If you are looking for a delicious and easy festive side, try these Brussels sprouts with cranberries and walnuts. Brussels sprouts are pan fried until caramelised, mixed with crunchy walnuts and sweet sour cranberries and coated in a sweet orange dressing, to make a delicious gluten free and vegan side, ready in 15 minutes.
Pan frying Brussels sprouts (which you may also see called ‘pan fried Brussels sprouts’, ‘pan sautéed sprouts’, and ‘sautéed Brussels sprouts’) is a simple way of cooking Brussel sprouts which gives them a fantastic flavour and texture. They are a tasty addition to any special roast dinner, alongside roast parsnips.
I love Brussel sprouts, and could happily eat a plate of them plain. Perhaps it’s my origins: Brits eat the most Brussels sprouts than anyone else in Europe.
However you do not share this – some may say, strange – love of plain Brussels sprouts and want a little flavour; or are looking for a simple Christmas side dish suitable for vegetarian or vegan guests, then try this recipe!
Why we love this recipe
- Festive – the red dried cranberries and green Brussels sprouts are a classic Christmas colour pairing!
- Vegan and gluten free.
- Pan frying Brussels sprouts caramelises their edges and gives them a tender – but not mushy – texture.
- Brussel sprouts – look for medium sized sprouts, which have more flavour (better still, if you can, buy them still on the stalk for maximum flavour). They should be bright green and firm too.
- Dried cranberries – use normal or reduced sugar cranberries.
- Walnuts – you can use almonds if you prefer.
- Orange juice – freshly squeezed, I wouldn’t recommend ready squeezed orange juice.
- Olive oil – use a mild flavoured olive oil or another neutral oil such as grapeseed oil.
Yes, you can boil the sprouts 2 days before. The rest of the steps are best done just before serving.
Yes you can. Therefore you should always cook them until tender, rather than mushy. Overcooking sprouts causes them to release that sulfur smell, and they go a drab green too.
No. Contrary to popular belief, making a cross in the bottom of Brussels sprouts with a knife will case them to become water logged and soggy.
My recipe tips
- To trim Brussels sprouts – cut off the area where the sprout was attached to the stalk, and then trim off any leaves that are looking brown or wilted.
- Cut the Brussels sprouts – for ease you might be tempted to leave the sprouts whole, but the cut sides are the part that caramelises.
- Don’t stir all the time when they are sautéing – you want the edges to char slightly as that gives the best flavour.
- I like to brown the sprouts on one side only for 2 reasons:
- 1. I don’t want to overcook them
- 2. The splash of green from the un-browned side stops the dish from looking too brown.
What to serve with these sprouts
- Chicken or turkey.
- A piece of steamed salmon.
- Add some cooked rice or quinoa for a filling and healthy lunch.
- Make into a salad
- Delicious in a tortilla – you can use leftover roast potatoes too
- Use any leftover dried cranberries in this chocolate bark and leftover walnuts in a soup, salad or pesto.
More easy side dishes
Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts & Cranberries
- 500 g Brussel sprouts trimmed*
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 60g (½c) walnuts
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- Salt and black pepper
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the sprouts and bring back to the boil for 5 minutes until just tender.
- Drain. Cut the sprouts in half vertically.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and place the brussel sprouts in the oil for 5 minutes, don’t move as you want them to get colour.
- Once they are golden on one side, turn off the heat then add the walnuts, cranberries and orange juice. It can spit a little so take care.
- Give them a quick stir to make sure the sprouts are all coated in the orange juice then season with salt and black pepper.
- Serve straight away.