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Make this easy Brussels sprouts with walnuts and cranberries side dish for your next dinner or holiday meal. The contrast in flavors is so good!
Crisp air is battling it out with sticky humidity for fall supremacy. One day I’m pulling out a blanket for the soccer sidelines, the next I’m wondering if I can really keep wearing the same pair of shorts for the rest of the year.
No wonder my brain is swirling with thoughts like the fallen leaves in our yard.
Fortunately, there is always refuge for me in the kitchen, in the chopping of vegetables, the sizzling in the pan, and the triumph of a meal that didn’t involve the drive-though. Some days even that familiarity is daunting, but once I grab ingredients and the cutting board, it flows into place.
Some of my friends say they’re over Brussels sprouts, but for those of us who didn’t truly discover them until the past five years or so, we say to bring ’em on.
Brussels sprouts with walnuts and cranberries is one of my go-to side dishes because it’s quick and full of flavor contrasts: sweet cranberries, creamy-crunchy walnuts, and slightly bitter sprouts.
Plus it’s vegan so you can feel comfortable serving it to a large crowd (though you can always add bacon or pancetta for the carnivore set).
How to prepare Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts typically come loose in a mesh or plastic bag, but some stores or farmers sell them still on the stalk they grow on.
If they’re on the stalk, use a paring knife to slice them off.
If they are bagged, trim off the bottom of the sprout where it was previously attached to the stalk, which usually has dried during shipment and storage.
Peel off the first outer leaf and discard. Remove any other leaves that might be wilted or browned.
Halve the sprout from top to bottom. If any leaves fall off, you can just add them to the bowl!
Smaller Brussels sprouts work best when you’re sautéing them quickly, so if yours are a bit large be sure to quarter rather than halve them. This will help ensure you get some of that lovely caramelization on each piece.
Ingredients you need
- Olive oil
- Brussels sprouts
- Salt & pepper
That’s it! This is such an easy Brussels sprouts recipe, and you probably already have the other ingredients on hand from your other holiday recipes like cranberry orange muffins.
If you like, you can also add a splash of stock or broth to deglaze the pan.
Of course, you can always add other flavors!
What to add to Brussels sprouts
Some great options include shallots, red onions, diced bacon, pancetta, or shaved parmesan.
Want to try another fruit? Go for diced or dried apples, dried cherries, or raisins.
For nuts, swap in almonds, chestnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, or pistachios.
Finish the dish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, orange juice, maple syrup, or a high-quality olive oil.
Change it up depending on who is joining you at the table. Because you can make it your own, everyone will love this Brussels sprouts Thanksgiving recipe.
More Brussels sprouts recipes you might like:
Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Cranberries
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed, and halved
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ cup vegetable broth, optional
- ½ cup roughly chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add Brussels sprouts, salt, and pepper and stir to coat.
- Cook sprouts for approximately 10 minutes, stirring frequently. If desired, stir in vegetable broth to deglaze the pan.
- Add walnuts and cranberries and cook for another 5 minutes, until sprouts are caramelized. Serve immediately.
This recipe previously appeared in the September/October 2013 issue of Hobby Farms.