This is the recipe – and cooking technique – that will change minds about Brussels sprouts. At Thanksgiving dinner it won over my girlfriend’s mother, who previously insisted that the mini cabbage-like vegetable was gross. A short roast in the oven beautifully caramelizes the sprouts while locking in flavor and nutrition – unlike boiling, or even steaming. You don’t want to miss out on the multitude of vitamins here. I also find that with roasting they’re less likely to turn to mush and bring back unpleasant childhood vegetable memories.

Farmers sell Brussels sprouts either right on the stalk – which is kind of fun to take home – or already sliced off. Either way, you’ll want to give them a trim off the bottom and if they look like they need it, a peeling of the outer layers. A quick rinse isn’t a bad idea either. Personally, when I’m just making these at home, I don’t go too crazy with cleaning and trimming. Do what makes sense to you.

What really makes this dish work though is that it has all five of the basic tastes at work. Sourness from the vinegar, sweetness from the sugar, umami from the Worcestershire, saltiness from the soy sauce and bitterness from the sprouts themselves.

A good flavor profile and a smart cooking technique will help make just about anything taste great. Try these sprouts as a side at your next holiday dinner.


Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings, as a side


  • 2 1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed & halved lengthwise, if you’d like
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • kosher salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Toss Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet with 3 tablespoons of the oil and salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Roast, 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway through, until softened, browned and caramelized.
  4. Whisk vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and remaining oil in a large bowl.
  5. Add the Brussels sprouts and toss to coat. Transfer to a platter, top with rosemary, the pumpkin seeds and crushed red pepper. Serve warm or at room temp.