Once you try these smashed Brussels sprouts, you’re never going to want to make Brussels sprouts any other way! They’re crispy, flavorful, and cheesy—perfect for pairing with a creamy lemon aioli for dipping.
Smashed Brussels Sprouts Recipe
Brussels sprouts have such a bad reputation, but this Smashed Brussels Sprout recipe defies every negative word you’ve ever heard! They aren’t mushy; they’re actually tender with a bit of a crunch on the edges. They aren’t bitter; they’re a little cheesy and have a natural sweetness to them. This is the BEST brussels sprout recipe to reintroduce the veg to someone who has avoided them since childhood!
Over the last several decades, farmers have been working to produce brussels sprouts that taste less bitter, so it makes sense if you’re suddenly realizing you enjoy them! Of course, not boiling them to the point of mush also greatly helps increase the allure. Instead, these babies are lightly boiled, then smashed, seasoned, and roasted to a perfect crisp! Absolutely divine.
Why You’ll Love These Smashed Brussels Sprouts
I know this smashed Brussels sprouts recipe is going to be a favorite! Here’s why you’ll love it:
- Healthy. Smashed Brussels sprouts are low-carb and keto-friendly. And Brussels sprouts are loaded with fiber, vitamins C and K, and they’re anti-inflammatory too.
- Fun. They’re fun to make—seriously, smashing the sprouts is so satisfying!—and fun to eat. They remind me of a restaurant-style appetizer!
- Customizable. You can easily switch up the seasonings and dipping sauce based on the ingredients you have on hand or your taste preferences.
- Versatile. Serve them as a side or as an appetizer for a party.
Ingredients for the BEST Brussels Sprouts
Here are all the ingredients you need to make smashed Brussels sprouts with lemon aioli. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the exact amounts for each ingredient.
For the Brussels Sprouts
- Brussels sprouts: Look for firm Brussels sprouts with tightly packed leaves; avoid sprouts with holes, yellowing, and black spots. Also note that smaller Brussels sprouts have more flavor!
- Olive oil and Lemon juice – You could use avocado oil in place of the olive oil if you prefer. Bottled or fresh juice is fine.
- Garlic powder, Kosher salt, and Black pepper: Kosher salt crystals are larger than table salt, so if you use table salt, you’ll want to add a little bit less. Freshly cracked pepper is more flavorful and amazing if you have it.
- Grated parmesan – This really helps crisp up the edges and add a cheesy flavor. I don’t recommend using shredded parmesan as it just melts and doesn’t get the ideal crisp texture on the edges.
For the Aioli
- Mayonnaise: Any brand you like or have on hand.
- Lemon juice, Lemon zest: Be sure to zest the lemon before juicing it. It’s much easier that way!
- Garlic, Fresh herbs, Salt, and Pepper : Freshly minced or jarred minced garlic will work. Dill, parsley, rosemary or a mix of your favorite fresh herbs brighten up the dipping sauce and add a ton of flavor! Salt and pepper can be added to taste.
How to Make Smashed Brussels Sprouts
You’ll need a large pot for boiling the sprouts, a dish towel to dry them, and a large baking sheet. And don’t forget a heavy jar or wine bottle for smashing them! I’ve documented every single step of the process so you can follow along and make these ultra-crispy sprouts too!
Boil the Brussels Sprouts
Begin by prepping the sprouts. If needed, trim the tough base of the sprouts and remove any outer layers that are discolored. Depending on your grocer, this may have already been done for you. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, along with the Brussels sprouts. Boil for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the sprouts are fork-tender.
Dry the Sprouts
Drain the Brussels sprouts in a colander, then run cold water over them to stop the cooking process and cool them down. Pat them dry with a dish towel before transferring them to a baking sheet. This step is important because if the sprouts are soggy when you put them in the oven they will never get nice and crisp.
Season the Sprouts
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the mixture over the sprouts and use your hands to evenly coat them. Make sure each sprout is well seasoned so each bite is flavorful!
Smash the Sprouts
Use a heavy jar or wine bottle to carefully smash the sprouts one at a time until they’re flattened. The flatter they are, the crispier they’ll be!
Roast the Sprouts
Bake the sprouts for 10 minutes, then turn them over and sprinkle the tops with the parmesan. Bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until the Brussels sprouts and crispy and the cheese melts.
Make the Lemon Aioli
While the Brussels sprouts are in the oven, whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, zest, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Taste and add additional herbs and seasoning, if desired.
Plate the finished Brussels sprouts with the lemon aioli on the side for dipping. You can sprinkle additional parmesan over the sprouts and serve with lemon wedges for maximum flavor! Just be sure to serve these crispy sprouts straight from the oven; they become less crisp as they cool.
Tips and Variations
These hints and tips will help you make sure your smashed Brussels sprouts turn out perfect!
- Dry them well. If there’s still water clinging to the Brussels sprouts when you put them in the oven, they’ll steam instead of getting crispy. It’s really important that they’re as dry as possible!
- Keep an eye on them. The cooking time will vary based on how much you smash your sprouts. Watch them carefully during the last few minutes of baking and remove them from the oven when they’re golden brown and crispy.
- Switch up the seasonings. Add thyme or rosemary to the Brussels sprouts; skip the lemon and herbs in the aioli and use smoked paprika instead. This is a recipe where you have room to experiment with different flavors. Go a little spicy and pair with queso!
- Use bacon fat instead of oil. Cook up some bacon, use the fat to replace the olive oil; cook the sprouts as directed, then crumble the cooked bacon over them before serving. Smoked paprika aioli works well with this, or skip the lemon and herbs in the aioli and just use the garlic.
What to Eat with Brussels Sprouts
Although you can enjoy these smashed Brussels sprouts on their own as an appetizer, if you’re making them as a side, I like pairing them with:
- Parmesan Crusted Chicken
- Pecan Crusted Pork Chops (Keto + low carb)
- Marinated Flank Steak
- Cheddar Stuffed Meatballs (keto + low carb)
How to Store and Reheat Leftover Smashed Brussels Sprouts
Leftover Brussels sprouts can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, you can air fry them to keep them crispy (375 degrees F, about 3 minutes) or spread them on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes or until warmed through.
Can I Freeze This Recipe?
While you technically can freeze this recipe, the texture of the smashed Brussels sprouts won’t be as crispy after freezing, thawing, and reheating. If you do still choose to freeze it, be sure to cool the sprouts completely before packing them up in an airtight container and freezing for up to 3 months. To reheat, spread the sprouts on a baking sheet and bake at 350ºF for 10 minutes, or until warmed through.
Because the aioli is made with mayo, it can’t be frozen.
Brussels Sprout FAQ
What takes the bitterness out of Brussels sprouts?
The bitterness of Brussels sprouts can be reduced by boiling them for 8 to 10 minutes in salty water. This will help remove some of the bitter compounds, resulting in a milder-tasting sprout. You can also try roasting them with olive oil and seasonings which will bring out their natural sweetness. Or make this smashed Brussels sprout recipe!
Is it better to roast or boil Brussels sprouts?
It depends on your preference. Roasting Brussels sprouts will bring out their natural sweetness and give them a crispy texture while boiling them will make them softer with a milder flavor. If you’re not sure which to choose, try both methods and see what you like better. Just make sure you boil them until they’re tender-crisp, not mushy.
Is it Brussel sprouts or Brussels sprouts?
The correct spelling is Brussels sprouts. The name comes from the city of Brussels, the capital of Belgium, where they were first cultivated in the 1600s. That’s why the B is capitalized too!
If you love this recipe, you’ll love these vegetable side recipes!
- Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole (keto + low carb) – This is the perfect veggie side dish when you’re actually missing mac and cheese! Classic low carb side dish substitution and a great way to increase your vegetables.
- Roasted Cabbage (keto + low carb) – Roasting brings out the absolute best flavors in cabbage! These cabbage steaks get perfectly tender while still have a great crunch around the edges.
- Green Beans Almondine (keto + low carb) – One of our most consistent holiday recipes is one we actually enjoy year-round! The almonds add a texture that takes it over the top.
- Italian Baked Mushrooms (low carb + keto) – These mushrooms are bursting with flavor and go with anything. We love tossing any leftovers into scrambled eggs the next morning!
- Air Fryer Zucchini with Feta – This is such an EASY side dish, you won’t believe how great it tastes! You’ll want to accept ALL the overflow zucchini your neighbors might have!
For the Brussels Sprouts
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed but leave whole
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
For the Aioli
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons fresh herbs (such as dill, parsley, rosemary or a mix of your favorite)
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and add the trimmed sprouts. Boil for 8-10 minutes until the sprouts are fork-tender.
3. Drain the sprouts and run them under cold water to cool them. Using a dish towel pat the sprouts nice dry them and turn them out onto a large baking sheet.
4. In a small bowl combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the mixture over the sprouts and coat well with your hands.
5. Use a heavy bottom jar or wine bottle and carefully press each sprout down until they are nice and flat. Remember, the flatter they are the crispier they will be.
6. Bake the sprouts for 10 minutes, flip and top with the parmesan. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes until the sprouts are crispy and the cheese has melted.
7. While the sprouts are baking you can make the sauce. Mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, zest, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper until well combined. Taste-test the sauce and additional lemon or herbs based on your preference.
The cooking time will vary based on how much you smash your sprouts. Watch them carefully and remove them from the oven when crispy.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 16.1gCholesterol: 8.8mgSodium: 348.4mgCarbohydrates: 13gNet Carbohydrates: 7.8gFiber: 5.2gSugar: 3.1gProtein: 6g