These crispy roasted brussels sprouts with a savory bacon crunch are honestly the best thing ever. Roasted brussels sprouts alone are amazing, but of course, bacon makes everything better. Try these tonight, and even the brussels sprout-haters in your life will ask for seconds!Jump to Recipe Print Recipe
Brussels sprouts are one of my family’s favorite vegetables. Yes, my kids eat brussels sprouts. They don’t just eat them, they ask for them by name. If your only experience with brussels sprouts is of someone boiling them until they resembled sauerkraut’s mushier and smellier cousin, please give them another chance. Roasted sprouts have a perfectly crunchy exterior with a creamy delicious center that is sure to delight your tongue. Bacon adds that little extra salty crunchy goodness that kicks them up to the next level. Try these tonight!
How to Buy and Prepare Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are an easy vegetable to buy fresh year-round. They are a winter vegetable, so their peak season will be in the cooler months of the year. They keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. If someone at your farmer’s market has them fresh on the stalk give that a try, but from the grocery store I prefer the loose variety so I can choose the size I want. I’ve honestly never purchased frozen or canned. There’s no reason to when fresh sprouts are good in the fridge for a couple of weeks after purchase. I like mine crispy, and I can’t imagine even frozen would crisp up the way I like.
My preference, when available, is for smaller sprouts. They don’t need to be cut in half for roasting, so you save a step, and I prefer the texture of the center when I’m able to leave them whole. If small sprouts aren’t an option, or if your grocery only carries bagged sprouts of non-uniform size, just halve or quarter the larger ones. You want all of your pieces to be about the size of a sprout with a 3/4″ diameter. Don’t be meticulous about it – a little variety in texture is a good thing – but cut the biggest ones down so that they cook more evenly.
Should you spend time trimming brussels sprouts prior to cooking? Honestly, I almost never do. One of the reasons we love them is that they’re so easy to prepare. If you spend a few minute over the bin at the grocery store and get a whole bag of smaller sprouts, you can simply rinse them and toss them right into your pan. Larger sprouts, sprouts with a long woody stem, and any with a discoloration at the end should be trimmed before cooking.
Brussels sprouts can be cooked in a variety of ways. I never boil them – it conjures up bad memories of overcooked mush – and while they can be steamed it isn’t the best way to bring out their flavor. I feel they do best with high heat. My favorite method is roasted, but deep fried is a close and decadent second. They can be sauteed, stir-fried, or made into a hash, and you can even core them and make chips from the leaves. Raw sprouts can be used in slaws and salads. They’re an incredibly versatile vegetable, and if they aren’t already in your rotation they should be. Start with this recipe, but branch out and try them in other ways as well!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Start by preheating your oven to 450F. While the oven is preheating, trim or halve the sprouts as described above, if needed. Chop the bacon into 1/2″ wide pieces. To learn to make homemade bacon, check out my page on bacon making. Drizzle about a tablespoon of a neutral oil like grapeseed in the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Add the sprouts. Season with salt (not heavily – bacon is salty), pepper, garlic powder, and a bit of nutmeg. Red pepper flakes are good too if you don’t live with small people who hate spicy things. Toss a bit to coat. Distribute the bacon evenly amongst the sprouts.
Place the sprouts into the preheated oven. After 20 min, pull the pan out and give it a good shake. The sprouts should be beginning to brown. Roast for an additional 10-15 min or until they are dark and the bacon is crisp. Taste one and add salt if needed. Top with a little freshly grated parmesan, and enjoy!
What To Serve with Brussels Sprouts?
Honestly, there are few main dishes that wouldn’t go well with brussels sprouts with bacon. I would avoid serving them with another cruciferous vegetable, such as cauliflower, kale, collard greens, broccoli, or cabbage. They are an amazing accompaniment to pork dishes, especially with sweet potatoes as your other side. The sprouts complement smoky flavors well and give a nice contrast to a creamy pasta like carbonara. They add texture when served with a white flaky fish. Let me know how you liked them below, and don’t forget to pin and share the recipe with your friends! I hope you enjoy.
Crispy Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- 1.5 lb brussels sprouts preferably small (<1" long)
- 3 pieces bacon chopped
- 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
- 1/4 tsp salt adjust to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper adjust to taste
- 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese freshly grated
- Preheat oven to 450F
- Drizzle bottom of 9×13 pan with grapeseed (or other neutral) oil
- Trim sprouts if necessary, and halve large sprouts to allow even cooking. Add sprouts to pan with oil. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and nutmeg. Toss/stir to coat.
- Add chopped bacon
- Place pan into preheated oven. After 20 min min, open oven and give pan a shake. Cook an additional 15 minutes, or until exterior of sprouts is brown and bacon is crisp.
- Place sprouts in a medium bowl, add grated parmesan, and taste and adjust seasoning if needed.