I try to temper how aggressively I toot my own horn around here, but OMG not one but two toddlers ate their entire servings of these Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts and asked for second helpings.
If you’ve been on the fence as to whether or not maple syrup and bacon can make absolutely anything—including vegetables as aggressively green as Brussels sprouts—delicious, the answer is absolutely.
Recipe testing days leave me with an abundance of leftovers, and I often share the wealth with our friends and their families. When I showed up at the door with these oven roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, however, I wasn’t sure how the kiddos would react. Last I heard, B. sprouts were not a typical hit.
Fortunately, I had an easy selling point. We told the kids these weren’t just any Brussels sprouts—they were Brussels sprouts with maple syrup.
Toddler logic: these Brussels sprouts taste like pancakes (I conveniently omitted the detail that there’s just 1 tablespoon of maple syrup in the whole recipe). Both kids took a bite!
Then, they took another bite. Then another. Then, both declared that they might, in fact, like Brussels sprouts (or at least these specific Brussels sprouts) after all.
I hadn’t originally planned to share this recipe until a few weeks closer to Easter, when we’re all scrambling to figure out what recipes the pickier members of our families will enjoy.
Then, my friend’s sweet daughter asked when I’d be posting the recipe for maple Brussels sprouts so her mom could make it too. She looked truly distraught when I told her two weeks, which when you are five is the equivalent of two decades.
The little lady has a point. The time to make vegetables roasted with bacon (or anything roasted with bacon for that matter) is now. In her honor (and in pursuit of good sense), I bumped the recipe up to today!
Bacon and Maple Syrup—An Easy Pairing for an Elevated Side
Maple and bacon are a dynamite combination in most situations; here, they are exquisite. These Brussels sprouts are by no means overly sweet. The maple syrup helps them caramelize more intensely in the oven, and the bacon makes them salty and savory.
This easy recipe is a gussied-up version of my classic oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts, which are excellent for an everyday healthy side.
When you want something special that will make even your most particular family members gush, however, these crispy Brussels sprouts with bacon and maple syrup are near impossible to beat (these Balsamic Brussels Sprouts are another crowd-pleaser).
For other elevated Brussels sprouts options, I also love these Brussels Sprouts Chips, Smashed Brussels Sprouts, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic, though if you are looking for a best-seller, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat this one.
Did I mention maple syrup and bacon? Hook. Line. Sinker.
How to Make Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts
Party guests or next-level weeknight at home—any occasion is the right occasion for this fast and fabulous recipe.
- Brussels Sprouts. If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you know that I l-o-v-e Brussels sprouts. Once roasted, Brussels sprouts become delightfully crispy on the outside and melt-in-your-mouth tender on the inside. Brussels sprouts are also ultra good for you. They’re packed with fiber, antioxidants, Vitamin-K, and Vitamin-C.
- Bacon. Makes anything better. As the bacon pieces bake, they become dark and crispy and impart scrumptious flavor onto the Brussels sprouts. It’s challenging to not immediately eat every piece of bacon right off the sheet pan!
- Maple Syrup. Coats the Brussels sprout in sweet, sticky, caramelized goodness and makes them universally appealing (even to picky toddlers).
- Olive Oil. Helps the Brussels sprouts to caramelize and keeps them from burning.
- Salt + Pepper. A pinch of each for flavor. I’m going to add even more black pepper next time (feel free to do so the first time you try the recipe too).
- Line your baking sheet with foil for easy clean up, then place the Brussels sprouts in the center.
- Slice the bacon strips, and lay them on top of the Brussels sprouts.
- Add oil, syrup, and seasoning. Toss to coat, then spread the Brussels sprouts into an even layer, scattering the bacon somewhat evenly.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees F, until the sprouts and the bacon are crisp. ENJOY!
To Cook This Recipe on the Stovetop Instead
If your oven is busy, you can take a note from my Sautéed Brussels Sprouts and cook this recipe as a maple bacon Brussels sprouts skillet.
- To Cook this Recipe on the Stovetop: Sauté the bacon pieces on low. Once they’re crisp, remove them from the pan and pat them dry. Sauté the halved Brussels sprouts undisturbed in the bacon drippings with the salt and pepper cut side down for 5 to 8 minutes, until they caramelize. Then, stir and continue to sauté until they are brown and crispy all over, about 6 to 8 minutes more. Stir in the maple syrup and cooked bacon pieces at the very end.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
- To Make Ahead. Slice and trim the Brussels sprouts up to 1 day ahead of time, storing them in the refrigerator.
- To Store. Place leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Add leftover cooked Brussels sprouts to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Rewarm in the oven at 350 degrees F for 5 or so minutes, until heated through. You can also reheat them on a plate in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute (microwaving is far less recommended, as the bacon and Brussels sprouts will become soggy).
- To Freeze. Because they can become soggy, I don’t recommend freezing roasted Brussels sprouts. However, if you end up with lots leftover, you certainly can freeze them and live with a softer result. Place cooked Brussels sprouts in an airtight freezer-safe container and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let roasted frozen Brussels sprouts thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat as directed above.
- Rimmed Baking Sheets. The ultimate tool for roasting veggies.
- Sharp Chef’s Knife. A sharp, sturdy knife is ideal for slicing Brussels sprouts.
- Non-Slip Cutting Board. This non-slip cutting board won’t move around while you’re cutting and chopping.
If you try this recipe, please leave a comment to let me know what you (and your pickiest eaters) think. Whether it’s your first time eating Brussels sprouts or your 500th, I hope these are a 5-star hit in your home too!
Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts
- 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
- 6 strips thick-cut bacon
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. For easy clean up, line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and place the Brussels sprouts in the center. (If you prefer not to use foil, cook the Brussels sprouts directly on the pan or use a silicone baking mat.)
- Cut the bacon crosswise into ¼-inch pieces. Place them on top of the Brussels sprouts. Drizzle the pan with the olive oil and maple syrup and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Gently mix until the Brussels sprouts are evenly coated, then spread them into a single layer on the baking sheet, breaking apart the bacon and scattering it evenly throughout. For even better crisping, flip the Brussels sprouts so that they are all cut side down.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the Brussels sprouts are lightly charred and crisp on the outside and tender in the center and the bacon is crisp. The outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts will be very dark too (this is the caramelized maple syrup; they taste amazing). Watch carefully towards the end of the baking time, as the cooking time will vary based on the size of your sprouts. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as desired. Enjoy hot.
- TO STORE: Place cooked Brussels sprouts in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Add leftover cooked Brussels sprouts to a lightly oiled baking sheet. Rewarm in the oven at 350 degrees F for 5 or so minutes, until heated through. You can also reheat them on a plate in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- TO FREEZE: Because they can become soggy, I don’t recommend freezing roasted Brussels sprouts. However, if you end up with lots leftover, you certainly can freeze them. Place cooked Brussels sprouts in an airtight freezer-safe container and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let roasted frozen Brussels sprouts thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat as directed above.
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