Caramelized Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts is a simple side dish loaded with flavor. Brussels sprouts caramelize in bacon fat and tossed with crispy bacon, sautéed onions, garlic and tangy balsamic glaze. Yields 6 in about 45 minutes.
There’s actually a great story behind this sprout recipe.
I have learned that there is a generation of folks who grew up eating steamed-to-death brussels sprouts, i.e. my parents. Sprouts so over-cooked beyond repair that when my parents were married, my mom promised my dad that she would never make them and my dad promised he would never eat them.
Fast forward: Christmas Eve 2012 and I’m making these Caramelized Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts to go with dijon rosemary prime rib. Already aware of my dad’s dislike for sprouts so I made green beans too, just in case. 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 throw away what was left on his plate into the garbage if he didn’t like them and my feelings wouldn’t be hurt a bit.
Well guess what? He agreed to it and he took a bite. You guys he actually liked them! In fact I think it’s safe to say he loved them. My dad even told his sister, my Aunt Kathy in Texas about them and then she emailed me for the recipe.
I honestly can’t believe that I got my dad, who probably hasn’t had a brussels sprout in
50 years err a long time to try one and then he had a plateful! It took all I had to not do a happy dance right then and there.
To Make These Caramelized Balsamic Glazed Brussels sprouts You Will Need:
- bacon – For this recipe, I like to use thick-cut applewood smoked bacon.
- yellow onion – Adds a subtle sweet onion flavor.
- brussels sprouts – I try to find ones that are all pretty uniform in size.
- garlic (not pictured) – Adds distinct punchy flavor.
- kosher salt – Enhances the flavors in this recipe.
- freshly ground black pepper – This will add some subtle bite and flavor.
- balsamic glaze – Use homemade or store-bought.
- minced fresh parsley – For a pop of color and fresh herby flavor.
Start by lightly spraying a large 12-inch deep sided skillet (one that has a lid) with olive oil and add in the 4 strips thick-cut bacon that has been diced. Turn on the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
Add 1 cup diced yellow onion to the bacon, stir and cook until the bacon is crispy and the onions are soft and translucent. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon and onions to a plate, leaving the fat in the pan.
While the bacon crisps and the onions soften, trim the ends off of a pound and a half of fresh brussles sprouts and cut in half.
Place the first layer of brussels sprout halves cut-side down into the fat in the pan before adding in the rest. This is why a big skillet helps, because there’s more surface area to caramelize the sprouts.
Once the brussels are all in, cover and let the steam start to soften the sprouts for about 8 to 10 minutes.
After 5-8 minutes, stir and appreciate the golden underside of those sprouts!
Add the bacon and onions back in along with 2 cloves minced fresh garlic. Season with a few pinches of kosher salt and lots of black pepper.
Stir to combine. Continue to cook the sprouts until they are fork tender yet still firm.
Remember, nobody likes soggy sprouts… nobody.
Lastly, drizzle in about two tablespoons of reduced balsamic or balsamic glaze and toss to combine.
Everything should be nicely coated in that tangy glaze.
Serve on a platter with a sprinkle of minced fresh parsley.
That’s it! A simple side dish packed full with flavor and dreamy bacon. You guys are gonna love these Caramelized Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts! And I can guarantee these will turn any sprout-hater into a brussels sprout lover!
Caramelized Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts
- olive oil spray
- 4 slices thick-cut applewood bacon, diced
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1½ pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- kosher salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze
- 1 tablespoon minced parsley, for serving
- Spray a large 12-inch deep sided skillet with olive oil. Add in the diced bacon and heat over medium heat. Stir and cook the bacon for 5 minutes.
- Add in the chopped onion, stir and cook until the bacon is crispy and the onions are soft and translucent and the edges are golden.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon and onions to a paper towel lined plate, leaving the bacon fat still in the skillet.
- In a single layer place the halved brussels sprouts, cut-side down in the skillet before adding the rest. Cover and allow the steam to help to cook the sprouts. Let the brussels sprouts cook for 5-8 minutes this way before stirring.
- Add the bacon and onions back into the skillet with the minced garlic. 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.
- Drizzle in the balsamic glaze, stir and serve hot with a sprinkle of minced parsley.
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