These pesto Brussels sprouts are a fun holiday recipe, with so much flavour from the pesto marinade. Very easy to make, they come together in 30 minutes!
Was anyone else not much of a fan of Brussels sprouts when they were a kid? I know I have memories of overly soggy sprouts from school! I think the trick is to flavour them well, as with my ginger Brussels sprouts, and roast them for some delicious crispy edges . . .
These Brussels sprouts with pesto will definitely liven up your Christmas dinner or holiday feasts! The pesto gives a nice zing of flavour, and makes for a fun side dish everyone will love.
⭐ Why this recipe is so good
Fun festive idea (but enjoy year-round!). Brussels sprouts aren't just for the holidays! Enjoy as a side through the fall and winter, or even as a healthy snack or appetizer.
Full of flavour. The herbs and garlic of the pesto give such a flavour boost.
Easy recipe. Just a few steps to make the sprouts, then simply stir through your pesto.
All the ingredients and their quantities are set out in the recipe card below.
- Brussels sprouts - as always, choose fresh unbruised produce. See below for how to prepare the sprouts before use.
- Pesto - choose the type you like best, whether your own favourite recipe or one of the options linked below.
🥬 Pesto options
If you are looking for a vegan (made without cheese) recipe, then both my dairy-free pumpkin seed pesto and vegan pistachio pesto are tasty options!
And for nut-free, and using pumpkin seeds instead, my Thai basil pesto and mint basil pesto are both easy to make and so delicious.
Fancy a more 'alternative' pesto? My lemon balm pesto uses this fragrant herb and is very tasty!
🔪 Step by step instructions
Simply prepare your Brussels sprouts, cook and then give them so much flavour from the pesto:
Trim the Brussels sprouts. Remove the end of the hard stalk, and any bruised outer leaves. Give them a good wash as there is often dirt between the outer leaves (image 1).
Cut the Brussels sprouts. Slice lengthways or even in thirds or quarters if they are on the larger side (image 2).
Steam or boil the sprouts. If steaming, do so in a steaming basket in a pot or a steamer. If boiling as a cooking method, tip into a pot and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer on a low heat for 6-7 minutes (image 3). Drain in a colander.
Prepare the pesto. If you are making your own pesto (see above for options!), then make this now (or while the sprouts are in the oven at the next step) (image 4).
Roast the Brussels sprouts. Place in an even layer on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and black pepper (image 5).
Stir through the pesto. Spoon the sprouts into your serving bowl and stir through the pesto (image 6). Serve immediately and enjoy!
💭 Recipe tips and notes
- Slice the Brussels sprouts lengthways, or into thirds or quarters if they are larger in size. Alternatively, if they are very small you can leave them as they are.
- Boil and then simmer the sprouts so they are just fork tender. This helps cut down on oven time.
- If you like a very crispy sprout, simply roast for a few more minutes.
- Adjust the amount of pesto to taste preference.
📋 Frequently asked questions
You can just roast the sprouts, but they will take much longer if you don't par-boil them first. Depending upon the heat of your oven and the size of the sprouts, it would likely take 25-30 minutes to roast them.
This can easily be a vegan and gluten free dish if you use a suitable pesto made without cheese.
I have tried to roast the Brussels sprouts coated in the pesto. It did work, but I would say they came out too dry for my taste. If you wish to roast them with the pesto I would suggest you need quite an oily pesto so it doesn't dry out too much in the oven.
🍽 Serving suggestions
These sprouts are a fun appetizer or snack, but also a flavourful side for evening or holiday meals. Pair with ideas such as:
Chicken dishes such as my easy panko chicken and creamy sage chicken.
Turkey dishes such as my turkey with sage cream sauce and turkey stuffed sweet potatoes.
Sides such as my creamy potato cauliflower mash and braised red cabbage.
🥣 More tasty sides
Whether it is for an evening meal, or a special occasion, sides always make a plate more appealing! Find reader favourites including my honey roasted vegetables and creamy potato cauliflower mash. Some recent recipes:
I'm always in the kitchen, so come join me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to be the first to hear of new recipes! And please do leave a star rating if you have tried the recipe!
Pesto Brussels Sprouts
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts
- 2-3 tablespoon pesto
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- pinch salt
- pinch black pepper optional
- Preheat your oven to 180C / 350F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Trim the Brussels sprouts by removing the end of the hard stalk, as well as the outer leaves (if bruised). Rinse to clean, checking the leaves for any hidden away dirt between them! Cut into half, lengthways (or thirds if larger in size).
- Steam the Brussels sprouts for 6-7 minutes, until fork tender but not soft. If the sprouts are smaller in size reduce the amount of time to steam.
- If you are making your own pesto, do so while the sprouts are cooking.
- Arrange the sprouts on your lined baking tray in an even layer. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper (if using). Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Spoon into your serving bowl and stir the pesto through the sprouts. Serve immediately.
- Trim the Brussels sprouts according to their size. If they are larger you may wish to slice lengthways into thirds or even quarters.
- Steam the sprouts so they are fork tender. This saves a lot of time, as just roasting would take far longer. Alternatively, you can boil the sprouts.
- While you can roast the sprouts with the pesto on I wouldn't recommend it. I've tired and the pesto dried out a little too much, for my taste at least.
- Please note that nutritional information is offered as a courtesy. It is auto-generated and should be understood to be an estimate not a guarantee.
- Brussels sprouts score 1 and as a liberator. Other lists rate them as low histamine.
- Pesto will depend upon ingredients used. My pumpkin seed pesto is low histamine.
- Black pepper, which scores 2.
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