Cheese/ Roast Dinner/ Sides

Parmesan Smashed Brussels Sprouts

December 13, 2021 (Last Updated: December 14, 2021) by Chris Collins

If you thought you didn’t like Brussels Sprouts, think again. These Smashed Brussels Sprouts are crispy, cheesy and out right DELICIOUS!

I confess – I was a sprout non-believer for a very long time. Longer than I care to admit. However, this recipe was the gateway to my sprout-believing. Admittedly my experience of sprouts up until then was just plain boiled, which nobody likes (not sorry). But smashed and roasted sprouts offer a FAR tastier experience. Follow me…

smashed brussels sprouts on small white plate with two silver forks

Preparing Brussels Sprouts

This is a very simple recipe, in fact the most time consuming part is trimming the sprouts, and even that’s a pretty quick process.

How do you trim Brussels Sprouts?

It’s a really simple 2 step process:

  1. Stem – Slice off the very tip of the sprout (the firm stem and the end).
  2. Leaves – Gently remove and discard any loose or discoloured leaves.

What you’re left with should be a slightly smaller, but cleaner and more compact brussels sprout.

Process shots: trim stem (photo 1), discard loose/discoloured leaves (photo 2).

2 step by step photos showing how to trim brussels sprouts

Boiling Brussels Sprouts

Don’t panic, this process is just to part-cook them. You essentially just need to get the sprouts soft enough so they’re able to be smashed. Don’t over boil otherwise the sprouts will turn to mush and won’t get crispy. They should be just about fork tender, but firm enough the leaves aren’t falling off in the pot.

Can I steam them instead?

Yep! Like I said, this process is simply to get them soft enough so they can be smashed, so steam away if you’d prefer!

Process shots: add sprouts to salted boiling water (photo 1), boil until fork tender then steam dry (photo 2).

2 step by step photos showing how to boil brussels sprouts

Making Smashed Brussels Sprouts

Alright, here’s where the fun begins. Before we smash the sprouts, we’re just gonna coat them in a little oil and seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic powder).

How do you smash brussels sprouts?

I find it easiest with an empty jar, but a cup or mug will do the trick. You’ll want to one by one smash them until level thickness, ensuring they don’t break apart.

Space them out

Once you’ve smashed the sprouts it’s important to give them room to breathe. Space them out otherwise they steam on each other and won’t crisp up.

Parmesan roasted brussels sprouts

One of the key ingredients here is parmesan. By sprinkling the smashed sprouts with parmesan you not only add flavour, but it also helps them crisp up as they bake.

Process shots: coat sprouts in oil and seasoning (photo 1), smash (photo 2), space out (photo 3), sprinkle with parmesan (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to smash brussels sprouts

close up overhead shot of smashed brussels sprouts fresh out the oven on baking tray

Serving Smashed Brussels Sprouts

Once they’re deep golden and lightly charred, I usually let them rest for a couple of mins to allow them to crisp up a little more. I tend to serve these as part of a Roast Dinner with a few other Sides. To take them up a notch you can serve them with Cheddar Cheese Sauce drizzled over!

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for these smashed sprouts shall we?!

close up overhead shot of black spatula lifting up smashed brussels sprout

How to make Smashed Brussels Sprouts (Full Recipe & Video)

smashed brussels sprouts on small white plate with two silver forks

Parmesan Smashed Brussels Sprouts

If you thought you didn't like Brussels Sprouts, think again. These Smashed Brussels Sprouts are crispy, cheesy and out right DELICIOUS!
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Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Western
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Calories per serving: 132kcal
Cost per serving: £2 / $2.50

Equipment:

  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board (for trimming)
  • Pot, Wooden Spoon & Colander (for boiling)
  • Jar, Mug or Cup (for smashing)
  • Fine Cheese Grater (for parmesan)
  • Large Greaseproof Baking Tray & Plastic Spatula (for roasting)

Ingredients (check list):

  • 1lb / 500g Brussels Sprouts
  • 1/2 cup / 40g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Black Pepper, or to taste

Instructions:

  • Trim: Grab a sprout and place it on a chopping board. Slice off the firm end (stem) then remove any loose or discoloured leaves. Repeat and discard leaves.
  • Boil: Add 1 tsp salt to boiling water then add brussels sprouts. Boil until they're just about fork tender (around 10mins, make sure you don't over boil). They will continue cooking ever-so-slightly as they rest. Drain and leave in the colander for at least 5mins to steam dry. Preferably until they stop steaming.
  • Smash: Add to a large greaseproof baking tray then coat in 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp garlic powder and a good pinch of salt & black pepper (can adjust this when serving). One by one use a mug or jar to smash the sprouts until level thickness. Make sure they're spaced out on the tray.
  • Bake: Add a pinch of parmesan to each sprout then bake in the oven at 200C/390F for 20-25mins, or until the parmesan is deep golden and the sprouts are lightly charred underneath and around the edges.
  • Serve: Allow to rest for a couple of mins (they'll crisp a little more as they rest) then use a plastic spatula to remove them. Sprinkle over any of the crisp parmesan from the pan then serve up and enjoy!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Serving - I tend to serve these as part of a Roast Dinner with a few other Sides. To take them to new heights you can serve them with Cheddar Cheese Sauce drizzled over!
b) Soggy Sprouts - One of the main causes of these coming out soft is over-boiling them. Timings will depend on the size of the sprouts, so just test a few with a fork if you need to. They will carry on cooking slightly as they rest. Steaming is also important to allow as much moisture to escape as possible.
c) Do I have to boil them? - No, but they need to be partly cooked to the point they can be smashed. So you could steam or even microwave them (in a bowl with some water) if you wanted.
d) Calories - Whole recipe divided by 4:

Your Private Notes:

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Parmesan Smashed Brussels Sprouts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 132 Calories from Fat 65
% Daily Value*
Fat 7.2g11%
Saturated Fat 2.458g12%
Trans Fat 0.111g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.702g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.38g
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 254mg11%
Potassium 466mg13%
Carbohydrates 12.03g4%
Fiber 4.3g17%
Sugar 2.51g3%
Protein 7.42g15%
Vitamin A 977IU20%
Vitamin C 96.4mg117%
Calcium 154mg15%
Iron 1.68mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart!

For another ‘smashing’ recipe check out my EXTRA Crispy Smashed Potatoes!

For more similar recipes check out these beauties:

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