Buffalo Brussels sprouts

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I absolutely love buffalo sauce! If you have found yourself on this page then you probably do too. This recipe for buffalo Brussels sprouts is a marriage between two of my favorite dishes – buffalo wings and crispy Brussels sprouts. This is one of my favorite snacks to make when I am craving buffalo sauce but do now want to go through all the effort of coating wings with batter and bread crumbs. This recipe has fewer steps and produces fewer dishes than buffalo cauliflower wings or buffalo chicken wings. 

Cooked buffalo Brussels sprouts on a blue plate

What is buffalo sauce made of?

What is buffalo sauce made of? The main ingredients in buffalo sauce are hot sauce and butter. There are a few other ingredients that are commonly added in to give the buffalo sauce a little extra flavor. Here are some of the ingredients that are most commonly found in buffalo sauce. 

  • Hot sauce 
  • Butter
  • White vinegar
  • Honey
  • Worcestershire sauce  
  • Brown sugar
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Pepper
  • Salt

Crispy Brussels sprouts frying in a pan

Tips for making crispy Brussels sprouts

No one wants a soggy Brussels sprout! Here are some tips for making Brussels sprouts that are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. 

  • Thoroughly dry the Brussels sprouts. Before you cook your Brussels sprouts you need to prepare them by rinsing them with water and cutting off the nubby ends. If you want to make Brussels sprouts that are extra crispy you should make sure to dry the Brussels sprouts off thoroughly after you rinse them. If you add wet Brussels sprouts to your pan they will likely turn out soggy. 
  • Quarter the Brussels sprouts. You should quarter your Brussels sprouts before you cook them. If you cook the Brussels sprouts whole the water that is trapped inside of the Brussels sprouts will not be able to escape. This means that the water will seep into the leaves of the Brussels sprouts and make them soggy. 
  • Space the Brussels sprouts out during cooking. As you cool your Brussels sprouts the water that is held inside the Brussels sprouts evaporates. You want this water to escape into the air and not be trapped by neighboring Brussels sprouts. If your Brussels sprouts are too close together they will steam each other while they cook and turn soggy.
  • Use high heat. If you cook your Brussels sprouts over high heat more water will evaporate, leaving the outer leaves of your Brussels sprouts light and crispy. 

Keeping sprouts crispy after sauce is added

How do you keep your Brussels sprouts crispy after the buffalo sauce is added? Your Brussels sprouts are going to get at least a little less crispy after the buffalo sauce is added. That is unavoidable. However, if you take care then you can keep the Brussels sprouts fairly crispy. 

The main factor that will affect how crispy your Brussels sprouts are is the amount of buffalo sauce added. The more buffalo sauce you add to your Brussels sprouts the more soggy they are going to get. If you are more conservative with the buffalo sauce and use less buffalo sauce then the Brussels sprouts are going to be more crispy. 

The way you lay your Brussels sprouts out to bake after the buffalo sauce has been added will also affect how crispy the Brussels sprouts are. If you spread the Brussels sprouts out and leave space between the Brussels sprouts then they will be more crispy. This is because more liquid will be able to evaporate. 

Brussels sprouts coated with buffalo sauce laid out on a baking sheet

Can you bake the Brussels sprouts?

In this recipe we sauté the Brussels sprouts before coating them in buffalo sauce to get them nice and crispy. You could also bake the Brussels sprouts for 20-25 minutes at 425 rather than sautéing them. 

Brussels sprouts that are roasted in the oven are more likely to dry out than Brussels sprouts that are sautéed on the stove. That being said, these Brussels sprouts are coated in buffalo sauce after they are cooked so it is okay if they dry out a little during their initial round of cooking. 

If you do bake your Brussels sprouts it is important that you leave the inner side of the Brussels sprout face up. The outer leafy edge should be on the bottom touching the pan. This prevents the leafy outer layers from trapping water inside of the Brussels sprouts and causing the Brussels sprouts to get soggy. 

Cooked buffalo Brussels sprouts on a blue plate

Buffalo Brussels sprouts

These buffalo Brussels sprouts are even easier to make than buffalo wings!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: egg free, gluten free, nut free, vegetarian
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 stalks green onion (optional, garnish)
  • 2 tbsp queso fresco (optional, garnish)

Buffalo sauce

  • 2/3 cup hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  • Clean the Brussels sprouts then thoroughly dry them. Prepare the Brussels sprouts by chopping off the nubby end of the Brussels sprouts and quartering them. Sprinkle the Brussels sprouts with salt.
    If the outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts are thick and rough you can remove them. Otherwise you should keep any leaves that fall off the Brussels sprouts and cook them with the Brussels sprouts.
  • Warm the vegetable oil in a large flat pan then saute the Brussels for 25 minutes on medium to medium high heat. Stir the Brussels sprouts occasionally.
    You should space the Brussels sprouts out. This will help the Brussles sprouts get crispy and prevent them from steaming each other. You might need to use 2 pans to do this.
  • Add the butter, vinegar, and hot sauce to a medium sized bowl then microwave the bowl until the butter melts. It should take around 1 minute to melt the butter.
    Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Coat the Brussels sprouts in buffalo sauce then lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the Brussels sprouts for 10 minutes at 425 degrees.
    You should space out the Brussels sprouts. This might mean you need to use 2 baking sheets.

Substitutions for buffalo Brussels sprouts

  • White vinegar. Any relatively neutral flavored vinegar will work here. White wine vinegar and rice vinegar are other good options. You should avoid flavorful vinegars like balsamic vinegar that will change the flavor of the buffalo sauce. 
  • Honey. If you do not have any honey you can replace the honey with an equal amount of brown sugar. 
  • Unsalted butter. You can use salted butter if you do not have unsalted butter. If you use salted butter then omit the salt from the buffalo sauce.

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