Brussels sprouts are a pretty divisive vegetable: You either love them or hate them. But developing a love of these cabbagelike little bundles really comes down to finding a preparation method that suits your tastes. Some eaters adore the nutty intensity of roasted whole Brussels sprouts. Others might prefer them deconstructed in a salad, or doctored up with nuts or bacon. Taking the time to find your favorite preparation method is well worth the effort, since Brussels sprouts can produce some of the easiest, most-affordable side dishes around. Here are a few renditions that you’ll definitely want to tuck away in your recipe book, especially with Thanksgiving right around the corner.
Add (a little) Bacon
Food Network Kitchen knows that salty, crispy bacon makes everything better. When served warm, their Brussels Sprouts with Bacon are welcome at any holiday meal. Since the recipe doesn’t go wild with added butter or oil (there’s enough fat in the bacon), it clocks in at a reasonable 252 calories per serving.
Shred & Saute
Just like cabbage, Brussels sprouts take on the appearance of slaw when shredded. Toss in some sliced shallots and this Sauteed Brussels Sprouts recipe is your next go-to fall side dish.
Simple yet sensational, Food Network Magazine’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts recipe sticks to the basics. When roasted, the sprouts take on a nutty flavor that needs little else. Just cut the veggies in half, season well with salt and red pepper flakes, and let them caramelize in the oven.
Use a Balsamic Glaze
Ina Garten uses balsamic vinegar as a sweet, syrupy glaze in her Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Like bacon, the salty pancetta complements the nutty roasted sprouts and cuts out the need for an excessive amount of oil or butter.
Add Nuts & Seeds
Picky eaters may turn up their noses at the sight of an all-green side dish, but they just might warm up to Bobby Flay’s vibrant Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Hazelnuts. Orange zest, toasted hazelnuts and plump pomegranate seeds add visual appeal and some textural variety.
Use a Wok
Ditch your roasting pan for these crispy Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms and Ginger. A wok gives you the charred flavor you would get from roasting or grilling and the tenderness you would get from braising — but in half of the time. Although the intensity of the wok would overpower delicate seeds or nuts, the meaty, umami-rich mushrooms can certainly handle it.