Bodacious Brussels Sprouts

Looking for something fresh and green for holiday menus? Bodacious Brussels Sprouts are prepped ahead of time then finished in a flash just before serving, studded with buttery pecans and laced with caramelized onions! Bodacious, indeed.


That’s bold + audacious and if ever there were a recipe for bold and audacious Brussels sprouts, this is it! It comes from reader Janet Miller who found Southern Living’s name descriptive but uninspiring. Which would you rather eat, Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Onions and Pecans or Bodacious Brussels Sprouts? No contest, right?! Many thanks, Janet, for a new favorite way to cook Brussels sprouts.

Guilty as charged. When guests arrive, I want to spend time with them, not in the kitchen. So many of my vegetable recipes, especially the recipes for Thanksgiving and the Christmas, have a certain sameness because they’re all prepped ahead of time, a few hours or even a day ahead.

This recipe for Brussels sprouts offers the best of both worlds. It can be prepped and even cooked to a certain point well in advance. But then the Brussels sprouts are finished on the stove at the very last minute, adding freshness and color to a festive holiday table.

ALANNA’s TIPS To save a considerable number of calories, dry toast the pecans in the oven (see how to toast nuts) and sauté the onions in water or stock instead of butter, then use just a tablespoon of butter for the Brussels sprouts themselves.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. In 2009, Kitchen Parade celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special collection of my mother's recipes. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Become a Kitchen Parade fan on Facebook!


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 35 minutes
Serves 6
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil (see TIPS)
  • 1/2 cup (1-1/2 ounces) pecan pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved vertically then cut in thin slices
  • 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper, cut in thin strips (optional but very pretty, especially for Christmas)
  • Kosher salt & pepper to taste

In a large skillet, melt the butter on medium low, add the nuts and stir to coat with fat. Let toast, stirring often, until the nuts are golden brown. Set the nuts aside.

In the same skillet, melt the butter, add the onion slices and cook, stirring often, until the onions are caramel colored, about 15 minutes. Set the onions aside.

Trim the Brussels sprouts: trim the stem, remove the outer leaves if blemished, cut in half vertically through the core, then cut cross-wise into 1/4-inch slices. (If prepping ahead, stop here. Refrigerate the nuts and onions separately. Return to room temperature before continuing.)

In the same skillet, melt the butter on medium high. Add the Brussels sprouts and stir to coat with fat. Cook quickly, tossing occasionally until sprouts are cooked through (especially the cores) but still bright green; mid-way through, add the pecans, onions and red pepper and seasoning. Serve immediately and savor!

NUTRITION ESTIMATE NUTRITION ESTIMATE (How many calories in Brussels sprouts? How many Weight Watchers points in Brussels sprouts?) Per serving, made with 3 tablespoons butter/1 tablespoon butter: 151/118 Calories; 10/7g Tot Fat; 4/2g Sat Fat; 15/5mg Cholesterol; 61/34mg Sodium; 12g Carb; 4g Fiber; 4g Sugar; 4g Protein; Weight Watchers 3/2 points

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

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  1. This was a big hit at Thanksgiving last year, my dad insisted we make it again for Christmas!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna