Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Vinaigrette

Tender sautéed Brussels sprouts are tossed with a warm lemon vinaigrette in this quick and easy holiday side dish.

Photo by Brian Feulner/BDN

Photo by Brian Feulner/BDN

Growing up, I was expected to eat everything served at the family table — except the two vegetables my mom hated: Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. Those I could skip whenever they appeared. So it wasn’t until I was an adult that I first tried either of these nutritious veggies (and loved them!).

… And I eventually got my mom to fall in love with Brussels sprouts too. I love to imagine what my late grandparents would say if they were here since she was such a firm Brussels sprouts hater. I think they are smiling somewhere.

(Sweet potatoes? She still takes a pass on them.)

But unlike the sprouts of my child, I never boil them. Roast them? Absolutely. Grill ’em, shred them and saute ’em? Yes, please. But never boiling. That yields a bitter, watery sprout that I am just not a fan of.

The trick, as my mom has learned from me, is all in how you cook the sprouts. That’s pretty much true of everything.

Over the years, we’ve eaten Brussels sprouts dozens of ways — with bacon or cheese or onions or nuts or some combination there of. However, there is one version that’s became the family favorite — the one always have at holidays and gatherings.

It’s simple: Thinly sliced Brussels sprouts are sauteed to a golden perfection and then tossed with a warm lemon vinaigrette with garlic. Finish it all off with salt and pepper. The richness of garlic and brightness of the lemon combine with the tender, almost slightly sweet Brussels sprouts.

Somewhere between a salad and a side dish, this simple recipe that first hit the family table five years ago always has a starring role on Thanksgiving for us (with my mom’s favorite cranberry sauce, of course).

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Vinaigrette
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
  • cooking spray
  • 1½ lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced into ½ inch disks
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  1. Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray and add Brussels sprouts. Salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until the sprouts are softened and most are browned. Remove from heat, pour sprouts into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking oil and add minced garlic. Cook, stirring and tossing for about 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and softened -- don't let it brown, or the garlic will become bitter. Immediately remove from heat and spoon garlic into a small bowl. Add olive oil and lemon juice. Whisk together until emulsified.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the Brussels sprouts and toss to coat. Taste and add more salt and pepper as necessary to achieve desired seasoning.
  4. Serve hot, warm or cold ... they're delicious no matter what the temperature is.

Sarah Walker Caron

About Sarah Walker Caron

Sarah Walker Caron is editor of Bangor Metro magazine and senior features editor for the Bangor Daily News. She is the author of "The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook," (Sept. 2018, Rockridge Press) and the co-author of "Grains as Mains: Modern Recipes Using Ancient Grains" (March 2015, DK). Her recipes have appeared in the BDN, Betty Crocker publications, and more. She also writes about food at