These Smashed Brussels Sprouts with Queso are perfectly crispy, tender, and cheesy! This is the BEST low carb appetizer!
Ingredients for Smashed Brussels Sprouts
As always, here’s a quick overview of what you’ll need. For exact measurements, keep scrolling down to the printable recipe card below.
- Brussels Sprouts – These should be fresh so that they get wonderfully crispy. Frozen sprouts might become soggy as they hold more moisture.
- Olive oil – Your favorite neutral cooking oil will work fine here.
- Seasonings: Chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and salt. This gives the sprouts a great spicy, full-bodied flavor. If you don’t love spicy flavor, reduce or omit the chili powder.
- Queso: mild green chilis, heavy cream, cream cheese, pepper jack cheese, and white American cheese. This all melts to become the BEST low-carb cheesy queso.
How to Make Smashed Brussel Sprouts
Aside from the ingredients listed above you will need a very large baking sheet or two baking sheets. You will also need a heavy bottom jar or glass for smashing the sprouts. Below you will see a step-by-step guide that shows you exactly how to make this cheesy dish!
Trim the Sprouts
Begin by washing the sprouts and trimming the base of the brussels sprouts and removing the outer leaves. Be careful not to remove too much of the base of the sprouts will just fall apart.
Boil the Brussels Sprouts
Bring a very large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and add the trimmed sprouts. Boil the sprouts for 9 minutes. The sprouts will need to be soft so you can smash them easily. If you have unusually small sprouts reduce the cooking time to 7 minutes, check and see if they are tender.
Once the cooking time is up and the sprouts are tender, very carefully pour them into a colander and immediately run cold water over the sprouts.
Pat the Sprouts Dry
Using a clean dish towel pat the sprouts dry. This is very important. The sprouts will only be crispy once all the moisture has cooked out of the sprouts. If you put very wet sprouts in the oven they will never get nice and crispy.
Add Oil and Spices
Toss the dry sprouts with olive oil and spices. Make sure each sprout is coated well, so you can loads of flavor in every bite!
Add to a Baking Sheet and Smash
Add the seasoned sprouts to a prepared baking sheet and smash very carefully with a heavy bottom jar or glass. You want to get the spouts as thin as you can without breaking them apart. If you have a hard time smashing them a lot, that is okay, you can try again after they have been in the oven a few minutes and it will be easier.
Bake the smashed brussels sprouts at 400 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Remove the sprouts from the oven. If you need to, smash them again to get them as flat as you would like. Flip the sprouts and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the sprouts are crispy.
Serve these sprouts while they are piping hot with warm queso dip for the perfect vegetarian appetizer! I promise nobody will miss the meat or carbs! This is a true crowd pleaser!
How to Make Queso
To make this easy queso simply combine the green chilis, cream cheese, heavy cream, pepper jack, and American cheese and melt until smooth. This is the same queso recipe that I use for my Pollo con Queso, which everyone loves! You can even prepare it on the grill for a smoky kick.
Brussels sprouts and queso should be kept separately in airtight containers in the fridge. Brussels sprouts will keep for 3-4 days while the queso should stay fresh for about a week. I wouldn’t recommend freezing either of these; the brussels will become soggy while the queso will separate.
Queso dip can be reheated in the microwave (stir between 30 second interval blasts) or on the stove (simply pour in a pan or pot and stir occasionally). The brussels sprouts should be reheated in the air fryer (375 degrees F, about 3 minutes) or the oven to keep them crispy. Microwaving them will make them soggy.
If you love these crispy Brussels Sprouts, you’ll love these easy appetizer recipes:
- Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts – This quick Asian-flavored dish is wonderfully crispy, and you will absolutely LOVE the dipping sauce!
- Instant Pot Artichokes – This easy app requires barely any work at all, and who doesn’t love a tasty garlic butter sauce?!
- Air Fryer Mushrooms – These little mushrooms are stuffed with your favorite pizza ingredients for a delicious appetizer your friends will love.
- Zucchini Nachos – These healthy bites are loaded with taco meat, cheese, and other favorite taco toppings. SO good!
- Air Fryer Cauliflower – Crispy and full of buffalo sauce flavor, you’ll love these dipped in a little ranch or blue cheese dressing!
For the Sprouts
- 3 pounds Brussel Sprouts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon EACH onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cumin, and salt
For the Queso
- 1 (4 ounce) can mild green chiles
- 1/4 cup heavy cream + more for thinning if needed
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- 1/2 cup white American Cheese
To make the Smashed Brussel Sprouts:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Prepare the sprouts by trimming the base of the sprouts and removing the outer leaves.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt. Add the sprouts to the boiling water and boil for 9 minutes.
- Remove from heat and carefully pour the spouts into a colander and discard the water. Run the spouts under cold water immediately.
- Dry the sprouts with a clean dish towel (do not skip!) and add to a bowl. Toss the sprouts with the oil and spices.
- Spray a very large (or two large) baking sheets with cooking spray. Place the seasoned sprouts on the sheet and very carefully smash them with a heavy bottom glass or jar.
- Bake 15 minutes. Remove the sprouts from the oven. If you need to, smash them again to get them as flat as you would like. Flip the sprouts and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the sprouts are crispy.
****Brussels Sprouts vary in size, keep an eye on them, your cooking time will depend on how big they are and how smashed they are. The sprouts are done when they are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.****
To make the Queso:
- In a medium-size saucepan over medium-low heat add the green chiles, cream cheese, heavy cream, add the shredded cheese in small increments (about 1/2 cup at a time).
- Continuously stir the queso as the cheese melts until all the cheese has been used. Add additional heavy cream or milk until it reaches your preferred consistency.
Serve the smashed sprouts and queso immediately while piping hot!
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: About 1 cup Smashed Sprouts + 1/3 cup Queso
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 171Total Fat: 6.4gCholesterol: 24.8mgSodium: 400mgCarbohydrates: 8.8gNet Carbohydrates: 5.2gFiber: 3.6gSugar: 2.3gProtein: 8g