Crispy olive oil fried brussels sprouts with caramelized onions and garlic! Finish with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts.  Be sure to grab all my tips below. 

These pan fried brussel sprouts are best served immediately. They make a great side next to anything, especially hearty roasts like spatchcock chicken or even slow-cooker leg of lamb. Take things up a notch more with a drizzle of homemade tahini sauce! 

Fried brussels sprouts in serving dish

In the past few years, fried brussels sprouts became all the rage, taking over Instagram and making frequent appearances on different trendy restaurant menus. And for good reason!

Fried brussels sprouts are absolutely delicious. A far more exciting and compelling option than weirdly bitter steamed brussels sprouts, don't you think?

Today's brussels spourts recipe is quite simple. It comes together quickly and makes a great side next to almost anything!

So, the gist of this fried brussels sprouts recipe: crispy olive oil friend brussels sprouts with garlic and perfectly caramelized red onions. I love finishing this dish with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a handful of toasted pine nuts.

And, whether you avoid deep frying for health reasons or for convenience, pan fried brussels sprouts are a great option and they can still be crispy and to-die-for addictive. (I have a few important tips for you below.)

Ingredients to make fried brussels sprouts

How to Make this Fried Brussels Sprouts Recipe

1. This recipe starts with aromatics: onions and garlic. First, over medium heat, saute a good amount of red onions (about 1 cup chopped onions) in some quality extra virgin olive oil until tender and nicely caramelized. Add the garlic later  for about 30 seconds or so, just long enough for the aroma to hit its peak.(Transfer onions and garlic to a side plate for now to make room for brussels sprouts)

2. Next, hit the pan with a little more extra virgin olive oil (I used Private Reserve Greek EVOO). If needed, raise the heat to medium-high until the oil is shimmering but not smoking and add the brussels sprouts. I like to cook brussels sprouts flat-side down first until nicely charred. Give them about 5 minutes or so before turning them over to cook on the back side until nice and crispy.

Brussel sprouts in a cast iron frying pan

3. Toss the onions and garlic back in the pan with the fried brussels sprouts. Add a large pinch of kosher salt and give everything a toss. Transfer to serving plate and add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts (totally optional.)

Serve immediately! Oooh, and if you really want to kicks up a bit more, drizzle some homemade lemony tahini sauce on top! 

Tips for Best Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts

Pan fried brussels sprouts are easy to make, but I have just a few tips to ensure best results:

1. Cut brussel sprouts in halves or quarters. The best part about fried brussels sprouts are those charred, crispy edges. Cutting them in halves--or even quarters depending on their size--exposes more flat surface area for more charred goodness.

2. Use high enough heat and do not crowd the pan. Again, since the goal is to get some great crispy edges, higher heat (at least medium or medium-high is what I  go for) helps. Arrange the brussels sprouts flat-side down first and do not crowd the pan.

3. Do not disturb the brussels sprouts while frying. Don't be stirring, flipping or turning them over too often or too quickly. I cook mine flat-side down for a good 5 minutes, and once they char and crisp up nicely on the one side, I turn them over.

Fried brussels sprouts in serving dish with parmesan cheese and pine nuts

Can you use olive oil for frying?

Many fried brussels sprouts recipes call for butter or even bacon. My go-to cooking fat is almost always extra virgin olive oil. I used Private Reserve Greek EVOO in this recipe.

When I shared my fried eggplant recipe, we talked a bit more about what healthy oils to use for frying.

We're not talking about a deep-frying situation here, so you won't be using too much olive oil. And your oil should be heated to around 375 degrees F or so (Quality, low-acidity extra virgin olive oil should have a smoke point like 405 degrees F or higher.)

But let me repeat here again, if you are new to using olive oil in this way, it is perfectly fine to use something like sunflower oil or avocado oil.

Safety tip: use a mesh splatter screen when doing any pan-frying where oil might splatter. It's also a good way to keep your stove-top clean.

These burssels sprouts make a great side, but you can also turn them into a vegetarian main by serving over quick-cooked polenta or plain orzo.

More Side Dish Recipes to Try:

Fall Rotini Pasta Salad with Brussles Sprouts

Quick Roasted Tomatoes with  Thyme and Feta

Italian Roasted Vegetables



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Fried brussels sprouts in serving dish

Crispy Olive Oil Fried Brussels Sprouts

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5 from 34 reviews

  • Author: Suzy Karadsheh
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4 to 6 1x


Crispy olive oil fried brussels sprouts with caramelized onions and garlic. Finish with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts for the perfect side dish! Want to take things up another notch? Add a drizzle of homemade tahini sauce. Serve immediately!


  • 4 to 5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided (I used Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 cup chopped red onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb brussles sprouts, tops removed, halved
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, to your liking (I used about ¼ cup or so)
  • 3 tbsp toasted pine nuts, optional


  1. In a large cast iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoon olive oil briefly over medium heat. Add chopped onions and saute until they soft and nicely caramelized (5 to 7 minutes). Add garlic and toss another 30 seconds. Remove onions and garlic to a side plate for now.
  2. Add remaining extra virgin olive oil, and if needed raise heat to medium-high, till oil is shimmering but not smoking. Add brussels sprouts flat-side down first. Cook and do not stir or turn over until bottoms crisp up, turning a nice golden brown or even charred (do this to your liking, I like my brussels sprouts pretty charred.)  Turn over on the other side and cook another 5 to 6 minutes until crisp.
  3. Toss in the cooked onions and garlic. And add a generous sprinkle of kosher salt.
  4. Transfer to a serving dish. Finish with grated Parmesan and toasted pine nuts if using. Serve immediately.


  • Cook's Tip: These pan fried brussels sprouts are best served immediately, so prepare everything else first and make these just before you serve the meal.
  • Cook's Tip: If you're not comfortable using olive oil, although I love it in this recipe because it does enhance the taste, you can also use sunflower oil or avocado oil for frying. Use a mesh splatter screen for safety and to keep your stove-top clean.
  • What to serve these with? These make the perfect side dish next to roast chicken, lamb or even baked fish. But you can also turn them int a vegetarian meal with quick-cooked polenta or plain orzo.
  •  Recommended for this Recipe Our Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives!)
  • Visit our shop to browse our spices, olive oils and bundles!
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

*This post first appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in March, 2016 and has been recently update with new information and media for our readers' benefit. Enjoy!












Fried Brussels Sprouts Recipe with Onions and Quick Polenta | The Mediterranean Dish. Crispy brussel sprouts fried in olive oil; served with Parmesan polenta and topped with toasted pine nuts. A 20-minute delicious side dish!

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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  1. Les says:

    Extremely yummy. I tossed in chopped walnuts at the end instead of pine nuts, used nutritional yeast instead of parmesan, and drizzled in a bit of golden syrup (US: light treacle) at the end, tossed everything together and let it steam with the lid on for a couple of minutes (heat off) just to ensure sprouts were cooked through. And served it with the recommended tahini sauce, which I flavoured with fresh coriander instead of parsley and made with fresh lemon juice instead of lime. I like it!

    1. TMD Team says:

      Sounds wonderful, Les! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hannah says:

    Delicious! Will try with the pine nuts next time.

  3. Scott says:

    this is a great recipe. I usually roast them in the oven. I wanted something quick for extra Brussels. I followed this mostly accurately, I had tomatoes I wanted to use up so I added these. After charring the Brussels I added a little white wine to deglaze the pan and to help finish the Brussels. Also added some oregano. finished with sesame seed because I had no pignoli nuts and the parm. I will definitely make this again, thank you

  4. Taryn Bell says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I have never been a brussels sprouts fan but my husband is so I made this dish and it was fabulous! I went out and bought more sprouts to make again!

  5. Carla says:

    These brussel sprouts are so good!! I'm amazed at how well they turned out, and I'll definitely be making them again!

  6. June Cleveland says:

    Best brussels sprouts I’ve ever eaten. They hank you. And, the serving dish is lovely. What kind is it?

  7. Meghan says:

    Recipes on this site continue to amaze me. Absolutely delicious!!! The whole family loves these brussels sprouts, I've made them three times so far. Thank you for sharing your recipes! My son is four and has been growing up with these recipes. I remember making the manaqish and a few mezze recipes from this site for his first birthday party. Three years later, I keep coming back for more.

  8. SHERIN LEE ND CNC says:


    1. TMD Team says:

      Thanks so much, Sherin!

  9. Jona says:


  10. Elle in the 4th Corner says:

    Fabulous! Made with your Chicken Piccata which is also a wonderful recipe. Hubby and picky son both loved it! Thank you!!

  11. Stefanie says:

    I loved this recipe!!! I thought the cranberries were amazing but my family wouldn't touch them. I think I will make it again and use sweet potatoes or carrots and see if they will eat them. Thank you!