Smashed Brussels Sprouts


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There’s something deeply satisfying about transforming an underappreciated vegetable into a dish that can steal the spotlight on any dining table. That’s exactly what happened one chilly autumn evening at a small dinner party I hosted. Seeking to impress my culinarily curious friends, I decided to serve smashed Brussels sprouts, a dish that turns these humble greens into crispy, cheesy delights.

As I watched the sprouts sizzle and crisp up in the oven, I reminisced about a similar dish I’d encountered during a quaint little bistro visit on the outskirts of Asheville, North Carolina. There, nestled among artisanal shops and vibrant murals, I first tasted Brussels sprouts that were anything but ordinary. Inspired, I returned home determined to recreate this culinary gem with my own twist.

This recipe for smashed Brussels sprouts is beautifully simple yet wildly transformative. The sprouts are first steamed to tender perfection, then smashed into flat patties to maximize their surface area—hello, crispy edges!—before being roasted with a dusting of garlic powder and fiery red pepper flakes. The final touch, a generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, adds a salty, umami-rich crust that is downright irresistible.

In my version, I like to tweak the heat level depending on my guests or my mood, sometimes substituting smoked paprika for red pepper flakes for a smokier note. This dish is a fantastic way to turn Brussels sprouts skeptics into devoted fans. I love serving these alongside a hearty main dish, but they’re so good that sometimes I end up just pairing them with a simple salad and calling it dinner!

Whether you’re looking for a new favorite side dish or need a foolproof appetizer that will get everyone talking, give these smashed Brussels sprouts a try. They just might change the way you think about this often-overlooked vegetable.

What you will need to prepare the Smashed Brussels Sprouts:


  • 1 pound of Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • A pinch of garlic powder
  • A pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup of finely grated Parmesan cheese (or more, depending on your preference)


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  2. Prepare the Brussels sprouts: Trim the ends and remove any yellowed or damaged outer leaves.
  3. Steam the sprouts: Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill it with water to just below the steamer’s bottom. Bring the water to a boil, then add the Brussels sprouts. Cover the saucepan and let them steam until they are tender, which should take about 10 minutes. Afterward, drain the Brussels sprouts well, pat them dry, and transfer them to your prepared baking sheet.
  4. Season and smash: Toss the steamed Brussels sprouts with olive oil, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper. Arrange them evenly on the baking sheet. Take a Mason jar or another heavy object and press down on each Brussels sprout to flatten it into a patty.
  5. Roast and broil: Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast the sprouts for 15 minutes. After roasting, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the sprouts and place them under the broiler. Broil until the cheese melts and starts to brown, about 2 minutes.

Serve these crispy, cheesy smashed Brussels sprouts warm as a delicious side dish or a tempting appetizer. Enjoy the blend of flavors and textures that make this simple vegetable dish a standout.


Are Brussel sprouts the same as cabbage?

Brussels sprouts and cabbage both belong to the same family, known as Brassicaceae, but they are not the same. Brussels sprouts grow as individual buds along a vertical stem, while cabbage forms a single, large head. Consequently, although they share some flavor and nutritional characteristics, their physical forms and growth patterns are quite distinct.

Are Brussel sprouts healthier than broccoli?

Both Brussels sprouts and broccoli are highly nutritious, but their health benefits vary slightly. Brussels sprouts are particularly rich in vitamin K and slightly higher in fiber, whereas broccoli offers more vitamin C per serving. Thus, the choice between them depends on the specific vitamins and minerals you are aiming to incorporate into your diet.

Can I eat Brussels sprouts every day?

Indeed, eating Brussels sprouts every day can be part of a healthy diet as they are low in calories yet high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. However, moderation is key, as excessive consumption can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort due to their high fiber content. Including a variety of vegetables in your diet is recommended to ensure a balance of nutrients.

Are Brussel sprouts natural?

Brussels sprouts are indeed natural. They have been cultivated since the 13th century, originating from Brussels, Belgium. Over the years, selective breeding has improved their flavor and growth characteristics, but they remain a natural and unmodified product of traditional agricultural practices.


Smashed Brussels Sprouts

Looking for a way to make Brussels sprouts irresistible? Try our smashed Brussels sprouts recipe, complete with Parmesan crust and a hint of spice
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese or more to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Trim Brussels sprouts and discard any yellow outer leaves.
  • Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts, cover, and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well, pat dry, and transfer to the baking sheet.
  • Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Spread out evenly on the baking sheet. Use a Mason jar or other heavy object to press Brussels sprouts into flat patties.
  • Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Cover with Parmesan cheese. Broil until cheese starts to brown, about 2 minutes.
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