Fresh vegetables have been such a part of my life since an early age.

 I remember collecting fresh carrots, salad, herbs, zucchini, beans, peas, and tomatoes from my grandmother’s garden when I was very little. My grandmother and her cousin even took me Porcini mushroom picking. The experience of a lifetime.

Brussels Spouts with Bacon and Shallots

I try to instill in my son the same food values by having at least two side dishes of vegetables at dinner time. I guess I succeeded because I am asked on a daily basis to prepare broccoli. Wanting a bit of a change, mushrooms and Brussels sprouts were it last night. My nose went up as mushrooms are not my son’s favorite; however, the polite bite to try was reached. Loved them, but he would not admit it. 

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The perfect easy side to your main dish. From my kitchen to yours, enjoy!!

In this Article

Why You’ll Love This Great Recipe

  • Flavorful and Nutritious: The Brussels sprouts are packed with vitamins and nutrients, and when paired with the savory bacon and subtly sweet shallots, it becomes a side dish that is as healthy as it is delicious.
  • Easy to Prepare: This recipe doesn’t require complex cooking techniques, making it a delightful addition to your dinner table with easy instructions.
  • Customizable: It’s simple to add your own twist to this recipe. You can throw in some garlic for added depth of flavor or sprinkle some cheese on top for a creamy finish.
  • Perfect for Any Occasion: Whether it’s a regular weekday dinner, for special occasions, or a holiday feast, this Brussels sprouts with bacon and shallots recipe fits right in, adding a touch of elegance to any meal.

How Do You Prepare Brussel Sprouts?

Preparing Brussels sprouts is a simple process that requires minimal effort. Start by rinsing the sprouts in cold water to remove dirt or debris. Next, trim the base of each sprout and remove any wilted or discolored outer leaves. If the sprouts are large, you can cut them in half or quarters for more even cooking. 

Now, they are ready to be cooked according to your recipe, whether it’s roasting, boiling, sauteing, or steaming. Remember, Brussels sprouts are best when they’re cooked until just tender – overcooking can result in a mushy texture and an overly strong flavor.

brussels sprouts with bacon on a black pan

Recipe tips 

  1. Choosing Sprouts: When buying fresh Brussels sprouts, look for firm, bright, tightly closed green heads. Smaller sprouts tend to be sweeter and more tender.
  2. Prep Ahead: You can trim and clean the Brussels sprouts a few days in advance. After cleaning, dry them thoroughly and store them in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator.
  3. Bacon Selection: Choose high-quality, thick-cut bacon for the best flavor. You can also opt for turkey bacon if you prefer a leaner option.
  4. Cook evenly: To ensure even cooking, try to cut your Brussels sprouts into similar sizes.
  5. Season Generously: Don’t be afraid to season your Brussels sprouts generously. Adding sufficient salt can make a world of difference in bringing out the sprouts’ natural sweet and nutty flavors.
  6. Don’t Overcrowd the Pan: When sauteing or roasting, make sure the sprouts have enough room in the pan. Overcrowding can lead to steaming instead of browning.

Equipment needed

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Large skillet

Cutting board

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02/18/2024 06:35 am GMT

Step by Step

  • In a large skillet, cook bacon on medium-high heat until you have golden brown crispy bacon.
  • Add the shallots and cook until tender. Add the Brussels sprouts and sauté to high heat to give it a nice golden outside.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon, salt, and pepper to the sauteed Brussels sprouts and serve.

How Do You Know When Brussel Sprouts Are Done?

Brussels sprouts are done when they are tender and have a vibrant, bright green color. You can check their doneness by piercing a sprout with a fork – it should slide in with ease. If you’re sauteing or roasting, the outside should have a nice, golden brown color, which indicates caramelization and adds depth to the delicious flavor. Remember, overcooking Brussels sprouts can result in a mushy texture and a strong, bitter flavor, so keep a close eye on them during cooking.

roasted Brussels sprouts

Substitutes and additions

  • For Brussels sprouts: If you are not a fan of Brussels sprouts or don’t have them on hand, green beans or broccoli can make a good substitute. They both pair well with bacon and shallots and can be cooked using a similar method.
  • For Bacon: For a vegetarian version of this fantastic side dish, you can substitute the slices of bacon with smoked tempeh or tofu. These options provide a similar smoky flavor without the meat. If you want to reduce fat, turkey bacon is a leaner alternative. 
  • For Shallots: If you don’t have shallots, you can replace them with red or yellow onions. They’ll provide a similar flavor profile, albeit a bit stronger.
  • For additional flavors: Consider adding garlic or herbs like thyme or rosemary for an additional layer of flavor. These ingredients can simply be tossed with the Brussels sprouts before cooking.
  • For a creamy finish: Sprinkle a little bit of grated Parmesan cheese over the top just before serving. The cheese will melt onto the hot sprouts, adding a creamy, tangy note that complements the savory bacon and sweet caramelized shallots beautifully.
  • For some crunch: Toasted almonds or walnuts can add a nice contrast in texture and a nutty flavor that works well with Brussels sprouts.


Store any leftover Brussels sprouts in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They should stay good for up to 3-4 days. To reheat, you can quickly sauté them in a pan over medium heat or warm them up in a microwave.

Brussels sprouts can be frozen, but it’s recommended to blanch them first to preserve their color, texture, and flavor. After blanching and cooling, pat them dry and spread out on a baking sheet to freeze individually. Once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or airtight container, and they can be stored in the freezer for up to 12 months. When ready to use, there’s no need to thaw – they can go straight into your pan or oven from the freezer.

This amazing side dish is perfect for prepping ahead. You can clean and trim the Brussels sprouts up to 3 days in advance. The bacon can also be cooked ahead of time. Just store these components separately in the fridge. When you’re ready to cook, just sauté the shallots, add the Brussels sprouts and cooked bacon, and you’re good to go! This will significantly cut down on your cooking time, making it an even more convenient side dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use this Brussels sprouts recipe for other cruciferous vegetables?

Absolutely! This versatile recipe works well with other cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, or broccoli. The cooking time may vary slightly depending on the vegetable, so be sure to check for tenderness.

Can I make this recipe vegan?

You can make this recipe vegan by substituting the bacon with a plant-based alternative like smoked tempeh or tofu. Try using nutritional yeast instead of Parmesan for a cheesy flavor without the dairy.

Why are my Brussels sprouts bitter?

Brussels sprouts can taste bitter if they are overcooked. To avoid this, make sure to cook them just until they are tender and bright green. Smaller sprouts also tend to be less bitter than larger ones.

How can I add more protein to this dish?

To add more protein, consider adding cooked chicken or turkey or plant-based proteins like chickpeas or lentils. Remember to adjust the cooking time and seasoning to accommodate these additions.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Shallots

5 from 43 votes
Brussels Sprouts with bacon and shallots
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 shallots, large peeled and finely minced
  • 2 slices bacon, cut into small pieces


  • In a large skillet place the bacon and cook until golden brown.
  • Add the shallots and cook until tender. Add the Brussels sprouts and sauté to high heat to give it a nice golden outside.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper to season and serve.


Calories: 94kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 101mg | Potassium: 462mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 855IU | Vitamin C: 96.4mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1.6mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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