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These quick and easy pan seared brussels sprouts are the perfect weeknight side dish. They're cooked until crispy and tender, then drizzled with balsamic glaze, and topped with crunchy almonds. They're simply delicious and they're ready in just 10 minutes.
Ever tried brussels sprouts in a salad? Try our shaved brussels sprouts salad, roasted brussels sprouts caesar salad, or brussels sprouts salad with bacon, walnuts, and apricots.
Brussels sprouts often get a bad rap. But this tiny cabbage-like vegetable is incredibly delicious when cooked properly, and we're here to show you how!
The thing about brussels sprouts, which is true for most vegetables, is you need to know how to cook them. Pan-searing or roasting them helps to bring out their sweetness and makes them much more enjoyable than the over-boiled ones you may remember as a kid.
Simply slice them in half and cook them face-down until they're tender inside and caramelized. Turn off the heat, drizzle them with balsamic glaze, and toss in some chopped almonds for crunch.
Pan seared brussels sprouts are a healthy and flavorful side dish you can make all winter long. They're perfect for weeknights, but also delicious as a quick and easy side for holiday dinners!
Pan seared brussels sprouts ingredients
You only need a handful of basic kitchen ingredients to make these crispy brussels sprouts. Here's what you need:
- Olive oil – use a generous amount of extra-virgin olive oil to coat the pan and help the brussels sprouts crisp up nicely. You can also use butter if you prefer.
- Brussels sprouts – look for brussels sprouts that are bright green in color with tightly packed leaves. They reach their peak season in early fall but you can find them throughout the winter in most places.
- Sea salt – acts as a flavor enhancer.
- Balsamic glaze – just make sure it's balsamic glaze and not balsamic vinegar. While both are delicious, the sweetness of the glaze is the taste we're after.
- Roasted almonds – for a little nutty crunch.
How to make pan seared brussels sprouts
Pan seared brussels sprouts are a quick and easy side dish for weeknights or holiday dinners. Here's how to make them in a couple of simple steps:
- Heat your pan and olive oil, then arrange the brussels sprouts in your pan cut side down. Sprinkle them with a bit of salt and cook them until they start to soften.
- When you can pierce them with a fork, remove them from the heat, then stir in the balsamic glaze and the almonds. That's it!
Tips for making the best pan seared brussels sprouts
There's nothing complicated about pan searing brussels sprouts, but here are a few tips that help make them extra tasty:
- Make sure to trim off the stems and remove any tough outer leaves. If you notice black spots, that's fungus and you should discard them.
- We cut them in half which increases their surface area. This helps them cook more quickly, helps them caramelize, and gives them a great texture.
- Make sure they're placed in a single layer in your skillet, working in batches if needed.
- We recommend using a heavy bottom or cast-iron skillet which helps give them a nice brown color.
Pan seared brussels sprouts variations
Pan searing brussels sprouts is a really versatile way to cook them. We chose balsamic glaze and almonds for this recipe but there are lots of other flavor combinations. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Lemon + parmesan – this flavor combination of citrus and cheese is perfectly matched with the sweet brussels sprouts. Goat cheese and feta cheese are also super tasty.
- Add fresh herbs – top them with some parsley, thyme, cilantro, or mint for extra herbaceous flavor.
- Add bacon – dice a few slices of bacon and add it to your skillet. Cook until crispy, remove from the pan, and then cook the brussels sprouts in the bacon drippings. No need for olive oil if you're using bacon!
- Add onion – add half a sliced red onion to the pan while cooking the brussels sprouts. It adds sweetness and flavor.
Are brussels sprouts healthy?
Yep! Brussels sprouts are full of nutrients like vitamin c and potassium, while also being high in fiber. In this recipe, we only use a bit of olive oil, some balsamic glaze, and almonds making it a clean and healthy side dish.
What's the best type of pan for cooking them?
A heavy bottom pan or cast iron skillet is ideal and helps the brussels sprouts get nice and browned. We've tried non-stick pans and they just don't give the same results.
Can I use other nuts?
Sure! While we love the taste of almonds, pecans and walnuts also taste great.
What to serve with pan seared brussels sprouts
For the longest time, we thought that brussels sprouts were only served on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. Boy were we wrong! These pan seared brussels sprouts are an easy and nutritious side dish you can enjoy all winter long beside a quick main.
Quick mains that pair perfectly with pan seared brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ lb brussels sprouts (trimmed and halved)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
- ¼ cup chopped roasted almonds
- Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the brussels sprouts cut side down and sprinkle them with salt. Let them cook for 5 minutes, or until they are tender but still have a bit of bite. Reduce the heat if the brussels are browning too much. See notes.2 tablespoons olive oil, ¾ lb brussels sprouts, ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Once the brussels can be pierced with a fork, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped almonds and balsamic glaze.¼ cup chopped roasted almonds, 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.