Brussels sprouts with bacon is seriously amazing: tender on the inside, but caramelized on the outside, the brussels sprouts are sautéed in bacon grease for extra flavor. Four simple ingredients!
This skillet brussels sprouts with bacon is the perfect side dish for your holiday feast: pretty to look at, easy to prepare, and full of so much flavor!
You'll ♡ brussels sprouts with bacon because
- they are made entirely on the stove top, freeing up that valuable real estate in your oven
- the sprouts cook in the bacon grease, adding bacon flavor right through the middle
- it's a simple meal that can be ready in under 25 minutes
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Preparing the brussels sprouts
- Wash the sprouts- Start by soaking the brussels sprouts in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes. Drain them off and pat dry on a clean kitchen towel.
- Trim and slice- Cut the bottom ¼ inch off the stem of the sprout, then rotate, and cut the sprout in half lengthwise. Keep any leaves that fall off! *
*Brussels sprouts can vary greatly in size. If you find that you have gargantuan ones (2 inches or larger), I advise cutting them into quarters to help them cook through quicker, and to make them easier to eat.
Cook the bacon first (1)
For this recipe, you'll want a large skillet, 12 inches or so. Start by cooking five slices of bacon until cooked through and crispy. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to allow extra grease to drain off, then chop into small pieces.
While we do want some grease in the pan, we don't want a ton of it. If your bacon was quite greasy, use a paper towel to help blot and soak it up. We want a thin coating in the pan. Watch the video above for a good visual.
Cook the brussels sprouts in the bacon grease (2)
After blotting any excessive grease from the pan, we are ready to add the brussels sprouts to the pan. Cover with a lid and allow the sprouts to cook for 5-10 minutes. The natural water in the sprouts will help generate steam, but if you find your pan getting dry, add ¼ cup of water to the pan. You may need to do this 1-2 times during the cooking process.
Every 3 minutes, lift the lid, stir up the sprouts, and replace the lid. Cook until a fork inserts easily.
Add butter, bacon and salt (3, 4)
Make a space in the center of the brussels sprouts, and add one tablespoon of butter. Let it melt, then add the bacon and salt, and toss everything up.
The butter adds a touch of creaminess to the sprouts, and the salt helps brighten all the flavors back up.
This is such a basic recipe, you could add a few extra ingredients to put your own personal touch on it!
- pomegranate seeds- to add color and a pop of sweetness- see how to open a pomegranate
- nuts- toasted pine nuts, almond slices or walnuts would add a nutty flavor and crunchy texture
- balsamic glaze- balsamic and brussels sprouts go so well together! Drizzle with this 2-ingredient balsamic reduction
- garlic- consider adding 4 garlic cloves to the butter and simmer for 1 minute for a garlicky flavor
While this recipe is best served fresh, you can store in the fridge for a few days and reheat. Cool completely, then store in an air tight container.
- fridge- store for up to 4 days
- freezer- store for up to 3 months
- thaw- overnight in the fridge
- reheat- in an uncovered pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until warmed through.
*I personally really enjoyed turning this into a breakfast scramble by adding a couple of eggs to it.
Find my favorite meal prep containers here.
More holiday side dishes
- Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic Butter
- Honey Roasted Carrots
- Fluffy Parmesan Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
- Spinach Salad with Apples and Bacon
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- 5 slices bacon
- 1 ½ lbs brussels sprouts washed, ends trimmed and cut in half; see note 1
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Cook the bacon- To a 12 inch frying pan, lay out 5 slices of bacon so that they don't overlap. Cook on medium heat until bacon is cooked through (5-10 minutes), using tongs to turn over as needed. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. When cool enough to handle, chop the bacon into small pieces.
- Wipe the pan- if your bacon let off a lot of grease, use a paper towel to carefully soak up the excess in a pan. You want a thin coating to help cook the brussels sprouts.
- Cook the brussels sprouts- Add the brussels sprouts to the pan and cover with a lid. Every 3 minutes, lift the lid, stir up the sprouts, and replace the lid. If the pan is too dry, add ¼ cup as needed (1-2 times during the cooking process). Cook for a total of 10-15 minutes, until a fork inserts into the brussels sprouts easily.
- Add butter, salt and bacon- When brussels sprouts are cooked through, remove the lid, and make a space in the middle of the pan. Add the butter to the space and allow to melt. Add the bacon, sprinkle with salt, and toss everything up. Serve immediately.
- pomegranate seeds- after cooking
- nuts– toasted pine nuts, almond slices or walnuts (after cooking)
- balsamic glaze– drizzle with balsamic reduction before serving
- garlic– add 4 garlic cloves to the butter and simmer for 1 minute before adding the bacon and salt
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