How Long To Boil Brussels Sprouts

how long to boil brussel sprouts
how long to boil brussel sprouts

Brussels sprouts: they’re just like Marmite – you either love them or hate them. But regardless of your opinion, it’s always useful to know how to cook the perfect Brussels sprouts. In this quick guide, we’ll show you the secrets to cooking them to perfection, along with some delightful recipes to inspire you.

A bowlful of freshly boiled Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are in season from mid-October to the end of February here in the UK. Unfortunately, some of us endured those horrible, mushy, sulphurous sprouts during school dinners, which may have contributed to the sprout haters club. But fear not, a well-cooked Brussels sprout should be green, slightly al dente, and never sulphurous. In fact, when cooked well, they have a lovely nutty flavor.

How to Cook The Perfect Brussels Sprouts

The key to cooking the perfect Brussels sprouts is to not overcook them. Many people make the mistake of boiling them for too long, resulting in a mushy and unpleasant texture. To avoid this, follow these simple steps:

  1. Trim the bases of the sprouts and remove any damaged leaves.
  2. Halve any larger sprouts so that they are all roughly the same size.
  3. Rinse the sprouts in water, then cook them in a little salted water for no more than six minutes. This short cooking time will ensure they remain slightly al dente and maintain their nutty flavor.

Brussels sprouts ready for trimming
Prepared Brussels sprouts with knife and trimmings
Halved Brussels sprouts on a chopping board
Prepared raw Brussels sprouts in a bowl

You can see from the photos that even with imperfect sprouts, the end result can still be delicious. After boiling, you can serve the Brussels sprouts with a little butter and a good grinding of black pepper. Alternatively, they can be enjoyed au naturel or with a drizzle of peppery extra virgin olive oil. For a twist, you can even stir in a spoonful of homemade pesto.

Top Tips for Cooking the Perfect Brussels Sprouts

Here are some additional tips to ensure your Brussels sprouts are perfectly cooked:

  • Don’t mark the bases with crosses. It’s a waste of time and may result in soggy sprouts.
  • Use just enough water to cook the sprouts, without fully covering them. The steam will cook any uncovered bits, preserving all the nutrients.
  • Save the cooking water for making gravy or adding to soups and stews. It’s nutritious and shouldn’t go to waste.
  • If you’re serving Brussels sprouts as part of a roast dinner, cook them last so they can be served hot and freshly cooked.
  • Don’t limit yourself to green Brussels sprouts; you can also find purple varieties.

Perfectly boiled Brussels sprouts

Some Brussels Sprouts Recipes You Might Like

If you’re looking for more creative ways to enjoy Brussels sprouts, here are some delicious recipes to try:

If you’d like even more recipe ideas for Brussels sprouts, check out our Brussels Sprouts Pinterest board.


How long should I boil Brussels sprouts?

Brussels sprouts should be boiled for no more than six minutes. This short cooking time ensures that they remain slightly al dente and maintain their nutty flavor.

Can I cook Brussels sprouts in other ways besides boiling?

Absolutely! In addition to boiling, Brussels sprouts can be steamed, roasted, or stir-fried. Shredded sprouts also make a delicious salad.

Now that you know the secrets to cooking the perfect Brussels sprouts, it’s time to get creative in the kitchen. Enjoy experimenting with different cooking techniques and recipes to explore the full potential of this humble vegetable. Remember to visit Takeout Food for more culinary inspirations and delectable recipes. Happy cooking!

Article by Takeout Food

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