As soon as November hits (and maybe even before) some of us start thinking about the Thanksgiving menu. How about you? Are you travelling or hosting? Do you do part or all of the cooking? What does your menu look like?
As you’re working on putting the menu together, let me suggest these Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Cranberries. They are the bomb. Don’t worry if you’ve tried Brussels in the past and not been much of a fan. Frozen Brussels sprouts got nothing on these. Steamed Brussels sprouts…eh. But roasted. With walnuts. Cranberries. And a splash of balsamic? Now we’re talking.Jump to Recipe
As much as I enjoy eating turkey on Thanksgiving Day, what I most enjoy are the special sides that we eat just once a year. Sweet potato streusel, stuffing (or dressing), and pie. And these Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Cranberries are at the top of my list.
Preparation Method is Everything
There are many vegetables that taste great when prepared in a variety of ways. For example, broccoli tastes good to me whether steamed, sauteed, or roasted. Same with zucchini. But for whatever reason, Brussels sprouts are a bit more particular about how they like to be prepared.
I have steamed them in the past, and they are pretty good, as long as I don’t let them get mushy, and as long as I salt and olive oil them sufficiently. But I actually get excited about roasted sprouts. The caramelization that happens in the oven is kind of magical. It deepens the flavor of the Brussels sprouts and makes it hard to resist plucking a few straight from the pan. Especially the loose leaves that get crisp – they are like kale chips.
This recipe combines caramelized Brussels sprouts with sweet-tart cranberries, earthy walnuts, and tangy balsamic vinegar.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts: The Ingredients
To put together this dish, I used two pounds of Brussels sprouts. I washed them, then trimmed off the tough ends and cut each sprout in half. I dumped them on a large sheet pan and drizzled 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with 1 teaspoon of Real Salt.
I roasted them in a hot oven – 425 degrees Fahrenheit – to ensure some good caramelization. After 30 minutes (stirring once) they were ready to go. I stirred in a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, a half cup of roasted walnuts (reserving some for garnish), and a quarter cup of dried cranberries.
The result was absolutely scrumptious. Salty sprouts with tangy balsamic, crunchy walnuts, and sweet cranberries will win me over any day.
This dish would go well with bacon, but I left it out since Thanksgiving meals are full of calories and flavor. But if you choose to make this dish just because, feel free to add in some bacon.
I hope you give this one a try, and see you next time!
Other Thanksgiving Menu Options
- Soaked Cornbread with Cranberry and Sage: A decadent cornbread made healthier by soaking the grains ahead of time. Cranberry and sage keep it fresh with the season.
- Celery Root and Apple Puree: This dish adds a twist to classic mashed potatoes, starring the underappreciated celery root. Apples lend sweetness, and fresh cracked pepper spices it up.
- Fall Frisee Salad: Add a lighter side to the Thanksgiving table with this fresh fall salad, but don’t skimp on flavor by using walnuts, blue cheese, and cranberries.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Cranberries
- 2 lbs Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tsp salt use sea salt or Real salt
- 1/2 cup walnuts soaked and dehydrated, or toasted
- 1/4 dried cranberries I like the juice sweetened variety
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash 2 pounds of Brussels sprouts, trim the ends, and cut each sprout in half. Pour onto a large sheet pan, and toss with olive oil and salt. Roast for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
- While they are cooking, roughly chop walnuts.
- When the Brussels sprouts are finished cooking (fork tender but not mushy), pour them into a bowl and toss with balsamic vinegar. Stir in dried cranberries and walnuts, reserving some walnuts for garnish. Serve in a large bowl or on a tray.