Balsamic Bacon Brussels Sprouts


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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!

Balsamic bacon brussels sprouts on a serving platter.

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

A spoonful of balsamic bacon brussels sprouts.


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.

Brussels sprouts on a sheet tray to be roasted and bacon cooking on the stove.


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: 

  1. Add one third cup of balsamic vinegar to a small pot. 
  2. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the temperature and simmer for about 10-15 minutes. 
  3. 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!

Pouring the balsamic glaze on the roasted brussels sprouts.


Create the perfect batch of restaurant-worthy brussels sprouts by following the steps below. 

  • Pre-heat your oven to 425 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!

Up close photo of balsamic bacon brussels sprouts.

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!

And if you love this recipe….I think you’ll love my fried cabbage with bacon as well!

A spoonful of balsamic bacon brussels sprouts.

Balsamic Bacon Brussels Sprouts

4.98 from 44 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan


Balsamic bacon Brussels sprouts are irresistibly crispy and flavorful! It's the perfect side dish recipe that everyone loves.


  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 ounces bacon
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar


  • 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.

Lisa's Tips

  • 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. 


Calories: 264kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 282mg | Potassium: 545mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 869IU | Vitamin C: 97mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bacon brussels sprouts, balsamic bacon brussels sprouts, balsamic brussels sprouts
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

Originally published November 2014, but updated to include new photos and information. 

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating


  1. This one is so good, my partner makes it and its the only way i will eat Brussel sprouts haha. Tonight we’re having crispy panfried chicken thighs, these brussell sprouts and a basic lemon dressing salad. Im on salad duty hehe love a man that cooks!5 stars

  2. This was a great addition to our New Year’s meal. I popped the finished product into a glass oven-safe bowl and put it back in the oven for a few minutes before serving.5 stars

  3. These brussels were to die for! They were crispy and delicious, and the flavors of the roasted brussels and bacon blended perfectly with the balsamic reduction. These saved my dinner by serving as a standout appetizer while we were waiting for the turkey to finish cooking. My one complaint would have been the use of three different cooking vessels (sheet pan, skillet, little pot), but it was honestly so worth it.5 stars

  4. Another delicious and easy recipe to add to my cooking arsenal! I wanted to add a new vegetable dish to the Thanksgiving menu, and this was a huge hit. I added the bacon and wow was it delicious. I will always prepare my Brussels sprouts like this from now on. Thank you, Lisa for another awesome recipe!5 stars

  5. These were fabulous!!! The crispy pieces were wonderful!! We doubled the recipe and ate so much we barely have leftovers. It was a great addition to our Thanksgiving menu!! I’ll be making this again for sure. I followed the recipe as written and didn’t make any changes. Thank you Lisa!! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!5 stars

    1. Those little crispy pieces are my favorite as well, haha! So happy everyone loved it. Happy Thanksgiving, Susan!

  6. Oh man, these were amazing! I love how Lisa makes recipes come together so simply and elegantly without overcomplicating things. This will be made over and over again and is a new favorite!5 stars

  7. Hi Lisa!
    I enjoy trying out your recipes, my husband does too!
    I have a question for you… can you cook your BALSAMIC BACON BRUSSELS SPROUTS in an air fryer? If so, would you bake or air fry them, at what temperature?
    Thanks so much!
    ~ Marie

  8. These were absolutely fabulous! Totally forgot to do the balsamic reduction but did NOT miss it! And the crunchy leaves!! Omg, the best ever

    1. Just a quick question, at the beginning, it says preheat oven to 400° and later it says cook at 425°, can you tell me the correct temp please? It may not matter, I’m just a stickler for details.🤦

    1. Happy to hear both you and your husband are enjoying this balsamic bacon Brussels sprouts recipe Steph :)

  9. 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.5 stars

  10. Delicious and a nice change of pace from standard roasted brussels sprouts, made these for Thanksgiving and everyone really enjoyed.5 stars

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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!5 stars

  15. 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!5 stars

    1. 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. ;)

  16. 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!5 stars

    1. 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 :)

  17. Substituted pomegranate molassess for the balsamic reduction ~ a delicious compliment to the salty bacon. Served with grilled Aussie lamb chops!5 stars

  18. 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.4 stars

  19. I love roasted Brussels sprouts. This recipe does not disappoint! It takes it up a notch with the balsamic reduction.5 stars

    1. Hi Lisa – The balsamic adds the perfect flavor balance with the Brussels sprouts! I’m glad you enjoyed this side dish.

  20. 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!5 stars

    1. Hi Phil – So glad this recipe has made it into your weekly rotation! The blue cheese addition sounds amazing :)

  21. 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. 5 stars

    1. Hi Katie – The wait is well worth it for this recipe! Glad you enjoyed this batch of Brussels Sprouts :)

  22. 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.5 stars

    1. 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 :)

  23. 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!5 stars

    1. Hi Karalyn – The balsamic reduction is definitely the game changer! Excited to hear this recipe can help change your mind about Brussels sprouts :)

  24. So Yummy. Made these on Christmas Day, even my dad wanted more and he does usually go much for vegetables 😊5 stars

  25. 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!

  26. 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 :)5 stars

    1. 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 :)

  27. I actually have a bowl of this next to my laptop as a write…. Delicious! A great way to get Brussels into your diet!5 stars

  28. 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.5 stars

    1. Hi Jacqueline – I hope by adding the balsamic glaze and bacon bits – it will convince you that Brussels sprouts are delicious!

  29. These Brussels sprouts look so festive served on a white plate! Just LOVE it! And this sweet balsamic glaze on top… YUMMY!5 stars

  30. Brussels sprouts are a favorite in my home. These sound fantastic and I want to put this balsamic reduction on everything.5 stars

      1. 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..