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
- 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.