Maple balsamic Brussels sprouts with a crispy feta coating; an elegant pairing for any fall, winter or holiday meal. This is the recipe that everyone will love, even Brussels sprout haters!
We're entering the holiday season, which means scrambling to find a dish that everyone at the table will love. I saw the idea for these smashed feta brussels sprouts on Instagram (here is the original recipe) and KNEW I had to try them my self with a little maple *twist*!
My family usually has it down with a roasted chicken, fresh bread, crispy potatoes, you name it! However, our table is often lacking veggies, which is where I step in with my maple balsamic Brussels sprouts.
I know what you're thinking, "how can anyone like Brussels sprouts?!" and I hear you. But these aren't the bitter, steamed veggie you're used to. Caramelized in maple balsamic and with a crispy feta coating, these smashed Brussels sprouts are transformed into a veggie everyone will devour.
Don't be surprised when there's no leftovers!
Why This Recipe Is Dietitian Approved
- Convert any Brussels sprouts hater. If you're apprehensive about Brussels sprouts, I urge you to try this recipe before swearing off them forever. No bitter tones and packed with flavour, these are not the mouth puckering veggie of your childhood.
- Perfect side dish to impress. These are great in any meal, but especially a fall, winter or holiday dinner. I love having it alongside turkey, or even with weeknight meals. It's a fan favourite at our Christmas dinner too.
- Eat more cruciferous veggies. Brussels sprouts are super nutritious, packed with vitamin C, vitamin K and fibre. There's even some emerging research that cruciferous veggies may lower cancer risk- we don't have a super strong link yet, but it doesn't hurt to eat more of them!
Brussels sprouts. Like little mini cabbages, Brussels sprouts are packed with nutrients and can be super delicious when cooked right. Both fresh and frozen work well in this recipe.
Maple syrup. The tiny bit of sugar really helps balance out Brussels sprouts's naturally bitter flavour. They also add a lovely warm sweetness that I love in fall or winter recipes.
Feta cheese. Listen when I say that feta Brussels sprouts are divine. Everything is better with cheese, after all! I love feta for a touch of saltiness, however parmesan cheese will work as well.
Balsamic glaze. No, it's not the same as balsamic vinegar! Balsamic glaze is made when the water content of balsamic vinegar is reduced and you're left with a thick, sweet and slightly acidic syrup. It's easy to make at home if you don't own any.
Spices. We're keeping things simple with salt and black pepper. Red pepper flakes are optional.
Olive oil. Essential to get the Brussels sprouts nice and crispy.
The complete ingredient list with measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Steam Brussels sprouts for 8-10 minutes, until soft enough to pierce with a fork. Once cooked, immediately place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
While Brussels sprouts are steaming, coat the bottom of a 6x9” oven safe baking dish with olive oil and sprinkle with a layer of crumbled feta cheese.
Add Brussels sprouts to a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and maple syrup.
Arrange Brussels sprouts in a single layer on top of the feta.
Gently press down using the bottom of a cup or mason jar to “smash” the sprouts. Brush with additional olive oil and sprinkle with red pepper flakes if desired.
Bake for about 35-40 minutes, smashing the Brussels, once again halfway through baking (this helps the feta stick to the sprouts and creates crispier Brussels sprouts). Once baked, drizzle with balsamic glaze and enjoy!
Substitutions and Variations
To make gluten-free: This recipe is naturally gluten-free.
To make dairy-free: Use a dairy-free feta like this one.
To make nut-free: This recipe is naturally nut-free.
How to level up this recipe:
- Make spicy feta Brussels sprouts by swapping the maple syrup for hot honey (or regular honey) and adding ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- For additional balsamic flavour, add 2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar into the mixing bowl along with the maple syrup
- 6x9” oven safe baking dish
Leftover Brussels sprouts can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container. To reheat, place them in the oven one again at 400F for about 10 minutes, or air fry for 5-8 minutes at 375.
Using frozen Brussels sprouts will cut the prep time in half. Simply defrost them prior and you can skip the steaming step.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes absolutely- this is actually a great way to save time! I recommend defrosting your Brussels sprouts ahead of time and then you are able to skip the steaming process as the sprouts will already be soft enough to smash.
These make an amazing side dish for holidays. For casual weeknights, I recommend pairing with a protein source like my baked chicken and a carbohydrate like my air fryer diced potatoes!
You can also eat these as a snack. I like pairing them with a dijon dip made by combining: 3 tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoon of mayonnaise, 2 teaspoon of dijon mustard and 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar.
Yes you may, though they will be slightly different! I recommend adding the maple syrup and spices to your sprouts, smashing and air frying for about 10 minutes at 400F, and sprinkling with feta cheese in the last 3 minutes. This will work best with an air fryer liner.
More Veggie Recipes
Let's make veggies you actually LOVE.
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make maple balsamic Brussels sprouts, don't forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic or leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked it!
Smashed Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Feta
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts
- 2.5 tablespoon olive oil divided
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon balsamic glaze *
- 1 cup feta cheese
- Red pepper flakes optional
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Steam Brussels sprouts for 8-10 minutes, until soft enough to pierce with a fork. Once cooked, immediately place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.
- While Brussels sprouts are steaming, coat the bottom of a 6x9” oven safe baking dish with olive oil and sprinkle with a layer of crumbled feta cheese.
- Add Brussels sprouts to a mixing bowl and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and maple syrup.
- Arrange Brussels sprouts in a single layer on top of the feta, and gently press down using the bottom of a cup or mason jar to “smash” the sprouts. Brush with additional olive oil and sprinkle with red pepper flakes if desired. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, smashing the Brussels, once again halfway through baking (this helps the feta stick to the sprouts and creates crispier Brussels sprouts).
- Once baked, drizzle with balsamic glaze and enjoy!