Crispy Smashed Brussels Sprouts Recipe (Easy!)

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by Sil Pancho

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12.07.2021


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Roasted brussels sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables to roast, but when you want extra crispness, you’re going to love this crispy smashed brussels sprouts recipe with parmesan. Smashing the sprouts means more surface area touches the pan, so they crisp up more. They are similar to smashed potatoes, but healthier.

Why You’ll Love This Crispy Smashed Brussels Sprouts Recipe

  • Savory, cheesy flavor
  • Crispy edges with tender inside
  • Just 5 minutes prep
  • Mostly hands-off cooking time
  • Vitamin-packed, healthy side dish to any meal
Smashed sprouts on sheet pan with a serving spoon

Ingredients You’ll Need

This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for this smashed brussels sprout recipe, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.

  • Brussels Sprouts – Fresh brussels sprouts are best here, I don’t recommend using frozen. Look for sprouts that are uniform in size, so that they cook at the same rate. Remove any browned outer leaves.
  • Olive Oil – I like the flavor of olive oil in this recipe, but avocado oil also works great.
  • Parmesan Cheese – I used finely shredded parmesan, but pre-grated parmesan is fine for convenience. You can also omit the parmesan if you need them to be dairy-free or vegan.
  • Sea Salt
  • Garlic Powder – This works better than fresh garlic, because we are roasting the sprouts at high heat and garlic would burn.
  • Cayenne Pepper – I used just a bit for mild heat, but you can adjust this based on how much you like. Or use black pepper instead.

VARIATION: Want a little zing? Add a tablespoon of lemon juice or a teaspoon of lemon zest in the seasoning step below.

Smashed brussels sprouts recipe ingredients in bowls

How To Make Smashed Brussels Sprouts

This section shows how to make smashed roasted brussels sprouts, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique. For full instructions, see the recipe card below.

  • Boil. Add brussels sprouts to a large pot of boiling water seasoned with salt and boil for 10 minutes, until tender, but not fully cooked.

TIP: Be careful to not overcook sprouts at this step. The end result will be mushy if cooked too long. The goal here is to soften them enough to be able to smash them, but not fully cook through.

  • Drain. Run cold water over the sprouts to stop the cooking process, then drain in a colander and pat dry with paper towels.
Boiled brussels sprouts in a large pot
  • Season. In a large bowl, drizzle brussels sprouts with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder, parmesan, sea salt, and cayenne pepper. Toss to coat.
Brussels sprouts tossed with seasonings in a bowl
  • Smash. Arrange brussels sprouts in a single layer on a sheet pan, making sure each piece touches the pan, and smash them flat with the bottom of a mason jar. Sprinkle with more parmesan cheese, if desired.

TIP: For maximum browning, use either a foil lined sheet pan or an unlined one. You can lightly drizzle it with oil if you are concerned about sticking. Using parchment paper won’t give you the same browning, so don’t recommend it.

Brussels sprouts smashed under a glass mason jar
  • Roast. Bake brussels sprouts until the bottoms are crispy and golden brown.
Roasted smashed brussels sprouts in baking pan

Why Don’t My Brussels Sprouts Get Crispy?

No one likes soggy brussels sprouts! This recipe for smashed brussels sprouts with cheese gets them nice and crispy because we’re flattening them (increasing surface area) and roasting them at high heat. If you still experience issues, these are the most common reasons:

  • Not cooking for long enough – The sprouts need time to get crispy, so if they are not browned, cook them for longer.
  • Lining the pan with parchment – Parchment paper can prevent browning, so a bare pan or foil lined pan works best.
  • Crowding the pan – It’s important that each sprout is touching the pan and has breathing room around it. If your pan is too crowded, your smashed brussels sprouts won’t crisp up.
  • Not drying the sprouts – It’s important that they are completely dry after boiling. Water can prevent crispness.

Storage Instructions

  • Store: Keep crispy smashed brussels sprouts in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
  • Reheat: For best results, reheat the sprouts in the oven at 374 degrees F, or lightly pan fry them. Microwaving is not recommended, as they will be soft instead of crispy.
  • Freeze: Freeze brussels sprouts for 2-3 months in an airtight container.
Crispy brussels sprouts with parmesan on a plate

What To Serve With Brussels Sprouts

Serve this smashed brussels sprout recipe with a main protein like:

More Brussels Sprouts Recipes

If you like this smashed brussels sprouts recipe, you might also like some of these other brussels sprout recipes:

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Ingredients

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Instructions

Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C).

  2. Add the brussels sprouts and 2 teaspoons of sea salt to a large pot of water. Boil for about 10 minutes, until very tender and bright green, but not fully cooked. Drain the brussels sprouts and pat dry with a paper towel.

  3. In a large bowl, toss the brussels sprouts with the olive oil, garlic powder, parmesan cheese (if using), 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and cayenne pepper.

  4. Arrange the sprouts in a single layer on a baking sheet, making sure each sprout touches the baking sheet.

  5. Using the bottom of a small glass or a mason jar, press down on the sprouts to smash them flat. Sprinkle additional grated parmesan cheese on top (optional).

  6. Roast smashed brussels sprouts for about 30 minutes, until the bottoms of the sprouts are crispy and golden brown.

Recipe Notes

Serving size: 1/2 cup

Nutrition Facts

Amount per serving. Serving size in recipe notes above.

Calories 107

Fat 6.1g

Protein 6.3g

Total Carbs 8.8g

Net Carbs 5.4g

Fiber 3.4g

Sugar 2g

Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.

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