You seriously need to make these Garlic Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts as soon as possible. Perfectly crispy roasted brussel sprouts with bacon, garlic, and parmesan cheese. The best!
Brussels sprouts get the royal treatment when roasted until crispy with bacon and garlic and then finished with Parmesan cheese. They are a fancied-up version of our favorite Crispy Balsamic Brussels Sprouts and are perfect for the holidays.
When it comes to vegetables, Brussels sprouts may have made the biggest comeback of all time. This delicious veggie has taken the world by storm in the past few years and is no longer the mushy, flavorless side of years past.
Now Brussels sprouts are on almost every menu and they always have one thing in common - they are super crispy.
Now I am going to let you in on a secret, restaurant Brussels sprouts are often deep fried! Little did you know when you thought you were choosing a healthy vegetable appetizer or side dish, they were likely taking a trip to the deep fryer on the way to your plate.
Luckily, it is pretty easy to create a crispy, caramelized sprout at home in the oven. With the proper roasting technique, there is absolutely no frying needed. Plus when they are paired with bacon, you are guaranteed to please.
Key Ingredients and Easy Swaps
- Fresh brussels sprouts: Always start with fresh brussels sprouts if you want the end result to be crispy. Frozen won't work. Remove any browned leaves and slice in half through the stem for best results. This recipe also works with roasted cabbage if you want to try something new.
- Bacon: Any bacon, including pancetta, can be used in this recipe. For the leanest option, use center-cut bacon, which is a bit leaner. Chop into pieces, remember it will shrink as it cooks. You could also make the bacon separately and sprinkle on top after. Drizzle the bacon grease as well if you want the most bacon flavor.
- Garlic: The garlic in this recipe is an option, but it adds a nice, subtle flavor to the sprouts. Use garlic powder if you don't have it fresh or want to mince it.
- Olive oil and balsamic vinegar: The olive oil helps the sprouts to get crispy and the balsamic adds a touch of sweetness. You can skip the balsamic or drizzle it on at the end if you prefer. You can also add balsamic glaze at the end for an extra kick of flavor.
- Parmesan cheese: The cheese is completely optional but makes this really feel like a special dish. If you skip it, make sure to use enough kosher salt and black pepper to season the sprouts well.
How to Roast Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
To get caramelized and crispy Brussels sprouts every time, there are a few tips you need to follow. This will make all the difference in getting that delicious, browned exterior.
- Always halve your Brussels sprouts if you are seeking a caramelized, crispy sprout. This gives the sprout more surface area to come in contact with the hot baking sheet and crisp up in the oven without the need to fry.
- Place the Brussels sprouts cut side down on the baking sheet. This takes an extra minute but makes all the difference in getting the crunchy, browned outside.
- Use the right amount of olive oil so that the sprouts are coated but not soggy. A good rule of thumb is one tablespoon per pound of Brussels sprouts.
- Don't crowd the pan and leave some space between each sprout so that they roast instead of steam.
- Make sure the oven is fully preheated before adding the sprouts. The high heat helps the sprouts to crisp up.
- Pro tip: Preheat the oven with the baking sheet inside for the crispiest sprouts! They will sizzle and brown as soon as you put them down on the pan.
This technique also helps eliminate any bitterness that the sprouts may have. As they roast and caramelize, the natural sugar comes out and reduces any bitter flavor.
How to Prep Brussels Sprouts
To get your sprouts ready for the oven, start by removing any yellow outer leaves and chop off the steam. Then cut them in half and if you have any really large sprouts, cut those in quarters. Ideally, you want everything around the same size and thickness so they will cook in the same amount of time. This does have to be exact, just around the same size.
Also, make sure your sprouts are properly washed to remove any dirt or debris. Just wash them in cold water, using your hand or a cloth to remove any stuck on dirt. Then make sure to fully dry them with a towel before roasting.
Recipe Ideas for Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- Add maple syrup or honey: Bacon and maple is a natural combination and many people like to add maple syrup to their sprouts. If you go in this direction, I would recommend drizzling the cooked sprouts and bacon with around one tablespoon of pure maple syrup when they come out of the oven. Since Parmesan and maple aren't the best combination, I would leave out the cheese or use something like goat cheese instead. You can also add it before cooking for more of a glazed effect, but cover the baking sheet with foil since the maple syrup can burn easily.
- Add onions: Many people like to add red or white onions to their Brussels sprouts and it's a delicious addition. Just cut the onions into thin slices of small chunks and toss right on the pan with the bacon and Brussels sprouts. They will cook in the same amount of time and add a great flavor to the dish. Shallots also work for a more subtle flavor.
- Add lemon: Lemon is a natural fit with garlic and Parmesan cheese. Once the sprouts come out of the oven, add some lemon zest and lemon juice to brighten things up.
- Extra balsamic: A good drizzle of balsamic makes everything taste amazing. Don't be shy about drizzling some extra balsamic vinegar on top of the sprouts before serving.
- Add breadcrumbs: Add some extra crunch by adding some breadcrumbs to the sprouts. The best way to do this is to crisp up the breadcrumbs in a skillet with a touch of olive oil or butter while the Brussels sprouts cook. Then add them right before serving so they stay nice and crunchy.
Storage and Leftovers
If you are lucky enough to have leftovers of this easy side dish, here's how to store them and some ideas for leftovers.
- Storage: Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat in the oven, a hot skillet, or the air fryer. Reheating in the microwave will make them mushy.
- Leftovers: These sprouts make an amazing maple bacon brussels sprout hash with eggs. They also taste great in a brussel sprout frittata, tossed with pasta, or reheated in a quesadilla or grilled cheese.
More Tips for Making Crispy Bacon Brussels Sprouts
Here are some other questions that I frequently hear about how to roast Brussels sprouts. If you have any others, share them in the comments and I will add them to the post.
- Can I roast frozen Brussels sprouts? Frozen Brussels sprouts are already quite soft so although they can be roasted, they won't come out quite very crispy. If you use them for this recipe, they will take about 40 minutes. Therefore to make sure everything cooks properly, after the sprouts have been roasting for twenty minutes, take them out and toss them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the bacon to the pan at this time as well. Then return to the oven to roast for the remaining twenty minutes.
- Can the bacon be cooked separately? If you prefer the cook the bacon beforehand, just cook it in a skillet until it is cooked to your liking. Set aside and toss the bacon pieces with the Brussels sprouts when they come out of the oven.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about making this brussels sprouts and bacon recipe.
There is no reason to soak brussels sprouts before cooking them. Just make sure to rinse them well to remove any debris and them dry them thoroughly with a towel.
Absolutely! Start by cooking the bacon in a skillet until it is crispy. Set it aside and add the olive oil to the pan. Add the sprouts in a single layer, cut side down. Let cook for 2-3 minutes until beginning to brown. Add the balsamic vinegar and 2-3 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes until sprouts begin to soften. Stir and continue cooking until they are crispy and cooked through. Add the garlic to the pan and cook fro 1 minute. Add back the bacon and top with Parmesan cheese.
Garlic Bacon Brussels Sprouts
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- 1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (more to taste)
- 3 slices center cut bacon (chopped)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (shredded)
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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