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Cook perfectly steamed Brussels sprouts in just 5 minutes. Simply steaming Brussels sprouts in the microwave or on the stovetop is really the BEST way to preserve their sweet, nutty flavor and crisp-tender texture. Toss them with a rich-tasting garlic parsley butter for the best quick vegetable side dish!
If you’ve only tried making roasted Brussels sprouts (which are fantastic, btw), preparing them steamed is a game-changer!
Steaming Brussels sprouts preserves more of the nutrients and antioxidants than any other cooking method. And they turn out tasting like crisp-tender, sweet little nuggets. Plus they’re just about the quickest veggie side dish you can cook.
- About Brussels sprouts
- Ingredients for the recipe
- How to cut and prep Brussels sprouts
- Parsley garlic butter
- How to steam Brussels sprouts
To cook Brussels sprouts perfectly without overcooking, the goal is to preserve their bright green color while keeping the texture tender, not too soft or mushy. Keep reading to learn how to make them!
about Brussels sprouts
- Brussels sprouts are members of the Brassica family, specifically brassica oleracea. They’re closely related to cabbage, mustard greens, cauliflower and broccoli. And they look just like little baby cabbages!
- They were grown in the 13th century in Belgium (hence their name), but are said to have originated in Rome, Italy.
- Brussels sprouts are versatile to eat. Eat them raw, shaved into a Brussels sprouts slaw; roast them on a sheet pan with Parmesan cheese until sweet and caramelized or enjoy them simply steamed.
About the ingredients
- Brussels sprouts: Look for fresh Brussels sprouts year-round in grocery stores or in late summer and early fall in farmer’s markets. You can sometimes find them still on their stalks, but most likely they’ll be picked and bagged for convenience. Choose firm sprouts with green leaves (yellowing leaves means they’ve been hanging around a while).
- Butter: Salted or unsalted butter works deliciously in this recipe. Or splurge on a good, European-style butter for amazing flavor.
- Garlic: Use one clove of fresh garlic. I prefer to use a rasp grater to make a quick paste, but you can also chop it finely.
- Parsley: Fresh chopped parsley adds a bright flavor and color to the garlic butter. You can blend in other fresh herb you like, such as basil, chives, tarragon or thyme.
How to prep Brussels sprouts:
Make the herbed garlic butter
Techniques for steaming Brussels sprouts
- Microwave the Brussels sprouts on high heat 4 minutes. They should look bright green and and feel fork tender.
To steam Brussels sprouts on the stovetop: Place the seasoned Brussels sprouts in a colander or steamer basket that fits into large saucepan with a cover. Bring two inches of water to a boil in the pan, then add the colander to the pan and cover. Cook about 5 minutes, until they’re bright green and a small knife can be inserted easily, with a little resistance. Try not to overcook them. Drain the water from the pan, add the Brussels sprouts and herb butter and toss until the butter is melted.
Different ways to season Brussels sprouts
Try any (or a combination) of these ingredient variations:
- Add 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest and lemon juice to the garlic butter when blending.
- Garnish the dish with grated Parmesan cheese
- Sprinkle with chopped nuts — almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts or walnuts are all delicious.
- Serve steamed Brussels sprouts along with a roasted lemon chicken, quick brown-sugar brined pork chops or basil-tomato turkey meatloaf.
5-Minute Steamed Brussels Sprouts with Parsley Butter
Parsley Garlic Butter
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) butter, salted or unsalted, softened at room temperature
- 1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1 pound (450 g) brussels sprouts
- 1 tablespoon (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
Mix the parsley butter
- Blend the butter with the garlic and 1 tablespoon of the parsley in a small bowl.
Prepare the Brussels sprouts
- Trim the stem ends off the Brussels sprouts. Halve any that are larger than 1 ½-inches in diameter — this ensures they cook evenly and quickly. Put them in a microwave safe bowl and toss with the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Poke 3-4 holes in the top of the plastic with the tip of a knife. Microwave on high heat for 4 minutes — they should be bright green and fork-tender.
- Use a pair of oven mits to remove the Brussels sprouts from the microwave (the bowl will be very hot). Carefully remove the plastic wrap and discard. Add the parsley butter to the bowl. Cook one more minute in the microwave.
- Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a serving bowl or platter, scraping out all the butter sauce. Top with the remaining chopped parsley and serve.
Karen’s Notes and Tips
- Variations: Garnish the dish with grated Parmesan cheese, chopped nuts (such as almonds, pine nuts, hazelnuts), or toasted fresh breadcrumbs for crunchy texture.
- Add in about 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest and lemon juice to the parsley butter.
- To double or triple the recipe for a larger crowd, cook the Brussels sprouts in separate batches in the microwave.
- To steam Brussels sprouts on the stovetop: Place the seasoned Brussels sprouts in a colander or steamer basket that fits into large saucepan with a cover. Bring two inches of water to a boil in the pan, then add the colander to the pan and cover. Cook about 5 minutes, until they’re bright green and a small knife can be inserted easily, with a little resistance. Try not to overcook them. Drain the water from the pan, add the Brussels sprouts and herb butter and toss until the butter is melted.