Roasted Brussels Sprouts
I hate them, but maybe you won’t.


I tried brussel sprouts last week.

I hated them.

I tried them because I issued a challenge to myself and all Art of Doing Stuff readers to eat a new vegetable.  Something you think you don’t like, or something weird, or something you just don’t normally buy.  Maybe something with spikes.

I should  have bought a purple potato.  I didn’t.  I bought brussel sprouts.  And for the second time in one week declared my objection to them.

And ever since,  people have been sending me recipes for brussel sprouts.  Why?  Because people want you to like what they like.  Especially when it comes to food.  It’s like a condition.

How many times have you said you don’t like some particular food only to have the person beside you try to convince you how good it is?

It goes like this:

You: I hate toenail soup.

Them:  You hate toenail soup!??  How could you? Oh, I think it’s delicious.  It’s has a wonderful musty taste when it’s in season.  It’s crispy and wonderful.  You know, you probably just haven’t had it prepared quite right.  What you need to do is slather the toenails  in melted butter and bacon.  Then you’ll like it!  I promise.

No.  No I won’t.  Butter and bacon can’t solve everything.  Just most things. Not Brussel Sprouts.  However, thank you to everyone who sent me brussel sprout recipes and offered to cook them for me at my house.

And now, the offending brussel sprout recipe for you to try.  I think it’s actually a very good recipe.  I just didn’t, ya know … like it.

In fact I hated it.  But maybe you won’t.

Blechy Brussel Sprouts


1 lb. or so of brussel sprouts

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar

3 Tbsps. Parmesan Cheese ( or more to taste … 3 or 4 cups, say)

Small handful of toasted pine nuts

Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 450°

Wash all of your brussel sprouts.  Not just one.  All of them.



Cut the ends off your brussel sprouts.



Cut the brussel sprouts into half or quarters depending on their size.



Place them in a baking dish. I used a glass one. You could also use a roasting pan or cookie sheet.

Unless you threw your cookie sheet out the last time you used it because it looked like it was going to be really hard to clean.



Drizzle with the olive oil.



Do the same with Balsamic Vinegar. Or as my mother calls it “Balsmati Vinegar”.



Sprinkle with salt and pepper.



Grab em and head towards the oven. The big hot thing in the corner.
Cook for 30 minutes.



In the meantime, toast up a handful of pine nuts. Just stick them in a pan and toast them over medium – medium/high heat on the stove.



Once you start to smell them toasting, RUN towards the stove. They over-toast really quickly.



Grab a nice hunk of Parmesan cheese. I have no idea why I capitalized Parmesan. I think it’s out of respect.



Grate a few tablespoons of cheese. This rasp by the way is one of the more genius kitchen tools out there.


After 30 minutes, remove your brussel sprouts from the oven. (check to make sure they’re tender)



Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Add a little extra for me. Toss it about.



Top with the toasted pine nuts and serve. It looks absolutely delicious.
And to be perfectly honest … I think if you liked Brussel Sprouts it would taste absolutely delicious.



But I don’t, and it didn’t.  Enjoy!


  1. Sandra says:

    Had to laugh at the fingernail comment. I knew my niece liked tuna sandwiches (I don’t) so I made her a salmon sandwich saying that they’re pretty well the same (not to me, I don’t like tuna). Well, she ate one half, but then left the other half because of the fingernail clippings in the sandwich! LOL! I have always left the fingernails in my salmon, cause I like the crunch 🙂

  2. Sarah says:

    I agree with you Karen!! There is NOTHING in this world that can ever make a Brussels Sprout taste good!! So gross!

    I have never understood why people try so hard to push them on people who say they don’t like them……

  3. Kari says:

    I like Brussels sprouts covered sautéed garlic and olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in the oven. The end. SO yummy and I never had them until I was almost 40.

  4. Ev Wilcox says:

    For some reason my computer would not show me the rasp. Knowing you, it must be a hellova rasp though!

  5. Jessa says:

    If you ever decide to give them one last chance, try prepping them like above (wash, cut) and then toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and maple syrup. Then roast them on a parchment covered baking sheet on 400 for 10 minutes, stir them around a bit and then turn the heat down to 350-375 and cook until tender (the outsides may be a little charred). My hubby, who hated them, counted them to make sure we had an even amount. Third time is a charm, right?

  6. Tigersmom says:

    Eggs are my Brussels sprouts. : (

    And I always think of toenails when confronted with shredded coconut. ; )

  7. Tara says:

    The absolute worst thing about hating brussel sprouts is having parents who love them. Ah the torturous memories…

  8. Samma says:

    Actually, the secret to Brussels sprouts is that the nasty bitter ya’ll are talking about is the center core. So if you use a potato peeler and hollow them out before you cut them in half they’re an entirely different critter. You will end up with some loose leaves, and if they get a little crunchy and caramelized in the cooking process so much the better.

  9. Denise says:

    I am so going to try these…and tell my husband he’ll like them THIS WAY.

  10. Sherri says:

    I always thought I hated brussel sprouts but as an adult i discovered i just hated the way my mother cooked brussel sprouts. I also always thought I hated cole slaw. Turns out I just hated my mother’s cole slaw.

  11. pink gardenias says:

    Hello! You are probably SO over the brussel sprouts debate. I had yet to meet a yummy sprout until my future mother-in-law boiled them (instead of roasting). It totally mellowed the bitterness and now I’m in love…especially nice since they’re grown on all the farms here in central California 🙂

  12. kitchen guy says:

    I LOVE brussels but am very aware that they are not to everyones taste. There’s a well known joke here in the UK that goes: “what’s the difference between Brussel sprouts and bogies?…. Children will eat bogies!” – Sorry!

  13. Fiona says:

    Karen, I’m curious: do you like cabbage?

    I ask because I cook (shredded) brussels sprouts in the same way I cook cabbage (ie quickly, with lots of garlic, bacon and lemon); I tend to think of the two veges as interchangeable… am I the only one who doesn’t really taste the difference?

  14. sharon says:

    Do you have a tasty recipe for Toenail Soup that does not call for butter and bacon? I like the “crunch” without the extra calories.

  15. Wendi says:

    30 minutes?! No wonder you hate them. That’s long enough to release the sinigrin in them. That’s what usually makes them taste gross to people b/c it is sulphurous. I, of course, have the perfect recipe but I’ll spare you…unless you’re willing to test again due to the new scientific evidence brought to light. 😉 Really though. I hated them until I realized my mom was just over cooking them all the time.

  16. Healeygirl says:

    I also know what its like to hate a food and have other people take offense to your dislike. I had a coworker get irked with me because I don’t like cilantro. Because her husband is hispanic (she is more american than apple pie) and cilantro is common in his country’s recipes she basically treats me like I am racist for not wanting cilantro in my food.

  17. Adelwyn says:

    I know how it is when you hate a food… I feel the same way about cauliflower as you do about brussel sprouts. There is no way you can prepare it that I will like it. It’s still cauliflower (toenail soup- Ha!)
    Good for you for trying, and thanks for sharing the recipe.

  18. shari says:

    I love me some Brussel sprouts! This recipe sounds great. But I agree, more cheese!

  19. JD Morley says:

    This is very similar to my roasted b’sprout recipe. I am a person who loves b’sprouts. In fact sometimes I crave them. Your recipe, with the addition of parmesan and pine nuts (2 of my fave things) looks delightful. I think you’re weird for hating sprouts… but I understand. I hate mushrooms, no matter how hard I try… I just HATE them. Everyone says they’re great, and I wish I liked them. Alas, no.

  20. Bill Grigg says:

    I have a great recipe for toenails that includes butter and bacon. Even Brussels sprouts tastes good that way. 🙂

  21. Lynda says:

    I love your blog and the terrific comments readers make. I might try the recipe because I like the little frog balls.
    I will be taking out the pine nuts though. A while back I used some in a salad and soon developed a horrible bitter taste in the back of my throat.I was still snacking on the nuts. Soon there was nothing I could eat or drink for the awful bitter taste. Thought it must be some terrible disease. Internet search turned up loads
    of people with the same problem. Pine nuts. So, will leave those out.

  22. Phyllis says:

    I agree with Renee. You are probably a supertaster. My husband and daughter are supertasters so i have to enjoy brussel sprouts on the sly. They always seem to be sold in these big bags – way too much for one person. I don’t like them that much, but they are good in season and as an occasional change of pace. I get tired of broccoli and cauliflower (did I just say that?). I know with kale, citrus juice cuts the bitter taste (supertasters are extra sensitive to bitter) but I don’t know any recipe using citrus and brussel sprouts, do you?

    • Alisha says:

      **I made this for thanksgiving this year and it was tasty even though I too am a sprouts hater.
      • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or olive)
      • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
      • 12 large brussels sprouts (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed, leaves separated from cores (about 8 cups), cores discarded
      • 3/4 cup shelled unsalted natural pistachios
      • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

      Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and stir 20 seconds. Add Brussels sprout leaves and pistachios, and sauté until leaves begin to soften but are still bright green, about 3 minutes. Drizzle lemon juice over. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.

  23. Erin says:

    Did you know that it’s actually Brussels sprouts? As in the city, Brussels? The more you know!

    • Karen says:

      Erin – I did NOT know that. Now I have to change the word in my whole post! Except I can’t be bothered. Poop. – karen

  24. Summer says:

    Oh, Karen, don’t be a quiter! Or a brussel sprout hater! We love bs (aka brussel sprouts) at our house. (This is when I proceed to do exactly what you said I would.) You just haven’t had them cooked right! You are trying to be too fancy with ’em.
    Buy a bag of the frozen kind. Dump them on a large baking pan; I use a cast iron baker. They should have plenty of breathing room so they don’t stew in their own juices. Drizzle with some olive oil. Sprinkle with course salt & pep. Bake at about 400 until the edges look about to char but while there is still plenty of green. Or stick a knife in ’em to make sure they’re not hard at all. But not mushy.
    Or try english peas. My husband call them frog balls. With lots of butter and salt.

  25. Jeff says:

    It is unfortunate that brussel sprouts can’t be made into a Christmas tree ornament. Hung on the tree like little green pine cones. THEN, you might like them. Wait. How about coating them in food grade schelaque and then sprinkling…nope. Still hating brussel sprouts aren’t we!?!

  26. Todd@PhitZone says:

    I’m going to have to try this… and maybe tweak it a bit. I’ve never been a fan, but I want to like them.

    BTW, bonus points for the Tim Horton shirt. 🙂

  27. Amy Schmucker says:

    I like brussel sprouts, kinda. But those looked yucky. I love cabbage, but I can eat the brussel sprouts if I am making them for hubby. But I would prefer cabbage any old day. Next time try something that looks good like a persimmon. I live in Persimmon native country and have never tried one of those. What do you do with them? slice them? cook them ? marinated it, or eat it like an apple?


    • Karen says:

      Amy – LOL. Um … I actually thought my brussel sprouts *looked* pretty darn good. I just didn’t like the taste! 🙂 – karen

  28. leslie says:

    I hate Brussels sprouts too. My husband loves them and tries to change my mind. I make them for him, but make myself some peas to eat instead. I will try this recipe for his worship of the veg. Thanks for sharing!

  29. P. Hitt says:

    I totally agree…I have yet to meet a tasty brussel sprout. But always wonder how something that looks so cute could taste sooo bad.

  30. Julie shinnick says:

    I’m with you Karen, and you are correct (again!) with what people say to you who like them…..
    oooooo it’s like a cult……ohhhhh
    They try and sway you to their side, all evil-like and then smile patronisingly when you say you tried it but didn’t like it…..loath loath loath!
    If there was nothing on earth but brussel sprouts or dirt….would take the dirt thanks!

    • Bonnie Cramond says:

      As a fellow Brussels Sprouts hater, I too find myself warding off the BS lovers’s rcipes that will ensure that I will enjoy them. They just taste nasty. Life is too short to waste time eating Brussels Sprouts when e can be eating bacon instead.

      • Karen says:

        Bonnie. I did manage to find a brussels sprouts recipe I liked. Loved even. I was on a trip to Vancouver and had them in a restaurant. When I got home I tracked down the chef and got the recipe from him. You can see the recipe here … THIS coming from a hard core brussels sprouts hater. ~ karen!

  31. Norell says:

    I still remember the horrible taste of brussel sprouts from my youth. The smell is bad enough, but when I found out they tasted like they smelled, I vowed to never eat another one. I love vegetables, but haven’t been near a brussel sprout since I was 10 years old.

    I am with you on throwing out those old cookie sheets. I usually line them, but there comes a time when every cookie sheet has had it’s day. I get great satisfaction in throwing one away instead of spending hours trying to scrub it for hours.

  32. Janelle says:

    As a child, I explained the taste of brussels sprouts to my mother like this: “Have you ever stuck your finger in your ear, then forgot you just did that, and stuck the same finger in your mouth, to bite your fingernail? That’s what they taste like. Ear wax”. My last name isn’t on here, right?

  33. Amelia Blakeman says:

    You know, I hate brussel sprouts. EXCEPT for one recipe, which is similar to this except that it involves lots of pasta and no WHOLE brussel sprouts.
    It’s fantastic and nothing like easting an entire brussel sprout (which, let’s face it, is nasty, bitter, and mostly too big for your mouth to fake tastiness).

    1. Put brussel sprouts in the food processor or chop them into oblivion.
    2. Cook the sprouts in olive oil until they soften and smell good like real vegetables. Then turn it way down.
    3. Toast pine nuts just exactly like you said.
    4. Mix those pans together.
    5. Mix them with lots of fettucine or pasta whatever. (I feel like its good to throw in an unprecedented bit of direction incase no one read the directions completely like you learn to in school. Also, because I never remember this step until this point anyway.

    Ta dah. This will get even the least brussel sprout inclined eater to reconsider. From personal experience. I still don’t like them any other way.

    Also, chicken helps if you still think its too sprouty.

  34. Helen says:

    there are some things in this world you don’t have to eat to know what it’ll taste like: dirt, durian, brussels sprouts…

    It’ll taste bad, just bad.

    • Alisha says:

      Oh Durian is wrong in every way shape and form. Made the mistake of buying durian pudding because it was supposed to be sweet and delicious. Not so much. It tasted as horrendous as it smells.

  35. Veronica P says:

    We do the same thing but add pancetta or bacon. Even better wrap a whole sprout in a bit of prosciutto.

  36. Leah says:

    that looks yummy!!!! cant wait to try!!

  37. Shauna says:

    wait a minute…go back to the middle where you threw your cookie sheet out….Did you forget your parchmant paper?? Now that’s a sin punishable by 1 cup of brussel sprouts!!

    • Karen says:

      🙂 Sometimes I just can’t be bothered with parchment paper. And I often use my cookie sheets for things like chicken where the fat just finds its way under the parchment paper anyway. Besides, I hated that cookie sheet. I want one of those beautiful shiny, (but expertly beat up) professional looking ones they use on cooking shows. How’s a girl supposed to get one of those if she already has a perfectly useable one in the cupboard? – karen!

  38. Laura says:

    the only brussel sprouts I ever ate that I liked were ones that were fried. I think anything fried in lots of butter and stuff must taste good, right?

    • Karen says:

      Laura – Well yes, everything is good if it’s fried in butter. Except brussel sprouts. I’d prefer to just eat the fried butter. Mmmmm browned butter! Tastes all nutty and delicious!!! – karen

  39. Renee says:

    I can eat brussels sprouts… if they’re sauteed in butter. Butter makes them better.

    You may be a ‘Supertaster’ if they taste especially yucky/bitter to you:

    • Karen says:

      Renee – I’ve heard of this Supertaster thing. I would like to be one because it would make me feel superior and elite. However, I think I probably just don’t like brussel sprouts. :/ – karen

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