This Brussels sprouts and bacon recipe is a super delicious 2-ingredient side dish that the whole family will love. It's easy and fast!
I have even more Brussels sprout side dish recipes on the blog, including my Easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Brussels Sprouts Gratin.
Why you'll love it
Bacon and Brussels sprouts just go together. This simple side dish is definitely worth making. I'm a big fan of just plain 'ole Brussels sprouts, but dressing them up every now and then is good as well. The crispy, savory quality the bacon adds is a game changer.
I cook the Brussels sprouts in the bacon fat for extra flavor. Yes, that's why they're completely irresistible! These babies are ideal for pairing with any meal, and my readers especially enjoy them around the holidays because they're just so simple and satisfying.
What you'll need
- Brussels sprouts - choose fresh ones with a bright green color and no yellow leaves. In general, the smaller ones will be a little bit sweeter. Make sure they're roughly similar in size.
- Bacon - the leftover grease from frying helps get the sprouts beautifully browned and infused with flavor
- Brussels sprouts can be a bit tough, so the first part of the cooking process is done with the pan's lid on. This traps the steam and cooks them faster. I keep the heat relatively low so they don't brown too quickly. There's no need to boil them first.
- You finish the cooking process with the lid off and then brown them even more to your liking if you wish.
- I used small-to-average size Brussels for this recipe. If you use larger ones, cooking time will need to increase from what I suggest in the recipe.
How to make Brussels sprouts with bacon
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Cut the bacon up into small pieces. In a skillet, fry until crispy. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel, making sure to leave the remaining grease in the pan. Add the halved Brussels sprouts, and stir to coat them.
Cover the pan with a lid, reduce the heat, and cook for about 5 minutes. Return the bacon to the pan. Cook, uncovered, until the sprouts are golden brown and tender. Season with salt & pepper if desired, and serve right away.
Tools for this recipe
Check out Natasha's favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!
- I use this Le Creuset cast iron skillet for this recipe.
- It's effortless to cut the bacon into bite-size pieces with kitchen shears.
Substitutions and variations
- The beauty of this recipe is that it only needs two ingredients, but readers have successfully changed it up!
- Try a hint of maple syrup or balsamic glaze for a sweet touch towards the end of the cooking time.
- We haven't tested with frozen Brussels sprouts, but they may turn out mushy. If they're all you have, let them thaw before cutting into halves, and perhaps cook for less time.
What to serve with Brussels sprouts and bacon
- This side dish is the perfect accompaniment to a pot roast or Simple Filet Mignon for a special occasion or even a Thanksgiving Turkey.
- It goes with pretty much any main course, in my opinion! Try it with my Creamy Chicken in White Wine Sauce for a delicious, quick weeknight meal.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftover Brussels sprouts will keep in an airtight container stored in the fridge for a few of days. Keep in mind they will soften up over time.
- Reheat in a saucepan over a low heat until they're warmed through again, or you could even use the oven.
- You could try freezing leftovers, but the bacon may come out less crispy.
I hope you'll give this easy Brussels sprouts side dish recipe a try! Questions, or want to leave a review? Let me know in the comments below. You can also find me on Instagram.
Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Recipe
- 1/2 pound bacon cut into small pieces
- 2 dozen Brussels sprouts trimmed & halved
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Fry the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until crispy.
- Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate, and leave the grease in the pan.
- Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan, stir them until they're nicely coated in the bacon grease, and cover the pan with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the bacon back into the pan. Cook, uncovered, for a few more minutes or until the Brussels sprouts are as tender and/or browned as you want. You can cover the pan again if you wish (especially if you want the Brussels to be super soft); just keep an eye on them so they don't scorch.
- Season with salt & pepper if needed. Serve immediately.
- I used small to average size Brussels sprouts. If you use giant ones, cooking time will definitely need to increase.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
This recipe was originally published on September 21, 2018. It's been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!
Yeah, this was a hit with my kids last night, how could it not with crispy bacon? I love the simplicity of it. I’ve tried similar recipes that call for sugar and/or honey but we’re all trying to steer clear of sugary foods, especially my athlete kiddos. We paired it with skillet-seared, oven-baked bbq thighs.
That's great! 😀
I can’t put a rating as I am cooking this for the 1st time tonight, but it sounds like my kind of dish. How do you go wrong with bacon?
I am wondering how much the recipe will change with balsamic vinegar reduction. What do you think?
I think it would be tasty!! I'd just be sure to add it towards the end so you don't burn it. Let me know!
Dan L says
While cooking the bacon, I sprinkled Kinder Brown Sugar Rub on it. Once I cooked the sprouts and added the bacon back in, I hit it by with a drizzle of pure maple syrup. It was a huge hit!
That sounds amazing, Dan!!!
Earnestine McMonagle says
I cooked this tonight and it was delicious. I went right by the recipe. I used 16 really large sprouts so I quartered them. I will be making this recipe again.
You had me at easy and fast. I am going to make this tonight with a roasted chicken. I wonder how it would be to add some diced apple.
Hope you enjoy it, Connie! 🙂 I like the apple idea. I think it would be delish.
Carolyn Scott says
This will be my first time cooking fresh brussels sprouts and your recipe sounds just like the thing my family will love. I have always used frozen ones.
I hope you enjoy the recipe, Carolyn! 🙂
Grace Telou says
it is so good
You can possibly cut the large ones in half?
Yes! All the Brussels sprouts are cut in half (see photos in the post and the ingredients explain to halve the Brussels). You could even cut large ones into quarters.
Your recipe sounds good. Mine is simpler but then, I'm a simple guy.
I use thick cut bacon (butcher cut is even better). I put the bacon strips on a cookie sheet, place the halved sprouts on top, face up, and roat until they look brown and crispy. Superb!
I told my 12 year old niece we were having brussels with dinner tonight and she made an icky face. She ate every single brussel on her plate before anything else LOL. This recipe is so simple, yet delicious. I will always make them this way now 🙂 Thank you!!
A family favourite. Tried with prosciutto instead of bacon for a healthier version. I cooked the Brussel sprouts in duck fat, pan covered, until tender and slightly charred, then added the prosciutto. Tasted delicious!
That sounds amazing!!
Erin Broderick says
I made this for New Year’s dinner and it was a big hit. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe. We will definitely be making this again. Highly recommend this recipe.
That's wonderful! Thank you so much.
Giles Gilham says
A small white wine deglaze after frying the bacon, and a small amount of red onion really works - also I seasoned the sprouts with ground pepper during the cook, which also gave some extra flavour
The dish was easy to make according to the receipt. The nutty flavor really came through on the Brussel sprouts. The bacon provided a hint of salt; little extra salt needed. Will cook this again.
Tracey Ann powell says
Tried this, it was gorgeous. Very easy to do.
Awesome!! Thank you!! 🙂
Dorothy Perkins says
Ok I am making this for supper tonight. Im not a fan of Brussel sprouts but I want to eat healthier. Definitely will use fresh ground pepper and most likely some kind of cheese also. 😁
I hope you enjoy it, Dorothy!!
Joann Smith says
This recipe is delicious!
Wonderful! Thank you!
Thanks for saving the day
Do you cook the fresh sprouts in boiling water first? Or only in to the bacon grease?
Hi! The recipe is exactly as indicated. I would always mention an extra step like that... I don't leave people guessing. You're welcome to boil them first if you prefer them to be very soft. Let me know if you try the recipe. 🙂
Melissa Detmar says
My family loves when I make this dish.... even the picky vegetable eaters!
That makes me so happy!
Denise Dorfschneider says
Terry Pallaise says
Can I thaw the sprouts b4?
I think that should be fine 🙂
Terry Pallaise1 says
What if the sprouts are frozen
You'd have to do a bit of experimenting. I haven't tested this with frozen sprouts... just fresh ones.
Do you think you could freeze this dish and reheat when needed?
I think that should be fine. The bacon won't be crispy, but I think it'll still be yummy. 🙂
Donita Scott says
Plan on wowing this recipe for Thanksgiving
Hope it's a hit! 🙂
Diane Novak says
Can you do this in the oven as well?
Hi Diane! In theory, yes, but I really can't offer much advice without testing. You'd have to time it right so the bacon and brussels sprouts are done at the same time.
Ann B says
I just made this as a one-dish main course. I added fresh ground black pepper, then minced garlic toward the end (an afterthought). I served it with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. My dearest loved it. Thank you for the inspiration!
I'm so glad it was a hit! 🙂
cora pushor says
Just wondering, do the brussel sprouts abosorb a lot of the bacon grease while cooking in it?
I haven't made it in a long time, but I'd say so, yes.
Debbie Reaburn says
This is a easy, great tasting side dish. The bacon adds great flavor to the brussel sprouts, goes great with ham, poultry, and beef.
So pleased you enjoyed it, Debbie! 🙂
Super easy and delicious. I added a little lime juice before serving. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
Awesome!! You're welcome!
Thank you for this easy, yummy recipe!
You're welcome, Lisa!
Carin B Delfs says
Thank You! The recipes appears easy and I will try it closer to dinner time. Carin
Hope you like it! 🙂
I have made Brussels Sprouts this way for years with fantastic flavor to the dish. The pass couple of years I have added cran raisin and sweet onion, not only do I get the original great flavor but now the dish pops even more.
Ooh I like those additions! I should try.
Excellent! Had to figure out preparing frozen ones opposed to the fresh.
I'm glad it worked out!
I love Brussels sprouts, this has become my absolute favorite way to make them! Since finding this recipe I have made them twice and can't wait to make them again! My husband who isn't a Brussels sprouts lover likes them too!
That makes me so happy!!
Jeff Bellucci says
Great recipe. For a flair, at very end of cooking, drizzle with honey, stir and serve. Bacon & Honey a nice salty sweet affair.
Ooh love that idea, Jeff!
My few in my house topped this with parmigiano reggiano
I love brussel sprouts cooked any way possible but hubby, not very much. I used your recipe, adding onions and my husband said to cook them ANYTIME! Thank you for allowing me to enjoy brussel sprouts regularly.
That's what I like to hear!! Thanks for letting me know! 🙂
Omg i disliked brussle sprouts my whole life until i seen this recipe and woow not sure why i disliked them tbey were delicious with the bacon two thunbs up! Ty :o)
Haha that's awesome!
Great recipe! I sauteed a chopped yellow onion in the bacon fat before I added my fresh halved brussel sprouts. The onion added a bit of sweetness to the dish. SO GOOD! We're having this with grilled pork tenderloins after spliting 2 cords of wood today. Mixed grain pilaf too.
I'm so happy you liked it! 🙂 Good idea to add the onion!
Great recipe! Tried mine a little different by making bacon bits for Caesar salad and reserving the bacon fat. Then followed yours without adding any bacon back in, but hit them with a splash of fresh lemon juice left over from the Caesar dressing once done. Sprinkled some of the already made bacon bits over top and it was a hit.
Ooh good idea!!
Hi, planning on making these for our belated christmas can I fry up the bacon and reserve the fat the day before?
Hi! That should be fine! 🙂
Happy Mom says
In the past, my teenager pretended to gag when he ate Brussel sprouts with just salt and pepper. Tonight, I tried your recipe and I am super surprised and very happy he ate 12 without being dramatic at all. Then he thanked me for dinner!!! I want to thank you for sharing your recipe!
Haha that's so funny. I'm glad he enjoyed these! 😀
Ingvor Franklin says
This recipe was wonderful! I live alone, but like to make myself a thanksgiving dinner. Just turkey (for the aroma) stuffing, sweet potato, and a veggie. Decided to try roasted Brussels sprouts this year. These were so good, I ate half of them for dinner (Skipped the stuffing and potatoes), and the rest for breakfast the next day. Really easy to make - cooked the whole thing in the oven in a casserole in three steps.
Thank you so much for sharing this!
Sounds good to me... I am so happy that you enjoyed them! 🙂
How old are you Ingvor? You must love cooking.Great recipe!
Great recipe! This side dish was a hit at Thanksgiving dinner. I sautéed the brussels sprouts in bacon drippings and a little ghee. So tasty! We brought the dish to a pot luck Thanksgiving dinner and even though there were leftovers, the host insisted that we leave all the extras at their place so they could finish them up 🙂 Will definitely be making this dish again.
I'm so happy to hear you made it for Thanksgiving!! 🙂
Making as we speak. Always loved just with butter...cannot wait to try!
Me too!! Hope you enjoy this recipe, Dawn! Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂
Thank you! Happy Thanksgiving! ❤️
Making for Thanksgiving xo
How can you make this using frozen Brussels sprouts ? Thaw first or cook frozen ?
Hi! I'd at least partially thaw them so you can cut them into halves. Let me know how it goes!
Berta Ronda says
NEVER had Brussels sprouts! Omg! Delish! Thank you!
So happy you enjoyed the recipe!! 🙂 That's awesome!
Mirian D says
Nicely worded and delicious!
So glad you enjoyed it!
Can they be reheated in the oven? I would love to make for thanksgiving but i would have to reheat.
I think that would be fine 🙂
Jeff the Chef says
What a great combination. I love that you've got so much bacon in there.
Thanks, Jeff! Yeah, I didn't want to skimp on it for this recipe haha. 😉
Val W says
I like this recipe very much. I sprinkle Amino liquid instead of salt. It’s taste like soy sauce. And then I will sprinkle some stevia on stop and maybe som Parmesan too! 😍
So glad you enjoy this recipe, Val!
Lakiesha small says
Omg something said pick up some Brussels sprouts mind you I haven't had them in 10+ yrs, but I just made this recipe and I'm eating them before the main course is done lol💗💗💗😋😋😋😋
I am soo pleased to hear that! 🙂