Roasted Brussels Sprout Pasta
on Feb 25, 2021, Updated Nov 30, 2021
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With lots of lemon, including zest and juice, plus garlic, this roasted brussels sprout pasta is a super easy and filling vegetarian dinner.
Roasting is a great way to revive vegetables that are starting to get a little past their prime.
With a sheet pan, olive oil, salt and pepper, you can extend the life of veggies.
This happened to me with a bag of brussels sprouts. And the result was this roasted brussels sprout pasta that has come in handy for countless meals ever since.
When brussels sprouts begin to go bad, the leaves of their mini cabbage heads get loose and start to wilt.
At that point I know I can’t keep them raw and shred them for a salad, which is one of my favorite way to eat sprouts.
But sometimes I switch on the oven instead.
Even though I could devour a plate of roasted brussels sprouts and call it dinner, that won’t cut it for my husband.
He doesn’t understand my love of treating sides like the main dish by just increasing the portion size.
I get it, so I reach for pasta, specifically orecchiette to pair with them.
My choice of noodle is because of scale. Sliced sprouts are a similar size to this ear-shaped pasta. They just make sense together.
Brussels sprouts and pasta might not be a combination you’ve tried before, but when those crisp leaves end up mixed in with the noodles, you will understand why it just works.
I like keeping the flavor simple with ingredients that I always make sure to have on hand.
Garlic is an obvious choice.
Then I also include lemon juice and lemon zest. This makes the pasta turn out very lemony, no surprise.
I adore that bright fresh hit of citrus with anything roasted from vegetables to classic roast chicken.
The Ingredients: More Than Brussels Sprouts and Pasta
This is what you need to make this pasta dish:
- Brussels sprouts: Always look for the freshest sprouts you can find that have tight leaves, but if you have brussels sprouts that are starting to wilt just a little, they will work, too.
- Orecchiette: I like these pasta ears because they are close to the size of the brussels sprout leaves. And the end up almost spooning with the pasta.
- Garlic: For simple pastas without a ton of ingredients, garlic is an absolute must.
- Lemon: You will need the zest and juice for the recipe. I love lots of lemon in pastas.
- Pecorino cheese: This sheep’s milk hard cheese is salty and more pungent that Parmesan.
- Red pepper flakes: Lately, I have been using red pepper flakes whenever I make pasta. All for that touch of heat!
- Salt & pepper: I season the brussels sprout before roasting them and the pasta, too.
- Parsley: I finish the pasta with chopped parsley.
How To Make Roasted Brussels Sprout Pasta
First, I preheat the oven to 400 degrees F with a sheet pan on the middle rack.
Cooking the brussels sprouts on a preheated sheet pan helps them crisp.
Also, to speed things up, I thinly slice the sprouts, so they make better contact with the hot sheet pan.
They turn out a range of greens to more browned at the edges.
About halfway through the roasting time, I cook the orecchiette in a pot of salted boiling water on the stove.
That oven time gives you the opportunity to multi-task and overlap your to-do list.
With the brussels sprouts roasted and the pasta al dente, I heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Then I sauté minced garlic letting it get fragrant, which takes less than a minute.
After that, I fold in the pasta and the juice and zest of a lemon.
Next, I stir in the brussels sprouts, red pepper flakes, pecorino cheese and parsley.
If you aren’t familiar with pecorino, it is a hard Italian cheese that’s more salty and pungent than Parmesan.
Often when I cook with lemon, I find myself including Pecorino, too.
When you combine the pasta and brussels sprouts, some of the leaves will fall off. It’s a good thing because more of them will be mixed in with the orecchiette.
The pasta turns out lemony and garlicky. I like serving it with a simple mixed greens salad with vinaigrette.
More Roasted Brussels Sprout Recipes
Roasted Brussels Sprout Pasta
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, root end trimmed, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 ounce orecchiette
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 ounce shredded pecorino cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F with a sheet pan on the center rack.
- Toss the brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Remove the preheated sheet pan from the oven. Spread the sprouts across the pan.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes until brown and crisp at the edges using a spatula to flip and toss about halfway through cooking.
- After tossing the brussels sprouts halfway through roasting time, make the orecchiette according to package instructions.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic sautéing until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the pasta and lemon juice followed by the brussels sprouts and red pepper flakes.
- Fold in the lemon zest, pecorino and parsley. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.