Can You Microwave Brussel Sprouts?

Unfortunately, you do need to know what you’re doing if you choose to microwave Brussel sprouts. It’s not a case of tossing them into the microwave and hoping for the best. There is an exact method you ought to follow:

How to Microwave Brussel Sprouts

It’s easy to make your Brussel sprouts in the microwave and they may even be better for you and tastier when cooked this way!

When you microwave vegetables you are usually steaming them which ends up with slightly crunchier veg which is very different from the soggy sprouts we all remember being served up at school dinners and Christmas dinners.

If you do want to give microwaving your sprouts a go, this is the method to try:

  1. Rinse, Clean and Trim
    First, rinse your sprouts and pull off any wilted or yellow outer leaves. Then trim off the ends a little. Be careful not to trim too much or the sprouts will fall apart. Don’t listen to your mum or grandmother and cut a cross into the bottom. This used to be a common method of cooking because it helps the sprout absorb the heat in the middle which is why you end up with those soggy and mushy sprouts everybody hates.
  2. Place Into a Dish
    Pop your Brussel sprouts into a large microwave-safe bowl.
  3. Add Water
    Add about a quarter of a cup of water and cover the dish.
  4. Heat for 4 Minutes
    Put this into the microwave and heat for about four minutes.
  5. Check
    Check the texture of the sprouts and then if they need longer pop them back in for another two or three minutes.
  6. Check Again
    Check the sprouts again and keep repeating until the sprouts are perfectly cooked to your liking.

This method is for about half a pound of sprouts so if you have more or less than this you will need to adjust the amounts accordingly.

3 Tips for Microwaving Brussel Sprouts

If you want to have complete success when microwaving sprouts then we’ve got 3 tips you’ll want to follow:

  • Use Stock – If you want to add a new depth of flavour to your microwaved Brussel sprouts, instead of using water make up some stock instead. Then you can cook the sprouts in this and enjoy some subtly flavoured sprouts. Chicken stock adds some lovely flavour so why not give this a try?
  • Don’t Cross Them – It used to be popular to cut a cross into the bottom of each sprout before you cooked. This ensures that the sprout cooks inside as well as outside but this is how you end up with soggy sprouts. This is perfect if it’s how you like your sprouts but many people prefer their veg on the crunchy side. So if you want al dente sprouts don’t cut a cross into them.
  • Season and Dress – Brussel sprouts have a wonderfully bitter flavour that pairs well with all sorts of flavours. Once you have microwaved your sprouts try drizzling them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Or, for something truly decadent sprinkle some grated cheese on top of the Brussel sprouts and pop them under the grill for a couple of minutes. The cheese should melt and create a delicious topping for your sprouts.

Advantages of Microwaved Brussel Sprouts

There are some obvious and clear benefits to using the microwave to cook Brussel sprouts:

  1. Texturally Great
    One of the major advantages of cooking your Brussel sprouts in the microwave is the texture. You have more control over the final texture and you can easily avoid serving up soggy and mushy Brussel sprouts.
  2. Super Easy
    Another advantage of choosing the microwave as a cooking method for sprouts is how easy it is. When you are cooking a roast dinner or a Christmas dinner you have so many other things cooking at the same time. So much so you may not even have space in the oven or on the stovetop! Microwaving the sprouts takes away some of this pressure.

Disadvantages of Microwaved Brussel Sprouts

Unfortunately, before you go ahead and microwave sprouts, there are some drawbacks you ought to know:

  1. Overcooking Possible
    While there are not many disadvantages to cooking your sprouts in the microwave you do still need to be wary of overcooking them and turning them into soggy sprouts. You can easily avoid this by checking them regularly though so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
  2. Taste Very Sprouty
    Steaming or boiling is only one method of cooking sprouts. It is the most traditional method but it does mean people may avoid them, even if they are delicious! If you use different methods such as baking or even braising the sprouts you may be able to encourage picky eaters into giving sprouts another try.

How to Reheat Brussel Sprouts in the Microwave

Whilst you can reheat Brussel sprouts in the microwave you should do so with caution. Sprouts can be tricky things and it’s easy to overcook them. If you do need to reheat then popping them into the oven might work better.

However, you can use a microwave if you are stuck for time and need them quickly.

To reheat in a microwave just pop the sprouts into a microwavable bowl and put them into the microwave for a couple of minutes. Check their temperature and pop them back in for another minute.

Keep repeating this process until the sprouts are cooked.

How to Defrost Brussel Sprouts in the Microwave

If you have frozen leftovers then we wouldn’t recommend that you thaw them out before cooking. Freezing veg can have quite a big effect on the texture and the sprouts are likely to become very mushy if you thaw them.

To avoid them just cook the sprouts from frozen instead.

Final Summary

Brussel sprouts may not be everybody’s favourite vegetable but they will always have a firm place on our dining tables during the festive season. Luckily you don’t have to put too much effort into cooking them, you can just pop them in the microwave to steam!

You might even find more people like them when cooked this way.