Pan-Seared Brussel Sprouts

I know.  I know.  I know.  Brussel sprouts are generally pretty gross, especially when they are served boiled!  Eww!  Brussel sprouts are like little cabbages.  Boiled brussel sprouts smell like sweaty feet, much like cooked cabbage does.  So little sweaty feet smelling cabbages are not a go-to veggie for me.  However, my friend made a variation of this recipe for our office Thanksgiving 2 years ago and everyone raved about it.  That’s how long I have been sitting on this recipe – 2 years.  I have been scared to make these thinking I wouldn’t like them.  I have even bought brussel sprouts and let them go bad because I chickened out at the last minute.  Since I am on this diet, I really need to find and create more veggie recipes.  Just this morning my trainer told me to get my clean carb allotment in for breakfast and lunch and no carbs in the evening.  I am supposed to eat a protein and 2 servings of veggies for supper.  So I might have more veggie recipes in the future as I play around with stuff.

Anyway, back to the brussel sprouts.  I have made these twice in the last week.  They kind of taste like a roasted seed when cooked like this, in my opinion.  It is best if you eat them hot because when they get to room temperature they aren’t as good.

I buy them already cut from the stalk because that's what's available to me.

I buy them already cut from the stalk because that’s what’s available to me.

I started by boiling some water.


I know I just said that boiled brussel sprouts are gross, but I didn’t serve them boiled so move on.  I only blanched them for 4 minutes.  (Blanching is just a quick cook that prepares the food for further cooking).  Wash and pick the loose leaves off the sprouts.  Once the water comes to a boil throw the sprouts in – since there is only 2 of us, I threw in about 15-20 sprouts.  Set your timer for 4 minutes and when the timer goes off, drain them off in the sink.  Run cool water over them for 2-3 minutes to stop the cooking.  **Don’t freak out if they smell like sweaty feet cabbage at this point!  They will, but after it’s all said and done that smell will kind of go away…


While the sprouts are cooling off, dice 2-3 slices of uncooked bacon.


Then take your sprouts and cut them in halves, and pat them dry with a towel.

Add a lot going on on this cutting board. Those are shrimp at the top you can ignore...

I had a lot going on on this cutting board. Those are shrimp at the top you can ignore…

Heat some olive oil in a sauté pan and cook the bacon for about a minute.


Then put the sprouts into the same pan **being careful to watch for splatters!!  The sprouts may have some water on them from the rinse so putting them in hot oil will cause splatters.

Here’s the seasonings I used, but feel free to use whatever you like:


I sprinkled a little bit of Tony’s (cajun seasoning) on them.


Then I sprinkled some garlic powder.


I let them cook for 5-7 minutes until they looked like this:


Serve hot with your favorite dish!

Ok, so to be truthful, the smell didn’t totally go away.  We were in the bed and I said “I feel like I still smell the brussel sprouts” to which Jamie replied in his half asleep voice “that’s because you smell like them”!  Haha!  Enjoy! 🙂

Here’s the recipe:

**This recipe is for 2 people, so my measurements are as such.  Feel free to adjust for your family.

  • 2-3 slices of uncooked bacon, diced
  • 20 or so whole brussel sprouts
  • 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning, like Tony’s
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

In a medium saucepan, bring about 4 cups of water to a boil.  Wash and pick off any loose leaves from the brussel sprouts.  When the water is at a rolling boil, add the brussel sprouts and cook for 4 minutes.  Immediately when the timer is done, drain in the sink and run cool water from the faucet over the sprouts for 2-3 minutes to stop the cooking.  Meanwhile, chop the bacon slices.  Once the brussel sprouts have cooled, slice them in halves and pat dry.  Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat and add the bacon once the oil is hot.  Cook the bacon for 1 minute then add the brussel sprouts.  Sprinkle with the cajun seasoning, then the garlic powder and cook for 5-7 minutes until browned, stirring occasionally.  Serve warm.


Recipe adapted from here.