Do you like Brussels sprouts? I do. I love them a lot more since I figured out roasting them at high temperatures in the oven would produce a caramelized goodness that crisps the outer leaves, and leaves the inside of the sprout nice and tender. We’ve also discovered that pairing it with something salty (usually bacon or pancetta) and sweet (balsamic vinegar, apples, or maple syrup) really helps pull the side, or the main dish together beautifully. This time, maple bacon Brussels sprouts have made it to our table, and they are delicious.
When you search brussels sprouts recipes over the net, you’re innundated with ways to prepare. Steam, roast, grill, saute, fry. I’m a fan of every way of preparation, but roasting is my favorite. The prep for these is super easy as well, since you only have to make one cut, and if you’re lucky, you can purchase them halved already.
Speaking of Brussels sprouts – here’s a history of them if you’re interested, and why they probably tasted horrible to you if you were consuming them in the 90s as part of dinner. You know those steam in a bag Brussels sprouts? Yeah, those were disgusting. We want to thank some Dutch Plant Breeders for figuring out which compound was responsible for the bitterness of the sprouts.
Anyway, this Brussels sprouts recipe uses four ingredients – Brussels sprouts, thick cut bacon, maple syrup, and olive oil. We also use S&P but those are freebies, so we’re not counting them for you numbers purists.
Also, because I’m a farmer, I have to give you the background of this wild cabbage plant, and why it’s back on a redemption tour – without giving too much away from the article I linked to above. As I’m sure you’ve figured out, Brussels sprouts are members of the cabbage family, but they grow on a stalk as little buds. Before farming, I found this bit of information out while walking through Trader Joe’s and seeing them lying there in all of their glory. If you aren’t familiar with the plant, it will look a lot like collard greens until you bend down to look at the stalk.
You see? Little cabbages on a stalk. In fact when we were little, we always thought that Brussels sprouts were indeed cabbages that weren’t allowed to grow to their full potential, and now I know our parents just let us flap our gums so they could get a bit of peace and quiet while making dinner. The smell wasn’t the best, but we know that now comes from glucosinolate sinigrin, a sulfur compound having characteristic pungency. Yay for classroom discussions for agriculture folks!
I do remember liking Brussels sprouts as a little kid, but not nearly to the length that I do now. The caramelized pieces really bring out the flavor, and the sky is the limit with the toppings that you can add, as discussed above. Anyway, here’s the recipe.
Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts
These sweet & savory Brussels sprouts are the perfect side for your dinners OR a satisfying snack in between meals. It even pleases the pickiest palates!
- 2 lbs Brussels Sprouts - halved
- 6 strips of thick cut bacon
- Maple Syrup
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 400° F
- Remove any yellow or brown leaves from the Brussels sprouts, and then halve them
- Cut your thick-cut bacon into half-inch strips and separate. It's easier this way instead of cooking and then crumbling. Trust me.
- Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and dump your sprouts and bacon in the middle.
- Pour olive oil, & maple syrup (go easy, so you don't over-saturate) and toss together until coated.
- Season with S & P to taste, and toss again.
- Lay the Brussels sprouts flat side down and roast for 25-30 minutes OR until the outer leaves are crispy, and the flat side is a caramel color. The bacon should also be crispy.
Reheating - If you love yourself, don't microwave. Reheat in an oven at 350° until warmed through.
These don't freeze well. Freezing will result in a mushy sprout, so don't cook more than your family can consume in one sitting, plus leftovers.
Mix it up with cheese, dried cranberries, or apples if you don't have maple syrup. Your constants will always be the olive oil, bacon, salt, and pepper.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Wusthof Classic 7-Inch Nakiri Knife with Hollow Edge,
Measuring Spoons: U-Taste 18/8 Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons Set of 9 Piece: 1/16 tsp, 1/8 tsp, 1/4 tsp, 1/3 tsp, 1/2 tsp, 3/4 tsp, 1 tsp, 1/2 tbsp & 1 tbsp Dry and Liquid Ingredients
Nutrichef Nonstick Cookie Sheet Pan | 2pc Large and Med Metal Baking Tray Professional Quality Kitchen |, Non-Stick w/Rimmed Borders, Guaranteed NOT to Wrap-FDA approved, Gold