Smoky Roasted Brussels Sprouts

A tray of roasted brussels sprouts with smoked paprika, and a dash of lemon juice

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We occasionally shred Brussels sprouts and enjoy them raw in salads or flash sautéed as a side dish or pizza topping. But, mostly we like roasted Brussels Sprouts. When we serve them charred, we change up the size of the skillet depending on how many people we’re serving.

Pan Size

For a pound or less, we pan-roast Brussels sprouts stovetop in a 12-inch skillet for four people, a 10-inch skillet for two people, or an 8-inch skillet for one person, using the steam sauté method.

Stove Top Method for Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Regardless of the skillet size, the method is always the same. We halve the Brussels sprouts unless they’re tiny, in which case we leave them whole. Then we put them cut side down in the pan, with a little water, olive oil, and a light sprinkling of salt. Turn the burner on high, cover the pan, and cook them until the Brussels sprouts are tender, all the liquid has evaporated, and cut sides are impressively brown, about five minutes. If you don’t mind setting a roasting pan over 2 burners, you can nearly double the space and pan steam/sauté up to 1 1/2 pounds of Brussels sprouts stovetop, saving time.

Oven Method

For 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, we use the roasting method featured here. We prepare the Brussels sprouts as if we were cooking them stovetop—halved if normal to large, left whole if small. We toss the Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper and place them cut side down on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Then we roast on the lowest oven rack at 500 degrees until just tender, but impressively brown, about 10 minutes.

In addition to salt and pepper, you can season the Brussels sprouts with spices and dried herbs or fresh herbs and other seasonings. The rule of thumb is to season with spices and dried herbs before roasting and fresh herbs after roasting. Here, we’ve used smoked paprika so we toss them prior to roasting.

Finish with Lemon

We like how a squeeze of lemon juice brightens the Brussels sprouts, but wait until you’re getting ready to serve them. The acidity will cause the Brussels sprouts to turn drab green. We also love tossing them with Dijon mustard thinned with enough water that it easily coats the Brussels sprouts. You may want to taste the Brussels sprouts before serving them to make sure they are seasoned properly. We often find that they need another light sprinkling of salt.

A tray of roasted brussels sprouts with smoked paprika, and a dash of lemon juice

A tray of roasted brussels sprouts with smoked paprika, and a dash of lemon juice

Smoky Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Yield: 8 people

Recipe Notes


  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Lemon


  • Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Toss Brussels sprouts with olive oil, smoked paprika, and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Place, cut side down, on a large (12- by 18-inch) rimmed baking sheet. Roast until cooked and nicely charred, about 8-10 minutes. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice.

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