Caramelized Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts

These Caramelized Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts have it all: Pan caramelized brussels sprouts, balsamic glaze and of course bacon!

There’s actually a great story behind this sprout recipe.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts 2

I have learned that there is a generation of folks who grew up eating steamed-to-death brussels sprouts, i.e. my parents. Brussels so over-cooked beyond repair that when my parents married they promised each other that they would never make or eat them. Actually I was told it was both brussles sprouts and liver.


So picture this: Christmas Eve 2012 and I’m making Caramelized Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts to go with prime rib. I knew of my dad’s dislike for sprouts so I made green beans too. Okay, so there we were standing in my kitchen when I turned to my dad and said… “C’mon dad… just try them! There’s bacon and onions and what doesn’t taste amazing where bacon is involved?” And then I promised him he could spit it in the garbage if he didn’t like them and my feelings wouldn’t be hurt a bit.

Well guess what? He said “Oh-all right”… and he took a bite. You guys he actually liked them… in fact I think I’m safe to say he LOVED them. He even told my Aunt Kathy in Texas about them and then she emailed me for the recipe! HA! I actually got my dad, who probably hasn’t had a brussels sprout in 50 years err a long time to try one… annnnnd then he had a plateful! I honestly did a happy dance right then and there.

Okay okay… so how about I show you how I made these magical Caramelized Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts?


Start with a tablespoon of bacon fat into a giant 12 inch skillet {that has a lid}. If you don’t keep a giant jar of the stuff in your fridge like I do… then go ahead and use olive oil or butter. Heat the pan over medium/ medium-high heat.

chopped bacon

Dice up 4 strips of slab bacon.

cooked bacon

Throw the bacon into the hot skillet and let those start to cook.

diced onion

Then go ahead and chop up a medium yellow onion as well. Tears will fall and I am sorry.

add onions

Throw that in with the bacon and stir it around.

trim and halve

While the bacon crisps and the onions soften, trim the ends off of a pound and a half of fresh brussles sprouts.


Then cut them in half from top to bottom, so the “stem” still keeps them mostly intact.

starting to crispy

See how the bacon’s starting to crisp and the onions are getting all golden-like?


This is when you want to use a slotted spoon and transfer them to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Leave the fat in the pan!

cut-side down

Now place each brussels sprout half {cut side down} into the pan.

the big pan helps!

This is why a big skillet helps… more surface area to caramelize those sprouts!

lid on

Once the brussels are all in, place a lid on and let the steam start to soften the sprouts.


After 5-8 minutes… turn and look at the underside of those sprouts! BEAUTIFUL! Season them with a little kosher salt and a lot of black pepper, to taste of course.

add bacon and onions

Add the bacon and onions back in with the sprouts and stir. Continue to cook the sprouts until they are fork tender yet still firm. Remember, nobody likes soggy sprouts… nobody.

add the glaze

Now drizzle in about two tablespoons or as much as your heart desires! 


Stir that all together so the sprouts and bacon are nicely coated in the glaze.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts 3


















And serve! You guys are gonna love these Caramelized Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts and I promise ya, these will turn any sprout-hater into a sprout lover!

Enjoy! And if you give this recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts 01

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Yield: 4-6 servings

Caramelized Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts

Caramelized Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts
Caramelized brussles sprouts with bacon and onion tossed in a delicious balsamic glaze!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1-1/2 pounds fresh brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 4 strips thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat or butter
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons reduced balsamic vinegar or glaze


  1. In a large 12-inch skillet, heat a tablespoon of bacon fat or butter over medium/medium-high heat.
  2. Add in the chopped bacon and cook for 5 minutes. Next add in the chopped onion, stir and cook until the bacon starts to get crispy and the onions turn a deep golden. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate, leaving the bacon fat still in the skillet.
  3. Lay the halved brussels sprouts {cut side down} in the skillet. Once all of the brussels sprouts are in, reduce the heat to medium and place the lid over the pan. The steam will help to cook the sprouts. Let the brussels sprouts cook for 5-8 minutes this way before stirring.
  4. Add the bacon and onions back into the skillet, stir and continue to cook the sprouts until fork tender but not too soft. Season with a little bit of kosher salt and a lot of black pepper {to taste}.
  5. Drizzle in two tablespoons of the balsamic glaze, stir and serve hot.
[this post contains affiliate links.]

    Pin It

42 Responses to “Caramelized Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts”

  1. #
    Allie — January 2, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Can’t say I’ve ever been a big fan of brussels sprouts but now that bacons in the mix I may have to try these out! Great blog!
    Allie from Urban Feast

    • simplyscratch replied: — January 3rd, 2013 @ 4:43 am

      Thanks Allie! You can’t go wrong when bacon is involved!

  2. #
    Aparna B. — January 2, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Yum!! The only thing I would do since we don’t eat meat, is take out the bacon (pause for gasps of disbelief). But, I would think it would taste just as delicious. I need to find that glaze you used! Sounds delicious šŸ™‚ Hope your 2013 is off to a rocking start! Stay warm! The mitten is EXTRA chilly this morning!

    • simplyscratch replied: — January 3rd, 2013 @ 4:44 am

      You could definitely omit the bacon here for sure… balsamic glazed sprouts are just as rockin’! šŸ™‚

  3. #
    Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama — January 2, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    This is my favorite way to eat sprouts! These look perfect.

  4. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — January 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm

    Get that in my face right now, if you wouldn’t mind?

  5. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — January 2, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I looove me some brussels sprouts. This recipe is fabulous!

  6. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — January 2, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    Ugh, I want to eat a pound of these. ASAP!

  7. #
    Natalie — January 2, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Looks sooo good! I love the taste of brussel sprouts when they get nice and caramelized!

  8. #
    Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats — January 2, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    I love Brussels sprouts! These are a great way to make them!

  9. #
    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — January 2, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Love Brussels sprouts!! This looks fabulous!

  10. #
    Isabelle @ Crumb — January 2, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    I think Brussels sprouts might be my favourite winter vegetable, especially when they’re beautifully caramelized like these babies. (And of course, adding lots of crispy bacon kind of helps too.) Love the idea of finishing them off with some balsamic glaze!

  11. #
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — January 2, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    Like you, I’m a huge fan of Brussels sprouts and think every person on the planet should try your recipe before deciding they don’t like them. Bacon and balsamic vinegar glazed brussels sounds wonderful! What a tasty and healthy dish!

  12. #
    Cassie | Bake Your Day — January 3, 2013 at 12:08 am

    These look amazing! I have some of that balsamic drizzle in my pantry now. Love it!

  13. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — January 3, 2013 at 12:57 am

    wow i LOVE the color on those brussel sprouts!!

  14. #
    Sherice at — January 3, 2013 at 4:55 am

    This is my favorite way of cooking brussel sprouts as well…although I’ve not though of adding in the balsamic. Takes them from yummy to amazing! Thanks!

  15. #
    Jackie @ The Beeroness — January 3, 2013 at 5:54 am

    You are so right about our parents generation. My mom loathed them because she has only had mushy gray ones. I love them, probably because she refused to serve them and I never had them until I was an adult. I love the balsamic caramelized version you have.

  16. #
    JulieD — January 3, 2013 at 6:14 am

    My husband would love this, his two favorite things – brussels sprouts and bacon!

  17. #
    Sally @ Sallys Baking Addiction — January 3, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Happy New Year Laurie! Ok, I am secretly a HUGE sucker for brussels sprouts. they are my favorite veggie! my boyfriend and I roast them all of the time and I am dying for fresh new ways to make them. The caramelized balsamic glaze. wow. Can I have these for breakfast?? Is that weird?? šŸ˜‰

  18. #
    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme — January 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    This recipe just might tempt my avowed brussels sprouts hating husband to give them one more try. After all – bacon makes anything better, right?

  19. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — January 3, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    I have brussels sprouts in my fridge, this will happen this weekend!

  20. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — January 4, 2013 at 12:45 am

    Hope you had a wonderful new year’s! Oh and these brussel sprouts? I’m not much of a brussel sprouts fan but I would gladly devour this right now!

  21. #
    The Food Hound — January 4, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    YUM! I always love new ways to cook sprouties! And I have some crazy-good balsamic, so I’ll try your handy-dandy trick with the reduction. Yay!

  22. #
    CodieD — January 4, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    I made this last night. It was VERY tasty! My husband doesn’t really care for balsalmic, so I drizzled some on half of the sprouts in a separate bowl. I thought it was delicious!! I loved how the bacon and onion cooked up together. I was getting impatient, but gave them time and they looked just like your picture, but in a cast iron pan šŸ™‚ Thank you for this! Great timing. We had this with Simply Recipe’s Panko Crusted Salmon. YUMMY!

  23. #
    Ashley — January 7, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    I made these last night to go with your Chipotle-Pomegranate Pork Tenderloin and they were fabulous! This is the first time I made brussel sprouts and I couldn’t believe how good the flavors were together. I used thick applewood smoked bacon and chopped up a few extra slices to put in since my husband LOVES bacon. I also made the homemade glaze you suggested with the honey and balsamic vinegar since I didn’t have the store bought one. I tasted the sprouts before putting the glaze on and loved them as is – then I added the glaze and they were even better! My husband loved these as well – and he has groaned and complained any time I ever suggested making brussel sprouts. These were delicious and I will definitely be making them again – they would especially be great to go with a holiday meal!

    The pork tenderloin was fabulous as well – I had some leftover POM juice and was looking for something to do with it and when I came across your recipe I figured it would be the perfect thing. Glad I made it – it was a hit and both my husband and I are excited for the leftovers today.

    Thanks for two wonderful recipes!

  24. #
    Jayne — January 18, 2013 at 3:22 am

    I made mine in the exact same way and posted it on my blog too. I think there is no other way to eat Brussels sprouts than this way. I’ve never had them when growing up because it’s not available here. But I’m so glad I occasionally chance upon them now. Yay!

  25. #
    John — March 18, 2013 at 3:17 am

    Suggest that anyone that loves this recipe look for the pizza recipe that is similar. Google “Brussels sprouts and bacon pizza” for your options. You will not be disappointed with the pizza and a salad for a gourmet meal. Thought I had gone to heaven!

  26. #
    Louise @ — April 22, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    I’m not a massive fan of brussel sprouts but these look yummy. Thanks for sharing -I’ll be sure to try these out with the family. Thanks again Laurie šŸ™‚

  27. #
    Tonia — May 28, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I have to confess that I’m a lover of the over-cooked and mushy sprouts with butter. šŸ™‚ That said, I’m going to be trying this recipe out for our Sunday dinner. Just found your blog today and I’m so glad I did!

    • simplyscratch replied: — May 29th, 2013 @ 12:52 am

      Hi Tonia! You’re gonna love them!

  28. #
    Corrine — September 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    Add some:

    toasted pine nuts or toasted slivered almonds
    a bit of shredded parmesan cheese

    There’s a restaurant near me that has these on the appetizer menu but with the toasted almonds and parmesan cheese. I cannot begin to tell you how good they are; brussels sprouts on an appetizer menu? Oh yes.

  29. #
    Aisha Kelson — October 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    I made these last night…divine!! I made my own balsamic glaze using the recipe provided. I had mine with a nice ribeye steak. I must say, t the brussel sprouts stole the show…and this is coming from a self professed carnivore

    • simplyscratch replied: — October 1st, 2013 @ 6:37 pm

      That’s great Aisha! I’m so glad! Thanks for coming back and leaving a comment!

  30. #
    Christine — October 7, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    I think these look AMAZING!!! Our family only eats turkey bacon though, would you make any suggestions for that? Maybe more slices since it’s cut so thin? Have made something similar before, but just used turkey bacon bits and no basalmic glaze. Trying this tonight with the turkey bacon. Can’t wait!!!

  31. #
    Michele H. — January 10, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Just made these for dinner…wonderful flavor. I didn’t add salt since I felt that the bacon brought enough to the dish.

    • simplyscratch replied: — January 12th, 2014 @ 6:08 pm

      I’m happy to hear it Michele! šŸ™‚

  32. #
    Shar Belle — December 25, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Merry Christmas 2014! Great job on the photos!!! Too often the photos of glazed, seared, and caramelized brussel sprouts look burned and unappealing to my eye. These look de-lish! So, I am trying your recipe today as an accompaniment to a prime rib and garlic mashed dinner menu. I’ll LYK if it doesn’t work out but otherwise, I’m expecting perfection. šŸ™‚

  33. #
    Jackie — October 4, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    Hi Laurie

    What brand of slab bacon did you use in this recipe.

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — October 4th, 2015 @ 1:16 pm

      Hi Jackie! I typically buy Wright (applewood) bacon but I also go to the butcher near by and buy their house slab bacon too.

  34. #
    sherrie — December 18, 2015 at 9:05 am

    I’m gonna try this recipe for Christmas and I’d like to add green beans, have you done that yourself, it’s just an extra veggie to make the bowl full. Incase a couple extra visitors come,, iVe seen beans with Brussel sprouts and its delicious, and have u used roasted almond slices in the recipe as well, thankyou

  35. #
    Nick — January 19, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    I’ve made these twice in the past 2 months and all I can say is AWESOME! They were a huge hit, so much so that friends are asking for the recipe.

  36. #
    Counselorchick — January 21, 2016 at 4:26 am

    Yum. These are perfect.

    There is certainly no need to purchase a balsamic glaze when you can reduce balsamic vinegar with some brown sugar and keep it in a jar!

    We all get that you are paid for your endorsements but this one is a bit sketchy don’t you think?

Leave a Comment