Brussels sprouts

Butter-Steamed Brussels Sprouts

This year we have a new addition to give thanks for at our holiday table:  butter-steamed Brussels sprouts.  Now, I get it, many feels that they are gross or bitter or otherwise yuck.  Brussels sprouts are delicious though!

The inspiration for this recipe comes from a recipe for butter-steamed new potatoes on Deep South Dish.  I wanted to do something that was different from the roasted Brussels sprouts of years past and more exciting than boiling the nutrients out of them.

A Note on Picking Your Sprouts

Brussels sprouts get a bad rap.  Part of the trick in good Brussels sprouts is picking the right sprout!  First, if you can get small, round, dense sprouts, they will always be better.  If you can only find giant ol’ sprouts, then make sure they are still densely packed.  If you hold the sprout between your fingers, it shouldn’t give when pinched.

In the event that you can’t find sprouts that meet this criteria, then put a pin in this recipe for a later date.  No amount of cooking skill can fix a bad sprout.

Prepping your Brussels Sprouts

The first step in this process is to make them look nice and give them a soak.  I first remove a little bit of the stem and any off-color exterior leaves.  I then make a slice in the bottom of the stem to make sure they are able to cook thoroughly, about a 1/4″ or less.  If you cut too deeply, your sprout will fall apart.  Salt some water in a non-reactive pan or dish and allow the cleaned sprouts to soak until ready to cook.  I feel like this reduces bitterness, but I could be conflating salting eggplant to remove bitterness.  Who knows?

Butter-Steamed Brussels Sprouts (Serves 6)


  • ~ 1 lb cleaned and trimmed Brussels Sprouts
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 2 T water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg


  1.  In a 2-qt saucepan, add all ingredients over low heat and cover with tight-fitting lid.
  2.  Cook for 20-30 minutes, shaking the whole pan with lid a few times throughout.  Do not open the lid!
  3.  Serve.

That’s it.  This is one of the simplest and best recipes I have come across for potatoes, and I’m so glad I thought to adapt it for sprouts!

I hope that you enjoy this recipe and I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments!


~I am an Amazon Affiliate and clicking on links to goods and products in this post helps to support the work I do on this blog!  Thank you!~

Marie Wheeler