For a long time, Brussels sprouts got a bad rap. Their negative reputation probably has something to do with the way people cooked them: boiled or steamed. The problem with wet cooking techniques is that they made the vegetable soggy, and their bitter flavor is accentuated if they’re overcooked. Luckily, there has been a resurgence of Brussels sprouts recipes that call for grilling, frying, or roasting the vegetable. When cooked properly, this veggie is crispy, crunchy, and super flavorful. Our Smoky Maple Brussels Sprouts recipe is my go-to recipe when I’m looking for a vegetarian side dish.
Why This Smoky Maple Brussels Sprouts Recipe Works
We set ourself up for Brussels sprouts success by employing a few techniques for this recipe. It all starts with cutting the sprouts in half. You can roast them whole (especially if they are very small), but slicing them creates more surface area. That means the vegetable is more likely to caramelize and turn sweet when it contacts the heat, leading to a tastier Brussels sprout.
The other thing we do in this Smoky Maple Brussels Sprouts recipe is use maple syrup. It’s an important contributor to the sweet-and-smoky flavor when combined with the smoked paprika, but it plays another role, too. Sweet ingredients work wonders in masking bitter flavors. Since brassica vegetables (like Brussels sprouts and broccoli) are naturally bitter, adding a touch of maple syrup to the mix creates the perfect combination of flavors.
From there, all you need to do is roast your sprouts in a high-temperature oven. We like 375 degrees F because it cooks the Brussels sprouts in 20 to 25 minutes, turning them golden brown on the outside and tender-crisp on the inside. You can use a higher heat if you like, but keep a close eye on the veggies to keep them from burning as they cook.
Smoky Maple Brussels Sprouts
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts outer leaves and stems removed, cut in halves
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Combine olive oil, smoked paprika, ancho chili powder, salt, pepper and maple syrup on a small mixing bowl.
- Place brussels sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Pour spice mixture over brussels sprouts and toss to evenly distribute.
- Place in preheated oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, until brussels sprouts are golden brown and tender.