Sweet and salty, this Roasted Apple Brussels Sprouts side dish will melt in your mouth and blow your mind. Easy to make and goes well with just about everything--if you're not a Brussel sprouts fan, you might be after you try this dish.
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Hey Internet, I’m doing something I don’t often do here: sharing a side dish recipe. That’s because, with a lot of vegan food, it’s usually one main dish instead of components on a plate (like in the Standard American Diet: meat, starch, and vegetable).
But I dreamed up this side while prepping for Thanksgiving this year, a meal for me that’s alllll about the sides. However, I didn’t get it photographed in time for Thanksgiving.
Fortunately, I recently made these brussels sprouts again when developing my vegan ham recipe, and it went so well with that and the herby cheesy grits, that I decided to publish them as a separate recipe here.
Since you’re on a recipe for brussels sprouts, I’d venture a guess that you don’t hate them, or maybe you do and you’re trying new things. I applaud you.
But, maybe you also are cooking for a person in your life who does not like brussels sprouts. Could be a kid, could be an adult, could be a kid disguised as an adult (like me).
I have actually always liked Brussels sprouts, only I used to just eat them with cheese or butter, and when I went vegan I was at a loss for how to make them taste really good. I’m talking close your eyes and make audible noises-good.
Well, my friends, I urge you to try these roasted apple brussels sprouts. There’s chunks of dried apple AND apple cider for sweet apply goodness that’s balanced out by the slight bitterness of the sprouts and just a hint of herb and spice.
This is a pretty simple recipe with not too many ingredients, so let’s get started.
What You’ll Need
Well, this might come as a surprise… you need brussels sprouts for this recipe. This recipe is best with raw brussels sprouts.
Frozen brussels sprouts just don’t have the same texture. If all you have is frozen, I’d try cooking this stovetop and adding the other ingredients with them in a small pot, then letting them simmer until heated through. It won’t be the same, but it should still taste good.
So, those other ingredients.
First up, for lots of apple flavor, I recommend using apple cider and chopped dried apples.
You can substitute apple juice for apple cider, but it is a little bit more watered down so try to use apple cider if you can find it. Some stores sell a shelf stable version that is pretty good!
For the chopped dried apples, I like to buy unsweetened dried apples, and dice them into small pieces. They add a lovely flavor and they get softened in the oven if you’re worried about the chew.
Could you use fresh apples instead? Yes, but they will not have much of a texture after the cooking process, they will be soft and a bit mushy but if that’s OK with you then go right ahead!
If you wanted to substitute another dried fruit you could also do that. Dried cranberries or apricots would be absolutely delicious in this recipe.
For herb and spice, I recommend just three things: dried thyme, sea salt (or pink himalayan salt which is what I use because I like the flavor), and freshly cracked black pepper.
Freshly cracked is a GAMECHANGER, my friends. I was certainly skeptical. I thought it sounded like extra money and effort for no return.
But I was wrong. I’ll admit it.
Pre-ground black pepper powder and freshly cracked black pepper taste nothing alike. The latter is delicious when fresh and I urge you to just try it if you don’t believe me.
Anyway, I’ll get off my soapbox about black pepper and move on.
Oh wait, that’s it. That’s all you need! Pretty simple, yes?
How to Customize this Side Dish
You could add other spices or flavorings if you like. Here’s a few ways to customize this side dish:
- Add a tang at the end with apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or some other kind of vinegar
- Add some minced garlic
- Try a little smoked paprika or liquid smoke
- Throw in some nuts and seeds
- Add another vegetable like chopped green beans or cauliflower
- Serve it ON or IN something instead of on the side. It would be great on top of pasta, or I actually love cooked vegetables in a salad. Something about the contrast of temperatures and textures is delicious!
Tips for Making Roasted Apple Brussels Sprouts
This is a pretty easy recipe but I have a few tips that will help you make the most delicious brussels sprouts.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius).
- Wash your brussels sprouts, cut the bottom chunk of stem off (about ⅛”) (you can save these for stir frys!), and halve them lengthwise. If your brussels are particularly large you can quarter them, but try to chop them all the same size. If you have some big and some small, quarter the large ones and halve the small ones.
- In a medium to large bowl, pour in the apple cider and maple syrup, then add the spices and whisk to combine (leave out the chopped dried apples for now). Throw in the brussels sprouts. It’s OK if some of the leaves are falling off. Include those. Toss well and pour everything into a rimmed baking dish.
- Bake covered for 20 minutes, then stir and add the apple pieces. Bake uncovered for about 15-25 minutes, depending on how soft you like your brussels. Test with a fork when you think they’re done.
- That’s it! Serve and enjoy. I highly recommend these on the side of a hearty main like vegan ham or my seitan turkey. If you’re gluten-free, try my Mushroom Lentil Loaf or Smoky Shepherd’s Pie!
More Vegan Sides
Sometimes sides are where it’s at. You get to try a little bit of everything! Here are a few of my favorite side recipes:
- Challah Stuffing, made with my Vegan Challah of course
- Mashed Potatoes
- Mushroom Gravy or Quick Vegan Gravy
- Air Fryer Squash
- Vegan Creamed Kale
- Roasted Garlic Lemon Asparagus with Vegan Hollandaise
- Vegan Portobello Mushroom Steaks
- Teriyaki Cauliflower Wings (ok, technically an appetizer, but why not eat it as a side?)
As always, I hope you love this recipe--I know I do, and Mr. Zardyplants does too. We kept eating this while we were trying to photograph it!
These Roasted Apple Brussels Sprouts are:
- Super easy
- Quick to make
- Savory AND sweet
- Melt in your mouth
- Almost… buttery? With no butter or butter replacements!
- And the perfect side to any hearty meal… a good way to get your veggies in too!
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!