These vegan Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts make the perfect fall side dish. Add them to the Thanksgiving table too
This recipe was recently freshened up with new photos! Enjoy!
It’s been a gorgeous fall. In addition to the great weather and beautiful foliage, I’m loving the return of cool-season vegetables. Brussels sprouts are one of my favorites – especially baby Brussels sprouts. Over the past few weeks, I’ve tasted them in many ways: fried, glazed, roasted and sautéed with apples.Easy Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts!
One of my favorite preparations was at Ecco restaurant here in Atlanta. As I went in for a second helping of their Brussels sprouts with hazelnuts, I analyzed the recipe. In my attempt to reverse engineer it, I tasted balsamic vinegar, a hint of sweetness, olive oil and maybe garlic. That was enough to try it at home. Here’s my take…
I like working with baby Brussels sprouts. They are sweeter, cook faster and so darn cute!
The smoked sea salt is my little secret for adding a hint of deep, smoky flavor. Bacon works too but I wanted to keep this one vegan. I used a balsamic vinegar syrup (just balsamic vinegar and brown sugar cooked down) to add sweetness and tanginess at the same time. The earthy flavor of toasted walnuts rounds out the dish and delivers a little extra crunch.
How to make the best roasted Brussels sprouts
- Trim the Brussels sprouts. Remove the hard, tough root so that you’ll have a more pleasant dish. I prefer to slice them in half too to maximize roasting space!
- Give the Brussels sprouts room to breath. Leaving space on the baking sheet will allow the Brussels sprouts to caramelize. Crowding the pan causes them to steam and be soggy and less flavorful.
- Cook at a high temperature. Heat the pan ahead of time if you can. This will allow the sprouts to get a lovely sear – that means more flavor!
This Brussels sprouts recipe was so easy to make. I may or may not have eaten the entire batch… in a day. It’s the perfect side dish for fish and it would be an easy vegetable side for your Thanksgiving feast.
Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts
- ½ lb baby Brussels sprouts halved
- 1 T extra virgin olive oil
- ½ t smoked sea salt
- Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- ¾ c toasted walnuts
- 2 t balsamic syrup (recipe below)
- 1/3 c balsamic vinegar
- 1 T light brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Toss the baby Brussels sprouts with the extra virgin oil, oil, smoked salt and cracked black pepper. Spread the Brussels sprouts onto a baking sheet. Don't crowd the pan. Roast the Brussels sprouts for about 20 minutes (or until slightly browned), turning once.
- When done, add the toasted walnuts and balsamic syrup. Serve warm or room temperature.
- Make the balsamic syrup: Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to a small saucepan. Gently heat until the sugar dissolves, small bubbles form on top and the mixture thickens. Store any leftover syrup in a sealed jar or bottle in the refrigerator for up to a month.
- Preheat the oven. To get a lovely char, you need to make sure the oven is hot before adding the vegetables.
- Don't crowd the pan. Adding too much food to the pan will cause the Brussels sprouts to steam not roast.
- Be mindful of the oil. Though you don't want to drench the Brussels sprouts in oil, the olive oil will help with browning so don't skimp.