Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts

skillet of crispy maple bacon brussels sprouts
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“More Brussels sprouts, please!”—who would have ever believed that we’d actually be hearing that!? But these pan-fried, slightly crispy maple-bacon Brussels sprouts are so delicious, you’d better get ready to believe it. 

Thank You, Whoever You Are. 

The person who realized that Brussels sprouts and bacon are a perfect match deserves a medal. These diminutive members of the brassica family are not known for their general likeability—and admittedly, Brussels sprouts can have a slight bitterness that makes them an acquired taste. But, pair their vegetal bite with the smoky, meaty heft of crispy bacon—as we do in this easy, stove top sprout recipe—and you’ll find that there are more Brussels sprouts fanatics in your house than you realized. 

brussel sprouts with bacon

What Are Brussels Sprouts?

OK first let’s just clarify something—the third “s” in “Brussels” belongs there. It’s “Brussels sprouts” not “Brussel sprouts”. Now, when you chime in on the family text thread about the fact that your Thanksgiving side dish contribution is going to be these Brussels sprouts with bacon and maple, you can type with confidence. Moving on! 

So, obviously you know that Brussels sprouts are a vegetable, but what are these tiny cabbage-looking green things anyway? Well, they are indeed a variety of cabbage—therefore related to other veggies in the brassica family, like broccoli and cauliflower—and the “sprouts” or buds, that cover the stalk of the plant are the part we eat. You might also be wondering....

brussels spouts, raw bacon, olive oil maple syrup, salt and pepper in small bowls

Are Brussels Sprouts Good For You?

We’re betting you have a suspicion that the answer is yes. And, if so, you’re right! Much like their other brassica family relatives like kale and cauliflower, the health benefits of Brussels sprouts are many. In addition to being a wonderful source of fiber—like almost all vegetables—Brussels sprouts are a great source of iron, as well as vitamin A and vitamin C. And EVEN if you pan-fry your Brussels sprouts with bacon and maple syrup, we still think they count as a healthy vegetable. 

How To Cook Brussels Sprouts

While we’ve been known to shave them into a salad and enjoy them raw, these easy, pan-fried maple-bacon Brussels sprouts are probably our very favorite way to cook them. Who knew that a cruciferous vegetable could be so gosh darn comforting? Plus, this recipe is a life-saver at the holidays—no oven time required. Here’s how to make them: 

  1. Grab a skillet and fry some bacon. 
  2. Leave a little bacon fat in the pan (but probably not all of it) and add some olive oil. 
  3. Fry the Brussels sprouts until they're caramelized and crispy. 
  4. Add the bacon back to the pan, drizzle in a little maple syrup and pat yourself on the back! you just made the best Brussels sprouts that your family / friends / whoever have ever tasted. These are mind-changing Brussels sprouts. 
skillet of maple bacon brussels sprout

Tools You’ll Need:

Green Vegetable Side Dishes that Aren’t Total Snooze Fests. 

Because seriously, vegetables are delicious! They just need a little TLC. 

“Brussels Sprouts? My Favorite!” 

Just imagine hearing that coming out of your kids mouths. With this Brussels sprout recipe on the menu, you honestly just might! Snap a photo of your finished skillet-o-sprouts, and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can see how it turned out for you. Happy eating!

Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 lb bacon, cut into 1 in pieces
1 1/2 lbs Brussels Sprouts, cut in half
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Method

  1. In a large skillet add bacon and turn heat to medium low. Cook until bacon is golden and begins to crisp. Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon from pan.
  2. Remove all but 1 tbsp of bacon fat from pan and add in olive oil. Turn heat up to medium high. Add Brussels sprouts cut side down to the pan and allow to cook without disturbing for 4-5 minutes or until the sprouts begin to char. Once they are browned, flip the sprouts over and stir continuously until they start to get tender, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Return cooked bacon to the pan along with maple syrup and ½ tsp of salt and pepper. Stir until sprouts are coated in the maple syrup. Remove maple bacon brussels sprouts from pan and enjoy!