Bacon Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Bacon Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
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Hands down the best brussels sprout recipe you will ever find! Slow roasted brussels sprouts share a pan with caramelized onions and bacon, and are then tossed in a sweet balsamic glaze and goat cheese. So many flavors, and so simple to make. Pair this side dish with almost anything: steak, burgers, pasta, fish, and elevate your meal from a solo main dish status.

cutting board

To be honest it has only been in the past year that I have truly enjoyed brussels sprouts.  I avoided them through all of childhood, and then the college years did not lend to me wasting money on produce I wasn’t sure I was going to like.  But since beginning my “adultish” twenty-something years, brussels sprouts have really grown on me! I do like to simply roast and serve them with garlic aioli; but after making this recipe I think roasting brussels sprouts with bacon and a balsamic dressing is the absolute best way to eat them.

The Best Ever Bacon and Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

A few weeks ago when we traveled to Marquette for a wedding (one of the coolest towns in Michigan, if you can, it definitely deserves a visit) we tried out a new restaurant in town.  It was a super sweet former movie theater that sat vacant for the entire time we lived in Marquette (the college years). Now it reminds me of a gastro pub or small trendy cafe.  Anyway, while there I ordered a side of their brussels sprouts…holy wow, they were the best version of the vegetable I have ever had!

bacon brussels sprouts

Those brussels sprouts are also the inspiration for this recipe. I am not sure what exactly the sauce was, and the Delft (the restaurant) used a pork belly meat rather than traditional bacon. But I think this copy cat/slightly modified recipe comes pretty darn close to perfect. The combination may sound a little unique: brussels sprouts, balsamic sauce, goat cheese, and caramelized onion, but trust me, it is tasty!

Cooking the bacon over the brussels sprouts not only means less dishes, it also imparts the savory richness of the bacon to the sprouts. The balsamic dressing is that perfect light sweetness and so easy to make. Not to mention that once you have mastered how to reduce balsamic vinegar the concept can be used to make all sorts of sauces, dressings, and marinades.  It you want you can cool and store the leftover sauce as a salad dressing for later.

bacon balsamic brussels sprouts

I think these brussels sprouts are best served warm, but I did eat them cold the next day (for fear of the backlash of microwaving them in the work break room where there are many sensitive noses and several pregnant women. I mean brussels sprouts taste amazing but can be a bit odorous when reheated). They were tasty cold too!

Try them out and let me know what you think!

Bacon Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 large red onion
  • 3 strips bacon
  • 1/4 salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 oz goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Slice the rinsed brussels sprouts into quarters, removing the hard stem portion at the bottom. Chop red onion into approximately one inch sized pieces. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

  2. Spread onions and brussels sprouts on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Toss to evenly coat. 

  3. Spread 3 strips of bacon across the top of the onion and sprouts mixture. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the bacon begins to crisp and the edges of the brussels sprouts are browned. 

  4. While the sprouts roast make the balsamic glaze by heating balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small sauce pan.  Bring to a low boil and cook, stirring occasionally until sauce reduces to about half of the original amount. 

  5. Remove bacon and chop into small pieces. Drizzle balsamic glaze over brussels sprouts and onions, add bacon and goat cheese, and toss to mix.  Serve warm. 



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