Balsamic Bacon Brussels Sprouts
These balsamic bacon Brussels sprouts are irresistibly crispy and flavorful. They’re roasted to perfection, mixed with crispy bacon and sauteed onion, and tossed in a sweet balsamic glaze. You might want to make a double-batch of these because they disappear fast!
Who knew Brussels sprouts would turn into such crowd-favorite vegetable! But I’m glad they did, otherwise I wouldn’t have dishes like my balsamic chicken with Brussels sprouts, shaved brussels sprouts salad, roasted Brussels sprouts, or green shakshuka.
Not only do Brussels sprouts taste delicious, but they’re high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants – making them a healthy superfood.
Unlike leafy veggies that have a soft texture, these sprouts hold firm and give you a delicious savory crunch. And when you coat them with my balsamic reduction, the flavors are mind blowing.
BALSAMIC BACON BRUSSELS SPROUTS INGREDIENTS
To make these balsamic bacon brussels sprouts, you’ll need 4 key ingredients. Let me walk you through each one below.
When it comes to choosing Brussels sprouts, you either have the option of buying a fresh stalk or pre-packaged. While both work just fine, a fresh stalk could be a better choice, especially if it’s in season.
Either way, just make sure to take a close look at the texture and color of the sprouts. The texture should be firm when you give it a squeeze with the leaves tightly compacted. As for the color, it should be a bright green with no signs of yellowing or wilted leaves.
Ah, one of my favorite ingredients – bacon! I use organic bacon with minimal additional flavorings (thick cut if possible). But, feel free to use bacon that has a pepper dry rub or a maple smoke for a stronger aroma.
Another form of bacon that will taste delicious is pancetta. This is an Italian version that is a heavily seasoned pork belly curled into a roll. Unlike bacon, pancetta is just cured and not smoked.
If you’re not a pork-lover, you can also use turkey bacon. This will give you a similar overall texture and it’s a great replacement.
You could use a yellow or white onion in this recipe. I love to saute the diced onion in a bit of the bacon grease for extra flavor. Just cook the onion for a couple of minutes, until it becomes slightly translucent. It will impart a deliciously savory, yet slightly sweet flavor to the side dish.
Lastly, you’ll need a drizzle of balsamic glaze. As you reduce balsamic vinegar, it naturally becomes thicker and sweeter. While you can use a store bought bottle, it’s easy to whip up a healthier, homemade version in just 15 minutes.
Here’s how to make my delicious balsamic reduction:
- Add one third cup of balsamic vinegar to a small pot.
- Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the temperature and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
- You can reduce it by ⅓ or ½, depending on how thick you want it. Note that it will continue to thicken as it cools – and you’re done!
HOW TO MAKE BALSAMIC BACON BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Create the perfect batch of restaurant-worthy brussels sprouts by following the steps below.
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prep your Brussels sprouts by cutting the ends off and slicing them into quarters. Don’t throw away the loose leaves. Save these for extra crispy pieces while baking.
- Toss the sprouts in oil, salt and pepper on top of a sheet pan.
- Roast for about 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Slice the bacon into ½ -inch thick pieces. Add the bacon to a pan on medium heat and cook until it becomes crispy. Then use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper towel.
- Add balsamic vinegar to a small pot. Simmer this on medium heat for 10-12 minutes, until it’s reduced by a third to a half. You should have about 3 tablespoons remaining in the pot. Then turn off the heat. (Do this step while the bacon is cooking)
- Drain the bacon grease, but keep one tablespoon left in the pan.
- Add the diced onion to the pan and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the crispy bacon, give it a stir, and turn off the heat.
- Remove the Brussels sprouts from the oven. Add the onions and bacon and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Stir everything together and serve!
Pair Brussels Sprouts With These Mains
These Brussels sprouts complement many main courses, whether it’s chicken, lamb, or salmon. Here’s some of my favorite mains!
- Crispy Baked Chicken Thighs
- Dijon Baked Salmon
- Garlic Butter Shrimp
- Basil Chicken With Kumquats
- Rosemary Grilled Lamb Chops
- Herbed Honey Mustard Chicken
And if you love this recipe….I think you’ll love my fried cabbage with bacon as well!
Balsamic Bacon Brussels Sprouts
- Preheat your oven to 425F/220C.
- Cut the end off the Brussels sprouts, then slice them into quarters. Some leaves may come loose and that's okay.
- Add the Brussels sprouts and any loose leaves to a sheet pan. Toss with oil, salt and pepper.
- Roast the Brussels sprouts for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- While the Brussels sprouts are cooking, slice the bacon into 1/2-inch thick pieces. Add the bacon to a pan on medium heat and cook until the bacon become crispy, stirring frequently. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper towel.
- At the same time you're cooking the bacon, add the balsamic vinegar to a small pot. Simmer this on medium heat for 10-12 minutes, or until it's reduced by a third to a half. When it's done, you should have about 3 tablespoons remaining in the pot. Then turn off the heat.
- Drain off most of the bacon grease (you can render and save the bacon grease for future use!), but keep one tablespoon left in the pan.
- Add the diced onion to the pan and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until it becomes translucent. Add the crispy bacon back to the pan, give it a stir and turn off the heat.
- When your Brussels sprouts are done, remove them from the oven. Add the onions and bacon and drizzle with the balsamic reduction. Stir everything together and serve.
- Want more Brussels sprouts? You can easily add up to 2 pounds without changing any other ratios in the recipe. So feel free to add a little extra!
- I purposefully cook the bacon separately for that extra crispy texture. I find that when cooking bacon on the same baking sheet as the brussels, you always end up with uncooked pieces of bacon. So it really is worth it to cook the bacon separately.
Originally published November 2014, but updated to include new photos and information.
These were absolutely fabulous! Totally forgot to do the balsamic reduction but did NOT miss it! And the crunchy leaves!! Omg, the best ever
lad you enjoyed this side dish Terri!
I make this exact recipe with fresh green beans so I know this is going to taste amazing! Thanks for sharing.
Excellent! My new favorite vegetable! Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!
Love this recipe. Lost it for awhile but just found it again! Christmas here we come! 🎄
Glad you found it again! It’s such a great holiday recipe – enjoy!
Can this be made the day before? If so, reheat in the oven?
You can, although, I find this tastes best the day of!
I love this recipe and my husband loves it too. Thank you for sharing
Happy to hear both you and your husband are enjoying this balsamic bacon Brussels sprouts recipe Steph :)
Some of my favourite ingredients combined.
Question though — any ideas for balsamic substitutions?
My husband is NOT a fan of any sort of vinegar flavour, regardless of how many times I’ve tried getting him to try the sweetness of balsamic glaze (which I use a few times a week).
He loves Brussel sprouts, onions, and bacon, so I wouldn’t want to have to skip this delicious dish all because of the balsamic — yet I’m racking my brain to think of anything else that would work just as well.
If you want, you can just make regular roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and onions!
When you say olive oil, do you mean extra virgin, or just a light one.
Extra virgin olive oil.
Delicious and a nice change of pace from standard roasted brussels sprouts, made these for Thanksgiving and everyone really enjoyed.
These really are a major upgrade to average roasted Brussels :)
I searched for many recipes with bacon, balsamic, and Brussel sprouts and found yours to be the best because you cook the bacon separately and add the balsamic after roasting the sprouts. This keeps the flavors separate and bacon drippings taste does not overpower the rest. They do get mixed together with enough time to connect flavors yet keep distinct! So I am following your recipe for Thanksgiving this year!
Thank you for this.
Happy to hear you’ve found a winning bacon Brussels sprouts recipe Diane!
Can you cook the sprouts in the bacon grease or is that overkill on flavor?
Yes, you can definitely do that!
Has anyone tried adding honey to this for a bit of sweetness? I usually make a dish similar to this, but no reduction of the vinegar and added honey. The reduction sounds interesting, though.
Hi Lisa! I want to make this to take to a family dinner. If the meal is an hour or two after making the dish and taking it to someone else’s house, should I just warm it briefly in the microwave? Thanks!
Yes! I suggest to warm it up a bit before serving :)
LOVE this recipe… Question: Instead of cooking separately, could you not just roast the onion and bacon with the brussel sprouts? I’ve had this too with dried cherries and feta/goat cheese – OMG delicious!
Hi Karen – You can do that as well if you’d like!
I made this for a socially distanced Friendsgiving and it was a crowd favorite! I was skeptical about the balsamic glaze but it came together so easily, I’m going to be making that glaze for everything. Thanks for the recipe!
Yay, I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe, Meghan! It’s one of my personal favorites, though I do love anything with a balsamic glaze. ;)
This recipe is just the best, I was looking for a new way to cook the Brussels sprouts and now all my family love them! Thanks Lisa!
Any advice for preparing this ahead of time to bring to thanksgiving dinner?
I recommend to pre-chop your vegetables the day before and roast this the day of as you it to be warm and crispy when it’s fresh :)
Substituted pomegranate molassess for the balsamic reduction ~ a delicious compliment to the salty bacon. Served with grilled Aussie lamb chops!
That sounds amazing Jennifer! Love it with lamb chops :)
More balsamic and cook the bacon with the brussels sprouts! (omit other oil as the bacon grease is perfect) This makes a HUGE difference in the end product. Stir 3-4 times and the bacon will be cooked perfectly when the sprouts are done.
I love roasted Brussels sprouts. This recipe does not disappoint! It takes it up a notch with the balsamic reduction.
Hi Lisa – The balsamic adds the perfect flavor balance with the Brussels sprouts! I’m glad you enjoyed this side dish.
This is one of the best recipes I use. Probably make these once a week on average. I have also started adding blue cheese crumbles to the top of the sprouts then pouring on the hot onions, bacon, and balsamic, to melt the cheese. Tastes amazing with the blue cheese. Would definitely recommend giving it a try!
Hi Phil – So glad this recipe has made it into your weekly rotation! The blue cheese addition sounds amazing :)
About half way through I thought to myself “Man, this is a lot of work for some Brussels sprouts”, but they were absolutely delicious and I will be making them again. I followed the recipe exactly and it came out great.
Hi Katie – The wait is well worth it for this recipe! Glad you enjoyed this batch of Brussels Sprouts :)
Best Brussels Sprout recipe ever! And I’ve tried many. Previously, my fave was roasted brussels with butternut squash and red grapes (different site). That one was creative and delicious. BUT, this takes the prize and demotes my previous favorite to second place. Cooked this for a group, they polished off the entire platter in about 10 minutes (I was hoping for leftovers, but no such luck). It’s sweet, surprising, interesting… and healthy!! This is going into my regular rotation.
Hi Marina – Wow! I feel so honored to take first place for your favorite Brussels Sprouts recipe :) So glad you and all your friends enjoyed this :)
LOVE this recipe!! We add dried cherries and toasted pine nuts. ♥️♥️♥️
I don’t usually like brussels sprouts but the combo of sweet balsamic reduction and savory bacon made this dish delicious! Very helpful instructions and very quick and easy to make. I’m so glad I found your page!
Hi Karalyn – The balsamic reduction is definitely the game changer! Excited to hear this recipe can help change your mind about Brussels sprouts :)
So Yummy. Made these on Christmas Day, even my dad wanted more and he does usually go much for vegetables 😊
Hi Lyndal – Happy to hear you, especially your dad, enjoyed this recipe :)
My husband loved this recipe. My two year old too (I didn’t add the balsamic sauce for him)
Hi Heydi – If both your husband and 2 year old love this recipe, I think we have a winner!
These look great. I have loved all your recipes so far. Do you think this would hold up 4-5 days in fridge for meal prep? Planning on making these next week! Thank you!
Hi Kristin – Absolutely! You can definitely meal prep this and store it in the fridge for up to 5 days :)
Thank you Lisa! I appreciate your recipes as well as your quick responses!
Of course Kristin :) Have a Merry Christmas!
Made this as a side dish last night to go with chicken and some brown rice. My husband had never had brussel sprouts before and was a little stand off-ish to try those ‘little cabbage looking things’. He loved them! Said I should definitely add them to the make again list. The combination of the salty from the bacon, the sweet from the balsamic vinegar and the crunch from the brussel sprouts was perfect. I will make these again for sure. Even my super picky 16 year old liked them :)
Hi Christy – Yay! Happy to hear this recipe changed his mind about brussels sprouts, and that this was a winning dish for your entire family :)
I actually have a bowl of this next to my laptop as a write…. Delicious! A great way to get Brussels into your diet!
Hi Genevieve – I’m so glad you love these brussels sprouts :)
I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! Definitely my favorite recipe for Brussels sprouts!
Hi Kerri – Happy you enjoyed this recipe!
These look delicious! So excited to try this recipe as I loveeee roasted brussel sprouts.
Hi Emily – Can’t wait for you to try this one :)
I’m trying to like brussels sprouts. I’ve tried them all sorts of ways to try and like them, but I’ve never tried balsamic vinegar. So I must try that.
Hi Jacqueline – I hope by adding the balsamic glaze and bacon bits – it will convince you that Brussels sprouts are delicious!
Oh yum!! Saving this for Christmas, thanks for sharing!!
Hi Kate – I hope you enjoy this recipe :)
These Brussels sprouts look so festive served on a white plate! Just LOVE it! And this sweet balsamic glaze on top… YUMMY!
Hi Irina – It’s the perfect side dish, especially for the holidays! Enjoy :)
Brussels sprouts are a favorite in my home. These sound fantastic and I want to put this balsamic reduction on everything.
Hi Andrea – The drizzle of balsamic glaze really makes this recipe! :)
BOO! that link is no good. This looks great.
Hi Robin – hold tight, I’m remaking this recipe very soon and will publish the full recipe. :)
sorry I didn’t see the other comment I think there was another recipe you forwarded from maybe that website that didn’t work either…. just never looked at the comments..
Hi Robin! Here is the link again to my Balsamic Chicken with Brussels Sprouts Recipe: https://downshiftology.com/recipes/roasted-balsamic-chicken/
The link for this recipe doesn’t exist. Can you please post this recipe.
Hi Margaret – I will be re-posting this recipe with new directions and photos soon :) In the meantime, you can try my Roasted Balsamic Chicken with Brussel Sprouts recipe here: https://downshiftology.com/recipes/roasted-balsamic-chicken/