Roasted Brussels Sprouts

I was recently approached by Sharp to try out their new convection microwave as part of a challenge to rethink the way we cook with microwaves. Initially, I kept thinking about those disastrous microwave cookbooks from the 1980s and 1990s (this one might be the best example of all time), but after a bit of reading I decided to take them up on the offer. After all, if the telephone can radically change over the course of 10 years, and the Instant Pot can change how we look at pressure cookers, shouldn’t a microwave make some leaps and bounds as well?

I must have been living under a rock, because apparently microwaves can do all sorts of cool things today, and this model is no exception. At its core, this device serves three functions: 1) a standard microwave, 2) a convection oven, and 3) a roaster (with heating elements both on the bottom and top of the microwave). And because the microwave is much smaller than a traditional oven, it preheats much more quickly (it took me five and half minutes to pre-heat it to 400F). I envision this microwave to be an ideal solution for those without the space for a typical oven or as a secondary oven when you have lots of items to bake at once (Thanksgiving comes to mind).

To test the microwave, I decided to try it out on a very standard, traditional recipe: roasted brussels sprouts (with bacon, of course). I first baked the bacon at a convection setting, then roasted the brussels sprouts in the rendered bacon fat using the roaster setting. It worked like a charm – the food cooked evenly and easily, with a texture which is about the opposite of what you’d expect from a microwave (crispy and browned). I also provided conventional (oven) instructions for this recipe below.

The microwave also combines Sharp’s cooking functions to allow you to try different ways of heating food. For example, I reheated the leftover brussels sprouts with a combination of 50% microwave power and 50% roaster (top heating element) and they came out both hot and crispy – not your typical microwave re-heating experience.

I’ll be posting a couple more recipes using this microwave over the course of the next month, so let me know in the comments if you have any questions or anything you’d like me to address in a future recipe.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts - Paleo, Primal, Gluten-free, Whole30

  • Servings: 4 as a side
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

8oz bacon, sliced into strips
1 lb brussels sprouts, thinly sliced length-wise
1 tbsp ghee
salt and pepper to taste

Sharp Convection Microwave instructions:

1. Press the “Preheat” button and set it for 375F. As the microwave preheats, slice the bacon and brussels sprouts. One preheated, add the bacon to a small baking sheet and add to the microwave. Press the “Convec” button and set the temperature to 375F; bake until the bacon pieces are crispy and the fat has rendered out, about 20 minutes, turning the bacon after 10 minutes.

2. Remove the baking sheet from the microwave, then remove the cooked bacon with tongs and set it on some paper towels to drain (keep the rendered fat in the baking sheet). Add the ghee to the rendered fat and stir together, then add the brussels sprouts and toss until evenly coated. Return the baking sheet to the microwave, then press the “Roast” button twice (for the bottom heating element) and roast for 10 minutes, then toss the sprouts; press the “Roast” button three times (for both the bottom and top heating elements) and roast until the brussels sprouts are browned and crispy, about 5 more minutes.

3. Remove the baking sheet from the microwave, add the bacon to the sheet, and toss until incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

** For best results, set the timer to an estimated cook time, and then press the “Start (+30 Sec)” button to add time if the food looks like it needs more.

Conventional instructions:

1. Heat a stainless steel skillet over medium heat, then add the bacon. Cook until crispy and the fat has rendered, about 10 minutes, moving the bacon pieces occasionally so that they cook evenly. As the bacon cooks, pre-heat the oven to 400F and slice the brussels sprouts.

2. With tongs, remove the cooked bacon and set it on some paper towels to drain (keep the rendered bacon fat in the skillet). Add the ghee to the rendered fat and stir together, then add the brussels sprouts and toss until evenly coated. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until browned and crispy, about 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes and again after another 5 minutes.

3. Remove the skillet from the oven, add the bacon back into the skillet, and toss until incorporated. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Slicing the brussels sprouts is probably the most labor-intensive step in this recipe, but it definitely helps to cut the cooking time and give you more surface area (which = more tasty browned bits).

Note: I was paid by Sharp to try their product and develop recipes for it. All opinions expressed are my own.

37 thoughts on “Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  1. Russ, how was it for heating up your kitchen? Roasted veggies (roasted anything, really) are my favorite but in the summer here in SoCal my kitchen is too hot to use the oven. If this microwave throws off less heat, I’d bd pretty excited about it.


    1. Meg, I’ve noticed significantly less heat from the microwave than from my oven, but I can’t give you any definitive numbers or anything. I’ve also been feeling the heat this summer in Florida, so the microwave has quickly become my first choice in baking smaller items.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your blog & the ideas. I started following you because my husband became really sick with heavy metal poisoning & we have totally changed how we eat…so thanks for putting out your recipes…but I am fascinated about the Sharp combo oven you used. Could you please share what it was & the model number…thanks.
    Jane Cairl


  3. Wow…it takes me an hour (not including preheat) to roast a big spaghetti squash…also, that bacon idea rules. I do mine in the oven too…a lot at once, then freeze. It takes me roughly 2 hours to do two batches. Good grief…


    1. Tara, yes it’s one of the features of the microwave that I wasn’t expecting but have now come to really appreciate – I can save time pre-heating and items seem to be cooking a bit quicker than with my oven.


  4. Bacon makes everything right ! – I have long hated Brussels Sprouts because of the smell (at least the way they smelled when my Grandma used to cook them) but I want to like them so I will be trying this recipe. Oh, and I followed the microwave cookbook link – The review by Kyle on Amazon is hilarious :)


    1. Jackie, let me know what you think once you try this recipe – the bacon fat and ghee really help to make the sprouts more palatable :) Glad you liked the cookbook link!


  5. You made my day Russ, we are big fans of brussel sprouts & bacon. Did ours in the oven and it was delish. Now I want a new microwave.


  6. Very cool. I vividly remember getting our first AmanaRange in the 70’s and my Mom trying out all kinds of things – which left me using my microwave for left overs and popcorn only! I have moved on to eggs and asparagus. Those sprouts, though, look lovely!


  7. You had me sold at Instant Pot, Russ. I need to rethink my views on microwave ovens, especially since the Arizona desert isn’t getting any cooler :D


    1. Angie, I agree, I’ve really changed the way I look at my microwave. I just roasted some ribs in it over the weekend (recipe will be up on Thursday!) and they turned out great – and only marginally heated up the kitchen!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m swooning here! In the Arizona desert, it’s all about heat management. And I’m all about time management. This could be a great fit for our family. Excellent!


  8. Bacon and Brussels sprouts sounds divine Russ! We never tried such roasted combo before, so we really can’t wait to cook this!:)
    Thank you for the wonderful, easy to follow recipe!
    Panos and Mirella


  9. I, too, must have been living under a rock; didn’t realize microwaves could do this kind of stuff. Having often wondered about heating up the whole oven to cook something small, this sounds like a great alternative. Thanks for writing about this!


  10. Hi Russ!
    Made these tonight, however, I used my stove top and my husband loved these. Of course, I clean and steam by sprouts until just starting to soften. Rinse them under cold water, cut them in half and toss them in the pan with the bacon.
    First time my husband actually raved about Brussel Sprouts!



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