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How Long Do Brussels Sprouts Last?

Bought a bunch of brussels sprouts and not sure how to store them or how long they are good for? How long do brussels sprouts last?

Or you have a bag of those mini cabbages in the fridge, but you’re not sure how long they can sit there before they spoil.

If either sounds familiar, this article is for you. In it, we cover:

  • storing brussels sprouts at home and if you have to refrigerate them or not
  • how long they last and if keeping them for more than a couple of days is a good idea
  • telling if your mini cabbages are okay to eat or not

If that’s what you’re looking for, read on.

Brussels sprouts with spices
Brussels sprouts with spices

How To Store Brussels Sprouts

Store brussels sprouts, both loose and on the stalk, in the fridge’s crisper drawer in a plastic bag. For best results, go through the veggies and remove any damaged, discolored, or coarse outer leaves before refrigerating them.

Besides that, follow the best practices for storing veggies, such as:

  • wash brussels sprouts only when you’re ready to prep them
  • don’t trim the veggies before refrigerating (you should remove those damaged outer leaves, though [ILL])

If moisture tends to build up in the plastic bag, consider using a perforated one ([MF]) or leaving the top open.

If you buy brussels sprouts pre-packaged, the recommendation to go through every little cabbage and remove bad outer leaves holds. And yes, that means in some cases you need to open the package to do that.

Brussels sprouts straight from the supermarket
Brussels sprouts straight from the supermarket

Do brussels sprouts need to be refrigerated? Can you store them at room temperature?

You should refrigerate brussels sporuts if you need them to last more than a couple of days.

If you’ve bought them today and plan on cooking them tomorrow, they can sit on the counter overnight. The loss of quality shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Same thing with leaving them out overnight – don’t sweat it.

Storing brussels sprouts on the stalk might not be feasible for you due to the stalk’s size. If that’s the case, pluck the mini cabbages and store them loose.

When it comes to cooked brussels sprouts, store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

Brussels sprouts in a freezer bag
Brussels sprouts in a freezer bag

How Long Do Brussels Sprouts Last?

Brussels sprouts keep for between a week and two weeks in the fridge. If you need a couple of extra days, buy them on the stalk instead of loose. Also, remember that they taste best when they’re fresh.

Buying brussels sprouts on the stalk is nearly impossible in supermarkets and grocery stores. If you really want to purchase one of those, go to the farmer’s market.

To make sure your brussels sprouts last as long as possible, besides storing them properly, you need to choose the best ones available. That means:

  • selecting firm and brightly colored ones that are fully closed ([ILL])
  • avoiding brussels sprouts that aren’t firm, have loose leaves, or their outer leaves are discolored or damaged
Brussels sprouts before removing outer leaves
Brussels sprouts before removing outer leaves

Last but not least, remember that the flavor gets stronger and less sweet over time. That means the sooner you cook those mini cabbages, the better taste you should expect ([ILL]).

The longer your brussels sprouts sit in storage, the more outer leaves you’ll have to discard when prepping the veggie.

For leftover cooked brussels sprouts, they keep for about 3 to 4 days, just like any other leftovers.

Cooked brussels sprouts
Cooked brussels sprouts, a bit overcooked perhaps

How To Tell If Brussels Sprouts Are Bad?

Throw out brussels sprouts that:

  • Are rotten or moldy. You can cut out some small spoiled areas if you like, but discard the veggie if that area is big enough.
  • Are soft or slimy. If the veggie has lost most of its water, it’s no good.
  • Have large black spots. Again, feel free to cut out minor ones.
  • Smell off. If you’re repelled by the smell when you open the bag, that’s a sure sign your brussels sprouts are done for.
Brussels sprout: damaged outer leaf
Brussels sprout: damaged outer leaf

If neither of the above is true, go through the veggies, and remove any discolored, coarse, or wilting leaves. As I mentioned above, the longer brussels sprouts are stored, the more of these you’ll have.

Those decayed leaves are quite normal and nothing to be concerned with. It’s like with onions – you remove the outer layer to get to the good stuff.

Summary

  • Store brussels sprouts in the fridge in a plastic bag. Remove any damaged outer leaves before storage.
  • Brussels sprouts last for up to two weeks, but they taste best fresh.
  • Discard brussels sprouts that are rotten, soft, slimy, smell bad, or have large black spots.
Brussels sprouts outer leaves
Brussels sprouts: discarded outer leaves

References