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smoky Brussels sprouts with maple-Dijon vinaigretteIn my last post to you I said that I would be back with my favourite Brussels sprout recipe. Most of us have a favourite brownie recipe {here’s mine} a favourite soup recipe {this is my winter favourite}, and a favourite curry {here – omg it is so good!} but Brussels sprouts? Really?

If you are a Brussels sprouts hater – thinking them vile orbs of evil, smelling of gym bag-ripe socks and tasting of something unprintable – you may think this is a waste of my time and yours. Surely no recipe can transform something so memory-scarringly awful into something one might wish to put on the Thanksgiving or Christmas table. Unless you really don’t like your relatives.

Brussels sprouts stalkSome of you haters will have a genuine and unassailable reason to hate Brassica oleracea var gemmifera. Possessing the TAS2R38 gene, you will have discovered that the cabbage family is your culinary Kryptonite. Unless heavily disguised with salt and sour – or even sweetened – what you taste is an overwhelming bitterness that the rest of us cannot to the same degree detect. If this is you, consider yourself off the hook. I won’t push my leafy wares to you. Although this recipe does contain the above ‘disguises’ so might just do the trick for you. Like I said, I won’t push. But I can hope. 🙂 If, inexplicably, you are reading this rather plant-centric blog and you really don’t like vegetables {are you lost?}, here’s an article on learning to love vegetables. And reasons why you should really give Brussels sprouts another go.

But, the rest of you, if your experiences have merely been quite unpleasant rather than tongue-scraping, it should just be a matter of the right approach. The school dinner method of boiling until soft is not the approach. Short steaming, roasting, stir-frying or pan-frying gets you much, much closer. And so does this recipe.

This is seriously yummy. These tangy-sweet-umami sprouts are one of those more than the sum of its parts kind of foods. If you like sprouts even a tiny bit you will be picking them off the tray like we do.

Perhaps make double.

A few more food to glow Brussels sprouts-ish recipes: 

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Sage Crumbs

Baked Vegetable and Egg Nests

Southern Cornbread Stuffing {Dressing}

Winter Slaw with Pear and Cranberries

A few articles on ways with Brussels sprouts: from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Yotam Ottolenghi; and a beautiful risotto from Martha Rose Shulman of the New York Times. On my list to make!

smoky roasted Brussels sprouts with maple-Dijon vinaigrette

Smoky Vegan Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ostensibly for the Thanksgiving table, these gussied up yet very simple Brussels sprouts beg to be made any time there is a nip in the air. These quickly roasted mini cabbages are perfect with any roast dinner, with hummus in a pitta pocket or wrap, tossed through grains, gnocchi or pasta. Leftovers are brilliant pan-fried with a little tofu.

35g {1/4 c} pine nuts

40g {1/4 c} natural almonds

12g {1/4 c} nutritional yeast

¼ tsp salt

Zest of ½ unwaxed lemon

½ tsp garlic powder

450g {1/2 lb} Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and cut into quarters in large or halves if small

2 tbsp evoo {extra virgin olive oil}

2 tsp Liquid Smoke {I get mine in the US but it is available in the UK at}

Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette

3 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp Dijon mustard

3 tbsp evoo {extra virgin olive oil}

2 ½ tsp pure maple syrup

Salt and pepper, to taste

Special equipment needed: mini food processor or spice/coffee grinder for making the vegan parmesan.

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.

2. Put the nuts, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and salt in a mini processor and blitz until it resembles finely grated parmesan cheese. Stir in the lemon zest and Liquid Smoke.making vegan Parmesan cheese

3. Toss the sliced Brussels sprouts with the olive oil and, when coated, stir in the vegan cheese mix. Pour the coated sprouts onto a baking tray and roast in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the sprouts are slightly crispy in places and any detached leaves are quite crisp.DSC_0249

DSC_02684. Meanwhile, whisk together the maple-Dijon vinaigrette. When the sprouts are gorgeously burnished gently toss with the vinaigrette and slide into a pretty serving dish.

Notes: the Liquid Smoke is not essential, so don’t avoid the dish for lack of a bottle of this heady condiment. But it is extremely versatile {and you can make this with it} and it keeps forever. It is a slightly controversial ingredient for some, but I only ever use it in tiny amounts for a whole recipe. Also, feel free to use vegetarian Parmesan or something like Grana Padano instead of making the vegan cheese crumbles. The timing is the same.

smoky roasted Brussels sprouts with maple-Dijon vinaigrette






51 thoughts on “Smoky Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Maple-Dijon Vinaigrette

  1. Deena Kakaya says:

    Kellie I laughed out loud at your stinky descriptions for those who regard brussels sprouts as vile! Thankfull I am not one of them and found your list of ingredients for this recipe zingy, crunchy and definitely the sort that would cut through the layers of sprouts and grab on to all that flavour! x

    1. Thanks so much, Deena. I used to hate them, and this is what I thought so I was just going from memory! It never gets cold enough in Florida to grow Brussels sprouts so Southerners don’t really know how to treat them. At least the dinner ladies at my school didn’t have the knack.

      1. Deena Kakaya says:

        Oh yes, I remember over boiled sprouts doused with gravy. Yuck x

  2. lizzygoodthings says:

    Kellie, I love the addition of liquid smoke to this dish… but no amount of disguising will have my Peter try this I’m afraid… and even worse with the mustard, which he also hates. Lovely recipe though.

    1. This would definitely be his Kryptonite dish then!

  3. Hi Kellie, it’s been a while since we spoke. Hope everything’s going well. What a great recipe. I love any excuse to jazz up vegetables and make them even more interesting. Cheers and keep smiling, Brendon 🙂

  4. Shannon says:

    All hail the sprout! Must try this. Just as soon as I can secure some more of them from the grocery. Yum.

    I wonder about that gene. When we began eating more bitter greens a couple of years ago, none of us could STAND the taste or the bitterness. We choked them down anyway, knowing of their health benefits. Now? We CRAVE them. There are never leftovers mustard or turnip greens. And sprouts? Well, I think you know how we feel about them. Is it gene or the brain that is most involved in veggie-haters?

    Another brill post, Kellie. 😀

    1. I definitely think it is partly the brain because even those with this gene can, over time, learn to tolerate bitter tastes. But they need disguising at least a bit. Just like with children, they will say they hate something, spit it out, etc but presented often enough {and without force feeding it to them or using threats} many come around to the offending vegetable in question. Most of the time! And environment can trump genetics, for good or ill. I’m glad you like this recipe. And have learned to crave sprouts!

      1. Shannon says:

        Haha! Yeah, being force-fed sprouts can be torture for many. I got my kids to “crave” them by requiring the *two-bite rule* whenever they were served (I always liked to hold their dessert hostage). Eventually (I think) their brains kicked in to how good they were, and now they gobble them up. I must say, I am already salivating just typing this…

  5. Cat Smith says:

    I love Brussels sprouts and that looks so yummy. I will save this one for Christmas!

  6. So delicious sounding! I’ve never heard about liquid smoke before…I’ll need to look into that!

    1. I make maple-coconut bacon with the Liquid Smoke. A delicious, healthy treat!

  7. Lovely! I toss sprouts in all sorts of spices mixes and olive oil and roast them all the time – it’s the best way to eat them!

    1. All of the cruciferous veg are wonderful with strong spicing, aren’t they? I have cauliflower roasted with homemade tandoori spice mix at least once a week. Dukkah too {usually sprinkled on after though}. It takes no effort at all to make these more ‘difficult’ vegetables much more than tolerable. But you know that already!

      1. I do tandoori cauliflower too!! Great minds DEFINITELY think alike!!!!

      2. Can I just ask, why is liquid smoke a contentious product for some people?

  8. These sound amazing. I am a big fan of brussel sprouts, especially when they are sweetened with maple syrup like these.

  9. Ren Behan says:

    Oooh nice I just found some Brussels Sprouts in my veg box. I don’t have nutritional yeast – shall I skip that part? Lovely recipe x

    1. Hi Ren. It’s pretty integral to making the vegan cheese but just use parmesan instead. Or try with the nuts and seasonings. It will still work. 🙂

  10. Sally says:

    Such a funny post – I love your writing. And I don’t have that gene. Do you think there would be a mutiny if I served these rather untrad sprouts for Christmas?

  11. thespicyrd says:

    You have delivered again Kellie-these look divine! I made Balsamic Roasted BS last night (recipe at Marissa Moore) and Mr. spicy was doing his happy dance 🙂 I’m so intrigued by the vegan Parmesan, and the maple Dijon vinaigrette sounds like icing on the sprouts! Happy Thanksgiving ! xoxo

  12. Roasted BS are the best and this maple dijon dressing looks amazing. Love the use of nutritional yeast in this recipe too, Kellie.

  13. This looks promising! I can’t wait to try it out!

  14. This post has just what I was looking for. I needed to update my sprouts recipes! Thanks!!!

  15. Looks delicious!

  16. Feast Wisely says:

    I love that you celebrate brussels – ever since being a child I’ve been able to polish off a whole bowl of them with nothing else added. Now I like them baked with a little bacon, butter and salt….

  17. Interesting twist on brussels sprouts! And I’ve got a bottle of liquid smoke handy (I mostly use it for coconut bacon) so I’ve got no excuses not to try! Definitely a contender for the thanksgiving table this weekend.

  18. Jo Brigdale says:

    What an amazing thing to do to Brussels Spouts! Great Idea 🙂

  19. TheZenVegan says:

    This honestly looks so delicious.

  20. cowboysam says:

    Reblogged this on cowboysam13.

  21. aijathompson says:

    I love the pictures and it all looks so good! If you can, check out my blog as well, there’s lots on food both in the form of reviews and my own favourite recipes 🙂

  22. Anyone who doesn’t like brussels sprouts is cooking them wrong! I’ve never used Liquid Smoke in a vegetable dish, so this will be interesting to try,

  23. Shu Han says:

    I work with an organic veg company here, and you have no idea how tricky it is coming up with ways to make Brussels sprouts appealing. I’ve tested many recipes over the years and the conclusion I’ve come up with is: roasted, every time. It just takes away any of the sharp sulfurous taste, and makes the flavours mellow and sweet instead. Another favourite is to stir fry them- as usual high heat so they char and plenty of fat. These things love fat! I love your variation Kellie! Will definitely share with the team here 🙂

  24. I had no idea there was a gene for hating Brussels sprouts. Personally, I love them and one can never have too many recipes that use them. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  25. This recipe looks/sounds absolutely delicious! My boyfriend isn’t much of a brussels sprouts fan but I think this might just convert him. Thanks so much for sharing this lovely recipe!

    1. The maple syrup in this works wonders.

  26. What a way to dress up brussels sprouts! This would make a great Christmas dinner side, as mentioned. The maple syrup in the recipe is likely to entice most brussels sprout haters to give the dish a try.

    1. It probably sounds very weird to some people but the maple syrup (just a little) really complements the sprouts.

  27. Stunningly beautiful pics as always. The recipe sounds delicious. Adding this to my Christmas menu.

    1. I am honoured, Emily. Lovely to hear from you.

  28. Well, it appears that my Brussels sprout bender will not be ending any time soon! This recipe sounds absolutely delicious- will be making for dinner this weekend! Thank you for sharing!

  29. Ish says:

    Will have to try this one.. I do mine with just salt and pepper..this will be a good change

  30. HotDish says:

    I made these yesterday, ostensibly for myself and my husband. But I ended up standing at the counter and eating every last one of them myself (he was out and had no idea what I’d been planning, so I don’t feel *too* guilty.). These were delicious and I will definitely be making them again – this time using a much larger portion of brussels sprouts. 😉 Thanks for sharing this lovely dish!

    1. That’s fabulous to hear! I think in my post I mention hoovering them up off the tray too! It is hard to believe that this recipe can make us do that, but it does. ;-). Thanks so much for letting me/us know. Brill!

  31. HotDish says:

    P.S. That vinaigrette is to die for. I poured the rest over chopped baked potato, hard-boiled egg, and green onion today for lunch and it was absolutely lovely!

    1. I know! Your ideas of where to take it sure sound good. I must definitely try it with hb eggs. Mmmm

  32. bonniejohnstone says:

    Liquid smoke is not an artificial chemical flavor. It’s made by smoke passing through water then that being concentrated. Another way I get a smoke taste that’s subtle is when I steam broccoli or cauliflower. I grind some Lapsang Souchong tea to a powder and sprinkle over the vegetables or into the water. My home smells wonderful. You can use this tea with herbs to make rubs for bbq.

  33. spoonwithme says:

    What a wonderful way to enjoy these little cancer-fighting cruciferous orbs of goodness! I was a weird kid–I always liked brussels sprouts! Can’t wait to try them with the maple dijon vinaigrette!

    1. Thank you for the thumbs up, Jenny. I didn’t have Brussels sprouts until I moved to the UK. They were a bit scarce in 1980s (and earlier) southern Florida! I hope you get to try these.

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