I first tried a Brussels sprout taco at a funky little spot near Clearwater Beach, and it inspired me to recreate them at home.  These Brussels sprouts are super crispy thanks to the preheated pan.  But the best part of this recipe is undoubtedly the sauce: a smoky ancho chili flavor bomb that elevates the humble sprout.  With the brightness of the pickled onions, the creaminess of the avocado, the saltiness of the queso fresco, and the nuttiness of the pepita seeds – the final result is out of this world!

Vegetarian,  Serves 4

  • 1 pound of brussels sprouts, halved or quartered to be evenly sized
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 dried ancho chili pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of vinegar
  • 1 avocado, diced into 1”, then salted and peppered
  • 4 oz of queso fresco, crumbled
  • 2 oz pepita seeds, toasted
  • Small flour tortillas
Quick Pickled Red Onions:
  • ½ of a red onion, sliced very thinly with a mandoline
  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
Brussel Sprouts
  1. Make quick pickled red onions: Bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil in a small pot. Thinly slice the red onion and place in a glass bowl.  In a separate glass bowl, place the dried ancho chili pepper.  When the water has boiled, pour about a cup of it over the pepper, reserving the remaining ½ cup.  Add the ½ cup of apple cider vinegar and ½ teaspoon of salt to the pot with the remaining ½ cup of water, and stir until the salt dissolves.  Pour over the red onions.  Allow both the chili pepper and the red onion bowls to sit for at least 20 minutes or more.
  2. Place a large non-stick pan into the oven (large enough for the brussels sprouts to spread out) and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Toss the brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then salt and pepper them generously.  Take the hot pan out of the oven and carefully place the brussel sprouts on it, spreading them out so they will crisp up.  Place the pan back in the oven and roast for 12-15 minutes, until the brussels sprouts are brown. You can shake the pan a bit at the 10 minute mark to brown the alternate side of the sprouts.
  4. While the sprouts are roasting, create the sauce.  To do so, drain the chili pepper from its liquid, reserving a few tablespoons.  Remove the stem and seeds from the inside of the softened pepper, then place the pepper and reserved liquid in a blender with the garlic, oregano, cumin, 3 tablespoons of vinegar, and salt.  Pulse until smooth, then set aside.
  5. Now work on the other elements: Toast the pepita seeds in a toaster oven or a dry pan, then set aside to cool. Crumble the queso fresco and set aside.  Cut up the avocado and salt.  
  6. When the brussels sprouts are finished roasting, take them out of the oven.  Add the sauce to the pan while the sprouts are still hot and toss to combine.
  7. Now assemble your tacos: take flour tortillas and scoop a few brussels sprouts in each.  Top with crumbled queso fresco, pickled red onions, avocado, and pepita seeds.  This recipe is flavorful enough to not require hot sauce, but feel free to add some if you’d like a little extra kick.  Serve with beans and rice or fresh chips and salsa.
Kristina Shane

This recipe is from Home Chef and OPL Community member Kristina Shane.


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