Lightly roasted Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts cooked without oil–tossed in tangy, slightly sweet glaze. A healthier Holiday or any day recipe that lets the natural flavors of the vegetable shine through. Vegan, WFPB, Oil Free.
If you love the taste of fresh Brussels sprouts and don't feel the need to over cook them or completely mask their natural goodness, this one's for you! This light and healthy roasted Brussels sprouts recipe is quick and easy, and perfect as a Holiday side dish.
This is my go to recipe when I need an easy side dish to serve at a dinner party or just a busy weeknight dinner.
Are Brussels sprouts healthy?
Yes! These controversial little veggies (people seem to love them or hate them!) look like little cabbages because they are indeed in the same family of especially healthful cruciferous vegetables.
Why are cruciferous veggies so good for us? Because like broccoli, kale and cabbage, they contain sulforaphane, which according to NutritionFacts.org, offers a whole host of benefits.
And the addition of vinegar makes them even more healthy!
So, while we add just a small amount of a whole food sugar here with the maple syrup, but skip the oil, I contend this is a very nutritious recipe.
Just 4 ingredients - what could be simpler?
- Fresh Brussels sprouts
- Aged balsamic vinegar
- Maple syrup
- Soy sauce (low sodium, or tamari for gluten free)
Helpful tips for making this recipe
- Start with fresh, smaller sprouts. Older Brussels sprouts will be tougher and won't crisp up as nicely without oil. Fresh is best. Smaller sprouts are also more tender than bigger sprouts and work best in this recipe.
- Trimming the sprouts. If any of the outer leaves look dark, spotty, ragged or thick and tough, just remove those. Because we don't use oil here, any tough outer leaves might not come out tender.
- Good quality balsamic and pure maple syrup. Because there are so few ingredients here, the better the quality, the better the end result. While you'll pay more, you'll notice a big difference between the cheaper brands and the higher quality ones. I like this vinegar and this maple syrup.
- Glaze. You don't need to cook the glaze. I think this recipe tastes best when you toss the hot sprouts in the glaze and serve immediately. Also, don't add to glaze until you're ready to serve, or they won't be as crisp. (Soggy sprouts aren't anyone's favorites!)
- Big Brussels? If that's what you can find, just cook the a little longer. Or cut any that are larger than the rest into quarters.
- To flip, or not to flip? I've had good results both ways. My favorite way to make them is to first get a nice brown color on the cut side, because it looks pretty and doesn't run the risk of tough/overcooked outer leaves. But go ahead and flip if you like them browned all over.
- Crisping without oil. Recipes that use oil cook the sprouts much longer, and they come out quite charred. But we're going to light and healthy here. By cooking them cut side down, you get a lightly browned, slightly sprout that's not over cooked. Also, be sure to spread them out in a single layer on the baking sheet so that they're not touching, otherwise they'll steam instead of roasting.
Please also see the full recipe at the bottom of the page.
Substitutions & Variations
Maple Syrup. You can sub date paste, or simply start with double the amount of balsamic vinegar and reduce it in a small pan over low heat until it's sweet and syrupy.
Heat. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or chili powder, or toss in ¼ teaspoon of crushed red chili pepper flakes.
Red onions. For an extra bite, dice up some red onions and roast them along with the Brussels sprouts.
Nuts. In a small skillet, toast some chopped pecans or walnuts and toss them in.
Balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts and baby carrots. Roast baby carrots for about 10 minutes, then add about ¾ pounds of Brussels sprouts to the pan.
Vegan Parmesan roasted balsamic Brussels sprouts. Add some vegan Parm to the bowl at the very end and give another toss.
Vegan 'bacon' Brussels. Toss in some chopped smoky nuts (like the ones in my broccoli salad recipe) at the end.
Maple-mustard Brussels sprouts. Add a teaspoon of your favorite yellow mustard (like Dijon) to the glaze.
Miso-glazed. For a healthy "green light" salt variation, whisk some white miso paste into the glaze and skip the sea salt. If you like the flavor of miso, add more!
Soy glazed. Double or even triple the amount of soy and cut back the balsamic, or substitute rice vinegar.
What to serve with this dish
- This dish would be a gorgeous complement to starchy dishes on your Holiday table like sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes.
- For a delicious, any day dinner, I love to layer these on top of a Buddha bowl or potato (or yam) bowl.
- Pasta-I like these with pesto pasta, like my oil free pesto or roasted red pepper pasta.
How to store leftover Brussels sprouts
These Brussels sprouts will not be as crisp when eaten later. That said, you can keep them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days. To crisp them up a bit, you can re-heat them over medium-high heat in a skillet on the stove for a few minutes, but be careful not to over cook.
I don't recommend freezing them once cooked.
Happy, whole food plant-based cooking, y'all!
Balsamic Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts (Oil Free)
- 1.5 pounds Brussels sprouts ends trimmed, ragged and tough outer leaves removed, cut in half through the core (see notes)
- 1.5 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar the better quality and more syrupy, the better
- 2 teaspoon maple syrup (or sub date paste)
- 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce (recipe) or sub store bought
- Optional: for a touch of heat, add a small pinch of cayenne or chili powder to the glaze
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahreheit, and position a rack in the center of the oven.
- Place the cut Brussels sprouts on 2 parchment paper lined sheet pans, season with a little sea salt and black pepper, and toss to coat. (Keep the little leaves that come loose–they'll get nice and crisp.) Spread them out evenly over the sheet pans, and position so they're all cut side down.
- Place on the center rack of the oven and roast for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned on one side. (This may take longer if your Brussels sprouts are especially large-see notes.)
- To make the glaze. While the vegetables are roasting, add the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and soy sauce (or tamari) to a mixing bowl, and whisk together to combine
- Remove the Brussels sprouts from the oven, flip over, and roast another 3-5 minutes, or until just fork tender. (This step is optional, see notes.)
- When the Brussels sprouts are light brown on the outside and just fork tender, remove them from the oven and add them to bowl with the glaze. Toss gently to combine, season with sea salt and black pepper to taste, and serve immediately.