How do you get the flavour of sprouts with bacon, without using meat? This is how! My delicious recipe for vegan roasted brussels sprouts and chestnuts includes a dressing added at the end, giving sweet, salty and smoky flavours that pair perfectly with the sweetness of the chestnuts and the bitter tones of the sprouts. If you’ve never liked sprouts before, you might just change your mind with this yummy and easy recipe! Perfect for your vegan Christmas dinner menu!
Poor brussels sprouts – they have such a bad reputation! They’re like cute little baby cabbages but the flavour can be bitter and unpleasant, especially if they’re overcooked. Well fear not, my friends, you basically can’t go wrong with this recipe!
Brussels sprouts can be overcooked in the blink of an eye when boiling them but roasting is much more forgiving! They just get sweeter and more gnarly, and with this dressing added at the end, any bitterness is countered with the sweet, salty, smoky flavours of the sauce.
The amazing smoky dressing really makes this roasted brussels sprouts dish and it came to me when I was trying to replicate the flavours of the classic sprouts with bacon dish that I used to make before going vegan.
At first, I tried using coconut bacon and then mushroom bacon but then I realised that Christmas is too busy to be faffing around making those for a side dish! So, I just added the sweet, salty and smoky flavours directly to the cooked sprouts. The result is stupendous and I’m certain you will be using this dressing for many other vegetables throughout the year too!
Why You Are Going To Love These Brussel Sprouts!
- Easy - no faffing around making lots of different parts, just stick it all in the oven then whisk up a simple dressing to add the wow factor!
- Quick - this takes very little actual hands-on time, leaving you free to deal with cooking other more time-consuming parts of your meal.
- Not using hob space - for a full roast meal, hob space can be at a premium so you'll be glad this is one side dish that doesn't need a spot on the stove!
- Delicious - these sprouts are so tasty, you definitely won't miss the bacon!
- Vegan and gluten-free - dairy-free, egg-free, and wheat-free, these sprouts are perfectly allergen-friendly.
This is an easy vegan side dish with very few ingredients.
- Brussels sprouts – when choosing sprouts to buy, look for the smallest ones (they are sweeter, the smaller they are) and organic if possible. Try to use them as fresh as possible since they get more bitter with age.
- Chestnuts – I use tinned or vacuum-packed cooked chestnuts as I have no patience for peeling cooked chestnuts.
- Olive oil – since this is just for roasting, you can use the regular refined kind rather than the super extra virgin olive oil (save that for serving cold in dressings or drizzles).
- Tamari – this is a gluten-free version of soy sauce but you can use coconut aminos if you prefer. If you’re not gluten-free then soy sauce will be fine too.
- Toasted Sesame Oil – this is the kind that comes in a small dark bottle, not the untoasted kind.
- Maple Syrup – use the best quality you can find as this adds a lovely maple flavour to the sprouts.
- Liquid Smoke – this is not essential as it can be hard to find (especially in Doha where I only seem to find it about twice a year and then stock up on lots of bottles of it!). It adds a delightful smokiness to the dish and is definitely worth including it if you can find it!
Please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for full list of ingredients and their quantities.
180°C / 350°F
This roasted brussels sprouts and chestnuts recipe could not be simpler!
- Prep the brussels sprouts and chestnuts. (See the Prepping Brussels Sprouts section for how to do this.)
- Add them to a roasting tin with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Mix together and roast for half an hour at 180-200°C (depending on what your oven is set to for other vegetables/potatoes).
- Mix the dressing ingredients and pour over the cooked sprouts just before serving.
- Stir together and serve.
This is a summary only. Please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this page for full instructions.
How To Clean and Cut Brussels Sprouts
- First, wash the sprouts well. You can do this in two ways. Either:
- by rinsing in a colander under a tap; or
- by soaking in a bowl of water for a few minutes and swishing them around with your hand, then draining in a colander. (this is the best way!)
- Next, cut off the base of each of the sprouts. This should cause the tough, outer leaves to fall off since they are no longer attached to the base.
- Check each sprout and if you still have any dirty outer leaves, peel them off individually. (For very big sprouts, you may need to cut more off the base to be able to peel the tough outer leaves off.)
- Cut the sprouts in half through the root. (Do not cut horizontally as the top half will all fall apart - you need it to be through the root so that they stay intact!)
For many in the UK, brussels sprouts are an essential accompaniment to Christmas lunch. If you are doing a full Vegan Christmas roast, you could serve these roasted brussels sprouts alongside:
- Vegan Nut Roast with Red Wine & Porcini Jus,
- Boulangère Potatoes,
- Carrot & Swede,
- Braised Red Cabbage,
- Sweet Roasted Parsnips with Mustard and Maple Syrup,
If you don’t have chestnuts, pecans would be a good nutty substitute here.
These are best made on the day but you could prep the sprouts a day in advance and leave them in a bowl of water in the fridge overnight until the day of cooking.
Given that these roasted sprouts already have tamari and sesame oil in them, the flavours lend themselves to a stir fry! Fry up some onion, garlic and ginger, (maybe some chilli too if it’s not for kids). Add some Chinese 5 spice powder or Thai spices. Then add sliced peppers and any other leftover Christmas vegetables, and cooked rice or noodles. Pour in any leftover Christmas gravy or just vegetable stock, and season with tamari, mirin or rice vinegar, sesame oil and sesame seeds. The best way to use up Christmas leftovers!
📖 Recipe 📖
The Best Roast Brussel Sprouts and Chestnuts
- 350 g brussels sprouts, peeled and halved
- 150 g cooked chestnuts, halved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- ½ teaspoon tamari
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke, (optional)
- First prep the sprouts. The easiest way to do this is to cut off the base, then pull off the outer leaves with the base.350 g brussels sprouts
- Next prep the chestnuts. They will either be in a tin or a vacuum pack (unless you choose to cook them yourselves - in which case, hat's off to you, it's a fiddly job to peel them!). Either way, drain and rinse the chestnuts, then pat dry with a clean tea towel. They should easily break in half by pressing down with your fingers, or cut in half with a knife if you prefer.150 g cooked chestnuts
- Place the sprouts and chestnuts into a roasting tin with the olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Mix them all together to ensure they are evenly coated with oil. Then roast in the oven for ½ hour at 200°C. (or 180°C is fine too – if you’re doing a big meal and your oven is already at that temperature). Stir half way through roasting time and turn the sprouts so that they are evenly browned.350 g brussels sprouts, 150 g cooked chestnuts, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper
- Meanwhile, mix the dressing ingredients in a cup. When the sprouts are cooked, pour the dressing over the sprouts and chestnuts and stir together.½ teaspoon tamari, ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil, ¼ teaspoon maple syrup, ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
- Serve immediately.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a ⭐ star rating ⭐ on the recipe card!
More Christmas Recipes
If you like this vegan roasted brussels sprouts and chestnuts recipe, you may like these other delicious vegan and gluten-free Christmas recipes too or click here for a full Vegan & Gluten-Free Christmas Menu: