How long to cook sprouts

Brussels sprouts should never, ever be soggy. Get the inside track on ensuring this classic feature of Christmas dinner is just right

Brussels sprouts
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

For all that there are many fans of Brussels sprouts, there are plenty of haters. But perhaps it’s because they’ve never been served a well-cooked sprout. Overdo these winter veggies and they can smell unpleasant, be mushy in texture, and look unappealing to boot.

How to avoid this nasty fate for these healthy Christmas staples? Give up on cutting a cross into them, cut down on the cooking time, and go for even sizes. Oh, and follow the steps below. If that doesn’t convert a few never-sprouters, nothing will.

For more recipes (including for roasties and veg), see our dedicated hub. And don't miss all our Christmas buys, advice and how tos.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 4 minutes


375g sprouts, base trimmed and any yellow leaves removed


1. Cut any large sprouts in half so sizes are even.

2. Bring a pan of water to the boil and add sprouts.

3. Simmer for around four minutes or until tender. Drain and serve immediately.

Don't miss our pick of the best Boxing Day sales buys:

Sarah Warwick
Freelance Editor

Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor writing for websites, national newspapers, and magazines. She’s spent most of her journalistic career specialising in homes – long enough to see fridges become smart, decorating fashions embrace both minimalism and maximalism, and interiors that blur the indoor/outdoor link become a must-have. She loves testing the latest home appliances, revealing the trends in furnishings and fittings for every room, and investigating the benefits, costs and practicalities of home improvement. It's no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house revamper. For, Sarah reviews coffee machines and vacuum cleaners, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real life review and comparison of every model.