Brown butter Brussel Sprouts

I grew up like most children hating most vegetables and Brussel sprouts were no exception. The first time I tried them, my gram made them for dinner and I asked what these baby cabbages were. After one baby bite, I hated them. They were mushy, slimy, and bitter. I’d always liked cabbage and I just figured that these cabbages needed to continue to grow up to taste better. I never bothered trying them again and would cry if they were on my plate.

Fast forward to 2011, when Brussel sprouts became the new hot vegetable at restaurants, I was once again faced with the baby cabbages. I went out to dinner with girlfriends from work at a restaurant in the Marina section of San Francisco. Everyone was ordering appetizers and one of my friends ordered fried Brussel sprouts. Immediately all of my childhood nightmares came back. My adult version tried to calm the inner child down. As a Home Economics teacher I had a rule that students had to take a no thank you bite before they could tell me they didn’t like a food. The adult Lindsay knew what I was going to have to do. Luckily, I was drinking wine and alcohol often helps me try foods that I normally wouldn’t. As the Brussels arrived at the table, I drank a large gulp of wine as my girlfriend passed them around the table for everyone to try. This time I was shocked but in a good way. They were delicious, crunchy, had texture, were well seasoned, and weren’t bitter. I couldn’t believe how delicious they were. I figured that the alcohol had made them taste better so a few weeks later I duplicated the dish at home and realized that I actually like Brussel sprouts. Since that day I have made Brussel sprouts in a variety of ways and they are one of my favorite green leafy vegetables. This recipe was made on a whim on a week night to accompany steak and baked potatoes. I love the flavor of brown butter and this recipe is nothing short of delicious. Give it a try and let me know what you think.


Serving size: 2

Active time: 15 minutes

Inactive time: 5 minutes


2 lbs. fresh Brussel sprouts IMG_4821

3 T. unsalted butter

1/2 t. Kosher salt

1/2 t. white pepper


1. Trim the Brussel sprouts by trimming off the bottom end, slicing them in half, and removing any unfavorable leaves. Place the trimmed Brussels in a bowl. (Note: after trimming you will appear to have substantially less Brussels than you started with. Always buy way more than you think you will need.)

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2. Heat a pan on medium heat. When the pan gets to temp add the butter to the pan and allow it to brown. The butter will melt, then you will see the milk solids (the foamy white part) turning yellow then golden then light brown. The butter will begin to smell nutty. This will take approximately 5 minutes.

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3. When the butter has browned, add the Brussels, salt, and pepper to the pan. Stir to ensure everything is evenly coated. Allow the sprouts to cook while occasionally stirring. You will start to see the Brussels caramelizing and getting a brown color to the sliced side. This will take approximately 5 minutes.

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4. When the Brussels are done, serve them hot, and enjoy!

Notes and Variations:

  • Any seasoning or herbs can be added to this dish.
  • You can cook the Brussels for up to 7 minutes without them loosing their texture.
  • C=cups
  • T=tablespoons
  • t=teaspoons
  • lbs=pounds

2 thoughts on “Brown butter Brussel Sprouts

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