Bacon and Onion Brussels Sprouts

Bacon and Onion Brussels Sprouts -1-2 copyIf you still have room on your Thanksgiving menu for a vegetable side dish, I’ve got the most incredible brussels sprouts recipe for you. Brussels sprouts are in season this time of year, and I find myself putting them into my cart because I just can’t resist. They are so delicious! I’ve tried making brussels sprouts many different ways – on the stovetop, in the oven, on the grill, covered, uncovered, low heat, high heat. My favorite way of preparing them yields the most perfect brussels sprouts every time, by using this super secret, super easy trick – roasting them in the oven, covered for half the time with aluminum foil and uncovered for the second half of the roasting. You will get brussels sprouts that are completely cooked through but still firm enough to hold their shape and not get mushy, but at the same time they are caramelized, so they are golden brown, slightly sweet and a bit charred. Oh, so good! Every time I make them, I just have to reach over and sample these tiny little baby cabbages – aren’t they cute? A good portion is missing by the time I serve them. I love how you can taste the multiple layers as you bite through each sprout.

The crisp, smoky and salty bacon complements the hearty brussels sprouts so well, as well as the sweet red onion. The balsamic vinegar evens out all these flavor combinations because it has just a touch of sweetness and the acidity really comes through and elevates this simple side dish into something extra special. My husband is not a huge fan of brussels sprouts in general, but when he humored me by taking a bite when I very excitedly offered them to him, he was blown away and said that he would happily eat only this for dinner and not need anything else. I take that as high praise and a big win for me since that means I can make brussels sprouts even more often now. 


Ingredients:

2 lbs brussels sprouts
1/4 cup olive oil (or any other mild flavored oil, such as grapeseed, avocado, canola, sunflower, etc.)
salt, ground black pepper
2-4 strips of bacon, chopped into small pieces
1 medium red onion (a yellow onion works just as well)
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Instructions:
Bacon and Onion Brussels Sprouts -1-13 copyPreheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, placing a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven, so that it will heat up as the oven is preheating.
Preheating the baking sheet will mean that the brussels sprouts will start to sear and cook as soon as they hit the baking sheet, which means they will get a head start in cooking and skip the part where they start heating up slowly and get mushy before they get a chance to get nicely charred on the outside.
Meanwhile, cut all the brussels sprouts in half vertically. In a large bowl, toss the brussels sprouts with 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper and the olive oil, mixing to combine. Bacon and Onion Brussels Sprouts -1-12 copy When the oven is preheated, take the hot baking sheet out of the oven and place the brussels sprouts onto the baking sheet cut side down. Bacon and Onion Brussels Sprouts -1-11 copyCover the baking sheet with aluminum foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until it’s mostly cooked through. If you get a lot of bacon fat rendered off, spoon some of it out, leaving just 1 1/2-2 Tablespoons of oil to cook the red onion in. Bacon and Onion Brussels Sprouts -1-10 copyAdd the red onion to the bacon and continue cooking, on low heat, uncovered, until the onions are tender. Season lightly with salt and ground black pepper, but not too much, since the bacon is already salty. Bacon and Onion Brussels Sprouts -1-9 copyIf there isn’t enough bacon grease and the onions start to get too brown before they are cooked through, pour in a little bit of water and continue cooking until the onions are tender, scraping the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon to deglaze. Scrape some of the bacon-onion mixture away from the bottom of the skillet and add the minced garlic to that spot, cooking the garlic for 30 seconds – 1 minute. Bacon and Onion Brussels Sprouts -1-8 copyPour in the balsamic vinegar, mix it all to combine and then place into the same large bowl that you used to toss the brussels sprouts. Bacon and Onion Brussels Sprouts -1-7 copy Bacon and Onion Brussels Sprouts -1-6 copyWhen the brussels sprouts have roasted for 10 minutes, uncover them (discard the foil) and continue roasting for another 10-12 minutes. When they are cooked through and golden on the bottom, mix them together with the bacon and onions. Isn’t that a beautiful roasting job? Bacon and Onion Brussels Sprouts -1-5 copyBacon and Onion Brussels Sprouts -1-3 copy Bacon and Onion Brussels Sprouts -1-4 copy Serve warm. Bacon and Onion Brussels Sprouts -1 copy

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Bacon and Onion Brussels Sprouts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sides
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs brussels sprouts
  • ¼ cup olive oil (or any other mild flavored oil, such as grapeseed, avocado, canola, sunflower, etc.)
  • salt, ground black pepper
  • 2-4 strips of bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 medium red onion (a yellow onion works just as well)
  • 3-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, placing a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven, so that it will heat up as the oven is preheating.
  2. Meanwhile, cut all the brussels sprouts in half. In a large bowl, toss the brussels sprouts with ½ - ¾ teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper and the olive oil, mixing to combine.
  3. When the oven is preheated, take the hot baking sheet out of the oven and place the brussels sprouts onto the baking sheet cut side down. Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until it's mostly cooked through.
  5. Add the red onion to the bacon and continue cooking, on low heat, uncovered, until the onions are tender. If there isn't enough bacon grease and the onions start to get too brown before they are cooked through, pour in a little bit of water and continue cooking until the onions are tender.
  6. Scrape some of the bacon-onion mixture away from the bottom of the skillet and add the minced garlic to that spot, cooking the garlic for 30 seconds - 1 minute.
  7. Pour in the balsamic vinegar, mix it all to combine and then place into the same large bowl that you used to toss the brussels sprouts.
  8. When the brussels sprouts have roasted for 10 minutes, uncover them (discard the foil) and continue roasting for another 10-12 minutes.
  9. When they are cooked through and golden on the bottom, mix them together with the bacon and onions. Serve warm.

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