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Crispy Healthier Brussels Sprouts

Crispy restaurant-style Brussels are hard to replicate at home. Many attempts left me frustrated with burnt, hard sprouts that gave them their former bad rap. The missing restaurant ingredient I learned was a really hot deep fat fryer. Yes, most likely, this crispy, delicious, "healthy" side dish turns out not to be.


This discovery inspired a deep sprout search to recreate a healthier version of what my kids would eat only out of the house. One method, where you put the cut side down in a cast iron pan, pan fry until brown and then transfer the whole pan to a 450º oven, worked until I accidentally grabbed the hot handle. My fast reflexes and loud f-words helped in the moment, but with a little PTSD, I decided sautéeing Brussels I shaved with a mandolin and steel glove a safer bet all around. Then, I discovered this method that required one burner and no oven mitt. This one is from the folks at Cook's Illustrated who don't f-around when it comes to testing methods and recipes. I tweaked it for a slightly healthier version here and would eat these every day without cheese and slightly more lemon juice. At last!



  • 1 lb Medium Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved - I pull off dirty leaves.

  • 4 T extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 T Lemon juice, plus more to taste

  • 1/4 tsp Salt and 

  • 2 T Shredded Pecorino Romano cheese



  • Arrange Brussels sprouts in single layer, cut side down in a cast iron or nonstick skillet. 

  • Drizzle oil evenly over sprouts. Cover skillet, place over medium-high heat, and cook until cut sides are evenly browned, about 5 minutes.

  • Uncover and continue to cook until cut sides are a deep brown and top side of sprout can be easily pierced. Lower heat and move sprouts if they need more cook time to prevent overbrowning. You may decide to re-cover for a few minutes if you have stubborn hard sprouts, but watch carefully if you do this to prevent them from getting mushy.

  • While sprouts cook, combine lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon salt in small bowl.

  • Remove from heat, toss with lemon juice mixture in skillet and then cheese if desired. 

  • Serve warm!


TIME: 25 minutes with prep time



HEARTFUL RECIPE - One of our real food recipes that focuses on veggies, protein, healthy fats and/or healthy carbs and doesn't include gluten, dairy, soy, refined sugar, corn or peanuts. (without cheese)

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