> originally published on January 29, 2017 | updated on September 25, 2021 <
A Perfect Brussels sprouts Side Dish for Two People.
This. This recipe is EVERYTHING. We frequently grill at home, and spicy chopped brussels sprouts are ALWAYS our go-to for a vegetable side. I have to give Mark full credit for this recipe creation. He ate a similar side dish at a rehearsal dinner we attended about seven years ago, and we’ve been obsessed with this recipe ever since. They’re just a touch spicy, a little creamy, and perfect as a side dish for almost any protein. They come together in under 30 minutes, and this recipe makes a perfect amount of Brussels sprouts for two people to share.
Ingredients for this Small Batch Brussels Sprouts Recipe:
- 1 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
- 1 tbsp. minced Shallot (or one small shallot)
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 3 cups chopped Brussels Sprouts (stems and rough leaves removed first)
- Kosher Salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly cracked Black Pepper
- 1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
- 1/4 cup Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
- 1/4 cup Heavy Cream (or half & half)
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 wedge fresh Lemon
IMPORTANT INGREDIENT NOTES & RECOMMENDATIONS:
- Fresh Brussels Sprouts are best. If you can even find some that are shredded or pre-chopped, that will save you a lot of time!
- Remove the stems and any little, tough leaves from the Brussels sprouts before chopping them. Chop the stem off of the bottom, and if there are any little, tough leaves that are near the stem, don’t be afraid to take those off. You can also discard most of the thick, white pieces that come from the center of the sprout if you like! We will cook these down until they’re soft, so that last part isn’t as crucial.
- Heavy cream or half & half will work! Heavy cream adds more richness and flavor, but half and half will absolutely work, too. You could use whole milk if you prefer, but be prepared to cook it into the sprouts a little longer until it is absorbed.
- Low-sodium chicken broth is preferred. To avoid these Brussels sprouts from being too salty, I use a low-sodium chicken broth and add salt to taste. If you have a favorite chicken bone broth or a chicken broth from a local butcher, use it. Just watch how much salt you add before (or after) the broth!
- Crushed Red Pepper is optional. Totally your choice. These are still so good without it.
- Good Parmesan is key. I say this in every single blog post, so sorry if you already know this! But seriously, use good parmesan. Quality matters here. I actually buy a chunk from Whole Foods (I like to buy things there that really are worth it!), and it costs me $5. That $5 chunk lasts us for at least 5-6 meals, so it’s an easy choice to make that really steps up the flavor of your recipes.
- Don’t skip the lemon! I add lemon at the end of the recipe to balance out the richness of the cream and parmesan. It won’t taste lemony, I promise! It just makes it taste better because it adds a little acid to balance out the fats.
Most restaurants tend to prepare brussels sprouts with balsamic, lemon, parmesan, etc. I most oftentimes see them halved and roasted, and accompanied with bacon. Obviously these are all super delicious ways to prepare them, but the spicy chopped brussels sprouts change it up a little. 🙂
STEPS TO MAKING THIS SMALL BATCH BRUSSELS SPROUTS:
- Cut the stem off of the bottom of each sprout, and then cut it in half, then quarters. For larger pieces, cut into even smaller pieces than quarters. Before measuring out three cups of your chopped brussels sprouts, try to remove most of the cores. You’ll recognize these as the whitest, hardest bits in your pile. Using mostly leaves gives the dish a whole new taste and texture! (You could buy pre-shredded Brussels sprouts from the store and save yourself time with this step!)
- Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Cook the shallots in the butter for about 2-3 minutes until they barely begin to brown. Stir in the garlic, and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Stir in the chopped Brussels sprouts with the crushed red pepper, a pinch of salt, and the black pepper. Watch as they transform into an even brighter, more vibrant green color when they first start to react to the heat. Cook the sprouts, stirring occasionally, for about 5-7 minutes until they’re softened and some of them start to brown.
- Stir in the cream (or half & half), and cook until it is absorbed into the Brussels sprouts. Turn off the heat from under the pan, and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Taste, season with more salt or pepper if you like, then stir in the fresh lemon juice.
- Serve hot, and sprinkle on a little more Parmesan cheese if you like!
Sautéing Brussels sprouts is totally underrated. Roasted Brussels sprouts are awesome, but you have to try it this way, too.
Brussels sprouts used to get a bad rap because of the strong, offensive smell they can put off when they are boiled or braised. When brussels sprouts are sautéed, the components that contribute to this offensive smell aren’t broken down as much. This not only alleviates the offensive smell, but it also makes them easier to cook! Overcooking sprouts does not result in a pleasant side dish.
In fact, cooking them this way allows more of the nutty flavors of the sprouts to come out, which plays so well with the fruity / nutty flavors of true parmesan cheese.
These spicy chopped brussels sprouts aren’t overly creamy, but have just enough creamy texture to allow them to create a “melt-in-your-mouth” sensation. The crushed red pepper adds some heat, so adjust that to your liking. The parmesan cheese enhances the nutty flavor profile the cooked Brussels produces, and absolutely seals the deal in this dish.
If you make these, be sure to tag me on Instagram so I can see your awesome creations. And as always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have! These are great with any protein! Chicken, steak, pork chops, you name it. I want to hear what you paired yours with!
Cheers to your dinner tonight, and cheers to your Brussels sprouts side dish!
Small Batch Creamy Brussels sprouts
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp. shallot minced
- 1 Tbsp. garlic minced
- 3 cups chopped brussels sprouts (stems removed)
- salt to taste
- 1/4 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or half & half
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmsean
- 1 wedge lemon (about 1 tsp. lemon juice)
- Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add minced shallots, and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened and just starting to brown.
- Stir in garlic, and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add chopped brussels sprouts, a pinch of salt, the black pepper and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until Brusselsl sprouts are slightly charred (about 5-7 minutes).
- Turn heat to medium low and stir in the chicken broth. Let it absorb into the Brussels sprouts, about one minute.
- Stir in cream (or half & half). Cook for a few minutes until it is totally absorbed into the Brussels sprouts, and they are creamy.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the parmesan cheese and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Taste, and season with any additional salt or pepper, if desired.
- Serve hot!