprouts with Marinated Skirt Steak. Gochujang, a fermented soybean-chile paste, is a staple in Korean kitchens and can be found in the global section of some grocery stores, as well as in Asian specialty markets.
- Use a mandoline to thinly slice fingerling potatoes for Potato Crusted-Trout Fillets with Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, Plump Golden Raisins and Toasted Pecans.
- Whole-Wheat Veggie Lovers’ Pie is a lightened-up pizza, perfect for your next Meatless Monday.
- Create an Italian masterpiece in your own kitchen: Venetian-Style Polenta Cakes with Cavolini di Bruxelles. Polenta is finely ground cornmeal, similar to Southern grits, which can be used as a substitute in a pinch.
- Core Brussels sprouts to quickly separate the leaves for Michael’s “Little” Cabbage Salad.
More 25 Ways: