Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan-Walnut Topping

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

I know, brussels sprouts are not everyone’s favorite. 

So, tell me, why is it that my father recently caught me making a batch of these hot, crispy, glazey sprouts, grabbed a fork, and ate them out of a bowl like candy?

They’re given special treatment that’s usually reserved for fat cuts of steak, or 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 $80 spiral-sliced ham. 

Up-close and side view of balsamic glazed brussels sprouts in a black cast iron skillet.

Brussels sprouts are perfect for holiday dinners because they’re in-season, easy to prepare, and a healthy antidote to all of that chocolate cream pie. 

Yes, there should always be chocolate cream pie

Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts won’t be just another compulsory green thing on your plate, but a craveworthy equal that’ll make you question what to taste first. 

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 salted, olive oil-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 might just be tempted to 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.

If you plan to make this as a side dish for Christmas dinner (or any holiday), you can make the brussels sprouts, balsamic glaze, and walnut mixture about 3 hours in advance, without combining. When you’re ready to eat, just reheat the glaze over medium heat until bubbling before adding brussels sprouts, then topping with the walnut mixture. If the glaze has thickened too much, just add a tablespoon or two of water and add more salt if necessary.

Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan-Walnut topping

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 25 minutes

A stunning, delicious Christmas 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
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup chopped raw walnuts
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Zest of 1 lemon plus 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. honey or agave
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

1

Preheat 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

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.

3

Transfer the nuts, along with their oil, to a small bowl.

4

Melt the butter in the same skillet. Add the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and honey and bring to a simmer over medium heat (this will happen quickly), whisking to emulsify. Taste the glaze (blow on it, it will be hot) and adjust seasonings to your liking. Add brussels sprouts; toss to coat, and taste again for seasoning.

5

Add lemon zest, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan cheese to the bowl with the walnuts. Toss to combine.

6

Transfer brussels sprouts to a platter, scatter nut mixture over brussels sprouts and serve.

Nutrition

  • 370 Calories

Notes

Do Ahead: Brussels sprouts, balsamic glaze, and walnut mixture can all be made 3 hours ahead. Do not combine. Reheat glaze over medium heat until bubbling, add a tablespoon or two 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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1 Comment

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

    Absolutely delicious! Simple and divine!

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