Saucy Brussels Sprouts

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and it is time to bring out favorite and traditional family recipes. Brussels spouts is a vegetable which matures in the autumn and is often featured in Thanksgiving menus spreads of food magazines. My recipe for “Saucy Brussels Sprouts” is a family favorite which we have served for years. The recipe originated in the Parade Magazine of the Washington Post newspaper. It is very easy to prepare and includes boiled Brussels sprouts served with a creamy sauce.

Parade Magazine in Washington Post

When I was growing up, our family subscribed to the Sunday edition of the Washington Post newspaper. Although we lived 140 miles away from Washington, D.C., (to be exact — from the White House), the newspaper was always delivered to our mailbox in rural Virginia early in the morning each Sunday — like clockwork; the newspaper delivery carrier never missed a week. I looked forward to reading the news and finding out what was going on in the rest of the world. The best parts of the paper were the cartoon section and also the Parade Magazine insert where you could catch up on gossip of celebrities around the country.

Living in a rural area of the state, the newspaper was an essential part of communication and news in addition to nightly news programs such as the one with Walter Conkite — “CBS Nightly News.” This was back in the days before the cell phones, laptops, the internet and — big gasp — even before home computers. Remember those days? Yes, they did exist.

The Parade Magazine included a weekly food column written by Julia Child and later by other chefs. I believe that this is where we acquired the recipe for Saucy Brussels Sprouts. We liked to try out new recipes and often turned to the Parade Magazine for inspiration especially at holidays. We found several fun recipes in this section including “Soup in a Pumpkin” and “Saucy Brussels Sprouts.”

Our local Albertson’s grocery store featured some really nice Brussels sprouts which were trimmed to back to the green buds with the outer leaves removed. They had no blemishes. The buds were very tender. So I purchased fresh ones — although frozen Brussels sprouts could also be used in this recipe.

I think that Brussels sprouts must be an acquired taste. I never cared for this vegetable while growing up — but this recipe helped me to learn to like it. This cruciferous vegetable belongs to the family Brassicaceaeis and is related to cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, collard greens and kale. All these vegetables have the same strong distinctive aroma. After I learned to like one vegetable — I gradually learned to eat all of them.

Brussels sprouts contain sulforaphanes which give the strong sulfur aroma when cooked. Boil them with the lid off for the first three minutes to disseminate the odor.

I find that it is interesting to see how Brussels spouts grow.  They grow as buds or miniature cabbages on tall upright stalks. These are from the Farmer’s Market in Rochester, New York.  They will need to be cut off the stalks and trimmed before cooking.

Packed with Nutritional Value

Brussels sprouts are a very nutritious vegetable and the list of the nutritional properties goes on and on. Brussels sprouts contain antioxidant.compounds which protect against inflammation and cancer. In addition, Brussels sprouts contain many nutrients including Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, folate, B-complex Vitamins, ALA omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Because of the high Vitamin K content, be careful if you are taking certain blood thinning medications.  Packed with nutrition — it is essentially a “vegetable vitamin.”


In this recipe, the boiled Brussels sprouts are served with a white sauce which includes sour cream. Sauteed onions are included in the sauce as well as a bit of brown sugar, dry mustard and parsley. These additions to the sauce add a nice flavor which compliments the Brussels sprouts. 

This old recipe from the Washington Post newspaper has a special sentimental place in my recipe file box. Thanksgiving was always a very large meal and celebration at our home. Every year, during the holiday season, I get the recipe out and try to make it for a special dinner. So perhaps you will try it too, and if Brussels sprouts is not your favorite vegetable — keep trying — you might like them one day.  This is a simple recipe and is fast and easy to prepare. Enjoy!

Saucy Brussels Sprouts

  • Servings: 6 to 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


    • 2 pints (4 cups) fresh Brussels sprouts
    • 1 tsp salt, divided
    • 1/2 cup (1 small) chopped white onion
    • 2 Tbsp butter or margarine
    • 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
    • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
    • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
    • 1/2 cup skim or low-fat milk
    • 1 cup dairy sour cream
    • 1 Tbsp snipped fresh parsley

Method and Steps:

  1. Wash and trim sprouts.  Cut any large sprouts in half.
  2. In saucepan, cook sprouts in a small amount of salted (use 1/2 tsp salt) boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes or until just tender. Leave uncovered for first 3 minutes, then cover. Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan, cook onion in butter or margarine until tender but not brown.
  4. Stir in flour, brown sugar, remaining 1/2 tsp salt and dry mustard until blended.
  5. Remove from burner, stir in milk, breaking up any clumps of flour.
  6. Return to heat. Cook and stir until mixture thickens and bubbles.
  7. Blend in sour cream.
  8. Add sprouts; stir gently to combine. Cook until heated through (do not boil).





Leave a Reply