Smokey & Savory .

My son, Connor, arrived home tonight at the very moment roasted brussels sprouts were coming out of the oven. "What smells so good?" he declared.

One of the allures of roasted brussels sprouts is the aroma: the smokey bacon with garlic and balsamic vinegar creating a swirl of sweet and savory hanging in the air. (I'm lucky I have a very "green" eater in the house. Connor often chooses steamed broccoli over fries when we eat out.)

There are many ways to roast brussels sprouts. You can make your own recipe to be as simple or as fancy as you like. The essential part is creating a caramelized crust and crunch to leafy exteriors while maintaining a fleshy moist inside.

I love to include salty bacon (because, well, bacon!), freshly grated parmesan, thyme, and garlic to this classic dish. Typically eaten as a side dish to pork, beef, or chicken, in our home we pull out a fork and call it a meal.

Bacon Roast Brussels Sprouts

Serves 4 // Prep Time: : 10 // Total Cook Time: : 35


+ 1 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half length-wise from crown to tip

+ ½ cup (about five strips) bacon, diced into ¼" squares

+ olive oil (enough to coat, about four tablespoons)

+ balsamic vinegar (enough to coat, about four tablespoons)

+ 3 sprigs fresh thyme, stripped from stem

+ coarse sea salt to taste

+ pepper (fresh ground) to taste

+ 4 cloves garlic, chopped

+ ½ cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese

+ 1 tbsp. lemon juice to drizzle over sprouts


+ cast iron skillet or foil-lined baking sheet

+ whisk

+ mixing bowl 

+ saucepan

+ sieve (~ 6" diameter)

+ glass bowl / pouring container to cool and store

+ steamer / steam basket


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Half brussels sprouts length-wise from crown to tip.
  3. Place in steam basket with 1" water for steam. Steam about 5-10 minutes until softer but not fully softened (they will continue to soften in oven).
  4. Chop garlic into small pieces, just a bit larger than diced.
  5. Strip thyme leaves from stem.
  6. Dice bacon.
  7. Add all ingredients in bowl and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, turning to coat well.
  8. Lay flat on cast iron skillet or foil-lined cookie sheet. Be sure flat sides of sprouts face down and separate out pieces so that food touches as much surface area of the pan as possible.
  9. Sprinkle with parmesan and liberal amounts of salt and pepper.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes, turning about half way. Sprouts are done when edges are dark and crispy and bacon is caramelized with vinegar (pieces will look dark due to the vinegar caramelization but are not burnt).
  11. Squeeze lemon over hot sprouts and dust with additional salt, as needed. 
  12. Serve with aioli, mild mustard cream sauce, or truffle mayonnaise.