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How To Roast Brussel Sprouts On The Stalk

Updated on October 24, 2012

Brussels Sprouts Roasted on the Stalk

Several times per year, Trader Joe's offers brussels sprouts that arrive at the store in grand style. They are au naturale, meaning that they come in as they grow--right on the stalk.

This author had never seen them before this way though I've grown my own share of cauliflower and broccoli over the years.

I decided to try a few batches of them wondering how in the world I should cook them but the nice folks at Trader Joe's even provide you with a recipe rubber banded to the stalk. It is really quite a simple thing!

If you happen to see these gems in the store, pick up a few stalks and see how easy it is to roast brussels sprouts right on their own stalk. They do stay nicely fresh for several days, even up to a week so I'm told, because they're still attached to their growth source.

Of course, you can always cut the sprouts off and cook them normally. This author likes the presentation factor of cooking them on the stalk as it's a very unique way to plate them out after cooking. And let's not forget delicious!

Brussels sprouts are loaded with anti-oxidant properties and are the best cruciferous vegetable you can eat.
Brussels sprouts are loaded with anti-oxidant properties and are the best cruciferous vegetable you can eat. | Source

Trader Joe's Recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts on the Stalk

Trader Joe's recipe is very simple and easy to follow. However, there were a few things that I didn't quite like about the recipe, so I changed it to my own tastes. (see below)


  • 1 stalk of brussels sprouts
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan or large rimmed cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spray lightly with vegetable spray to prevent sticking.
  2. Wash stalk of Brussels sprouts under cool running water. Lay on a dish towel and pat dry with paper towels or another dish towel until most of the moisture is gone.
  3. Cover the Brussels sprouts in plastic wrap and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Combine the oil and maple syrup along with pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to combine as the oil will try and separate.
  5. Using a small brush, baste all the individual Brussels sprouts with the mixture of oil and maple syrup, turning over to baste both sides.
  6. Place in oven and roast for 45 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Transfer to a very large platter if serving on the stalk and place a knife or cutting shears on the platter.
  8. Or cut the Brussels sprouts from the stalk and serve in a bowl.
  9. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries if desired.

Wash and dry sprouts and then place on a foil lined jelly roll pan sprayed with vegetable spray.
Wash and dry sprouts and then place on a foil lined jelly roll pan sprayed with vegetable spray. | Source


My Own Recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts

There were a couple of things that this author didn't want to try with respect to the Trader Joe's recipe.

I'm not a huge fan of maple syrup and especially not 3/4 cup of it being put onto vegetables. Hypothetically, one could substitute sugar-free maple syrup for the recipe and feel better about it but even at that, it was a lot of "sugar" to me for a vegetable.

The words "plastic wrap" and the microwave send up red flags for me. Studies have shown that plastic of any kind in the microwave is something we all should be avoiding due to the carcinogenic exposure so I had to pass on that part of the recipe right away.

What to do though? I gave it some thought and here is my revamped recipe. It is very tasty but I probably will try a couple more times to see if different brush-ons pump up the flavor a little more. The maple syrup was suggested because it gives the sprouts a nutty flavor but I do think in retrospect that a browned butter maybe flavored with some kind of nut such as hazelnut would do the same thing nicely.


  • I used coconut oil--several tablespoons melted in a small pan
  • I added 2 or 3 tablespoons of Trader Joe's Balsamic Glaze--a thickened, reduced variety of balsamic vinegar--for its tangy taste
  • I added 2 or 3 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon
  • Few dashes of kosher salt


  1. Instead of partially cooking the sprouts in the microwave, I added the tray with the prepared sprouts to the oven, then poured 1/2-1 cup of hot water onto the foil covered pan.
  2. This prevented any sticking and smoking from the coconut oil as the sprouts roasted and served to virtually "steam" the sprouts while they were cooking.
  3. I did not have to increase the cook time so they were done in 45 minutes--I think because of the steaming effect.

Note: If you use coconut oil, be quick about brushing the sprouts with the mixture. It begins to go back to its hardened stage very quickly. If that happens, just put back on the stove for a few seconds until it liquifies again and keep brushing.

The coconut oil did harden very quickly on the Brussels sprouts and gave them a nice flavor nonetheless. They did brown more than the recipe I made with a mixture of balsamic glaze, olive oil and reduced amount of maple syrup.


Brush on coil and glaze mixture.  Cook in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Add water for steaming if desired.
Brush on coil and glaze mixture. Cook in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Add water for steaming if desired. | Source
This is how Brussels sprouts actually grow.
This is how Brussels sprouts actually grow. | Source

Health Benefits of Brussel Sprouts

Keep in mind that you should eat a good quantity of these or on a regular basis to receive the full health benefits but they are quite impressive.

  • Lower cholesterol
  • Protect DNA including white blood cells which lessens chance of infection
  • Top of the list for glucosinolate in all cruciferous vegetables (good for detoxing the system)
  • Thyroid protection
  • Anti-cancer properties
  • High in vitamin C
  • High in vitamin K
  • Super on the fiber chart
  • Low in calories
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritis properties
  • Cardiovascular protection
  • High in folate
  • Rich in vitamin A
  • They are ranked one of the world's healthiest foods

Fresh roasted out of the oven--leave on the stalk or cut off and serve.
Fresh roasted out of the oven--leave on the stalk or cut off and serve. | Source

More with Brussels Sprouts

There are great favorite recipes for Brussels sprouts--some people say brussel sprouts and some say Brussels sprouts. Leave a comment below as to your favorite way to prepare them.

There are many ways to cook them:

  • Braised
  • Shredded
  • Roasted
  • Sauteed

I think though if you're preparing Brussels sprouts, as in all things, less is more. Steaming probably keeps in more nutrients than any other way although roasting is pretty close.

Try not to diminish the health benefits by glazing them in sugar or masking their flavor with too much of anything.

Eating Brussels sprouts is one of those things that you either hate or you love. They do have a distinctive aroma and a flavor all their own.

Roasting them is a great way to cook them and the presentation on the stalk is one of those conversation starters that I really enjoy!

Do you eat Brussels sprouts regularly?

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    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Washington

      Thanks, Paul--this is a yummy way to go about it~

    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 5 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      Love brussel spouts. I've never seen them on the stalk like this. Have to try it. Looks awesome as well.

    • Crewman6 profile image

      Crewman6 5 years ago

      PacMan- great name! I agree, responsibility is a dirty word any more.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Washington

      How funny--yes, PacMan was one strong dude--my son used to get so mad at people saying how vicious the dogs were as a breed and I definitely know all about that! I've met all kinds of folks in Bend when we're walking our mals that have recounted their horrible experiences with their own mals--yeah--I had to get rid of him because he killed the neighbor's cat--twice--2 cats. I just looked at him and said--so what was your clue after the FIRST time? Maybe he didn't need to be around cats? Hello~~ It's all about responsibility but sadly I think in today's world, that has kind of gone out the window!

    • Crewman6 profile image

      Crewman6 5 years ago

      That's so funny - sweetest idiot you ever saw is so accurate. Years ago someone brought one into our store (we were very pet-friendly) and my buddy slapped his knees, bent over, and said "Come here, baby!"

      Moment later he was flat on his back getting slobbery kisses. Those are strong dogs!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Washington

      Ha ha Crewman--passionate--yes - please desist from being outspoken right now---speaking to the mad hatter as you are! I hear you on the pitbulls and my son had one--sweetest idiot you ever wanted to meet. The only bad thing he ever did was run at me 100 mph and leave his paws embedded on my legs!...and he did wrap Bob up in his leash and drag him down--but that was a total accident. Mals have a horrible rep--perhaps that is why I love them so and I live to prove people wrong about them. I always say you'll never find a bad dog--just a stupid pet owner~ Thanks for backing me up on that one!

      Om--I had no idea either until I saw them in the store a year or so ago. I have grown cauliflower and cabbage, broccoli--but had not grown brussels sprouts--so who knew? I kinda love it to be honest~ What a great educational veggie~!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      Nice video. I had never seen brussels sprouts on a stalk before, let alone cook them! So your demonstration was very interesting to me. Brussels sprouts are certainly one of my favorite veggies. Glad to know they have so many health benefits!

    • Crewman6 profile image

      Crewman6 5 years ago

      I couldn't possibly agree more. A well-educated dog owner makes for a well-behaved dog. It's tragic when a a dog or person gets hurt because someone didn't know how to work with their dogs.

      I'm also very short-tempered with people who think some dogs are 'bad' by nature. I have yet to meet a mean pit bull... but that's because any friend I've ever had that owned one, raised it right. It disgusts me to see people blame a species for the stupidity of their owners.

      Sorry. Got to calm down now.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Washington

      Oh man--don't even get me started with bad dog owners~ We get that kind of thing all the time--and I'm the one walking the big guy at 95 pounds! I usually stand out there and just yell--and sadly, this is someone we KNOW--he let his little tiny poodle run out at Griff who everyone knows has "issues" with aggressive dogs thanks to some (again) young kid with a huge rott that let him loose on Griff when he was a puppy. I yelled at Sam last week--ya know what pal--you're OLD enough to know better! He just waved me off and I guess that was RUDE but really? The last thing I think is neighborly is my big-toothed dog chomping on someone in the neighborhood's fluffy little tidbit! We were walking along minding our own business and here she came from outta nowhere--I don't mind yapping from the sidelines at him--I can distract him with a yank or a bad word--but running at him from behind trying to bite him---bad choice!

      Bob used to be the Griffin walker but unfortunately he becomes so incsed (Bob not Griff) that he stops and just starts yelling at the guy--kinda sounds like what I did but not really--I yank Griffin a new one and then keep on moving AWAY from the target of his teeth....scolding him with body language while I'm yelling at the jerk who caused it! It pays to be able to multitask in SOME arenas. Bob just can't understand people and their stupid dog behaviors...neither can I but most of all, I prefer live dogs--on both sides of the spectrum.

      And I wonder why people always say --"oh that Audrey...." too bad is what I say to them--if more people took the time to actually train their dogs, we'd have less accidents with them--and less in shelters, etc....I think it's horrible on both sides of the coin too--little dogs that can't be safely walked like your friends, and big dogs who can't safely walk without being accosted. It does all come back to the "adult" in charge though! And I gotta love the ever ready "I'm sorry"--thanks--that was another 2 years and a couple inches off my arm's life!

    • Crewman6 profile image

      Crewman6 5 years ago

      You're right; the angle from the hat might look odd while cooking. Though at least the odds of a concussion are pretty slim.

      It funny, the things we do for our dogs. A friend of mine was walking her chihuahua recently, and a pit bull tried to attack him. My friend was trying to save her dog, protect herself, and yell at the owner all at once. Her chihuahua was cowering and hiding, until she managed to pick him up. From the safety of her arms, he suddenly turned brave.

      I don't blame the other dog, I blame the owner. Teenage boy who just thought it was cool to have a pit bull. No thought about proper training.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Washington

      Yes I do have a hat too--but that is for roaring down the street on the scooter trying to film the action while using the no hands technique--since I crashed into the pavement once already a few years back and got a concussion...I'm NEVER letting go of the handlebars again.... the hat seemed like overkill for cooking plus you'd all be looking down on the action which might be a little strange~ Will have to try it though--at least I could use the tripod--I always think of these things after the fact! And Ms. Gabs is winning the award for most talkative mal these days though if he could SEE the food--Griff would have wiped out the entire sound of my vid~ I purposefully keep him outside when I'm trying to hear myself talk!

    • Crewman6 profile image

      Crewman6 5 years ago

      Tripod? I thought you had a hat that held it! You're right, though. I use a mini-tripod to hold mine.

      I figured that was Gabby. Our three play the same game.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 5 years ago from Washington doesn't eliminate the smell completely but I have to say that the coconut oil made it better!!! I don't really mind smelly veggies as I figure that they're good for you so you have to endure. But they are an acquired taste that is for sure~ I want to try them with nuts next in some form of paste--I think that might smell delicious roasting as well. I do have to say the maple syrup didn't help cut down the smell either and actually THAT was kind of sickening to me smelling it AND brussels sprouts~

      Crewman--Ah--you caught my Gabby baying outside the window--my dogs seem to think that if I'm in the kitchen, it must be that I'm cooking for them. Chicken liver on the brussels sprouts! They are so good for you!! Ah well not everyone has to be a fan. Congrats on the piano and can't wait to literally hear all about it--and yes, that was my flip at work but I think in retrospect, I would do better to put it on the dang TRIPOD I have for it rather than trying to do things, talk AND run the camera--what do I think I am---a multitasker?

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Fancy that, Audrey. Brussel sprouts grow on a stalk. Who knew? Probably because I never cook them since the aroma when they are steaming is not one I am fond of. My beloved grandma used to make them and I swear the house smelled of brussel sprouts for weeks thereafter. Trust me.

      Your cooking method probably eliminates that odor. Right?

    • Crewman6 profile image

      Crewman6 5 years ago

      Fascinated... in a yucky alien sort of way (sorry!)

      Monique loves them, but I've always hated Brussels sprouts. Your video almost tempted me to try them again... but I just can't do it.

      Just the same, well-written. And very nice video! (Bet you used your Flip to shoot it.) I laughed when I heard the 'baying of the hounds'. I have the same problem when I shoot video, though mine are mostly yips and mutterings.

      Got my piano, been pretty busy with it. But the website has officially launched, and will soon be 'hubbing' about it!


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