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Simple Steamed Brussels Sprouts


Staff member
Dec 14, 2023
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a white bowl with cooked brussels sprouts

Today I have a recipe for Simple Brussels Sprouts steamed and then tossed with garlic butter and olive oil. It’s about as basic (and fast) as you can get but so incredibly delicious! They’re ready in 8 minutes flat!

a white bowl with cooked brussels sprouts

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Table of contents​

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Why We Love Steamed Brussels Sprouts​

I wanted to share this Steamed Brussels Sprouts recipe with you so that you have an easy way of preparing Brussel sprouts on the stovetop. I mean we all can agree that the caramelized flavor of sauteed brussels sprouts or roasted brussels sprouts are amazing! But sometimes taking the time to preheat the oven and roast them is not an option. That’s where this lightning-fast recipe for steamed Brussels sprouts with garlic and butter comes in! It is by far the fastest way to cook Brussels and they are totally delicious too!

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Ingredients You’ll Need For This Recipe​

See complete recipe and instructions below in the recipe card.

  • 1 ¼ pound Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

How To Make This Simple Brussels Sprouts Recipe​

These stove top brussels are super simple. I used a technique similar to the one I used in this green beans with walnuts or kinda like these cooked baby carrots. But it’s perhaps even more simple! I’ll walk you through how to make it!

Trim the ends and cut the Brussels in half.

1. Trim the stem end and cut in half.
Brussels sprouts in the steamer basket

2. Place Brussels sprouts in the steamer basket, cover and steam 4-5 minutes.

Step 1: Trim the Brussels Sprouts:

The base of the Brussels sprouts where it was attached to the stalk of the plant can sometimes be fibrous and pithy. trim it off, and pull off any outer leaves of the sprout that are loose or black.

Step 2: Cut the Brussels Sprouts in Half:

Cutting them in half will help them cook more quickly, and make it easier to eat them! If you have some large and some small ones, just cut the large ones in half and leave the small ones whole.

transfer the steamer basket to the work surface

3. Transfer the steamer basket to the work surface.
Cover the basket with a lid to keep them hot.

4. Cover the basket with a lid to keep them hot.

Step 3: Steam the Brussels Sprouts​

While you are prepping your Brussels sprouts, set up a large saucepan with a steamer basket and boiling water. You want the water line to be just below the surface of the steamer. Add the prepared Brussels Sprouts to the steamer basket and let them steam until they are just tender. This will depend on the size of your Brussels. It should take anywhere from 4 to 5 minutes. While you wait chop up your garlic.

Step 4: Set Aside

Here’s my super easy trick to saving a dish. Take the steamer basket out of the saucepan, and set it down on a heat proof surface. Try not to allow the sides to flop open. Then cover the steamer with the lid of the pot. You could also use foil if this feels awkward for you.

melt butter in the saucepan, add oil and then saute the garlic

5. Melt butter in the saucepan, add oil and then saute the garlic.
Add the steamed Brussels sprouts, salt and pepper, and stir to coat.

6. Add the steamed Brussels sprouts, salt and pepper, and stir to coat.

Step 5: Use The Same Pot​

Then empty the steaming water out of the saucepan. You can give it a quick rinse (I don’t bother.) And then return the saucepan to the stove for the final step.

Step 6: Cook Garlic in Butter and Oil:​

Melt a little butter (for flavor) in the saucepan and add in some olive oil (which is lower in saturated fat.) Quickly add in the chopped garlic and saute it only until it just starts to brown. This will be less than a minute. Then shut off the heat and immediately slide the Brussels sprouts off the stemer right into the saucepan.

The Brussels sprouts will prevent the garlic from browning more in the hot oil and butter. Add in some salt and pepper and then toss everything together!

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a spoonful of steamed brussel sprouts

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Make Ahead, Storage and Reheating​

  • Make Ahead: Trim the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half. Keep them refrigerated in a resealable bag or storage container in the fridge for two days.
  • Storage: Cool the leftover cooked Brussels sprouts and transfer them to an airtight container. Keep refrigerated up to three days.
  • Reheating: Reheat in the microwave on high for about 1 minute 20 seconds per serving or reheat on the stovetop in a saucepan, with a little broth or water, covered. Cook over high heat only until the broth boils and the sprouts are steaming hot.

Substitutions and Variations To Try​

  • Add chopped toasted almonds or another nut (we love Brussels Sprouts with hazelnuts for the holidays!)
  • Add in a generous pinch or two of chopped fresh oregano, dill or chives. You can add in a small amount of woody herbs such as thyme but we suggest adding them to the garlic butter for a brief moment to cook them slightly before tossing with the steamed brussels sprouts.
  • Make this vegan-friendly and dairy free by using 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil instead of a blend of butter and olive oil to cook the garlic.
  • If you like cheese we love this with a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan added on top.
  • Add in a small amount of lemon zest or lemon juice
  • Splash on balsamic vinegar
  • Cook and crumble bacon and toss with the cooked Brussels sprouts just before serving.

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Serving Suggestions for Steamed Brussels Sprouts with Garlic​

These sprouts are super versatile so they will go with a lot of our weeknight main courses and more festive meals for Sunday Supper, Thanksgiving and Christmas:

FAQs for Brussels Sprouts​

Where are Brussels sprouts from?
Brussels sprouts are from Europe and became popular in Northern Europe, and especially near Brussels (Belgium) which is how they got their name!

Are Brussels sprouts small cabbages?
No- they are not small cabbages, but they are related! If you remember way back to biology class, there is an order to taxonomy rank for plants. You can refresh your memory here. Basically, the family is more broad of a category than species. How that sugars out for Brussels Sprouts is the following:
Brassica Family: Brussels Sprouts are a cool season biennial in the Brassicaceae family which is also known as the mustards. This is a huge family that includes some of our favorite healthy veggies like turnips and mustard greens.
Brassica Oleracea Species: Within the Brassica family, Brussels sprouts falls in the Brassica Oleracea Species. There are several varieties of brassica vegetables in this species which also include: cauliflower, cabbage, collards, kale, broccoli, and kohlrabi. {Source.}

How are Brussels Sprouts grown?
Brussels sprouts are grown on stalks. The sprouts themselves appear along the stalks of the plant, at the base of the leaves. They often grow from largest sprout along the bottom to the smallest at the top.
a stalk of brussels sprouts growing in the field in late summer

How do you pick Brussels sprouts?
If you are growing several stalks of Brussels Sprouts at once, you can harvest the decent sized sprouts and leave the smaller ones at the top to continue growing. To harvest them cut the sprout or snap them off the stalks at the individual base while leaving the rest of the stalk, leaves and smaller sprouts attached above. This will allow the smaller sprouts to continue to grow, and you’ll be able to harvest another batch within several days.
You can also harvest the entire stalk all at once by sawing it off at the bottom. I use a felco saw to do this. This may be a choice you would make at the end of the season before a frost or if you have grown a variety that matures more evenly.

Are Brussels sprouts healthy?
Yes they most definitely are! Here are some of the many star properties of Brussels sprout nutrition:
They are high in antioxidants and fiber with 4 grams per cup. They are low in carbohydrates coming in at 11 grams per cup. However if you watch your net carbs (subtracting the fiber) they come in at 9 grams. They are high in Vitamin C and K among other micronutrients.
You can read more about the health benefits of Brussels Sprouts here.

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Thanks so much for reading! If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my email newsletter to get a free weekly menu plan and the latest recipes right to your inbox. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review. I would love to hear what you thought!

Happy Cooking! ~Katie

a close up of the steamed brussels sprouts with a spoon

Steamed Brussels Sprouts with Garlic

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Here is a super fast and tasty way to make Brussels sprouts on the stovetop. Simply steam them for 4 to 5 minutes, then toss them with garlic butter.


Units USM
  • 1 1/4 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
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  1. Bring one inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket over high heat. Add brussels sprouts, cover and steam until they are tender but still bright green 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the steamer basket from the saucepan and cover the steamer basket with the lid or cover with foil to keep warm.
  3. Melt butter in the saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil and garlic and cook, swirling often until the garlic just starts to brown, about 60 seconds. Immediately turn off the heat and add the brussels sprouts, salt and pepper into the saucepan. Stir to coat and serve immediately.


  • To meal-prep this recipe, trim and cut the Brussels sprouts and store them in a resealable glass container in the fridge for up to 5 days in advance. Then proceed with chopping the garlic and continuing with the recipe as follows.
  • These Brussels are best eaten right away, though they can be reheated. To do so, microwave them on high power for 1 minute 40 seconds or until they are steaming hot. Do no overcook them.
  • These don’t freeze well and become mushy.
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    Prep Time: 4
  • icon-clock.png
    Cook Time: 4
  • icon-folder.png
    Category: Side dish
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    Method: steaming
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    Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 3/4 cup
  • Calories: 120
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Sodium: 181 mg
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 5 g

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