Bacon-Braised Brussel Sprouts

November 29, 2011 in Categories: by

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Prior to discovering to paleolithic nutrition, the only way I ate Brussels sprouts was smothered in cheese sauce.  I actually like Brussels sprouts as long as the flavor isn’t too overpowering.  This is why braising is such a fantastic way to cook Brussels sprout… that bitter flavor that most people dislike is a result of boiling or steaming.  Cooking Brussels sprouts with both fat and water results in a much more pleasant flavor.  Definitely worth a try if you think you don’t like Brussels sprouts but have never had them cooked this way.

Bacon-Braised Brussels Sprouts


  • 1 lb Brussels Sprouts, cleaned and trimmed
  • 6 oz Reduced Sodium Uncured Bacon
  • 4-6 Tbsp water


1.    Chop bacon into small pieces (I like to use scissors for this job) and place into a cold skillet (cast iron is perfect here).
2.    Heat skillet over medium-high heat, stirring relatively frequently, until bacon is starting to brown and is mostly cooked.
3.    Add Brussels sprouts to skillet carefully (remember cold water into hot fat can cause the fat to splatter).
4.    Stir relatively frequently.  As soon as Brussels sprouts start to stick, add 1-2 Tbsp water to the pan.  Stir some more.
5.    Keep adding small amounts of water every time the Brussel sprouts start to stick.
6.    Once the Brussel sprouts are cooked (about 15 minutes, depending on the size), stop adding water.  Just when they start to stick again, pour the bacon and sprouts into a serving dish and enjoy!


This was delicious! I modified it just a bit: after the bacon was cooked, I added in some crushed garlic, and instead of water used chicken broth. I also seasoned with some cayenne pepper.

Awesome recipe! Brussel sprouts are delicious this time of year. I have never tried braising them but from the looks of that picture I’m definitely going to give it a try. We’re also going to share your recipe on our facebook fan-page with a link back. Thanks for sharing!

I love Brussel Sprouts, and this recipe is very close to the way I prepare cabbage. For Brussel Sprouts, I trim them of their dried ends, removing any undesirable leaves. Then, because it is a cruceriferous vegetable, I cut a small X in the stem end and place in a pan of boiling, salted water. I cook them long enough to become almost cooked, but still slightly resisting a sharp knife when pierced. Drain well, add cold water and ice to stop the cooking; then drain, slice in half through the stem end, and sauté in garlic butter until they start to caramelize. Serve immediately. Try it for a nice change of pace.

I do mine in the oven…put the bacon in for about 20 min on 400, then add the brussels and toss in the bacon fat (sometimes I remove some of the fat, depending on how much has rendered). Then cook the combo another 12 mins or so, and…perfect!

Should you remove the bacon while the brussels sprouts are cooking? Cooking them for an additional 15 minutes made mine extra crispy/burnt. I even took them out about half-way through.

Would this work with frozen sprouts, and how would you modify the recipe? Where I live (overseas), many vegetables that are common and cheap in the States are rare and/or expensive, so I often rely on frozen rather than fresh. It isn’t ideal, but frozen veggies are better than no veggies, right?

I’ve read that frozen vegetables can be even more nutritious than fresh, because they are frozen as soon as they are picked, whereas fresh start to lose nutrients the longer they sit in the store/your refrigerator.

If you are fortunate enough to have an Aldi’s nearby, they just started carrying uncured, nitrate free bacon. Also, chicken sausages (with no worrisome ingredients) and grass fed ground beef! At affordable prices.

I make a very similar dish, but in the oven at 400 (375 convection)…. Love how it turns things crispy… Got the recipe from NomNomPaleo… But this looks awesome too and i’ll give it a try for a change 🙂

I’ve got a great recipe for brussel sprouts and much healthier too. Wash sprouts. Take off outer leaves. Make an X on the bottom. Coat with olive oil. Chop 2 cloves of garlic. Roast in oven at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Add almonds. Toss. Delicious!

Heating the olive oil to that high of a temp makes it very UNhealthy. I think I will try your recipe except keep the bacon and grease. I bet the almonds are a nice touch.:-) Olive oil oxidizes at a relatively low temp, making it unsafe. My husband makes fried green beans much like the brussel sprouts above. After the bacon cooks a little, we add onions and mushrooms. Once those are soft, we add green beans and add a little water until everything is tender.

Mmm made these for dinner tonight as I love Brussels sprouts. They were creamy and not bitter at all. I know this will sound really weird, but I ate them with half a diced avocado, raw. The chicken I was going to make for dinner went bad and I didn’t think the sprouts would be enough for dinner. The avocado was actually really good with it and made for a very filling meal. I made these as written and the recipe was perfect! I will make them as a side as well for sure.

Try to mix organic apple sider vinegar,raw honey and olive oil and coat Brussels sprout before roasting. You will love it.

oh yum cooked bacon in convection oven at 375 for 10 min flipped over cooked 10 mins more. Reserve bacon (crumble it). poured frozen bag of sprouts into pan and rolled in the grease. roasted for 20 mins then put into bowl and added bacon crumbles mixed it yummmmmmm.

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