Fast Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts ♥ Recipe

Fast Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts, another basic vegetable cooking technique ♥
Ever wonder how to roast Brussels sprouts faster than in the oven? It's a two-step process, parcooking (that is, cooking partway) first, then pan-roasting the sprouts in a skillet in garlicky butter until the flat surfaces turn crusty delicious.

Real Food, Fast & Casual. Just Four Ingredients! Budget Friendly. Little Effort, Big Taste. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegetarian. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly. Rave Reviews.

Roasting Vegetables = So Easy, So Rewarding

Roasting vegetables is just so rewarding! For that hungry hour before supper, the low and slow heat coaxes out aromas and flavors, teasing us of what's to come.

The one downside? Speed. Or lack thereof. Slow Food is one thing. So is sloooow food. But when you want dinner on the table, pronto? Roasting's not the quick choice.

Let's Say You've Only Got Twenty Minutes.

But wait. These roasted Brussels sprouts reach the table in 20 minutes snap. It takes two pots, one to parboil (that means to partially cook) the sprouts, then another to pan-roast the sprouts.

But these are delicious – way delicious, worth the wait, even if not required.

Plus the two-step process has an advantage. The Brussels sprouts can be cooked, partway, ahead of time and then be finished at the last minute. This would make them a great choice for a special dinner. You could even gussy them up a bit by cooking a little bacon first, then browning the sprouts in that rather butter.

How to Make Fast Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts

The detailed recipe is written in traditional recipe form below but here are the highlights in four easy steps. You can do this!

PRE COOK THE SPROUTS This is called "par cooking" for cooking partway, giving them a bit of a head start. Bring well-salted water to a boil in a saucepan. While the water comes to a boil, wash and trim the Brussels sprouts by trimming off the stems a bit, removing any bruised outer leaves, checking for dirt or sometimes, sorry, critters. Then cut an X into the bottom of the stem, this helps the sprouts interiors cook. Once the water boils, chuck all the sprouts in at once and boil for 3-5 minutes, I'm personally a fan of sticking to the middle with 4 minutes. You're trying to avoid the more tender outer leaves from disintegrating in the heat. Drain the sprouts in a colander and cut them in half vertically right through the center core.

INFUSE THE BUTTER WITH GARLIC FLAVOR In a skillet on a lower heat, melt the butter with a clove (or two or three) of smashed garlic right in the butter. This adds so much flavor. Watch the skillet's temperature, you don't want to brown the butter or burn the garlic. Remove the garlic before adding the Brussels sprouts.

FINISH COOKING Turn up the heat a bit, then stir in the drained Brussels sprouts. If you're serious about browning the flat surfaces, use tongs to flip the flat sides down. Give the sprouts a couple of minutes before stirring, you really want to give them time to brown on the hot surface.

SEASON Once the sprouts are browned, sprinkle the skillet with a sprinkle of lemon juice. Taste one and adjust the salt and pepper too.

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!

  • Why Cut an X Into Brussels Sprouts? Many years ago, I learned from my mom to cut an X into the stem of each sprout, using the tip of a knife to cut into (but not through) the stem. Why? The interior of the sprouts are so dense, that X creates a passageway in to more evenly cook the sprouts and importantly, to let saltiness reach the center too.
  • What Kind of Skillet Works Best? I use my favorite Cuisinart non-stick skillet (affiliate link & My Disclosure Promise). But cast iron would work well and could be turned up to a higher heat than a non-stick.

"Another delicious recipe!" ~ seashell
"... it was so fabulous, I ate up a half pound of sprouts in one sitting" ~ 'Rin

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...
Fast Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts, another basic vegetable cooking technique ♥


Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 20 minutes
Serves 4
Just Brussels Sprouts + Pantry Staples

Water to cover plus an inch more, well salted (allow 1/2 tablespoon table salt for 4 cups of water)
1 pound (454g) fresh Brussels sprouts, roughly the same size, trimmed and gnarly outer leaves removed, Xs cut into the cores with the tip of a knife

1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, smashed to remove the peel, otherwise left whole
Juice of half a lemon, about 1 tablespoon (no skipping!)
Salt & pepper to taste

PARCOOK FIRST Bring the salted water to a boil, in my usual pot, four cups of water is plenty. Drop the sprouts in, cover and let cook for 3 to 5 minutes until mostly cooked. Drain. (If cooking ahead, drop the sprouts into ice water for a brief moment to stop the cooking and drain again.) Cut the sprouts in half lengthwise, this creates the flat surfaces for browning.

INFUSE THE BUTTER WITH GARLIC FLAVOR While the sprouts are parcooking, heat the butter and garlic until shimmery in a large skillet on MEDIUM heat and let gently sizzle for about 3 minutes until the garlic flavor is infused into the butter. Remove the garlic clove and discard. (If the Brussels sprouts aren't done yet, turn the heat to LOW so the butter doesn't brown or burn.)

FINISH COOKING Increase the heat to MEDIUM HIGH add the Brussels sprouts to the skillet, gently stirring to coat with butter. Let the sprouts cook, turning only every so often for you want the flat surfaces to darken, taking on almost a little "burn" and that won't happen when stirring often. (It takes patience to not stir often but you can do it! It also helps to use tongs to flip a bunch of the halves onto their flat sides.)

SEASON When the flat surfaces are browned to the desired level, sprinkle the sprouts with lemon juice. Season with additional salt (if needed) and pepper (if needed). Savor and enjoy!

VARIATIONS A long-time member of the A Veggie Venture community, seashell, says she uses three garlic cloves and has taken to slowly cooking the Brussels sprouts on in the garlic-infused butter right in the skillet. Another commenter skips the par-boiling step and quickly sauté halved Brussels sprouts flat-side down in a little olive oil.

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Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. This looks delicious. Have people who say they don't like brussels sprouts really ever had ? --Kathie

  2. Excellent! You know I love my sprouts, so I think the idea of parboiling them to cut down on the roasting time is inspired! Thanks...

    best, Stephen

  3. This is one of my favorite side dishes, thanks for posting!

  4. Yum, these sound so delicious! I love how fast they are to prepare and bet that even those (including my daughter) who insist that nobody likes Brussels Sprouts would love these!

  5. Another delicious recipe! I made this one on Christmas Day. I used three garlic cloves instead of one.


  6. I always do my sprouts in a pan like this - they are just packed with garlicky flavour and a million miles from the limp overboiled specimens that people fear. Yum!

  7. I made these, and it was so fabulous, I ate up a half pound of sprouts in one sitting

    ...and then I paid for it with pain later! Silly cruciferous vegetables. But, I'll be making them again anyways.

  8. Since my original comment I've made these pan-roasted sprouts almost every week. Here's the thing, though. I have taken to slow pan roasting them. Same amount of butter, lower heat and they carmelize oh so deliciously. My husband likes them really dark, and they truly get dark and crusty and yummy. I still add extra garlic. Give it a whirl!

  9. I had a pan roasted recipe from a friend - he didn't mention parboiling them first - I cut the sprouts in half and heated up a bit of olive oil, added garlic pasteand put the sprouts cut side down in the pan over medium heat for 1.5 to 2 min, added some Himalayan salt and voila! No par boiling out the nutritients, crunchy and oh so good

  10. Instead of parboiling raw brussel sprouts, can I just use defrosted frozen spouts?

    1. Yes, I think so! I just took out a package to give that a shot! Maybe it will even overcome the deficiencies of frozen Brussels sprouts? Let’s hope. And I must indeed be hopeful because I just discovered three packages in the freezer. LOL. Have a wonderful holiday!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna