Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Overhead view of a plate of balsamic glazed brussels sprouts on a white plate.

Introducing the vegetable glow-up of the century: Brussels sprouts. Far from the mushy morsels of the past, these Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts are hot, crispy, sweet-sour, and tempting to eat straight out of a bowl like candy. Hey, I’m not here to stop you.

Here, Brussels sprouts enjoy special treatment that’s usually reserved for fat cuts of steak, first-class passengers flying international, or for you, on a Sunday evening with a glass of wine and a face mask. 

They’re pampered in a way that makes them a worthy side dish for Christmas dinner or any special occasion. 

Don’t be surprised if they show up that spiral-sliced ham. 

Let’s make Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts

First, Brussels sprouts are roasted to delicious, crispy smithereens. The outer leaves of the sprouts turn deep mahogany brown and shatteringly crisp, while the insides become steamed and soft. 

Overhead view of roasted brussels sprouts on a sheet pan.

Then, they’re blanketed in a balsamic-honey glaze. The glaze, made with butter, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and honey, comes together quickly on the stovetop while the sprouts roast in the oven. 

Finally, the Brussels sprouts are topped with toasted walnuts, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and heaping spoonfuls of Parmesan cheese. 

Up-close and side view of balsamic glazed brussels sprouts on a white plate.

The little green cabbages turn into a stunning, lacquered dish with crunch, pizzazz, spice, and, well, cheese. 

This is meant to be a side dish for something like Christmas dinner, but you can simply put the sprouts in a bowl, grab a fork, and eat them like candy.

A few notes

I like this best with tiny, whole sprouts, but you can halve larger ones if that’s all you can find. Usually a bag of sprouts contains various sizes so use your judgement when prepping them.

You can make the balsamic glaze and walnut mixture about 3 hours in advance (keep at room temperature). About a half hour before you’re ready to eat, get the sprouts in the oven and reheat the glaze until bubbling . If the glaze has thickened too much, just add a tablespoon or two of water and more salt if necessary. Toss the hot sprouts with the glaze and top with the walnut mixture. Enjoy, and happy holidays!

Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (18 votes, average: 4.78 out of 5)
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side dish American
By Samantha Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 25 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes

A stunning, delicious side dish recipe that's good enough to eat on its own.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb Brussels sprouts, halved if large
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable or other neutral oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup walnuts, chopped
  • Zest of 1 lemon plus 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about 3 Tbsp)
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey or agave

Instructions

1

Heat the oven to 450°F. Toss Brussels sprouts and oil on a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Taste a sprout and adjust seasonings as desired. Roast sprouts 20-25 minutes, until softened and deeply browned.

2

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add walnuts and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, until nuts are golden brown, 4-6 minutes. Keep an eye on them, they can burn easily. Transfer the nuts, along with their oil, to a small bowl. Add lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan cheese; toss to combine.

3

Wipe out any burnt bits from the now-empty skillet. Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and honey and bring to a simmer (this will happen quickly), whisking to emulsify. Taste the glaze (blow on it first, it will be hot!) and adjust seasonings to your liking. Add Brussels sprouts; toss to coat, and taste again for seasoning.

4

Transfer Brussels sprouts to a platter, top with walnut mixture and serve.

Nutrition

  • 370 Calories

Notes

Do Ahead: Balsamic glaze and walnut mixture can be made 3 hours ahead. Reheat glaze over medium heat until bubbling, add a tablespoon or two of water if it has become too thick. Toss with Brussels sprouts, then top with the walnut mixture. I like this best with tiny, whole sprouts, but you can halve larger ones if that’s all you can find. Usually a bag of sprouts contains various sizes so use your judgement when prepping them. The earthy and sulfur flavors of Brussels sprouts make them difficult to pair with wine. However, the sweet glaze and salty parmesan help counteract these notes. I would try an herbaceous Austrian Grüner Veltliner to compliment the slight bitterness of the sprouts.


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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Kevin
    January 31, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Absolutely delicious! Simple and divine!

  • Reply
    Richard
    December 14, 2021 at 11:40 am

    I love this glaze made earlier and added at the end~ perfection!

    • Reply
      Samantha
      December 15, 2021 at 6:01 am

      Perfect! Thanks Richard.

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