Zesty Brussel Sprouts with Caramelized Leeks and Mustard

Updated on February 23, 2020
Melovy profile image

Yvonne has been an online writer for over eight years. Her articles focus on everything from world travel to crafts and recipes.

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 12 min
Ready in: 27 min
Yields: Serves 4 people as a side vegetable

Brussel sprouts contain Vitamins A, C and E, and several of the B complex vitamins, including niacin, B-6 thiamin, and pantothenic acid. They contain copper, calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorus and potassium. They can protect against heart disease and some cancers, notably colon and prostate.

So they are good for you and you want to eat them. But if all you’ve ever had is boiled mush you probably don’t want to eat them all that much.

Let me introduce you to a totally new way with sprouts that will wipe away your doubts—and if you already love this much-maligned vegetable you will soon love them even more!

Brussel sprouts are traditionally a winter vegetable, and winter is traditionally when we get colds and flus. This recipe has virus busting garlic and honey and an extra dose of infection-fighting Vitamin C in the lemon zest. The honey and mustard combine to reduce the bitterness of the sprouts. This recipe is enough for a family of 4 as a side dish and will provide one of the 5 recommended daily servings of vegetables per person.

So with no more ado, here’s what you do!


There is no need to cut a cross in the bottom of the sprouts. In theory this makes them cook faster, but what it actually does is make them soggy. Besides sprouts don’t take long to cook. So save yourself some time!

The Ingredients

  • 8 oz/240grams/1 cup Brussel sprouts
  • 2 small or one large leek
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3–4 fluid ozs/90–120ml/⅓ – ½ cup vegetable stock, (or hot water with 2 teaspoons of dried mixed herbs)
  • 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • zest (rind) of one lemon


  • Peel the sprouts.
  • Slice the leeks.
  • Warm the oil gently in a shallow pan or casserole dish, and then add the honey.
  • Add the leeks and cook over a low heat for 2–3 minutes, until the leeks are softened but not browned.
  • Crush the garlic, add to the leeks and cook for another minute.

  • Add the Brussel sprouts and the stock and cook for 5 minutes. (This is far less liquid than you would use to boil sprouts and they will not be covered.)
  • Grate the lemon zest with the fine side of your grater.
  • Add lemon zest and mustard and cook for about another 3 or 4 minutes until the sprouts are slightly soft and the liquid has reduced to almost nothing.
  • That’s it! You are ready to eat.

Eat it With

This goes well with sausages (meat or vegetarian) and mash. Or you can use it as a side vegetable with roasts, nut roasts, or any other meal you fancy.

More Ways With Sprouts

Chop them in quarters and use in a stir-fry.

Shred and use in salads.

Or you could try:

Brussel sprout soup.

You’ll need:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound or 500gram of Brussel sprouts
  • 1 ¾pints/1 liter of vegetable stock (or a mixture of stock and milk.)
  • A 4 oz/110 gram pack of cooked chestnuts or 4 oz/110 grams of ground almonds, lightly toasted under the grill. (Spread them out evenly and watch them carefully as they burn very quickly.)

And here’s what you do:

  • Chop the onion and in a soup pan fry gently in the oil.
  • Add the Brussel sprouts and stock and cook for about 20 minutes until the sprouts are soft. Add the chestnuts or almonds and warm through.
  • Blend with a hand-held or jug blender until smooth.
  • If necessary add a little more liquid, and heat through.

Rate this recipe

5 stars from 1 rating of Zesty Brussel Sprouts

© 2012 Yvonne Spence


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    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi CloudExplorer,

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe and the humour and hope you enjoy the sprouts too!

      Thanks for your comment .

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 

      8 years ago from New York City

      Wow, I love the presentation here of this recipe hub, and the humor was also quite pleasing as well in the cool intro up there.

      Thanks for writing and putting together such a beautifully useful hub, I will surely use this recipe, and soon with my wife, since we love veggie meals Nice! one @Melovy.

      Voted up & all.

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi Rebecca,

      It is s bit different isn’t it? Definitely my favourite way with sprouts. Hope you also enjoy it, and thanks for your comment.

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Thanks wetnosedogs, hope you enjoy the recipe!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      8 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      I love Brussels sprouts. This sounds very different and fantastic. I'd love to make it!

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      8 years ago from Alabama

      I love brussel sprouts. Recipe sounds great. I will have to try it.

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi Ruchira,

      Thanks for your comment and the vote up!

    • Ruchira profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      This is great melovy. I loved it and will try it. I will rate this recipe a 5 star :)

      Voted up as useful.

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi randomcreative,

      I noticed you’ve answered this question too, so will take a look at your hub soon. Thanks for your comment.

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Rastamermaid, I liked the bookmark system too, but the button went last week or maybe the one before. Apparently it wasn’t much used. So now we have to use a different method to bookmark, probably just the browser.

      Thanks for you comment and hope you enjoy them.

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi Joe,

      Balsamic vinegar does go great with brussels, and we also have a recipe with shallots which is my husband’s favourite way with sprouts. (The bacon I’d pass on as I’m vegetarian, but he might like it.) Thanks for your comment.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      8 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Awesome recipe! I just tried Brussel sprouts for the first time recently and love them. This is such a unique take. Thanks for the detailed recipe.

    • Rastamermaid profile image


      8 years ago from Universe

      I'm so trying this recipe and what happen that I can't bookmark?

      Looks yummy and pretty easy prepare.

      Thanks for sharing!

    • Joe Macho profile image


      8 years ago from Colorado

      Now this recipe looks like the real deal! I love brussel sprouts, but normally eat them baked with shallots, bacon and a finish touch of balsamic vinegar. This sounds like another great way to enjoy the sprouts! Thanks for sharing

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi Susan,

      They do look like baby cabbages don’t they? In the UK it’s currently fashionably to sell sprouts on the stalk, and there’s a very cabbage looking part on the top. We tried growing our own one year, but weren’t very successful - way too small.

      Hope you enjoy the recipe and thanks for your comment.

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi Sue B

      The pan isn’t a wok but a cheapish pan that came with a steamer that sits above it. (From Lidl, don’t know if you have them in America, it’s a German store I think). A wok would probably do fine though - the veg just need some room to spread out and cook evenly as there is far less water in with them than usual.

      Thanks for you comment and hope you enjoy them if you make them.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I've always like brussel sprouts but I've always only boiled them or used them in soup. I will be trying your recipe with leeks and mustard as it sounds so good.

      When I was a little girl I used to call them baby cabbages :)

    • Sue B. profile image

      Sue B. 

      8 years ago

      I love brussel sprouts! this sounds so good. One day I will try it. I would have never thought of honey. By the way, your pan looks awesome- is it a wok?

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi Blond Logic,

      I forgot about bubble and squeak! That’s great too. Hope you manage to get some brussels and give this a go. If they grow there they should be coming into season soon.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      8 years ago from Brazil

      I have always thought that Brussels sprouts were like Marmite. You either love them or you hate them. I have never had them any other way than boiled or in bubble and squeak. I love the sound of this recipe.

      I don't know if I can find them here in Brazil, but I will keep my eyes peeled for them.

      Thanks for recipe.

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi Global-Chica,

      I’m glad you feel inspired to try them and hope you enjoy them! Thanks for your comment.

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi Gypsy Rose Lee,

      Thanks very much for your comment and for sharing. Hope you enjoy them.

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi Missolive,

      I’m not sure if I would have thought of anything like this without the starting point of a couple of recipe to adapt. Until I tried them all I’d had was the usual boiled spouts, though a chef had told me they are good deep fried. Not having a deep frier I’ve never tried!

      I used honey and mustard a lot in salad dressings and I love the combination.

      Thanks for asking the question and for your comment! I’m glad you liked the introduction, I can’t help messing about with words sometimes - it makes writing so much fun!

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi Moonlake,

      Hope your son enjoys these, and thanks for you comment and vote up.

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi Marcy,

      I frequently alter recipes after I’ve made them a few times and this is an adaption of 2 other recipes - one called for vinegar and my older daughter hates that, and the other had sugar, so I changed it to honey. This is my favourite way to do sprouts now.

      Thanks for your comment and the vote up.

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi Ardie,

      Let me now how it goes! And thanks for you comment.

    • Global-Chica profile image


      8 years ago from New York, NY

      Mmmmm these look so tasty! I actually never cooked Brussel sprouts before but the pics look so good that I want to try cooking them. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      8 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Voted up! Yum love vegetables any way I can get them. Sounds absolutely wonderful. Passing this on.

    • missolive profile image

      Marisa Hammond Olivares 

      8 years ago from Texas

      Melovy - Hi Yvonne! What a clever chef you are. First and foremost, I LOVED the poetic introduction. I think you have just convinced me to finally try another brussel sprouts recipe. What a great combo of flavors. The combination of honey and mustard together with some sausage sounds pretty good. I'm glad you included the nutritional benefits as well. We just can't deny the benefits can we?

      Thanks for the recipe! Great hub too :)

    • moonlake profile image


      8 years ago from America

      My son would love these his favorite is brussel sprouts. Good hub enjoyed reading. Voted UP

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 

      8 years ago from Planet Earth

      I love Brussels sprouts, but I've never tried them with honey! I'm curious as to how this interesting recipe will taste - it is very unique! Thanks for sharing this!

      Voted up, useful and interesting!

    • Ardie profile image


      8 years ago from Neverland

      This looks SO good. I love my brussies and I have some in the freezer. I need to make this tomorrow.

    • Melovy profile imageAUTHOR

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Hi Victoria,

      Glad you like the sound of it. We usually have this around Christmas time, but I managed to get some sprouts and tested this out on several people today. All agreed it’s much better than ordinary sprouts.

      Thanks very much for your comment.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      8 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      This is great, melovy! I have only started liking brussel sprouts somewhat in the past few years, so I could use a good recipe for them. I want to try this one, and I hope MissOlive will, too! Many votes!


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