16 Creative Ways To Use Brussels Sprouts

Versatile vegetables are wonderful to always stock in the fridge or freezer, and Brussels sprouts are certainly one of them. You can bake, fry, grill, roast, boil, steam, mash, and even serve them raw. In addition to their flexibility, Brussels sprouts have nutritional components like protein, fiber, carbohydrates, calcium, potassium, vitamin C, folate, and many other vitamins and minerals that make them a compelling addition to meals and sides. Whether you're seeking bite-size appetizers, main dishes, or even ways to use some of the scraps, there are a lot of fun and creative ways to implement Brussels sprouts in your cooking. 

You might be seeking ideas on rejuvenating classic dishes, such as macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes, or perhaps making pasta or soup with a mishmash of vegetables that you want to use up. We have plenty of inspiration for you, ranging from super simple scrambled eggs to slightly more involved dishes like vegetable stock. Brussels sprouts deserve time in the spotlight, and these dishes allow them to shine bright.

1. Use Brussels sprouts instead of lettuce in a sandwich

Upgrade your next sandwich with Brussels sprouts instead of lettuce. Raw Brussels sprouts can mimic the texture of a crisp piece of lettuce, which is convenient when you don't have a head of lettuce on you. It's crunchy and fresh with the classic earthiness of Brussels sprouts. To replicate the lettuce, peel off individual petals of the Brussels sprouts to achieve similarity to chopped lettuce. The pieces are not enormous enough to be a full piece of lettuce, so keep this in mind when making your sandwich.

No matter what sandwich you're trying to swap the Brussels sprouts in, they are a great alternative if chopped lettuce works in a particular sandwich, wrap, or even a burger. Try this vegetable in an avocado and turkey sandwich or grilled chicken and pesto. It can be a fun twist on a classic BLT, making it a BBST (bacon, Brussels sprouts, and tomato) sandwich instead.

2. Add them to your veggie skewers

Whether you're barbecuing skewers in the backyard on a warm evening or putting them in the oven, skewers are fun to eat. You can add all sorts of veggies and meat to make it to your liking. If you just want to make a vegetable version, include vegetables like zucchini, bell pepper, onion, and Brussels sprouts. There are uncommon options like tempeh, polenta, and Brussels sprout skewers, but you can skewer most meats and veggies to come up with unique combinations.

The key is to not cut the ingredients too thin, making them fall off, while also considering the cooking times of the food. One veg might completely get burnt to a crisp while something else is undercooked. Something like zucchini will cook quicker than sprouts, so you should do larger zucchini pieces and skewer them with halved Brussels sprouts, ensuring they can cook at equal times. In addition to the smokiness from the grill, add fresh herbs or marinade in garlic Dijon to keep the skewers tasting amazing. You could also choose to grill the items separately and then assemble the skewer, such as shrimp, Brussels sprouts, and bell peppers.

3. Put Brussels sprouts in dip

Dips are delicious. Brussels sprouts are a particularly fantastic choice for dip recipes that call for spinach because the sizing of the spinach leaves and Brussels sprout petals are quite similar. However, you could easily shred Brussels sprouts or slice them into slivers for a similar effect. Browned Brussels sprouts can give spinach artichoke dip more texture with their toasty leaves. In addition, the layered appearance of Brussels sprouts is similar to artichokes, making them the perfect addition to a spinach artichoke dip for an ultra-green version. 

Other than adding chopped sprouts to a gooey, decadent, creamy spinach dip, you could include them in cheesy dips like a baked feta dip loaded with olives, roasted bell peppers, and basil. Everything gets baked in the oven, so you can easily integrate chopped sprouts into the mix for more veggies. Roasted sprouts can bring a pleasant caramelized earthiness to dips that work beautifully with the veggies and chips that you dip in.

4. Integrate them into nachos

Nachos are one of those dishes that you can get creative with and make for a large crowd. It's easy to customize bigger batches to serve family or at gatherings, and you could follow a color or cuisine theme. You just need chips and your pick of toppings, such as cheese, beans, and olives. Don't leave out Brussels sprouts; they belong on your next bundle of nachos since they can be served raw or roasted.

Gain inspiration from Bobby Flay's Brussels sprout nachos recipe, which is loaded with pickled onions, Fresno chilies, cheese sauce, and crisp Brussels sprouts. The recipe has an incredible rainbow of colors, but you could always add roasted and sliced Brussels to any nachos that you want. Make nachos with beef or shredded chicken utilizing lots of tomatoes, jalapeños, and cooked Brussels sprouts. Or, instead of cooked sprouts, go the alternative route with raw shaved Brussels sprouts for something lettuce-adjacent.

5. Amp up your pasta with Brussels sprouts

From bucatini to ziti, any pasta can use a Brussels sprout addition. You can follow this brown butter pasta with shaved Brussels sprouts recipe for a comforting and restaurant-quality meal. You'll be so impressed you'll want to add this to your weekly meal rotation. On nights when you don't want to spend too much time in the kitchen, even a store-bought cheese ravioli could use an upgrade of buttery pan-fried Brussels sprouts with garlic. Place them in the oven, fry them in a pan, chop them, serve them whole, or drop uncooked shavings on top as a garnish. Whichever method you choose, it adds a vibrant vegetable to an otherwise beige pasta. 

Cooking can be hectic, especially if you have multiple components going on at once. To simplify things, roast veggies mix-ins in the oven, such as chopped Brussels sprouts, onion, and bell pepper, so it all cooks together. Boil your pasta and get everything else ready while the veggies bake. It could be as simple as boiling your favorite pasta, whether that's linguine or fusilli, then mixing it with your preferred sauce like Alfredo, pesto, or marinara.

6. Give mac and cheese a hint of green with Brussels sprouts

The gooey cheesiness of macaroni and cheese comes with a hint of nostalgia. Whether you grew up with the boxed version or the type made from scratch, you can elevate either with some fresh veggies. Broccoli or mushroom mac and cheese contain veggies, so why not swap or add Brussels sprouts? Some recipes completely replace the macaroni with a vegetable like roasted cauliflower "mac" and cheese, but we are simply adding Brussels sprouts into macaroni and cheese. Not only is it a creative way to use Brussels sprouts, but it's also a great method to get your vegetables in a carb-heavy dish. 

Saute the Brussels sprouts in butter to allow them to cook and brown to complement the butter used in the macaroni and cheese. Season with black pepper, salt, and garlic, and get your macaroni ready. Shredded cheddar, Gruyère, and Parmesan make a marvelous cheese trifecta. This veggie inclusion gives a bit of balance to a rich dish filled with butter, milk, cheese, and pasta.

7. Wrap them up for an appetizer or snack

Turn your round green veggies into a gift for the senses with wrapped Brussels sprouts. Use bacon or puff pastry to create a mouthwatering dish that guests will gobble up at your next party. They are small and chic and make the perfect finger foods to serve. Bacon-wrapped balsamic Brussels sprouts combine the smoky crunch of the meat with the tangy veggies, but you could go a different direction with flaky Parmesan pastry-wrapped Brussels sprouts. Pair the savory snack with a maple mustard sauce to make it the star of your gathering. 

Both of these make quick and easy appetizers to put out at a potluck since they look nice on a plate and hold themselves together. You could also add other ingredients to the pastry puff, such as caramelized onions or ham. Give Brussels sprouts their deserving spot on the snack table, and they'll become a conversation starter.

8. Pair Brussels sprouts with eggs

Casseroles, quiches, omelets, and anything eggy can make a fantastic base for your Brussels sprouts. Quiches are incredibly flexible; as long as you have the pie crust and eggs, you can add nearly any vegetable or meat. For example, Brussels sprouts with bacon make a tasty combo that's good paired with coffee for brunch or served with wine for dinner. Just cook the ingredients ahead of time and then pour them into the pie crust along with beaten eggs and bake. 

Some other options include adding chopped Brussels sprouts into scrambled eggs, omelets, or crepes, along with some mozzarella and garlic for a hearty breakfast. If you have time to spare, a sweet potato and Brussels sprouts breakfast casserole is the way to go. Though it needs a bit of prep time, you can let everything cook while you enjoy some time with your family. This is a fantastic meal for a weekend when you have more time at home. 

9. Cook them for a veggie-loaded soup

Soups are spectacular because once you have the general hang of how to flavor them, there's a wide range of items that you can include, from veggies to proteins to grains. Whether you desire a vegetable-centric soup, a chicken and rice soup, or a slow cooker 15 bean soup, they're all appropriate vessels for your Brussels sprouts. Rather than keeping the sprouts whole, chop them into quarters or slices so you aren't left with a huge sprout and smaller beans or potatoes in one bite. 

If you're making a fall vegetable soup with carrot and butternut squash, everything is simmered and then blended. This is an ideal option if you don't necessarily want to see the Brussels sprout pieces. Some recipes call for fresh herbs on top, such as basil or cilantro, and you can use the same idea with shaved Brussels sprouts. Sprouts give crispness and color to your soup, making them easy to include in just about any kind of soup.

10. Transform your broth with Brussels sprouts

Your next soup broth can get a major upgrade by putting Brussels sprouts into the mix. Whether you're making homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock, this bright addition is a great way to use any scraps that you might have from other dishes you made. To make the broth, save leaves or bits that you cut off for cooking. Place them in an airtight container or baggie, and leave it in the freezer, along with other scraps, such as onion, carrot, and chicken carcass. 

This will make a rich base for a stock or broth with minimal effort. It's a marvelous way to reduce food waste or get more use out of the produce that you're buying. Depending on how much Brussels sprouts you add in, it may or may not alter the taste of the stock with Brussels sprouts essence. But if you just have a few scraps, it won't overpower it like a veggie such as broccoli would. Strain the liquid and store it in an airtight container in the fridge to use in your cooking.

11. Try them with rice

It doesn't matter whether you prefer brown, black, white, or a different type of rice, there are plenty of complex flavors available to include in your favorite rice dish. Integrate pan-fried and chopped Brussels sprouts into rice, or include other goodies, such as dried cranberries, leeks, shallots, or slivered almonds. Use extra virgin olive oil or butter to give it some fat and flavor. This makes a delicious and filling side dish that can be served to accompany chicken, fish, steak, or even mixed with tofu for extra flavor. 

Cook your rice in broth and then once ready add in any other mix-ins. If you're unsure where to start, Persian rice (tahdig) often has multiple ingredients to make it a riveting dish. Try running your Brussels sprouts in the food processor to blend beautifully with the rice. For an easy side dish, make a simple fried rice with leftover rice and add cooked sprouts as a veggie.

12. Mix Brussels sprouts with mashed potatoes

A big mashed potato mistake is not using add-ins, whether that's bacon, baby spinach, or Brussels sprouts. Find inspiration in this roasted garlic spinach mashed potatoes recipe for a green-infused spud dish. Boil Brussels sprouts and potatoes together so they cook at the same time. Another mashed potato mistake that you can rectify is to make sure everything is evenly sliced. You don't necessarily want to boil whole potatoes alongside the Brussels sprouts since they won't cook evenly. 

Ensure they have a similar size, boil them together, and mash them. Use an immersion blender if you prefer creamy spuds, and don't forget the butter, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour in a bit of milk or cream if you feel it needs liquid. If you want the Brussels to have more texture, roast the sprouts in the oven so they have a bit of brown on them, and then slice them into smaller pieces that you can easily mix into the already mashed potatoes.

13. Elevate your pizza with Brussels sprouts

Sometimes a gourmet touch to a pizza or flatbread is needed. Brussels sprouts can provide that twist, whether you're making pizza or flatbread from scratch with homemade dough or you want to jazz up a frozen one. Slice up the sprouts into smaller pieces so they can cook during the pizza's baking process. Coat them in a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic to ensure they are flavored. You don't want bland, soggy Brussels sprouts on your pizza, so in addition to flavoring them, opt to fry or bake them for a slightly crispy texture.

Pizza with Brussels sprouts goes well with bacon, prosciutto, pepperoni, or caramelized onions, but you could also combine it with another leafy green, such as spinach or kale. Add the spinach and kale toward the end since they don't require much baking time, or you risk burning it. Try roasted pumpkin and sausage ricotta pizza by placing the sprouts to roast along with the pumpkin. This makes a colorful and visually stunning pizza. 

14. Enjoy them in tacos

The comforting, mouthwatering treasure of tacos makes it a delightful choice for all occasions, whether you're celebrating an achievement or want it on a given weekday. Tacos are a food that often has a rainbow within it thanks to the main ingredients and toppings, such as the pinkish-red hue of radish, the alluring green of cilantro, or the vibrant orange of carrots. You'll find there are many garnishes on tacos, and shaved Brussels sprouts deserve a chance to plead their case. 

You'll often find cabbage in tacos as well as in Mexican cuisine, so Brussels sprouts make a great alternative since they have a similar greenness and crunch when you bite into it. Sprouts could also be the main ingredient in Brussels sprouts tacos, which makes a perfect option when you want a meat-free option. The roasted sprouts and smoked avocado work together to create a smoky, sophisticated dish. Serve with a wedge of lime and jicama tortillas.

15. Customize curry with Brussels sprouts

When you're craving something absolutely full of bursting flavors for your taste buds, curry is an ideal option. Not only is there a variety of curries differing in colors and flavors, but you can experiment with the vegetables you add to the dish, such as Brussels sprouts. Add them to a ginger-forward, veggie-packed Japanese curry with tender carrots, mushrooms, and potatoes for loads of flavor. You can make it in bulk to store leftovers in the fridge for a quick meal. 

There are a lot more curry recipes to gather inspiration from to put your chopped Brussels sprouts to good use. Much like any other vegetable, the longer the simmer, the more flavor it'll produce. While sprouts go well with a veggie curry, you could include chicken, beef, lamb, or other protein to use up in your fridge. Whether you want a creamy curry with coconut milk or something heavy on warming spices, Brussels sprouts are a wonderful option to include in a fragrant and aromatic dish such as curry.

16. Take stuffed peppers to the next level

Next time you're trying to fill your stuffed peppers, add diced Brussels sprouts into the mix. Brussels sprouts can offer a tasty refresh to stuffed peppers when you want to switch up how you make them. 

Since most ingredients in stuffed baked peppers are quite small and bite-sized, you don't want to place whole Brussels sprouts into the stuffing. Consider shredding, grating, or chopping them into fine pieces that can cook evenly with the other ingredients. If you're cooking everything ahead of time and then assembling them to heat in the oven for a couple of minutes, you can be more liberal with how large the sprout pieces are. You can use rice, quinoa, or couscous paired with a protein such as ground turkey or ground beef, so it has a bit of everything you need in a meal. Adding binding ingredients like tomato sauce or cheese can help everything stick together.

This is surely an unanticipated and creative way to use Brussels sprouts.