Brussels sprouts are hardy vegetables that resemble small, compact cabbages. When prepared and cooked properly, they have a sweet, delicate flavor that pairs well with most meats. Fresh brussels sprouts can trap dirt or tiny insects in the outer leaves, so clean them thoroughly before cooking. Brussels sprouts taste best when they’re not overcooked, so remove them from the heat as soon as they’re tender. With the right cleaning and cooking methods, you can prepare delicious, healthy brussels sprouts.

Things You'll Need

Cleaning and Preparation

Remove any discolored or loose outer leaves from the brussels sprouts.

Place the brussels sprouts in a bowl, and fill with enough lukewarm water to cover them. Allow them to sit for 10 minutes.

Pour the brussels sprouts into a strainer over the sink, and rinse them with clean water.

Cut the tough part of the stem off the brussels sprouts with a paring knife, but avoid cutting the leaves to prevent them from falling off during cooking.

Cut an “X” shape into the top of the sprouts with a paring knife. This allows the center of the sprout to cook evenly with the outer layers.


Measure 1 cup of water for each cup of sprouts, and pour it into a pot. Bring the water to a boil over high heat.

Add the sprouts to the pot carefully. Allow the sprouts to cook for seven to 10 minutes, and test them for tenderness with by poking one with a knife. There should be slight resistance.

Remove the brussels sprouts from the heat, and drain them in a strainer. Add them back to the pot, and season them with your choice of seasonings such as salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil or lemon juice.


Fill a pot with 1 inch of water, and place it on the stove over high heat.

Add the sprouts to the pot, and cover tightly with a lid. Open the lid after two minutes to allow the steam to escape, and put the lid back on. Allow the sprouts to cook for three to eight more minutes. Larger sprouts will need the longer cooking time. Test them with a knife for tenderness.

Remove the sprouts from the pot, and season them with salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil or lemon juice.

Oven Braising

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the sprouts in a baking dish, and pour in enough stock to cover them.

Place the baking dish in the oven, and cook the sprouts for 25 to 35 minutes. Test them with a knife to be sure they’re tender before removing them from the oven.

Season the sprouts with salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil or lemon juice.


  • Brussels sprouts can be cut in half, quartered, or sliced into thin strips for a different appearance. You can add them to recipes such as roasted winter vegetables or serve them with meats.

  • Fry or saute thin slices of brussels sprouts in oil until they’re caramelized for a sweet flavor similar to cabbage.

  • Season brussels sprouts with salt, pepper, butter, olive oil, garlic or lemon juice to bring out their flavor. Experiment with different spices, cheeses and seasonings to find your favorite way to serve them.