Are you looking for a roasted brussels sprouts recipe that may just change your life? The search is over. These candied brussels sprouts with bacon are what you’ve been looking for.
Crispy, candied brussels sprouts. You’re going to LOVE this recipe.
I have made this brussels sprouts recipe five times (FIVE TIMES) in the past few weeks, each time not getting a photo because they were gobbled up too quickly. By me.
And also, it’s not easy getting an appetizing picture of something that’s charred and in that particular shade of green. But they are so good. Like candy.
I can’t. stop. EATING. THEM.
When I was growing up, we never had brussels sprouts except at my great aunt Lida’s house. And they were everything that you’d expect in a detestable vegetable – soggy, bitter, and putrid green. I was a kid who’d eat ANYTHING, and I didn’t like these. This recipe is the anthesis to those. If you, too, grew up thinking sprouts were disgusting, please try them this way and reconsider.
How to Roast Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
Get ready to transform Brussels sprouts into a dish everyone will rave about. These Candied Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Maple Syrup are not only delicious but also simple to prepare.
Preparing Your Ingredients
- Partial Cooking of Bacon: Begin by partially cooking the bacon slices in a frying pan on medium high heat (or microwave) until it renders fat but is not crisp. This step ensures the bacon will be perfectly cooked once the dish is finished.
- Prepping Brussels Sprouts: Remove the outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts and trim off the tough stalk. This helps the sprouts cook evenly and absorb the flavors better. Cut them in halves or quarters, to make equal-sized pieces.
Mixing and Arranging
- Combining Ingredients: Toss the prepared Brussels sprouts with the partially cooked bacon, avocado oil, maple syrup, and kosher salt in a mixing bowl. This mixture is what gives the sprouts their candied coating.
- Arranging on Baking Sheets: Spread the Brussels sprouts mixture in a single layer with cut sides down on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Ensuring they’re in a single layer is crucial for even cooking and caramelization.
Roasting to Perfection
- Roasting: Roast the sprouts in a preheated oven at 450ºF, preferably with convection. Start by baking for 8 minutes.
- Stirring and Monitoring: After the initial 8 minutes, give the pans a stir. Remove any sprouts that are already charring to a serving platter. Continue to roast for about 8 more minutes. Keep a close eye on them, as the maple syrup can cause them to burn quickly.
- Serving: Once the Brussels sprouts are crispy and the leaves are charring, they are ready to be served. Enjoy them hot as a delicious side dish that pairs well with a variety of main courses.
Pro Tips for the Crispiest Roasted Brussels Sprouts
The secret to perfectly crisped, chewy brussels sprouts? Here are 3 important notes on how to roast brussels sprouts with bacon in the oven:
- Separate the Leaves: To make these heavenly, sweet, sticky brussels sprouts, I pull off as many of the outer leaves as possible and roast them alongside the little sprout hearts.
The leaves char up much crispier that way, and it helps prevent the sprouts from coming out undercooked or soggy in the middle.
- Single Layer: Now, here’s the thing, it really is imperative that these little love-bombs roast in a single layer, or they’ll just steam which creates ‘soggy’ brussels sprouts – instead of baking to crispy perfection.
Twice, I made them on a single large baking sheet, and they’re just not as good. Even if they obviously *fit*, you need the space between sprouts for hot air to circulate. It really is best to use two pans.
- Par-Cook the Bacon: The bacon is partially cooked before it hits the oven, where it crisps up fully with a drizzle of maple syrup to make it completely and utterly salty-sweet addictive. This ensures it gets fully cooked to crispy perfection, and also prevents it from burning black with the sweet glaze on the caramelized brussels sprouts.
Can Brussels Sprouts be Roasted in Advance?
These sprouts are excellent roasted a day in advance and just reheated in a small casserole dish the next day (if you can refrain from eating them all).
Just pop them in the oven alongside whatever else you’ve got cooking, at whatever temperature it’s cooking at (I mean, not on broil or anything), until they’re heated through.
Check frequently and give them a stir every now and then.
Here’s What You Need for this Candied Brussels Sprouts Recipe
Dive into the delicious world of Candied Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Maple Syrup – a side dish that’s sure to impress with its perfect blend of savory and sweet flavors.
Candied Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Maple Syrup Ingredients
Let’s explore the role of each ingredient in this tasty dish:
- Thick-Cut Bacon: Adds a rich, smoky flavor and a delightful crunch.
- Brussels Sprouts: The star of the dish, they offer a nutty, slightly sweet taste and a great texture.
- Avocado Oil: A healthy cooking oil that helps in roasting the sprouts to perfection.
- Pure Maple Syrup: Brings a natural sweetness that caramelizes nicely in the oven.
- Kosher Salt: Enhances the overall flavors of the dish.
Variations and Substitutions
Tailor this dish to your liking with these simple changes:
- Turkey Bacon: A lighter alternative to regular bacon.
- Olive Oil: Can be used instead of avocado oil for a different flavor profile.
- Honey: A great substitute for maple syrup if you prefer a different kind of sweetness.
- Balsamic Glaze: Drizzle over the top for a tangy twist.
- Pecans or Walnuts: Add for an extra crunch.
Grab these Tools
Make sure you have these tools on hand to create this dish:
- Frying Pan or Skillet: For partially cooking the bacon.
- Microwave and Microwave-Safe Dish: An alternative method for cooking the bacon.
- Knife and Cutting Board: For trimming and preparing the Brussels sprouts.
- Mixing Bowl: To toss the sprouts with oil, syrup, salt, and bacon.
- Baking Sheets: To roast the sprouts in the oven.
- Parchment Paper or Greased Aluminum Foil: For lining the baking sheets and ensuring easy cleanup.
- Spatula: Helpful for stirring the sprouts during baking and serving.
Make Ahead and Storage
Managing your time and keeping these Candied Brussels Sprouts fresh is a breeze with these tips:
- Prep in Advance: Chop the bacon and Brussels sprouts a day ahead and store them separately in the fridge.
- Refrigerate Leftovers: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Reheat for Best Taste: Gently reheat in the oven or on the stovetop to maintain the sprouts’ texture and flavor.
- Freezing Not Recommended: Due to texture changes, freezing these Brussels sprouts isn’t advised.
How to Serve This Candied Brussels Sprouts Recipe
I love how versatile these crisp and tender little sprouts are. Honestly, I could eat the whole pan just like that, but here are some suggestions that are more reasonable.
Toppings for Candied Brussels Sprouts
- Parmesan Cheese: A sprinkle of grated Parmesan adds a salty, umami touch.
- Crushed Red Pepper: For a hint of heat.
- Lemon Zest: Adds a fresh, citrusy brightness to cut through the sweetness.
What Else to Serve with Candied Brussels Sprouts
These Candied Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Maple Syrup are a fantastic side dish everything from special meals with dinner guests, like Seafood Pasta with Cream Sauce, to easy meals like this best-ever homemade Tomato Soup or Baked Salmon with Mayonnaise.
Pair these Brussels sprouts with other dishes for a well-rounded Thanksgiving meal:
- Roasted Turkey: The classic centerpiece for Thanksgiving. Here’s my Easy Turkey Recipe.
- Mashed Potatoes: A creamy and comforting side that complements the sprouts. Here’s my game-changing ultimate mashed potatoes recipe.
- Cranberry Sauce: Its tartness pairs well with the sweetness of the sprouts.
- Stuffing: Choose a savory, herb-filled stuffing to balance the flavors. I love this Turkey Apple Stuffing.
The Crispiest Candied Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Maple Syrup
- 4 oz thick-cut bacon chopped
- 1 lb brussels sprouts
- ¼ cup avocado oil or other cooking oil
- 3 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 450ºF (with convection, if you’ve got it). Partially cook the bacon in a frying pan or in the microwave (3-4 minutes on high covered with a paper towel) until it renders its fat but is not crisp.
- Pull off most of the outer leaves from the brussels sprouts and trim the tough stalk from the middle that remains. Toss leaves and sprouts with the oil, maple syrup, salt and bacon and arrange in a single layer on two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 8 minutes, give the pans a stir, remove any that are already charring to a serving platter, then bake about 8 minutes more (really depending how large they are), until sprouts are crispy and leaves are charring (start to watch closely as the maple syrup can burn).