Easy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

It’s beautiful in the city this time of year – with bright, changing foliage, crisp, autumnal air, shops aglow with festive displays and colorful holiday lights dotting the trees. It’s my first Fall in San Francisco and I’ve been feeling nostalgic; missing home, family, the familiar holiday traditions. Craving comfort foods. Flavorful soups, braised meats and roasted, earthy vegetables.

This combination of smokey bacon, sweet caramelized onions and golden-kissed Brussels sprouts is the perfect antidote for chilly days. Warm and flavorful, yet still light.

About These Brussels Sprouts

I must confess that this is not an old family recipe. Growing up, vegetables were always strongly encouraged. But despite a large edible garden that produced a nearly year-round bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables, Brussels sprouts not only never made it to our dinner table, they didn’t even get planted. There was some kind of long-standing familial boycott. In fact, I had never even tried Brussels sprouts until recently. I expected to detest them, given their generally terrible reputation. Instead, I was surprised that I actually liked them, and – to the great chagrin of my family – inspired to explore the possibilities of this new-to-me ingredient.

So I started some research and discovered that overcooking Brussels sprouts brings out an unappetizing sulfurous smell, bitterness and dull color (I would suspect the reason for my family’s embargo). Armed with that, I decided that quickly sauteing them to a crisp al dente would be a wonderful way to retain their bright, slightly sweet flavor.

If that’s not enough encouragement for you to try these look-alike miniature cabbage heads, consider that Brussels sprouts share many of the health benefits associated with cruciferous vegetables: high levels of antioxidants, vitamin C and soluble fiber. They are members of the Brassica family, along with cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower and collard greens, and numerous studies point to a strong connection between Brussels sprouts and cancer prevention.

And when they’re sauteed in bacon drippings, garlic and caramelized onions, it’s nearly impossible to remember just how good for you they are. Even the non-believers will be converted. Happy Cooking!!

If you make these Bacon Brussels Sprouts, be sure to tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #forkknifeswoon and leave a comment and rating below letting me know how you liked them! ★★★★★ Star ratings are especially helpful because they help others find my recipes too. xo, Laura

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Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

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  • Author: Laura Bolton – Fork Knife Swoon
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Savory, Side Dish
  • Method: Saute
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


  • 18 Brussels sprouts, cut in half
  • 3 strips thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Prepare your Brussels sprouts and heat a large sauté pan over medium-heat. Layer a couple of paper towels on a large plate. Set aside.
  2. Add the bacon to the pan, and cook until crispy. Transfer to the plate.
  3. Add the butter, onions, and garlic to the bacon drippings and cook over medium heat until the onions are softened and beginning to color, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add the Brussels sprouts, cut side down, and season generously with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cut sides begin to caramelize, about 6-8 minutes. The outer leaves should remain bright green.
  6. Meanwhile, roughly chop or crumble the bacon and toss together in the pan with the Brussels sprouts. Best served immediately. Enjoy!!


For the best flavor and texture, look for small, firm, and bright green sprouts.