These blanched and marinated Brussels sprouts take less than 5 minutes to cook and taste nothing like the sprouts you hated growing up.

marinated brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts seem to have had a scarring effect on many during their childhoods. Lucky for me, I don’t remember ever eating them – probably because my parents were protecting me from a scarring experience of my own. So when I tried this Best Brussels Sprouts method for the first time a few Thanksgivings ago, I was pleasantly surprised to find them totally delicious. (Yet another crucifer to add to the hall of fame!).

I fully appreciate childhood memories causing food phobias — I’m still getting over bananas. But I decided to challenge Alex to face his fear head on when we saw a beautiful stalk of spouts at the Indy Winter Farmers Market, a new and wonderful local food market in Indianapolis (a must visit if you’re from the area!). Plus, I’d seen an interesting appetizer recipe for crispy Brussels sprouts in The Food Matters Cookbook.

This marinated Brussels sprouts recipe uses a cooking technique called blanching to prep the veggies. Blanching the Brussels sprouts prevents them from going totally mushy and leaves them with a nice bite even after you’ve marinated them. These sprouts won’t smell or taste bitter like the ones you were served growing up, but they still have a slightly earthy flavor I think you’ll really enjoy.

This easy Brussels sprouts recipe is a good place to start if you think you don’t like this veggie, as the Dijon mustard and vinegar slightly mask the strong “healthy” flavor of the sprouts. We served these crispy Brussels sprouts for a recent meal to celebrate local foods, and there was nothing but praise for this underappreciated veggie. Even Alex is a new believer!

How to make boiled Brussels sprouts

Blanching is one of the easiest cooking techniques you can learn. Essentially, blanching is when you scald a fruit or vegetable in boiling water, cook it for a specific amount of time, and then dunk said fruit or vegetable into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Blanching can be used to cook veggies (like we’ve done in this recipe), or it can be done to prepare fruits and vegetables for freezing.

The key thing to remember when you’re blanching Brussels sprouts is to have everything prepped and ready to go before you start cooking anything. Put a pot of water onto the stove and crank up the heat until it’s boiling. While the water is heating up, trim the Brussels sprouts and place them into a bowl so you can easily drop them into the water (careful not to splash yourself!). Finally, have a bowl of ice water sitting in your sink before you add the sprouts to the boiling water. You only have to blanch the Brussels sprouts for a few minutes, so it’s essential that you have your stations all set up first.

How long to boil Brussels sprouts?

To blanch 1 pound of Brussels sprouts in boiling water until they’re crisp-tender, you should cook them for only 3 minutes. If you cook them longer than this, the Brussels sprouts will become mushy. It’s important that you immediately drain the sprouts and place them in ice water after the 3 minutes is up to stop them from cooking further.

Looking for more easy Brussels sprouts recipes?

This marinated Brussels sprouts recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Marinated Brussels Sprouts

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Total Time: 43 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 8 appetizer servings 1x


These blanched and marinated Brussels sprouts take less than 5 minutes to cook and taste nothing like the sprouts you hated growing up.


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (or wine vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 small red onion
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Set up a large bowl of cold water with ice cubes. Trim the Brussels sprouts from the stem (if necessary) and cut in half.
  2. Drop the sprouts in the boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain the spouts and place them into the bowl of ice water until cool.
  3. Finely chop the red onion. Whisk together the ¼ cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, and 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard. Taste and add additional vinegar if necessary, as well as salt and fresh ground pepper.
  4. Toss the vinaigrette with the Brussels spouts. Place in a sealable container and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to a day. Serve with toothpicks. (We found giving each guest a toothpick of their own was easier than individually toothpicking each sprout – but you could do either!)


Inspired by The Food Matters Cookbook

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Blanched
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: crispy brussels sprouts

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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  1. YUM!! I LOVE Brussels sprouts and have experimented with numerous preparation techniques to get my family to love them, too (and have succeeded, believe it or not!). I will try this variety, too.

  2. Hi…typing from Belgium here :-) I love Brussels Sprout and had been cooking them in many ways from traditional to Indian and Chinese. Also not just with bacon but seafood as well :-D I preferred mine not over cooked like traditional Belgian ways as I’m originally from Southeast Asia. My son loves playing with them though as he said it’s like tiny cabbages!

  3. I adore brussel sprouts! It may be because both of my parents are from Belgium… mum’s trick to get rid of any bitterness is to cut a cross on the base, put them in cold water and bring to up to a boil then drain them and cook them which ever way you like… works a treat :)