Crispy Smashed Brussels Sprouts 

Fresh Brussels sprouts are crunchy as can be.

Crispy Smashed Brussels Sprouts
Photo: photographs by ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; RECIPE: ANNA THEOKTISTO; FOOD STYLING: RUTH BLACKBURN; PROP STYLING: CHRISTINA DALEY
Active Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
35 mins
Servings:
8

If you think you don’t like Brussels sprouts, I’ll bet you grew up eating them steamed or boiled. And there’s only one word for that—yuck!

While you may be hesitant to give this much-maligned side dish a second chance, these Crispy Smashed Brussels Sprouts won’t let you down.

To speed up the cook time, this recipe employs the microwave to gently steam the Brussels sprouts. But don’t let that trigger you—the softened sprouts then get smashed (with the bottom of a measuring cup or coffee mug), drizzled with oil, seasoned, and then roasted until crispy and topped with plenty of Parmesan cheese. Ready in around 30 minutes, they’re the perfect, low-effort holiday side dish.

Before cooking Brussels sprouts, there are a few quick tricks you should know to help them always turn out delicious. First, use a paring knife to trim the stem end. We’re not talking a major cut here—just shave off the dried out (sometimes brownish) part of the stem so that your finished dish is as fresh as possible. For the same reason, pull off and discard any discolored or wilted leaves from the outside of the sprouts.

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. trimmed fresh Brussels sprouts

  • ¼ cup water

  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 ½ tsp. minced fresh garlic

  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

  • ¼ tsp. black pepper

  • cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Fresh thyme leaves (for garnish)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place trimmed fresh Brussels sprouts in a large microwavable bowl with water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap, and microwave on HIGH until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Carefully remove and discard plastic wrap; drain.

  2. Place cooked Brussels sprouts on a large-rimmed baking sheet. Using flat bottom of a measuring cup or mug, smash each Brussels sprout, and pat dry with paper towels. Drizzle evenly with extra-virgin olive oil, and sprinkle evenly with minced fresh garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper; toss to coat. Bake 10 minutes.

  3. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and set, about 5 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer Brussels sprout mixture to a serving platter. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves.

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