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. Martin Kenny says:

    I add a few crispy smoked bacon (panchetta) pardons. Delicious either way. I've started just throwing a couple of handfuls of sprouts round roasts 39 mins before they finish..yum!!

    1. Suzy says:

      What a great idea! Thanks for sharing, Martin!

  2. Omri says:

    Fantastic recipe thank you!! Finish with a splash of lemon juice or a drizzle of balsamic glaze to take it up yet another notch!

    1. Suzy says:

      OOO! Great idea! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Patsy Taylor says:

    Loved this recipe and will stick to cooking sprouts in this way. My husband remembered his mother's everlastingly boiled sprouts and refused to eat them until he tried yours, Lovely. Funny frying instruction though since in the
    UK backside means your bottom.

    1. Suzy says:

      LOL! I'm with your hubby on the boiled sprouts. Pan frying or roasting is the BEST!

  4. TracyJo says:

    Made these tonight for dinner with mashed potatoes and corned beef. And OMG they were the star. SOOOO delicious. I had the most enormous sprouts ever so I sliced them into flat slices which worked perfectly for more surface caramelization. The only thing I would say is, definitely put the sprouts on a paper towel to drain a bit of the oil before grating the cheese on them. Other than that they were perfection. Can’t wait to have them again!!

    1. Suzy says:

      Yummy dinner! So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  5. ThatOneGirl says:

    Perfect in every way- and super easy !
    Thank you!

    1. Suzy says:

      So glad you enjoyed the recipe!! 🙂

  6. Katie says:

    Delicious and easy! My fiancé wants nuts over them! Thanks for our new favorite Brussels sprouts!

    1. Suzy says:

      Yay! So glad it was a hit!

  7. Jacquelyn says:

    Excellent, easy, and classy side dish! I really enjoyed this method of making brussels. I've mainly ever roasted them before, but really like the way they turned out in the cast iron pan and with the onion/garlic mixture. I used the slivered almonds in lieu of pine nuts as the crunch factor. Delicious! Thanks for a great recipe! I served it alongside some stuffed pork chops and roasted potatoes for Easter dinner!

    1. Suzy says:

      Sounds amazing, Jacquelyn! Thanks so much!

  8. Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser says:

    I made this and totally messed it up. It was green mush encased in hard black. I took pictures and sent it to all my friends. I still don't really understand what happened.

    1. Suzy says:

      Oh, no! Maybe the brussels sprouts weren't at their best. I hope you give it another go sometime!

  9. Paul says:

    Looks excellent but why cut off the top of the sprout?

    1. Suzy says:

      Hi, Paul! I'm referring to the part of the sprout that was originally attached to the stalk. That part usually browns and dries out a bit on the way to market. It's best to trim off the yucky stuff before cooking.

  10. Jim says:

    I'm going to try this recipe tonight. I like that it's fairly simple. No need to expensive EVOO though. Even moderate heat kills the unique flavor. Use regular olive oil and drizzle the good stuff on just prior to serving.

    1. Suzy says:

      That works, too! Hope you love it!! Thanks, Jim!

  11. Kristin says:

    Omg! Amazing! My daughter who is 8 likes them too. Didn’t use a lot of cheese, just enough to sprinkle it on and add to the flavor vs. masking it. This is the make again column.

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      I'm so excited to hear it! Thanks for sharing, Kristin!

  12. Jennifer Maxwell says:

    Oh, I really want to make this! I just bought fresh brussels sprouts at the grocery store but I don't have pine nuts. Would almonds work well in this dish? Thanks!

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Hey, Jennifer! You can eliminate the pine nuts or use slivered almonds instead. It'll still be delicious

  13. Lindsay Cotter says:

    These were easy to make and so delicious! My new favorite side dish!

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Yay! Wonderful

  14. Lisa says:

    Brussel sprouts are my favorite veggie! These are so good.

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:


  15. Toni says:

    I really loved it! So tasty and easy to make!

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says:

      Wonderful, Toni!

  16. Billy says:

    Absolutely delicious brussels sprouts recipe. The parmesan cheese, pine nuts and garlic really help to take them over the top, as well as the caramelization to the brussels. So good, thanks for another awesome recipe!

    1. Suzy Karadsheh says: