Veg intimidation: how to make Brussels sprouts taste good

(“good” as in “not only edible but totally delicious”)

Hi! Hope you’re having a wonderful afternoon. Thank you so much for the awesome comments on this morning’s post. I’ve loved reading your stories of triumphs, and was really excited to share the video with you guys. Thank you for chiming in, encouraging the conversation, and making this blog the community it is. <3 

Now, let’s talk about stinky veggies. 

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As you guys know, I’m a huge fan of cauliflower (especially cauliflower mash! Poor Liv thinks it smells like sadness) and Brussels sprouts. They’re back in season, and I was stocked to see buckets of bountiful fall produce at the market this weekend. I excitedly picked up a container, and knew what they’re be destined for.

For Brussels sprouts, they’re really just like many veggies: all they really need is olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice/zest, a hefty sprinkle of sharp cheese, and some red chili flakes.  

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(This also works extremely well for zucchini, asparagus, squash, and potatoes!)

Here’s what I did for these:

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-Preheated the oven to 350 and sprayed a cookie sheet with olive oil.

-Washed the sprouts and then picked off any outer leaves that looked gnarly.

-Cut the stems off (I don’t know if this is totally necessary but I’ve always done it) and sliced each little bulb into three pieces

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-Transferred them to the baking dish and drizzled with olive oil before seasoning liberally with salt, pepper and garlic powder

-Baked for about 20 minutes (until the edges were browned and crispy) and transferred to a bowl. Some of them mysteriously disappeared in this process.

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-Topped with about a cup of fresh grated Manchego, the juice of one lemon, and a hefty sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

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Even the Pilot, who doesn’t love fall produce quite as much, even said it was “pretty good” in between mouthfuls 😉

Brussels sprouts: love or loathe? What’s your favorite way to prepare them, or favorite simple veggie preparation?

Have a great night!




Veg intimidation: artichokes

Veg intimidation: kale

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  1. Amy S on September 8, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Those look really good! I always thought I hated Brussels sprouts until a friend made them for a party last fall and she worked some magic with them. 😉 They were delicious – I wonder if her recipe was similar to yours! Either way I’ll have to give yours a try!

  2. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on September 8, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Brussels sprouts are actually my favorite. I keep them simple. Just roast them in the oven 35 minutes at 375 with a little garlic powder, pepper & EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). I love mine brown. They taste like candy.

    • Fitnessista on September 8, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      i like mine totally charred haha 🙂

      • Leigh on September 9, 2014 at 1:23 pm

        That’s also how I like my roasted broccoli! My mom still asks if I eat Brussels sprouts so I should just be a grown up and give them a shot. 🙂

  3. Megan on September 8, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    This does sound good! I will have to try these soon. They are also really good with maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and pepper – my family, who hates Brussels sprouts, loves them with just a little maple syrup.

    • Fitnessista on September 8, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      ooooooooooh i can’t wait to try this!

  4. Paula on September 8, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    I like to roast them and drizzle a maple balsamic glaze over them. Bacon also works wonders. I’d love to try the manchego (one of my favorite cheeses), but I’ll have to put something else delicious and dairy-free on the husband’s portion — or eat them all myself? *BURP*

    • Fitnessista on September 8, 2014 at 6:49 pm

      hahah! i think all brussels sprouts recipes are one serving.

  5. RachelG on September 8, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    Loathed without ever having tried them. I may need to give this recipe a go. 🙂

    • Fitnessista on September 8, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      dooooooo it

  6. Sarah on September 8, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    My favorite is to slice them super thin and saute them with diced sweet potatos, onions, bell pepper and garlic. Throw in some cooked bacon pieces and serve with an egg on top.

    • Fitnessista on September 8, 2014 at 6:51 pm

      this may be dinner in a couple of nights. sounds fantastic!! do you boil the sweet potatoes first?

      • sarah on September 8, 2014 at 10:06 pm

        I don’t usually because I cut them so small but you could and it would cook much faster

        • Jen on September 8, 2014 at 10:16 pm

          Completely trying this…probably daily haha

    • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on September 9, 2014 at 8:32 am

      Yum! You are speaking my language 🙂

  7. Robin on September 8, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I’m unable to think of two veggies I love more than brussels sprouts and cauliflower, my girls are all on board too. The hubby? Not so much…

  8. Amanda @ Positively Amanda on September 8, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Love love love brussels sprouts! I just ate them for dinner. My favorite way to prepare them is to roast them. I think it gives them so much more flavor that way!

  9. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on September 8, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    I like them, but have never made them at home. I will need to try this!

  10. Karra on September 8, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    We always just cook brussels in coconut oil and toss in some almonds– MY FAV!

  11. Amber Schumann on September 8, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    I never liked brussel sprouts until I had them grilled a couple years ago. Uuunnnnnnnbelievable!!! I tried roasting them last year–not bad. But I learned the heard way that they don’t taste great re-heated…only go fresh!

  12. Amanda on September 8, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    Lufff them! I’ll be trying these ones for sure. Thanks girl!

  13. Brittanyo on September 8, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Love B.Spouts with bacon of course, but lately I’ve been halving them and roasting them with all of my other fall veggies for the “tupperware o’ veggies” that I keep in my office fridge (included in the magical mix is edamame, corn, green beans, broccoli, and zucchini (yellow squash too). People have been *very intrigued at work. I add olive oil, salt/peppa, and garlic, because garlic is delicious.

  14. Barb on September 8, 2014 at 8:11 pm

    Love them, once I discovered that roasting does magic things to them. Thought I hated them when I was younger because my mom used to make us eat them boiled…ickkk! Our dog got a lot if them when we growing up!

  15. Michelle on September 8, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    Love Brussels Sprouts. I roast them with sea salt and garlic. But they have to be cooked until they are burnt. Yummy.

  16. Katherine on September 8, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    I am not a huge Brussels sprouts fan- but I love them roasted like you have and then tossed in balsamic vinegar afterward!

  17. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on September 8, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Love Brussel sprouts! These look yummy. 🙂

  18. Christy L. on September 8, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    There is a tapas place here that has Chili Lime Brussels sprouts on the menu seasonally, and they are so incredible.

  19. Linda @ Fit Fed and Happy on September 8, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    Drench them in good sauce and you won’t taste the bitterness!

  20. Chicago Jogger on September 8, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Ooh my favorite part are the crispy, burnt pieces from over baking 🙂 I’ll admit I’ve never tried squeezing a lemon + red pepper flakes. I’ll be adding this to my recipe list!

  21. Holley @ on September 8, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    I do something similar to this but didn’t think about sprinkling a strong cheese in there, I am gonna try it! I also like my veggies pretty simple though, basics like s&p, olive oil and lemon go a long way!

  22. Jen on September 8, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    So Brussels sprouts are totally one of my favorite foods! I looooove them 🙂

    I’m stoked to try your recipe as well as some in the comments! My favorite way to cook them is to steam them and toss with a little butter, lemon juice, garlic powder, dill, salt, and pepper. It is glorious!

    Also, keep on cutting this bottoms off – they’re bitter, and most people who don’t like them (at least from my totally unofficial survey of friends and coworkers) have tried them with the bottoms.

    *raises fork* cheers!

  23. Jordan @ Harleys & Heels on September 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Yummy! I recently ventured out of my comfort zone and tried roasted brussel sprouts for the first time about a month ago. I love the idea of the lemon choose and red pepper flakes. Will definitely be trying this soon.

  24. Susie M. on September 8, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    I eat Brussels sprouts like candy. I love them! My favorite way to make them by far is to drizzle coconut oil and pure maple syrup on them along with a sprinkle of salt before roasting them. They come out crispy and caramelized – delicious!

  25. jodi on September 8, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    i just go for the “normal” roasting until they’re almost burnt :o) also i love drizzling with TJ’s balsamic glaze once they come out of the oven. gives ’em a nice flavor!

  26. Steph on September 8, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    My favorite way to prepare Brussels sprouts is to throw them into the garbage disposal.
    Seriously. #1 on my foodie hate list! I’ve tried them every which way, and really it’s not about the taste, more so the texture. To me they’re little green veiny balls of gross. But your recipe looks good, so I may need to give them just one more shot… stay tuned.

    • Meagan on September 9, 2014 at 8:46 am

      Haha- this comment made me laugh. I agree on the texture aspect. But this recipe and the tips above inspire me to try again. 🙂

  27. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries on September 8, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    I ADORE brussels sprouts! They easily top my list as one of my favorite veggies. Roasting them tossed in some olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper is my go-to way of prepping them. Simple and delicious!

  28. Lucie@FitSwissChick on September 9, 2014 at 5:37 am

    I love brussel sprouts!! Adding cheese to them is the secret 🙂
    I didn’t have any yesterday, so I baked them with nutritional yeast – wasn’t too bad either!

  29. Abi@AbsofSteel on September 9, 2014 at 6:38 am

    This is well timed since I just bought one of those adorable brussel sprout tree things from Trader Joe’s. My rule with veggies is “when in doubt roast them”.

  30. Krista on September 9, 2014 at 8:30 am

    I love brussel sprouts and agree that they need minimum seasoning. Sometimes I crisp them up in a frying pan, too. Never thought to add the cheese, but I love that idea!

  31. Beks on September 9, 2014 at 10:11 am

    The first time I ever had Brussels sprouts was when I used a recipe from Clean Eating magazine to give them a whirl. They were roasted, and served with an adobo pepper aioli, and were absolutely wonderful. Very nutty flavored. Now if only I could get my dad and sister to try them. 😉

  32. Tracy on September 9, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    Brussels sprouts…loooove. I sure do get the death stare from each and every member of my family when I roast them though! I’m going to give your method a go with my kids next time! I’ve never added cheese & lemon. Sounds delish! And even if they don’t like them…more for meeee 🙂

  33. allison on September 9, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    completely loves as of about 2 years ago; omg I thought they were vile before that. Somehow I still think they’re vile in the oven. I remove outer leaves and stems, cut in half, then pan saute cut side down at med-high in a wee bit of bacon grease (oh maybe that’s why they taste so good) until they are super crisp on the flat side yet not quite cooked till they’re soft and give them a quick toss with a splash of fig balsamic to finish. Serve hot with parmesan, pomegranate seeds, and a fried runny egg. It’s the fall lunch of my dreams.

  34. Emily @esquaredsouth on September 9, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    We roast ours the same way! Sometimes I’ll add bacon (as others have suggested) and it’s delicious. My husband and I always fight over the little leaves that separate when I cut the brussels because they get crispy when roasted. I cook – I win the crispy bits!

    I know the Pilot does great artichokes on the grill. Any great ways to cook them indoors? I like them when I order them out, but haven’t mastered them at home yet (and we don’t have a grill). Thanks!

  35. Alexandria on September 9, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    LOVE brussel sprouts! I usually cook them with just evoo, salt, and garlic powder. Will need to add the cheese and red pepper flakes! Sounds delish!

  36. Cassie Vaughn on September 9, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    I love brussell sprouts!

  37. Debbie on September 9, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Love brussels sprouts. One of my favorite ways to eat them is to toss them in sriracha sauce and roast them. They are so good!

  38. Amanda on September 9, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    I LOVE brussels sprouts!! I didn’t actually try them until I was an adult because my mom hated them. I love them roasted with EVOO salt and pepper, but they’re insanely indulgent cooked with chopped bacon and a tablespoon of brown sugar. Amazing. I def have to try this recipe!

  39. Erin Hack on September 9, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    i love my Brussels Sprouts roasted with a little maple syrup. Add a little salt once they are done and they taste like heaven on earth. They do make the house a bit stinky but it is SO worth it. 🙂

  40. brenmitch on September 10, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    I make roasted chips out of them. Pull the leaves out in a bowl, mix in oil or melted butter, dried onion flakes, salt, pepper etc and mix thoroughly, Spread out thinly on baking dish and bake until crispy. Serve with sour cream. Absolute bliss!

    • Fitnessista on September 10, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      that sounds amaaaaazing

  41. Katie on September 10, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    I love them! I usually roast them in coconut oil or grill them! Otherwise during winter months I make a dish with them, pom seeds & bacon!

  42. Lex @ Flecksoflex on September 13, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    Brussels sprouts are my favorite! I’m always looking for new recipes and ideas for preparing them, so thank you for sharing!

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