Tender brown sugar caramelized Brussels sprouts tossed with crispy salty bacon. The perfect side dish to any meal, even the Brussels sprout skeptics will be won over!
If you’ve ever been subjected to mushy overcooked Brussels sprouts and swore to never eat them again, these Brussels sprouts are here for redemption.
They are tender but still have enough structure to hold up next to the crispy bacon. Tossed in a sweet and tangy brown sugar sauce, these Brussels sprouts will have even the most anti-Brussels sprout person you know asking for more.
The side dish is handled. Now, what about the main meal? Try these Pan Seared Chicken Thighs along with Easy Yellow Rice. Or, for minimal cleanup, these Brussels would go great next to One Pot Creamy Chicken and Rice or One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon.
Brussels Sprouts – look for ones that are firm and tightly packed with little brown or yellow leaves.
Bacon – use your favorite kind here.
Brown Sugar – the sweet element in these caramelized Brussels sprouts.
Dijon Mustard – adds a depth of flavor to balance the sweetness.
Worcestershire Sauce – also adds more complex flavors.
Red Pepper Flakes – adds just a little warmth to the background.
Butter – adds fat to help keep the Brussels sprouts moist and flavorful.
Step By Step Instructions
Note: Full list of ingredients, their amounts, and instructions can be found in the recipe card below.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Place cut bacon in a large cold pan, preferably cast iron. Heat over medium and cook, stirring often, until the fat has rendered out and the bacon is crispy.
Turn off the heat.
Drain or wipe out the drippings with paper towels leaving a thin layer on the bottom of the skillet.
Meanwhile, mix together melted butter, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and red pepper flakes.
Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan with the bacon.
Add the sauce and toss until everything is coated.
Roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts are cooked through and browned.
Serve warm and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
- To trim and prepare the Brussels sprouts, remove the woody stem and any brown or yellow leaves. Then, slice the sprouts from top to bottom.
- Freeze the bacon slices for about 10 minutes before cutting them into 1/2-inch pieces. This will make it much easier.
- Also, use a very sharp knife to cut the bacon.
Substitutions & Variations
- Use pancetta or prosciutto in place of the bacon.
- Add crumbled feta for a creamy element.
- Pecans and dried cranberries would be a great addition in the fall.
Storage & Reheating
Store the Brussels sprouts in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Reheat in 30-second increments in the microwave or in a skillet over medium-low heat until warmed through.
Cooked Brussels sprouts can be placed in a freezer-safe container and frozen for up to 12 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating in a 350-degree F oven for 5 minutes or until warmed through.
Note: The Brussels sprouts will likely be softer after freezing and reheating.
Frequently Asked Questions
This happens when food is cooked too closely together. Rather than roasting, they steam. For this recipe, a large 12-inch skillet is perfect for giving the Brussels sprouts some room to roast.
They were overcooked. When caramelizing the sprouts, we’re trying to strike a balance between nicely browned and not overcooking them. Keep an eye on them for the last few minutes and pull them from the oven when they are browned but not too soft.
Too much was cut off the bottom. You want to trim away the woody stem but leave the base intact so that the leaves don’t all break apart.
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Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts trimmed and cut in half (see notes)
- 3 slices bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- 3 tablespoons light brown sugar packed
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Place the cut bacon in a large oven-safe skillet, preferably cast iron. Heat over medium and continue cooking, stirring often, until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crispy.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and red pepper flakes.
- Turn off the heat. Drain the bacon grease from the pan leaving only a thin coating on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan with the bacon and toss in the sauce until everything is coated.
- Roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes stirring once halfway through. The Brussels are done when they have cooked through and browned.
- Serve warm.
- Remove the woody stem leaving a small bit to keep the sprouts from falling apart.
- Remove any yellow or brown leaves
- Slice in half from top to bottom