You can say goodbye to soggy sprouts once you learn How to Boil Brussels Sprouts with this quick, easy, and foolproof method! Whether cooking to serve immediately or blanching to use in another recipe, you’ll get perfectly tender and bright green sprouts every single time!
Best Boiled Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts… you either love ’em or you hate ’em.
But I’m determined to bring everyone to the love camp with some of my favorite recipes (like Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts, Smashed Brussels Sprouts, Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, and Brussels Sprouts au Gratin.)
These little cruciferous vegetables gets a bad rap. But they’re SO versatile and SO good for you.
If you don’t like Brussels sprouts, I’m going to go out on a limb and say you haven’t had them prepared well.
So go ahead and grab a bag next time you’re at the store, and start by learning how to boil Brussels sprouts. This recipe is so simple, it’s a great entry point.
Just don’t blame me when you can’t get enough of them…
Table of Contents
- Brussels sprouts. Yep, it’s really that simple. Be sure to grab a fresh bag with sprouts that have no wilted or brown leaves. Also, check the stalk. You will be cutting part of it away, but if it’s black or soft, the sprout won’t be good. Finally, aim for similar sizes. Smaller sprouts cook faster than larger ones, which take extra time. You’ll find the best raw sprouts for this dish in peak season—from early Fall into late Winter.
How Long to Boil Brussels Sprouts
Please see the recipe card below for ingredient amounts and more detailed instructions.
Prep the Sprouts
The first step is to prepare the raw Brussels sprouts. You might be tempted to just throw them in the water, but that is a mistake. A couple of minutes of prep time ensures the best results.
Use a sharp paring knife to remove the stem end from each sprout. You only need to cut away a little. Remove the loose leaves that are falling off, as well.
Boil in Water
Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil.
Carefully place the trimmed Brussels sprouts into the boiling water and allow them to cook for 6 to 10 minutes. You are looking for green and tender veggies.
If you are using them in a recipe where they’ll cook more, the cooking time will be less. Check to see if they’re fork tender.
You can either use a colander to drain the pot or remove them with a slotted spoon.
(Optional) Ice Bath
While this step isn’t necessary, it is the best way to stop the sprouts from cooking more.
After the Brussels sprouts are done cooking, immediately transfer them to a large bowl with cold water and ice. Leave them in until they are cool to the touch.
Remove the vegetables from the water and dry them off.
Depending on whether the sprouts are whole or halved, they will need to boil for 6 to 10 minutes. Watch for your personal preference when cooking Brussels sprouts, though.
While you don’t have to, boiling the sprouts before roasting ensures the insides are completely cooked before the outside burns. It’s completely up to you and your timeline, though.
Boiling and steaming Brussels sprouts each have their uses! Using a steamer basket to cook them leaves more nutrients, but boiling is the best method to quickly soften them before adding to another recipe.
- Be picky. Be sure to grab the freshest bag of sprouts from the store for the best results.
- Prep first. Take the few minutes to remove the stem end of each sprout.
- You choose. It’s up to you whether you boil whole or halved sprouts.
- Adjust accordingly. The cooking time will vary depending on the size and cut of the sprouts.
- Chill out. An ice bath is a fantastic way to stop the Brussels sprouts from cooking more after you remove them from the pot.
More Brussels Sprouts Recipes
Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables. Be sure to try these healthy and easy recipes next.
Keep it simple with Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts.
Impress holiday guests with Brussels Sprouts au Gratin.
This Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad might become one of your go-to side dishes.
Other Boiled Vegetables
Once you know how to boil vegetables, dinner prep gets a lot easier. Add these other veggies to your repertoire.
Learn How to Boil Corn on the Cob for the perfect BBQ.
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How to Boil Brussels Sprouts
- 1-2 lbs. Brussels sprouts fresh
- Prepare the Sprouts: Trim and remove the stem ends from all of the Brussels sprouts. Keep whole or cut in half, depending on preference.1-2 lbs. Brussels sprouts
- Boil in Water: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add trimmed Brussels sprouts to the pot of boiling water and boil for 6-10 minutes, or until bright green and tender. Cook less if sprouts are cut in half and/or you will be further cooking them in another recipe. Cook longer if they are whole and/or will not be cooked further.
- (Optional) Blanch in Ice Bath: Once cooked, drain the sprouts in a colander and immerse in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Let them sit in the ice bath until they are cool to the touch. Remove the sprouts from the ice bath and dry them thoroughly.
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Meal Prep and Storage
- How to serve: It’s simple to top these sprouts with a little butter, salt, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, or choose your favorite seasonings. This easy side dish is also delicious with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and some lemon zest, fresh herbs, or red pepper flakes for extra flavor.
- How to store: Boiled Brussels sprouts can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- How to freeze: Place cooked sprouts in a freezer-safe airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
- How to reheat: For the best texture, warm sprouts back up in the oven or air fryer at 325°F. You can use the microwave, but they might end up soggy.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.