Bodacious Brussels Sprouts

Bodacious = Bold + Audacious

Looking for a side dish that's 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.

Bodacious Brussels Sprouts ♥, very pretty to serve, just quick-cooked fresh Brussels sprouts tossed with caramelized onions and toasted pecans.

Real Food, Fresh & Seasonal. Pretty Color! Weeknight Easy, Weekend & Holiday Special. Low Carb. Vegetarian & Easy to Convert to Vegan. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly.

  • "This was a big hit at Thanksgiving last year, my dad insisted we make it again for Christmas!" ~ Ali

Yes! Bodacious!

That’s bold + audacious and if ever there were a recipe for bold and audacious Brussels sprouts, this is it!

The recipe comes from reader Janet Miller who found Southern Living’s name descriptive but uninspiring. Which would you rather eat?

  • Sautéed 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!

About This Recipe

  • This is a side dish of fresh Brussels sprouts, sliced and sautéed in butter with onion, red bell pepper and toasted pecans. It's a pretty side dish, bright green and cheery red.
  • The distinctive ingredients are the fresh Brussels sprouts, the onions cooked until they caramelize and the red bell pepper that adds so much color. That said, butter is what makes this colorful side dish special, considerably more than I typically use, definitely rich for a special occasion.
  • Ingredient List = butter + pecan pieces + onion + fresh Brussels sprouts + red bell pepper + salt & pepper
  • There's about 25 minutes of hands-on prep and cooking for this dish, mostly for trimming and slicing the Brussels sprouts, nothing hard, just a little tedious.
  • The cooking itself can be done in two steps or can be completed start-to-finish all at once. Depending on the meal, if it were me, I'd do all the prep (and the first part of the cooking) ahead of time and then assign the second part of the cooking to someone else.
  • This recipe makes about six servings.

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 recipes for Christmas, have a certain sameness because they’re all prepped ahead of time, a few hours or even a day ahead.

But! This recipe for Brussels sprouts offers the best of both worlds.

  • Prep and even cook ahead to a certain point, well in advance.
  • Finish the Brussels sprouts on the stove at the very last minute, adding freshness and color to a festive holiday table.
  • Win! Win!

How to Make Bodacious Brussels Sprouts

The detailed recipe is written in traditional recipe form below but here are the highlights in three easy steps. You can definitely do this!

  • TOAST THE PECANS Just toast pecan pieces in a little butter in a skillet until golden and aromatic. Set these aside.
  • CARAMELIZE THE ONIONS Slowly cook onion slices in butter, letting them turn golden in color, caramelized in taste. Set these aside too.
  • COOK THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS After the Brussels sprouts are trimmed, halved and sliced, quickly cook the slices in a little butter. Season too! Midway through, add the sliced red pepper, the toasted pecans and caramelized onions.

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Bodacious Brussels Sprouts ♥, very pretty to serve, just quick-cooked fresh Brussels sprouts tossed with caramelized onions and toasted pecans.


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
  • A few pecan halves, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved vertically then cut in thin slices
  • 1 pound (454g) fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • Kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper, cut in thin strips (optional but very pretty, especially for Christmas)
  • Toasted Pecan Pieces
  • Caramelized Onions

  • Toasted Pecan Halves, for garnish

TOAST THE PECANS In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter on medium low, add the nuts and stir to coat with fat. Let toast, stirring often, until the nuts are golden brown. Lift the nuts out of the skillet and set aside to add later.

CARAMELIZE THE ONIONS In the same skillet, melt another 1 tablespoon butter, add the onion slices and cook until the onions are caramel colored, about 15 minutes; take your time here, stirring often and adjusting the temperature to avoid burning. Lift the onions out of the skillet and set aside to use later.

PREP the BRUSSELS SPROUTS Trim the Brussels sprouts: slice off the gnarly stem edge, remove the outer leaves if blemished, cut in half vertically through the core, then cut cross-wise into 1/4-inch slices.

PREPPING AHEAD? If so, stop here. Refrigerate the Toasted Pecans and Caramelized Onions separately. Return them to room temperature before continuing.

SAUTÉ THE BRUSSELS SPROUTS In the same skillet, melt the butter on medium high. Add the Brussels sprouts, stir to coat with fat and season well with salt and pepper. Cook quickly, tossing occasionally until the sprouts are cooked through (especially the cores) but still bright green.

Mid-way through, add the red pepper, pecans, onions; taste and adjust the seasoning.

Transfer to a serving bowl, top with a few Toasted Pecan Halves. Serve immediately and savor!

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.

FOR MORE INFO If you "skipped straight to the recipe," please scroll back to the top of this page for ingredient information, ingredient substitutions, tips and more. If you print this recipe, you'll want to check the recipe online for even more tips and extra information about ingredient substitutions, best results and more. See .
NUTRITION INFORMATION 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 POINTS Sorry, due to technical issues during a laptop conversion, WW points will be updated later.

Love Brussels Sprouts? Me Too!

~ Brussels sprouts recipes ~
Brussels Sprouts recipes ♥
Creamy Brussels Sprouts Gratin ♥, first roasted, then braised in cream or half 'n' half, turned dark and luscious. My favorite way to cook Brussels sprouts during cold weather but also a Thanksgiving favorite! Low Carb. Rave reviews!

Fast Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts, another basic vegetable cooking technique ♥

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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  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