Baby Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Cream Pasta

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Brussels Sprout Pasta with Lemon Cream Sauce

Baby Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Cream Pasta ~ a quick and easy weeknight pasta dinner that will make Brussels sprout lovers out of everyone at the table, guaranteed.

Brussels sprouts with pasta in a lemon cream sauce

Tiny Brussels sprouts cooked just until barely tender, combined with a creamy lemon sauce makes this recipe extra special.

Brussels Sprout Pasta with Lemon Cream Sauce

Brussels sprouts and pasta are an unexpected amazing combination. I’ve been sitting here this morning trying to figure out why.

I recently came across a fascinating scientific report that attempts to analyze world cuisines to see if there are any common patterns or rules that determine which foods are paired together in recipes.  They came up with a really cool ‘flavor network’ that shows the relationships between foods in terms of their flavor compounds…have a look—

They claim that Western cuisines tend to match foods that share the most compounds while Eastern Asian cuisines do just the opposite.  Interesting.  It’s fun to look closely at the map and see that some foods, like mushrooms, are completely isolated.  Flavor-wise, they share no compounds with any other food on earth.  Same with hazelnuts and liver.
I’ll have to spend more time with the map to see if Brussels sprouts and pasta have anything in common.  Right now the map is making me dizzy.  Maybe you can figure it out.

What inspired this dish was finding baby Brussels sprouts at the market yesterday.  I’ve seen them a couple of times in restaurants lately, but never at the market, so I was excited.  The babies are from the tippy top of the stalk, and I’ve seen them as small as peas or macadamia nuts.  Mind were a tad bigger, but still adorable.  If you can’t find the babies, use the smallest sprouts you can find.  If your store has loose sprouts in a bin, just pick out the little ones when no one is looking.

Baby Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Cream Pasta ~ a quick and easy weeknight pasta dinner that will make Brussels sprout lovers out of everyone at the table, guaranteed. #pasta #30minute #dinner #easy #italian #dinner #brusselssprouts #lemon #recipe #authentic

We love our Brussels sprouts here at tvfgi, and I’m always coming up with new ways to enjoy them, here are a few of my favorites ~

Creamed Brussels Sprouts

Cheesy Creamed Burssels Sprouts ~ the side dish that will convert everyone at the table into Brussels sprout fans! ~

Brussels Sprout Carbonara 

Brussles Sprout Carbonara is a fabulous healthy 30 minute meal! ~

Brussels Sprout & Bacon Soup

Cheesy Cream of Brussels Sprout and Bacon Soup is warming an comforting on a chilly night ~

Brussels Sprout Pasta with Lemon Cream Sauce
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3.43 from 7 votes

Baby Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Cream Pasta


  • 1 pound baby Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 12 oz of your favorite pasta
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • the juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup freshly grated hard Italian cheese
  • parsley for garnish


  • Trim just the very bottoms off the Brussels sprouts and leave them whole. You can halve them if yours are a little bigger. Saute them in the butter and olive oil for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Don't let them get too brown. They should be al dente.
  • Cook your pasta to an al dente stage.
  • Add the cream to the sprouts and heat to simmering. Simmer for a few minutes to let the cream reduce a bit and finish cooking the sprouts. You want to sprouts to retain some of their bite.
  • Add the lemon and zest to the cream and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Slowly sprinkle in the cheese while stirring to melt and incorporate the cheese.
  • Add in the cooked pasta and stir to combine. If the sauce is too thick, add some pasta water. If it is still very thin, add some more cheese.
  • Serve with a garnish of parsley and lemon zest.

Make this Baby Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Cream Pasta your own ~

  • Make it with asparagus, mushrooms, or broccoli.

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  • Reply
    October 21, 2012 at 1:06 am

    loved this! definitely making it again 🙂 thanks!

  • Reply
    Nancy J.
    September 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I love brussel sprouts but don’t like the taste of cream. Do you think this would work with half and half?

    • Reply
      July 27, 2018 at 5:19 pm

      Half and half doesn’t work so well in cream sauces where you’re using lemon, Nancy, because it tends to curdle.

  • Reply
    January 13, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    I love pasta and I love Brussel sprouts – will definitely try this combination. I wonder how preserved lemons will work in this pasta instead of the juice and zest.

  • Reply
    January 13, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    I am all about Brussels sprouts lately (my ten year old self would never believe it), and this recipe looks great, will definitely have to save it. Thanks!

  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    I have been looking for a recipe for Brussels sprouts and this is exactly how I would love to have it! Thanks!

  • Reply
    January 9, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Thought of this dish this morning as i was watching the Today Show! Joy Bauer declared Brussels sprouts the vegetable of 2012!

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    January 9, 2012 at 2:21 am

    I love brussels and pasta – what a good idea to put them together. Must get a copy of the Flavour Bible – how interesting.

  • Reply
    Russell at Chasing Delicious
    January 9, 2012 at 1:44 am

    Yum! This dish looks incredible. So many of my favorite flavors all wrapped up in one plate.

  • Reply
    Gerlinde in Dallas
    January 7, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Ah, Mary! The Flavor Bible! I keep that book in my kitchen too. I have no idea how I managed before I got a copy of it.

    Sue, your dish looks amazing!

  • Reply
    January 7, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    What a cool chart. Have you seen The Flavor Bible? It is my go-to book in the kitchen at this point. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of it a year ago. It is more frequently referenced than any of my cookbooks. I LOVE it!

    Your pasta sounds delicious. I haven’t seen truly tiny baby sprouts before. I always pick through the loose ones looking for the smallest, but pea or nut size would rock. I’m going to look for them at the market this morning. Thanks for the tip!

  • Reply
    January 7, 2012 at 11:34 am

    This looks really decadent. I love lemon creamy pasta. Interesting look at that flavor combination. I love the tidbits like this you share.

  • Reply
    January 7, 2012 at 9:38 am

    I like anything with lemon, pasta, Brussels sprouts, so this is a perfect combo! I bookmarked the recipe.

  • Reply
    January 7, 2012 at 12:42 am

    Now I thought that I had made pasta with every conceivable vegetable – but I was wrong. I can see pairing with the lemon cream – yes… nicely done.

  • Reply
    January 7, 2012 at 4:40 am

    Ooh, the lemon cream sounds delicious.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    yum yum…what a fab flavour map! I’d love that blown up on the wall of my kitchen! I’ve made a shredded sprouts with pasta dish before….so yummy!! hope you have had a fantastic holiday season!

  • Reply
    January 7, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Seriously…I don’t think it’s a good idea to come to your blog when I’m hungry…this looks amazing! I have to pin this and make this very soon! Pinning it to Y U M !

  • Reply
    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes
    January 6, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    I love sprouts but never thought of paring them up with pasta – how delicious looking! Thanks for sharing a great recipe! Have you checked out my Greek Mac & Cheese?

    Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    hobby baker
    January 6, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Looks fabulous! I love brussels sprouts but haven’t won over the fam yet. This I think will be my next attempt. Who wouldn’t love that?

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    This looks incredible…I love brussels sprouts. Going to bookmark this! Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    That looks amazing, I’m making it this weekend.
    That map crossed my eyes but I still think it’s cool. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    January 6, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Love this post- and the flavors map. BTW- your trendspotting page looks gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Hungry Dog
    January 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    This sounds great. I love Brussel Sprouts though never really think to pair them with pasta. How could you go wrong though with cream and cheese and lemon…divine. I;ll have to look out for the little baby ones. They sound cute!