In just 25 minutes, you get a side dish bursting with flavor – the citrus lemon balances out the natural bitterness of Brussels sprouts, all rounded up with grated parmesan cheese that makes this healthy dish feel just a little more luxurious. Naturally gluten-free and vegetarian, this recipe for shaved Brussels sprouts is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas or anytime during the holidays.
Enhancing Natural Flavors of Food
Among the chefs featured in the Netflix documentary Chef’s Table is Dan Barber, the co-owner and executive chef at Blue Hill, a farm-to-table restaurant with the aim of changing the way the world eats.
Dan’s philosophy is simple – he aims to use everything that a farm can give to create food that enhances the natural flavors of its ingredients. In order to help us better understand Dan, the revered American food writer and chef Ruth Reichl gave the example that Dan strove to do things like “bring out the carrotness of a carrot”, in order to demonstrate how Dan worked with the food he had.
Long after the episode had ended, I kept thinking about Dan and his cooking philosophy. My mind kept returning to what Dan had said about keeping his plates uncomplicated so as not to distract from the highlights of the dishes – the ingredients themselves.
The Perfect Thanksgiving (or Holiday) Side Dish
Since Brussels sprouts are in season during the fall and winter, I wanted to feature them in a side dish that wasn’t overly complicated, and that essentially brought out the natural flavor of this vegetable -that slight bitterness that comes with it- that may at first require an acquired taste, but overtime you’ll come to love.
Today’s sautéed brussels sprouts recipe is extremely simple and ready in just 25 minutes, but whose very simplicity pays homage to the few ingredients used – Brussels sprouts, lemon and parmesan cheese – and allows their flavors to really shine.
What are Brussels Sprouts?
Brussels sprouts are part of the Brassica family of cabbages, and are grown for its edible buds, which are typically 0.6 to 1.6 inches in diameter and resemble mini cabbages. Brussels sprouts have long been popular in Brussels, Belgium, and they may have gotten their name there.
While Brussels sprouts are now available almost all year round, their peak season is from September to mid-February, and these sprouts are often eaten during the holiday season as a side dish or appetizer.
What does Shaved Brussels Sprouts mean?
The term “shaved Brussels sprouts” basically refers to finely shredded Brussels sprouts – and are occasionally available in some supermarkets. However, if you can’t find the sprouts pre-shaved, you can definitely use a sharp knife, or mandoline, or a food processor to shred the sprouts super fine (This article by Wikihow shows you how to shave your Brussels sprouts at home).
Since I don’t own a mandoline or a food processor, I decided to go with the old-fashioned way – using a knife and some muscle power.
Ingredients You’ll Need + Notes/Substitutions
- Brussels Sprouts: The star of this dish, you can either buy the sprouts pre-shaved from the supermarket or shave your own.
- Olive Oil: I like using extra virgin olive oil because there are so few ingredients in this dish that I want each flavor to stand out. However, feel free to use any vegetable oil you prefer.
- Lemon Juice: I always use fresh lemon juice because I always have fresh lemons in my kitchen. If you don’t have access to fresh lemons, bottled lemon juice will work as well.
- Parmesan Cheese: I used parmesan cheese in this case, but feel free to swap it out for nutritional yeast to make this dairy-free or vegan.
- Salt and Pepper: Add salt and pepper to taste, but this is completely optional.
How to Cook Sautéed Brussels Sprouts:
1. Shave the Brussels Sprouts:
Remove any tough outer layers of the Brussels sprouts and then use a sharp knife to cut the sprouts into halves lengthwise. Place the halves cut-side-down and slice thinly to shred the sprouts.
In a large pan, heat up two tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the brussels sprouts over medium-high heat until they are tender tender but still bright green in color.
3. Flavor and Garnish
Squeeze in lemon juice and mix well before sprinkling grated parmesan cheese over. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
- Shave Sprouts in Advance: Since the hardest part of this Brussels sprouts recipe is to shave the sprouts as thinly as you possibly can, you can slice the sprouts beforehand and keep them in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to a few days in the refrigerator. When you are ready to cook them, all you’ll need is just 15 minutes of cooking time to get this amazing dish done!
- Cooking Beforehand: If you want to cook this Brussels sprouts recipe before hand, you can sauté the shaved sprouts (without adding the lemon or the parmesan cheese) and then store them in an airtight container for up to 2 days in advance. When ready to serve, heat them up in the pan or skillet or microwave before adding lemon juice, parmesan, salt and pepper.
Other Thanksgiving/ Holiday Sides:
- Crispy Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Crispy Hasselback Potatoes (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Easy Rosemary Cornbread (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
- Easy Cornbread Muffins (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
- Skillet Cornbread (Gluten-Free)
- Jalapeño Cornbread (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
- Roasted Delicata Squash Salad (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Creamy Pumpkin Soup (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- 20-Minute Homemade Cranberry Sauce (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
- Quinoa, Butternut Squash and Kale Salad (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
P.S. If you try this recipe, I’d love for you to leave a star rating below, and/or a review in the comment section further down the page. I always appreciate your feedback. Be sure to check out my entire Recipe Index for all the recipes on the blog. You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram! Sign up for my Email List to get fresh recipes in your inbox each week!Print
In just 25 minutes, you get a side dish that’s full of flavor – the citrus lemon balances out the natural bitterness of brussels sprouts, all rounded up with grated parmesan cheese that makes this healthy dish feel just a little more luxurious. Naturally gluten-free too, this is recipe for shaved Brussels sprouts is the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas or anytime during the holidays.
- 20 oz. whole brussels sprouts (approximately 6 cups whole, or 8 cups shaved)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Shave/Shred: Remove any tough outer layers of the Brussels sprouts and then use a sharp knife to cut the sprouts into halves lengthwise. Place the halves cut-side-down and slice thinly to shred the sprouts.
- Sauté: In a large pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the brussels sprouts over medium-high heat until they are slightly soft but still bright green in color.
- Flavor and Garnish: Squeeze in lemon juice and mix well before sprinkling grated parmesan cheese over. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Brussels Sprouts: You can either buy the sprouts pre-shaved at the supermarket, or shave them yourselves (as I show you how in the instructions).
Olive Oil: I like using extra virgin olive oil because there are so few ingredients in this dish that I want each flavor to stand out. However, feel free to use any vegetable oil you prefer.
Lemon Juice: I prefer to use fresh lemon juice since I almost always have fresh lemons on hand. However, if you only have bottled lemon juice, that will work too.
- Category: Side Dishes
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: shaved brussels sprouts, sauteed brussels sprouts