Okay. Can we really call these tacos?

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Tacos with Manchego and Caramelized Shallot Salsa I howsweeteats.com

I’m bringing my disturbance of the Brussels sprouts peace right into 2014. Destroying the sanctity of the sprout… one taco at a time.

I might have been wearing a way-too-potent face mask as I was cooking these up because I actually… really loved them. Like really. And I totally did have on a face mask for the first half of cooking, which doesn’t bode so well when your face is hanging out over high heat.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Tacos with Manchego and Caramelized Shallot Salsa I howsweeteats.com

It’s quite possible that the only reason this meal tasted so delicious is because for the last two weeks, my stupid oven has been broken. It’s not the first time and it’s about 800 years old, so when it happened over the holidays (yeah. That was awesome. spent like two hours making two giant pans of enchiladas for people for dinner, homemade from top to bottom, and then went to stick ‘em in the oven that was… cold. life fail.) we immediately went out and bought a new one. They said it would be here in a week, but you know how that goes. In no particular order, these are the things we have been eating for meals since oven apocalypse 2013:

cheese, in every form possible. on toast, with pretzels, dipped in jam. Yeah.

leftover pecan turtles that somehow constitute a meal since “nuts have protein.”

cereal, and by cereal I mean leftover chex from the homemade chex mix I made. Not a fan.

chili that I discovered in the freezer, which may or may not have been from 2012.

store-bought general tsos chicken. microwavable rice.

gummy bears. err, technically gummy vitamins.

leftover holiday harry & david pears, drenched in honey.

the stalest leftover Christmas cookies in all the land.

instant strawberries and cream oatmeal. but I told you that last week.

Needless to say, I’m a teensy bit giddy.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Tacos with Manchego and Caramelized Shallot Salsa I howsweeteats.com

I’m my stereotypical world, I think today REALLY starts 2014. Can I just hashtag my entire life #illstartonmonday? Everyone goes back to work, you resolve to unsubscribe from faux facebook friends (um, can instagram please install this feature?) and you’re determined to keep a cleaner fridge.

Maybe that’s just me. Because it often looks like a bomb went off.

Anyhoo, If I don’t see a plastic container of food for a few weeks, I’ll be thrilled.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Tacos with Manchego and Caramelized Shallot Salsa I howsweeteats.com

Now: trashy tacos.

The idea of sprouts tacos has been floating in my brain for months, which should come as no surprise considering I find a new way to trash them up weekly. But a few days ago I asked you on facebook & twitter if you thought it might be a good idea… and… and… you sorta did. Okay. Well some of you probably thought I’d lost my marbles and others cannot think of a worse combination on the planet. But the majority was overwhelmingly ok! with the idea. So.

I shoved sprouts between a warm tortilla.

I don’t know if I’m ever going back.

I knew all along that I didn’t want to use the Brussels as a shredded topping, like all cabbage-y and what not. I want them IN the tacos, to be the base. A Brussels taco, with other stuff on top.

Sweet and spicy and smoky. Lots of my favorite things.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Tacos with Manchego and Caramelized Shallot Salsa I howsweeteats.com

The sprouts inside the taco are shredded and cooked in a bit of olive oil with garlic and smoked paprika. I like to do it over high heat so the sprouts crisp up a bit. Not straight up fried, but a bit crunchy nonetheless.  First layer goes in the tortilla, covered in a fluffy little blanket of grated manchego cheese. I could probably stop there and be happy.

Of course I did not though. Nothing is ever enough.

Before starting the sprouts, I began caramelizing a few shallots and roasting grape tomatoes. Combined with some salt, pepper and cilantro (if you dig it), it’s the coolest little salsa this side of the (my?) internet. I’m eating the leftovers on everything.

No. Really. Everything.

Eggs! Chicken! Fish! Toast! Chips! Salad! See?

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Tacos with Manchego and Caramelized Shallot Salsa I howsweeteats.com

I told my husband that I’d have a little snack for him – knowing that this could never constitute a full meal, ugh – and that I was putting Brussels sprouts in tortillas and doing sacrilegious things to the term “taco.” He said he was down (after questioning what kind of meat would be included) and surprisingly, ate them right along with me. I couldn’t believe it. Like, scarfed.them.down.

But we both did, so I can’t blame him.

It may be deceiving, but this meal is light. It doesn’t feel heavy when eating – in fact, I myself wanted a side or two. Any sort of chips with guac or maybe a bean salad would be perfect.

And a margarita. Obvi. (ew.)

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Tacos with Manchego and Caramelized Shallot Salsa I howsweeteats.com


Brussels Sprouts Tacos with Caramelized Shallot Salsa

Yield: serves 4

Total Time: 45 minutes


caramelized shallot salsa
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 shallots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup torn fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound brussels sprouts, stems removed and sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 ounces manchego cheese, freshly grated
10 4-inch flour or corn (your choice) tortillas, warmed


caramelized shallot salsa
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat a skillet over low heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and butter. Add the shallots with 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir to coat. Cook the shallots, stirring every few minutes, until the slightly golden and caramely, about 15 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and cook for another 10 minutes. If at any time, the shallots seem to be burning or crisping up, reduce the heat.

While the shallots are caramelizing, toss the tomatoes with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Stick them in the oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until they just begin to burst.

Combine the tomatoes, shallots and cilantro in a bowl. Mix and mash it together with a fork. Taste and season additionally with salt and pepper if needed.

While the shallots and tomatoes are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the brussels with the salt and pepper, tossing to coat. Cook until slightly soft and the sprouts begin to crisp, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and flipping the sprouts. Stir in the smoked paprika, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.

To serve the tacos, warm the tortillas and fill them with the brussels sprouts. Add some grated manchego on top and a few spoonfuls of the salsa. Serve!

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Tacos with Manchego and Caramelized Shallot Salsa I howsweeteats.com

Annnd I’m done. If you like the sprout of the Brussels, these win.

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85 Responses to “Brussels Sprouts Tacos with Caramelized Shallot Salsa.”

  1. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — January 6, 2014 @ 7:52 am

    These are GORGEOUS! The tomatoes are so vibrant. I eat a tomato every day, like most people have an apple a day :) And I eat brussles almost every day. I totally need these! Pinned.

    I cannot believe your oven broke. Over the holidays. I remember your oven drama from a year or two ago. The timing. I feel for you!!!


  2. #
    Taylor @ FoodFaithFitness — January 6, 2014 @ 7:54 am

    Ahh sorry to hear about the oven situation! What a bummer!
    But these tacos, and yes I think we can call them that, look divine! Love the smoked paprika in there, I could put that spice in ev-ery-thangggg!


  3. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — January 6, 2014 @ 7:56 am

    A very odd taco, but I LOVE it!! I have been on a sprout kick and I can’t stop! I have all of the ingredients and can’t wait to make this. I’ll make my Hubby hot dogs tonight and I’ll make your tacos! Awesome recipe Jessica! I am excited for dinner tonight!!


  4. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — January 6, 2014 @ 8:17 am

    I am so glad that you made these. And that you finally got an oven! That sounded tragic.

    And yeah, I pretty much have to stop myself from having n entire bottle of TJ’s gummy vitamins all the time. It’s a daily battle.


  5. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — January 6, 2014 @ 8:18 am

    LOL – oven apocalypse 2013 and the gummy bear/vitamins comment – thank you for making me laugh this morning! Hopefully your new oven arrives asap, but in the meantime, I’m totally ok with Brussels sprouts in tacos. In fact, I think it’s genius!


  6. #
    Molly (Yes to Yolks) — January 6, 2014 @ 8:45 am

    I’m with you on the brussels obsession! I LOVE the idea of putting them in tacos! These sound incredible. I have a bag of them waiting for me in the fridge – perhaps this is the perfect way to use them up.


  7. #
    Marie @ Little Kitchie — January 6, 2014 @ 9:01 am

    Sounds delicious to me! Love brussels in any form. Real talk: I just ate them for breakfast.


  8. #
    Tieghan — January 6, 2014 @ 9:03 am

    Oh my gosh freaking gosh, YES!! Love the Brussels and I would eat thin in anything!


  9. #
    Abby @ The Frosted Vegan — January 6, 2014 @ 9:18 am

    I’m super into this, brussels sprouts in alllll the things!


  10. #
    Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats — January 6, 2014 @ 10:00 am

    wow, what a crazy idea, but i LOVE it. They’re my favorite favv veg though so I may be biased. even still..this is fantastic. even my hubs said he’d eat these for din tonight!
    oh oh..and we’ve temporarily been living in a hotel while my husbands in training, we move in 33 days (YESSS), but my point..we’ve had no oven since September. It’s a miserable experience..I have a list going of all the things I want to make the minute I step foot into a normal kitchen. with an oven, so I can TOTALLY feel your pain. 5 months without an oven is no joke.


    • Jessica — January 6th, 2014 @ 9:01 pm

      dude. i so can’t complain about my oven now. ha. i’m so sorry!


  11. #
    Belinda@themoonblushbaker — January 6, 2014 @ 10:20 am

    I remember when my oven broke too. I was in the middle of making a pie too!
    I was almost not sane without an oven, I even tried to turn my convection microwave into one… Yep I went that crazy.

    However These tacos would definitely distract me from those problem even if is only for 10 minutes!


  12. #
    Amanda — January 6, 2014 @ 10:35 am

    yum! these look amazing! I love brussels spouts!


  13. #
    Stephen — January 6, 2014 @ 10:46 am

    These look amazing, never been a fan of sprouts but have to give them a try now.


  14. #
    Cindy — January 6, 2014 @ 10:52 am

    my oven broke right before the holidays too! serious panic attack. my landlord replaced the part it needed and my husband fixed it just in time for me to finish work…but now I’m in full-on pack-the-kitchen-mode and I am already tired of take-out.

    also, I totally support this brussels sprouts taco situation. why not?!


    • Jessica — January 6th, 2014 @ 9:00 pm

      our twin streak continues.


  15. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — January 6, 2014 @ 10:52 am

    These are def tacos! Yum!


  16. #
    Lauren — January 6, 2014 @ 10:58 am

    So, one of my New Years’ resolutions is to make more trashed-up tacos. Possibly the only resolution worth sticking to;) These fit the bill perfectly!


  17. #
    Molly @ Doughvelopment — January 6, 2014 @ 10:58 am

    I would call these brussels blankets…anyways sorry to hear about oven apocalypse, I think mine is heading that way…undercooked and over-browned cookies on the same tray do not bode well!


    • Jessica — January 6th, 2014 @ 9:00 pm

      brussels blankets!! love it.


  18. #
    Andrea @ The Skinny Chronicles — January 6, 2014 @ 11:12 am

    Gorgeous. And glad hubby enjoyed too.


  19. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama — January 6, 2014 @ 11:33 am

    Simply incredible! These are being made tonight. That salsa just brings the sprouts over the top.


  20. #
    Layla @ Brunch Time Baker — January 6, 2014 @ 11:49 am

    This is delicious! I love Brussels sprouts and adding them to a taco is genius!


  21. #
    Jordan Lynn // Life Between Lattes — January 6, 2014 @ 11:56 am

    Wow, these look baller.


  22. #
    Ashley — January 6, 2014 @ 12:49 pm

    Love these vibrant photos! And, I’m totally down for brussels in my tacos.


  23. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — January 6, 2014 @ 12:54 pm

    I love that you refer to these as trashy tacos. When I make them for my family, that is what I will be referring to them as.


  24. #
    bridget350@gmail.com — January 6, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

    I’m totally down with these. And I just happen to have brussels sprouts and tortillas in my fridge!


  25. #
    Ashley Bee @ Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine — January 6, 2014 @ 1:28 pm

    A great meatless monday dish! Tacos are SO versatile, it’s great to pack them with veggies. Adding a few slices of chicken to appease the hubs would work beautifully here, too!


  26. #
    Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes — January 6, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

    Just when I thought it wasn’t possible for you to come up with another crazy idea for Brussels, you go and do this! Rocking my world, that’s what you’re doing! Wow!


  27. #
    natalie @ wee eats — January 6, 2014 @ 1:56 pm

    YAY BRUSSELS + TACOS!!! I’m slowly convincing future husband that we need to eat more vegetarian meals, so I think maybe this one will help me to win him over (since I recently got him to enjoy eat brussels!) I might have to keep some meat on standby because, yeah, in my head he’s always that old lady screaming “WHERE’S THE BEEF!?!?”

    and caramelized shallot salsa? i die.

    Have you used the boscia masks? They’re so FREAKING AMAZING. Of course you have.


    • Jessica — January 6th, 2014 @ 9:00 pm

      i haven’t! i’ve seen them and have seen people talk about them, but never tried them myself. do you love them? which one??


      • natalie @ wee eats — January 7th, 2014 @ 10:37 am

        the black one is AMAZING! I swear my face felt like a baby’s butt and was pore-free for days – but you can get a little sample pack for $15 and try them allhttp://www.sephora.com/mini-mask-medley-P382778?skuId=1553304

  28. #
    dervla @ the curator — January 6, 2014 @ 3:41 pm

    you, of all people, need an oven that works!! I’m feeling nervous about brussels sprouts AND tacos together … but hey, if you say it’s good then i’m going to have to go for it. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


  29. #
    Larry — January 6, 2014 @ 4:13 pm

    I would eat almost anything in a taco, and this definitely counts as something that I WOULD. Ugh. Can’t get enough.
    *side note* why do guys wear althetic pants or shorts without chonies? Like, I didn’t need to know your religion by seeing your nether regions.


  30. #
    Lindsay — January 6, 2014 @ 4:23 pm

    I think I am in love. I simply cannot wait to try these!!!!


  31. #
    Jenna — January 6, 2014 @ 5:26 pm

    Confession time – I’ve never eaten a Brussel sprout (we never ate them as a kid as my mum didn’t like them) and I’m scared of them. But this might be the gateway taco that I need to try them. I LOVE caramelized shallots! I actually like most vegetables, but don’t like cooked cabbage (raw is fine), which makes me think I won’t like Brussel sprouts. But maybe it’s time to be brave.


    • Jessica — January 6th, 2014 @ 8:59 pm

      hmmm if you don’t like cabbage, not sure you’d like brussels… BUT – you should definitely try them with some bacon and balsamic vinegar first. to.die.for.


  32. #
    Jennifer S — January 6, 2014 @ 5:32 pm

    yesyesyesyesyes. I can definitely see myself eating this with some chips and guacamole, or maybe some queso. In love with brussel sprouts lately, and trying to reduce my meat consumption. Awesome recipe, girl!


    • Jessica — January 6th, 2014 @ 8:57 pm

      queso… YES.


  33. #
    Mariah and Coty@quirksandtwists — January 6, 2014 @ 5:57 pm

    These are out of control, but i’m totally in love!


  34. #
    Jocelyn — January 6, 2014 @ 8:44 pm

    These are delicious. I love brussel sorts but the tomatoes are what make this! I modified to make vegan with no cheese, used sweet onion instead of shallot and left out the brown sugar… I will make these again and again!!


    • Jessica — January 6th, 2014 @ 8:57 pm

      so happy you already made them!


  35. #
    Emily @ Life on Food — January 6, 2014 @ 8:57 pm

    I need these in my life. thank you!


  36. #
    Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs — January 6, 2014 @ 10:00 pm

    What an interesting combination! Good interesting, I mean :)


  37. #
    ashley - baker by nature — January 7, 2014 @ 7:57 am

    You can call these whatever you want as long as your sharing…! In <3!!!


  38. #
    Stephanie Head — January 7, 2014 @ 8:04 am

    Don’t leave us hanging…did I miss what kind of stove you bought. I have a love/hate relationship with mine and would love to replace it. Love your blog!


    • Jessica — January 7th, 2014 @ 9:05 am

      haha! unfortunately i didn’t get anything fun/too nice. our kitchen is pretty small and without demolition we can’t really change anything, so we just got exactly what we had before and it’s almost bare bones. hopefully within the next year i’ll have a bigger kitchen and a nicer range! i’d love a thermador or kitchenaid one.


  39. #
    Rachel @ Bakerita — January 7, 2014 @ 10:37 am

    These sound oddly, absolutely delicious and I must try them!! Mmm, caramelized shallot salsa…you know how to make a girl excited. Pinned!


  40. #
    Alicia Greenrabbit — January 7, 2014 @ 11:36 am

    I hope your keeping warm in this brutal cold. I can send you one of my Recycled Cashmere Scarves if you want. I sold alot this winter!!!!
    Getting a new oven is so exciting and keeping it clean ,i hope your getting a gas stove,keeping the flat black glass is a PITA!
    Bake some no knead bread! Oh and don’t forget to get yourself a new saute pan!


  41. #
    Jessica @ Food Luv Bites — January 7, 2014 @ 1:35 pm

    I can really fool the kids with this one, looks amazing.


  42. #
    Beth @ bethcakes — January 7, 2014 @ 2:40 pm

    An oven apocalypse during the holidays sounds horrible! Almost as bad as a real apocalypse. ;) Love these tacos! I’m not a huge brussels sprouts fan, but on tacos? I’d probably eat them more often!


  43. #
    kelley @mountainmamacooks — January 7, 2014 @ 5:04 pm

    I fell in love with you all over again today. These are my jam x 100. Happy cooking in the new oven sweetie!


  44. #
    Casey @ Salted Plates — January 7, 2014 @ 8:00 pm

    Wow! This is a great idea, my favorite tacos are cauliflower at our local spot so I bet these aren’t too far off.


  45. #
    Nikki @Seeded at the Table — January 7, 2014 @ 10:13 pm

    Brussels sprouts are so good for you, that I’ll definitely take them in my taco! Yum!


  46. #
    Helen @ Scrummy Lane — January 8, 2014 @ 2:04 am

    Mmm … what a lovely idea! I love crunchy pan-fried brussels – they remind me of crispy Asian seaweed a little, if you’ve ever tasted that!
    The idea of pairing them with cheese etc. sounds lovely – I’ll have to try!


  47. #
    Christine @ Cooking with Cakes — January 8, 2014 @ 11:07 am

    day late and a dollar short but I luuurrrvvveee this!!!!! brussels all day everyday


  48. #
    ATasteOfMadness — January 8, 2014 @ 8:45 pm

    I love brussels sprouts. I would put them in everything too, this looks great!!


  49. #
    Kate — January 9, 2014 @ 6:03 pm

    My heart skipped a beat when I read the title of this post. Good grief! Tacos have never sounded more appetizing.


  50. #
    Laura Dembowski — January 11, 2014 @ 9:22 pm

    Ummmm these are just awesome! I love Brussels and am all for any way to make them a whole meal. Major yum! One of my ovens died two years ago but luckily the other one hung on until the new ones came in, otherwise I probably would have bought a toaster oven and tried to be all chefy with it :)



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