These maple balsamic Brussels sprouts are a super easy side dish for your next weeknight dinner! The combination of balsamic vinegar and delicious maple syrup forms a sweet, tangy balsamic glaze that coats the sprouts. With just six ingredients and 5 minutes of active time, you'll have dinner on the table in no time.
When I'm looking for something quick and tasty, these balsamic maple Brussels sprouts are go-to side dish during the holiday season! They require little active preparation so that you can focus on your main entree (hint: try my squash farrotto or lentil pot pie!) . And you know what else I love about this recipe? Easy cleanup.
For more delicious side dishes, try my smashed fingerling potatoes, pan-fried oyster mushrooms, or spiced butternut squash with labneh, lentils, and herbs.
Just a few simple ingredients bring these veggies to the next level.
- Brussels Sprouts: Look for bright green, firm, and fresh Brussels sprouts without yellowing or black spots.
- Maple Syrup: Opt for good quality pure maple syrup!
- Black Pepper: I like adding a generous grind of fresh pepper here to give a bit of spiciness to the dish.
- Fennel Seeds (optional): Fennel seeds add a subtle, yet delicious anise-y flavor here that pairs well with maple syrup. You can omit this if you don't like fennel, but I really think it's worth trying!
For a full list of ingredients and quantities, refer to the recipe card.
Before proceeding with the recipe, you'll want to prep your sprouts:
- Examine and remove any bruised or yellowing outer leaves. Continue removing the outer leaves until you reach the lovely, bright green leaves.
- Trim off any brownish parts of the stem, keeping the stem end intact (otherwise, there's nothing to hold the leaves together).
- Cut the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise.
How to Make This Recipe
Step 1 - Crush the fennel (if using): Using a mortar and pestle, lightly pound the fennel seeds until they're somewhat crushed (no need to grind them to a fine powder). This step helps intensify their flavor!
Step 2 - Season the Brussels: In a large bowl, toss sprouts with olive oil, crushed fennel, salt, and LOTS of black pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange in a single layer, cut side up.
TIP: If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can chop them up with a knife.
Step 3 - Bake: Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then turn over and bake for an additional 5 - 8 minutes until tender and nicely browned on both sides. Immediately toss with maple syrup and balsamic vinegar.
Step 4 - Broil: For a little bit extra caramelization, optionally broil the sprouts for 30 seconds to 1 minute (cut-side up).
Keep an eye on your sprouts in the last few minutes of cooking! Though this recipe involves little active time, checking on them is essential to prevent overcooking (which can lead to mushier sprouts) or burning (during the broiling process).
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 - 3 days, then reheated in a 350°F/177°C oven for 5 - 7 minutes.
Make-Ahead Instructions: You can also make these ahead of time, for a dinner party, for example, by roasting them just for the first 10 minutes. Then, before serving, finish cooking in the oven for the last 5 - 8 minutes.
Here are some of my favorite ways to change up this recipe:
- Pancetta: Saute ¼ cup diced pancetta (or bacon) in a skillet until brown and crispy, then toss with the Brussels sprouts just before serving.
- Goat Cheese: Toss with ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese just before serving.
- Whipped Ricotta: Serve with creamy whipped ricotta, for a fun textural combination.
This is totally dependent on preference. I simply trim off any brown or yellow-y parts, but I keep the stem so that the leaves stay together. But if you don't like them, you can cut them off.
Both sides should be deep golden brown, and a knife inserted firmly into the center of a sprout should easily pass through.
If your sprouts are overcooked, they can turn mushy, so be sure to take them out once they're tender!
Easy Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, optional
- 10 ounces Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Diamond-Crystal Kosher Salt, or ¼ teaspoon Morton Kosher Salt or Sea Salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Preheat the oven: Set two racks in the bottom-third and upper-third of the oven, and preheat to 425°F/218°C.
- Crush the fennel: In a mortar and pestle, pound 1 teaspoon fennel seeds until lightly crushed (it does not need to be fully ground into a powder).Note: If you don't have a mortar and pestle, you can roughly chop it with a knife.
- Season the brussels: In a large heatproof bowl, toss 10 ounces Brussels sprouts with crushed fennel, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, ½ teaspoon Diamond-Crystal Kosher Salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
- Bake: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, and arrange seasoned sprouts in an even layer, cut side up. Set the large bowl aside (you will use it again later).Bake for 10 minutes on the bottom rack, then flip, and bake an additional 5 - 8 minutes until they're nicely browned, caramelized, and tender on both sides.Note: To encourage browning and inhibit steaming, ensure there is at least ½-inch of space between each sprout.
- Toss: Transfer the sprouts to the large bowl, and toss with 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar.
- Broil (optional): For additional caramelization, turn your broiler on 'HI'. Remove the parchment paper from the baking sheet, and arrange the sprouts cut-side up in a single layer.Broil on the top rack for 30 seconds - 1 minute.
- Serve: Taste the Brussels sprouts and adjust seasoning as needed. It should taste sweet, tangy, salty, and a bit spicy from the black pepper. Serve immediately.
- Examine and remove any bruised or yellowing outer leaves. Continue removing outer leaves until you reach the nice, bright green leaves.
- Trim off any brownish parts of the stem, making sure to keep the stem end intact.
- Cut the Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise.