Michigan Fresh: Using, Storing, and Preserving Brussels Sprouts (HNI53)


October 23, 2014 - Author: Katherie Hale

Purchase item on Shop.msu.edu


Recommended varieties 

Jade Cross and Oliver

Interesting facts

  • Members of the Cruciferae plant family and the genus Brassica, Brussels sprouts were named for Brussels, Belgium.
  • Brussels sprouts are good sources of vitamins A, B and C, and niacin, iron and calcium.
  • The vegetable is similar to cabbage in shape and taste but has a milder flavor.

Tips for buying, preparing and harvesting

  • Select sprouts that are bright green and uniform in size to allow for even cooking. Small, firm, compact sprouts are the best choice.
  • Prepare by steaming, parboiling or oven roasting with olive oil.
  • Harvest when they are firm and 1 to 2 inches in diameter; begin picking from the bottom of the plant. Harvest before the first severe frost. 


One pound makes six servings.

Storage and food safety

  • Wash hands before and after handling fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Do not wash or trim before refrigerating. You can store Brussels sprouts in a perforated plastic bag for up to a week.

How to preserve


Brussels sprouts can well when pickled. For pickling recipe, visit http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/he291. If you don’t pickle them, then freeze them.


To freeze, select green, firm and compact heads. Make sure the heads are free from insects. Trim and remove the coarse outer leaves. Wash thoroughly. Sort into small, medium and large heads. Water blanch the small heads for 3 minutes, medium heads for 4 minutes and large heads for 5 minutes. Cool promptly in ice water. Drain and package, leaving no headspace. Seal and freeze.


Oven-roasted Brussels sprouts

1 to 2 pounds Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 °F. Trim Brussels sprouts. Wash and pat dry. Place into a large resealable plastic bag with olive oil, salt and pepper. Seal tightly and shake to coat. Pour onto a baking sheet and place on center oven rack. Roast for 30 to 45 minutes, shaking pan every 5 to 7 minutes to prevent burning. Serve immediately.


Michigan State University Extension. (2006). Get fresh too! (CYFC065) (Rev.ed.). East Lansing, MI: Author.

University of Florida. (July 2005). Pickled or non-fermented foods: Pickled cauliflower or Brussels sprout. (Fact Sheet FCS8229)(Rev. ed.). Gainesville, FL: Author. Retrieved from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/he291

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. (2006). So easy to preserve (5th ed.). Athens, GA: Author. Retrieved from http://setp.uga.edu/

University of Illinois Extension. (n.d.). Watch your garden grow: Brussels sprouts. Urbana-Champaign, IL: Author. Retrieved from http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/brusselssprouts.cfm

University of Wisconsin Extension. (2012, January 3). Fall vegetables. (A3900-04). Madison, WI: Author.

More information

Prepared by: Katherine E. Hale, MSU Extension educator



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