Brussels sprouts caramelize in olive oil and then finish with maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and apple cider vinegar. These candied brussels sprouts are full of flavor and a cinch to make!
I never liked brussels sprouts growing up. It wasn't until adulthood that I wised up and saw how incredibly delicious they were. Now I love to make them spicy (more siracha please!) or, in this case, sweet.
Candied brussels sprouts go with EVERYTHING and taste delicious. They're the perfect balance of sweet and savory!
These maple syrup brussels sprouts take less than 15 minutes to make and they're casual enough for a Tuesday, but tasty enough for Christmas dinner!
- Brussels sprouts - Not only are they delicious but they're SO good for you! Brussels sprouts vary greatly in size. Mine were small and so they didn't take long to cook. Make sure to cut them smaller or add more time if your sprouts are on the larger size. Cut the ends off since they have a chewy, unappealing texture.
- Maple syrup - Maple syrup imparts the best flavor. Not only does it taste amazing but it's also slightly better for you than white sugar since it contains some minerals and antioxidants. That being said, I'm not suggesting you eat lots of maple syrup instead of say, spinach or protein.
- Dijon mustard - I used Grey Poupon. You can use regular dijon or country dijon. Country dijon mustard is a mixture of dijon mustard and stone ground mustard. It's a little sweet, a little spicy, and so flavorful.
- Apple cider vinegar - Acid brightens up the sauce and vegetables. It breaks up the sweetness, so it's not too sweet.
- Kosher salt - Never underestimate the power of salt. I use kosher or sea salt in all of my recipes because the flavor is much better than table salt and it's easier not to over-salt since the granules are bigger.
- Olive oil - For that deep brown caramelization!
How to Make Candied Brussels Sprouts:
Brussel sprouts can be steamed, roasted, or sautéed but I love the rich caramelization you can achieve with sautéing them. Here's how to do so:
Make the sauce.
Combine the maple syrup, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, and one tablespoon of olive oil. Stir together and set aside.
Heat up your skillet.
Do not add the brussels sprouts until the pan is up to temperature.
There's nothing worse than plopping vegetables into warmish oil. You won't hear that nice sizzle but more importantly the finished dish won't taste as good.
You can use a nonstick or stainless steel skillet. Just make sure to use a large one so you don't crowd the pan.
Add the brussels sprouts.
Add the brussels sprouts to the pan and move them around with a spatula until they're in an even layer.
Try to get as many of them cut side down as possible and then don't touch them again for 4 minutes. This will caramelize the sprouts first.
If you stir them the whole time, they won't caramelize!
Stir the sprouts.
Give them a good stir, then cook for another 4 minutes. Leave them undisturbed so they caramelize more. Stir only if needed.
If your sprouts are big, cook until they're fork tender but not mushy.
Add the maple syrup mixture to the pan.
Once you add the sauce, cook for 2 to 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Don't add the sauce until the sprouts are nearly cooked, otherwise the sauce may burn if cooked too long.
Enjoy brussels sprouts hot!
Transfer the candied brussels sprouts to a serving plate and enjoy immediately!
- If you want to double this recipe, work in batches. If you overcrowd the skillet with two many brussels sprouts, they will steam instead of caramelize.
- If your brussels sprouts are large, cut them into quarters instead of halves. My local grocery store sells small brussels sprouts. Alternatively, you can still cut them in halves, but cook them for a longer period of time.
- Resist the urge to stir the brussels sprouts often. Leaving them undisturbed against the hot skillet is what creates that deep brown caramelization.
Substitutions & Variations:
- Spicy - Add a few dashes of hot sauce or sriracha for some sweet heat!
- Sweetener - If you're out of maple syrup, try light agave or honey.
- Store leftover brussels sprouts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- You can reheat the maple brussels in the microwave in 20-second increments until hot throughout. They won't be crispy anymore, but they still taste delicious!
Why aren't my brussels sprouts crispy?
There's multiple reasons your brussels sprouts aren't crispy. If your pan isn't hot and up to temp, they won't caramelize. It should be set to medium, but sizzling hot when you start.
Another culprit is stirring too much. If you stir the entire time, the brussels won't have contact with the pan long enough to caramelize.
Other Recipes You Might Like
- Balsamic Caramelized Mushrooms
- Crispy Tenderstem Broccoli
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Brown Sugar
- Easy Sautéed Butternut Squash
- 10-minute Sauteed Kale & Spinach
Candied Brussel Sprouts
- 12 inch skillet
- Cutting board
- Chef's knife
- Measuring spoons
- 1 lb. brussel sprouts cut in half
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- kosher salt
- Combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil, maple syrup, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and a pinch of kosher salt together, then stir with a small whisk or fork.
- Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until hot. Add 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. While you wait for the pan to come up to temperature, cut off the ends of the brussels sprouts and cut in half lengthwise.
- Tilt the pan to swirl the oil around the pan and then add the brussels sprouts to it. Carefully try to get as many brussels sprouts cut side down and then leave the brussels sprouts undisturbed for 4 minutes. This allows them to caramelize in the pan. Season with kosher salt.
- Stir the brussels sprouts and then cook 3 to 5 minutes more, stirring once so they don't burn. Add the maple syrup mixture and cook 2-3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer brussels sprouts to a serving plate or bowl and enjoy!