Let us be clear: Brussels sprouts and bacon is a very good idea. Bacon provides fat for sautéing and plenty of delicious flavor and texture for these tiny cabbages. However, bacon isn’t for everyone; Brussels sprouts are! So here are a few of our favorite ways to cook Brussels sprouts without bacon.
But, First: How to Buy, Store, and Prep Brussels Sprouts
Buy: Whether loose packaged or on the stalk, look for Brussels sprouts that are firm and bright green in color, without any yellow or soggy brown leaves. Also: The smaller the sprouts the milder the flavor.
Store: Brussels sprouts should be stored unwashed, wrapped in a paper towel, tucked in a big plastic food storage bag, and refrigerated. They should keep well for at least 2 weeks.
Prep: Cut off a portion of the fibrous bottom stem and remove any outer leaves that are damaged or browning. Leave them whole or cut them in halves or quarters, or shred them for a slaw.
3 Super-Simple Ways to Cook Brussels Sprouts
1. Roast them.
Roasting Brussels sprouts is one of the best ways to highlight those beautiful natural flavors. I also love how some of the leaves get crispy while the interior is nice and tender. They’re absolute perfection.
Depending on the size of the sprouts, you can either leave them whole of slice them in half lengthwise. Start by tossing them with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasting for 20-25 minutes, then explore other variations.
Get a recipe: Perfect Roasted Brussels Sprouts from Cookie + Kate
2. Shred them.
The best way to shred your Brussels is with a mandolin or a food processor with the shredder attachment, but you can also use a sharp knife to thinly slice your Brussels.
You can eat shredded Brussels sprouts raw, in slaws with other thinly sliced vegetables or to add texture (and fiber) to salads. Or you can sauté your shredded Brussels and add them to tacos.
Get a recipe: Lemony Brussels Sprouts Slaw from New York Times Cooking
3. Sauté them.
Another options for these tiny cabbages? Cook them on the stovetop. It takes just 10 minutes, and some olive oil, salt, and pepper. You’ll want to cut them in half in order to maximize those browned surfaces — and do yourself a favor and add a splash of acid (like lemon juice or Balsamic vinegar) to finish them.
Get a recipe: Sautéed Brussels Sprouts from Well Plated