Roasted Brussels sprouts meet Caesar salad in this side dish that will likely steal the show from any main dish. This Brussels sprout side dish is bold and familiar, yet comforting and totally new. This dish features crunchy whole-wheat croutons, salty sunflower seeds, a homemade Caesar dressing, and of course, perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts.

roasted brussels sprout salad on a white oval plate set on a messy wooden table

This recipe is: 

  • Savory 
  • Creamy
  • Crunchy
  • Comforting 
  • Pescatarian 

How to make tahini Caesar dressing

Classic Caesar dressing is made with raw egg yolk, in addition to anchovies, garlic, lemon juice, Dijon, olive oil and Parmesan. But for an easier and more interesting Caesar I decided to replace the egg yolk with creamy tahini.

If you love a classic caesar—go ahead and use egg yolk! You’ll need one yolk for this recipe. 

The challenge with removing the egg yolk from this type of recipe (which basically uses the technique for making mayonnaise) is that it acts as an emulsifier. After numerous tests (and lots of tahini and olive oil), I found that tahini emulsifies less than half of the amount of oil that egg yolk can.

Science aside, the process is simple and only requires a little bit of patience. 🙂 

  1. Mince anchovies, garlic and salt into a smooth paste. 
  2. Whisk tahini, lemon juice and Dijon together. 
  3. Slowly, slowly, slowly, drip then drizzle olive oil into the tahini mixture while vigorously whisking. 
  4. Once the mixture looking like mayonnaise, thin it slightly with a dash of water, then whisk in anchovy paste and Parmesan.  
step-by-step grid of images showing how to make tahini caesar dressing and croutons for salad

HOW TO PERFECTLY ROAST BRUSSELS SPROUTS

There are a few simple tricks to perfectly roasting Brussels sprouts. But before we get into the steps, I want to mention—it’s important to trim the outer leaves of the spouts and to trim any long ends before roasting.

grid of step-by-step images showing how to prepare and roast brussels sprouts

Trick 1: high OVEN TEMPERATURE

A high oven temperature is key for achieving deeply browned and evenly tender Brussels sprouts. Why do we want to achieve browning? Flavor. It’s as simple as that, browning adds and enhances flavor.

Trick 2: Steam the Brussels sprouts

But we’re roasting!? Yes, hear me out. By steaming the sprouts first, not only do we cut down on cook time, but we’re able to cook the sprouts at a high temperature (important for flavor) without them burning or becoming mushy.

The beautiful part of it all—this trick doesn’t require an extra pan or stovetop step. Instead, the steaming happens right on the baking sheet. How? We simply cover the baking sheet tightly with foil and roast the sprouts covered for half of the time.

Trick 3: DON’T stir THE SPROUTS

Arranging the sprouts cut side down, and not stirring them throughout roasting, means they have the chance to adequately brown.

Close up image of a roasted brussel sprout tossed in caesar dressing

How to make bomb Caesar Brussels sprouts

There are three components that hit this dish out of the park—perfect roasted Brussels sprouts, delicious Caesar dressing, and crunchy toppings.

We already covered how to roast the perfect Brussel sprout. And we talked about what goes into the delicious tahini Caesar dressing. All that’s left—the topping situation.

This side dish needs crunch. Which is why the craggy croutons are an ideal finish. As are the roasted sunflower seeds. Both add a nice crunchy texture and very little work.

Just remember to keep the oven on once you pull the sprouts out. 500-degrees might seem high for croutons, and it is, but it gets the job done quickly—5 minutes is all.

And when it comes to croutons, season, season, season. Don’t forget to give them a dash of salt and pepper before tossing them in the oven.

And if I’m feeling extra, I’ll finish the caesar-dressed roasted Brussels sprouts with Parmesan and fresh parsley.

roasted brussels sprout salad on a white oval plate set on a messy wooden table

What to serve these Caesar Brussels Sprouts with…

More Side Dish Recipes you may like…

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roasted brussels sprout salad on a white oval plate set on a messy wooden table

Tahini-Caesar Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Roast
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Savory roasted Brussels sprouts tossed in a homemade tahini Caesar dressing and finished with crunchy whole-wheat croutons and sunflower seeds. A show-stopping side dish! 


Ingredients

Scale

Brussels Sprouts:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ½ pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • Kosher Salt and black pepper

Tahini Caesar Dressing: 

  • 3 oil-packed anchovy fillets, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (if you don’t have tahini, you can also use 1 egg yolk) 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Breadcrumbs: 

  • 2 cups hearty whole-wheat bread, broken into craggy pieces 
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds 

Instructions

For the Brussels sprouts, heat oven to 500°F with racks set in middle and lowest positions.

Toss sprouts with 2 tablespoons oil to evenly coat; season with salt and pepper. Transfer sprouts to a baking sheet and arrange cut side down in a single layer. Tightly cover sheet with foil and roast 10 minutes on lowest rack. Remove foil from sheet and continue to roast on lowest rack 7–10 minutes more until sprouts are deep golden brown. 

For the Caesar dressing, mound anchovies, garlic, and ¾ teaspoon salt on a cutting board. Using chef’s knife, mince the anchovies, garlic and salt together until well combined. Continue to work mixture, mashing and scraping with the side of the knife, until a smooth paste forms. (Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle to do this or use grated garlic and anchovy paste instead.)

Whisk tahini, lemon juice, and Dijon in a large bowl. Place the bowl on a damp kitchen towel or paper towel to hold in place. 

Start slowly dripping oil into tahini mixture while whisking constantly and vigorously. Continue, slowly adding oil and whisking vigorously, until mixture looks slightly thickened and glossy. Continue to gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream until all oil has been added and mixture looks like mayonnaise. 

Add a dash of water and whisk, adjusting with more water as needed, until dressing is the consistency of heavy cream. Add anchovy mixture and Parmesan and whisk until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer cooked Brussels sprouts to bowl with dressing and toss to coat. 

For the breadcrumbs, toss bread pieces with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper; arrange in a single layer on sheet pan. Roast on the middle rack until golden brown and crunchy, about 5 minutes. 

Transfer dressed Brussels sprouts to a serving platter and top with breadcrumbs and sunflower seeds. 



Notes

Anchovies: When buying anchovies, look for them in the canned fish aisle next to the tuna and salmon. You can find them in jars or tins, and seek out anchovies packed in oil. You can use anchovy paste (about ½ teaspoon = 1 anchovy), but I prefer the flavor of the whole anchovy filets over paste. 

Caesar Dressing: I love this tahini Caesar, but you can also use your fav homemade recipe or store-bought Caesar dressing.

Can you use frozen Brussels sprouts? No, frozen Brussels sprouts have too much moisture (thanks to broken cell walls) that inhibit adequate browning. 


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: ⅙ of the recipe
  • Calories: 262
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Sodium: 496mg
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Cholesterol: 3mg

Keywords: Brussels Sprouts side dish, Caesar Brussels sprouts, Brussels sprouts Caesar salad

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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