Roasted Brussel Sprouts With Candied Pecans and Bacon
Updated Nov 9th 2020
These Roasted brussel sprouts with candied pecans and bacon make the perfect fall side dish that has a huge flavor impact. The Brussel sprouts have a nice smokiness from the bacon, they have wonderfully caramelized edges and the candied pecans add some extra sweetness crunch. They are quiet addictive and you will want to eat them straight out the oven and straight out the pan.
The key to making delicious Brussel sprouts is ensuring that they are not over roasted or over cooked. When they are over done they can taste a little on the bitter side and can even get a bit soggy. Once you see those edges starting to get golden then you know they are pretty much done. To prepare them, start by trimming off the bottom of them and then slicing the brussels sprouts in half or even in quarters if they are on the larger side. Let any outer, brownish leaves fall off. I like to give them a good rinse under cold water at this point and also give them a pat dry before cooking them. Some people like to blanch them for a couple minutes in boiling water and that is ok too. I have used frozen ones before too. I have steamed them or blanched them first then drained the excess water and then cooked them as the recipe calls for. They cook a little faster when you do this, so you may have to adjust how long you roast them based on that.
These guys start off in the pan but finish off in the oven. I think roasting Brussel sprouts is one of my favorite ways to enjoy them. They always taste better roasted I find. It brings out their delicious flavor. I know there are a lot of skeptics out there when it comes to Brussel sprouts. This is the perfect recipe to ease any one in to enjoying Brussel sprouts. The bacon definitely helps. Bacon and Brussel sprouts were sort of made for each other. In fact cooking the Brussel sprouts in some of the bacon fact is definitely one of the best ways to add flavour to them. This dish is not for those counting calories. There is butter and bacon fat and brown sugar and maple syrup in there so this is one of those totally delicious sides that you just have a portion of and not the whole plate of. Moderation is key after all.
This tasty side dish is the perfect blend of fats, sweetness, saltiness and crunch. I love all those components. From the the Brussel sprouts to the bacon and in between. The onion gets nicely caramelized and sweetened and adds so much flavour to the dish. I love to add a bit of thyme in to mine although that is optional and you can switch it out for rosemary or your choice of herb. It takes a few steps to make the dish but it’s so worth it. By caramelising the pecans and bacon you add the sweet, salty and crunchiness to the perfectly roasted sprouts. Couldn’t get enough of these and I’m sure you will feel the same way about them. Enjoy!
- 1 onion red or yellow peeled and thinly sliced
- 250 gram package of bacon sliced
- 1-2 tbsp of fat rendered from frying the bacon
- 450 grams (approx 1LB) of brussel sprouts washed, ends trimmed if needed and sliced in half
- 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 cup of pecans (or walnuts work too and even pumpkin seeds if you want a nut free option)
- 1 tbsp of maple syrup
- 2 tbsp of brown sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp of butter divided
- Preheat oven to 425°F
- In an oven proof pan on medium heat fry up the bacon until well done and then remove with tongs and place on a plate lined with a paper towel and set aside to allow to cool
- In the same pan remove most of the bacon fat except for approximately 1-2 tbsp and, add 1 tbsp of the butter and heat pan to medium/high heat
- Add the onions and sauté for a couple of minutes until translucent and softened
- Add the brussel sprouts and sauté for another couple minutes until they start to soften and turn bright green. Add the garlic and thyme if using, toss and place in the oven to roast for 10-15 minutes or until golden, tossing once halfway through. (Smaller Brussel sprouts may take a shorter time to roast)
- While the sprouts are roasting, preps the pecans. In a medium pan toast pecans at medium/low heat just until they start to get golden and fragrant tossing and stirring them in the pan often so they do not burn. Once done remove from pan and set aside. Heat remaining butter in the same pan until melted and return pecans into pan and toss to coat them with butter. Pour in maple syrup and sugar and stir well while syrup and sugar bubble away. Turn heat down if needed, add in the bacon and stir everything until the syrup is reduced. Place them on a cookie sheet or plate, and let them cool and dry
- Once the brussel sprouts are finished roasting remove from oven carefully (don’t burn yourself on the pan handle by accident like I do all the time), plate and toss with the candied bacon and pecans and serve.