Brown Sugar Bacon Brussels Sprouts - Savory Simple -

Brussels sprouts. We need to talk. My poor, neglected vegetable friend. Don’t listen to what others say about you sometimes. They just don’t understand what it’s like to be you. You’re unique and delicate. You should only be prepared in certain ways and sadly… there are many home cooks out there who don’t understand your special needs. People have been cooking you incorrectly for generations.

No vegetable likes to be boiled in plain water and I don’t see why anyone would think you’re any different! Water makes you soggy and, oddly enough, makes you smell and taste rather sulphurous. It’s ok, like I said you’re unique. You don’t HAVE to smell bad. Just stay away from the water and make sure other people don’t submerge you. You like high heat in the form of a 400 degree F oven or a hot saute pan. Some olive oil or bacon fat to help get you all nice and caramelized. Maybe a bit of salt to bring out your finer qualities.

And when I get my hands on you, you get the works. Brown sugar, bacon, and a bit of balsamic vinegar. My darling, you’ve never tasted better.


Brown Sugar Bacon Brussels Sprouts
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2-3 servings
  • 2 cups brussels sprouts
  • ¾ cup salt-cured pork or thick cut bacon, cubed (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  1. Cut off the root ends of the brussels sprouts and pull off any old outer leaves. Slice them in half.
  2. In a large skillet, render the fat from the bacon over low to medium-low heat. Once the fat has mostly melted down, turn up the heat and brown the bacon cubes until brown and crunchy. Set aside to drain on a paper towel. Remove all but two tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan.
  3. In the same skillet, add the brussels and allow them to caramelize on one side. Deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar, using a spatula to scrape up any brown bits and incorporate them with the brussels. Continue to saute the brussels on high heat for a few minutes, shaking the pan, until they have softened up a bit. Add the bacon back to the pan along with the brown sugar. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved and is evenly coating the brussels sprouts.
Salt-cured pork is sold in most grocery stores and is essentially a large piece of unsliced bacon. I like using it instead of bacon in this recipe because it's easier to cube. But regular bacon will work perfectly fine.


More Side Dish Recipes

Savory Simple – Buttery Sourdough Buns
Savory Simple – Corn Gratin
Savory Simple – Creamy Millet with Sweet Corn and Chives
Feastie – Broccoli Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Chez Us – Classic Iceberg Wedge Salad
The Cook Who Knew Nothing – European-Style Potato Salad with Sour Cream Dill Dressing

  • Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet

    I love Brussels Sprouts since I was a kid! Your brown sugar and bacon combo has me drooling! Over a veggie! Look what you’re doing to me, Jen! :)

  • Tracey

    My favorite way to make brussels sprouts is with bacon and balsamic vinegar but I bet the addition of brown sugar would have me even more in love with them!

  • Julia |

    I love brussels sprouts! You don’t have to convince me to eat them! :) Especially with bacon. I also prefer them roasted in the oven or on a very high heat on the stove top.

  • Lauren @ Healthy Delicious

    Brussles sprouts are one of my absolute favorites and it kills me that so many people write them off because they’ve only had them boiled. Ick! Roasting is where it’s at! These look divine.

  • Tieghan

    Brussel sprouts are my favorite and these look killer!

  • Sophie

    I don’t get why peeps hate on brussel sprouts! Hahaha seriously, they’re my favorite! I make them for lunch all the time. Steam them, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sesame seeds, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. HEAVEN!

  • Kathryn

    Such a delicious way to eat brussel sprouts – I think these could convince even the most ardent hater that sprouts can be delicious!

  • movita beaucoup

    Gawd, I love Brussels Sprouts! And I’m the only one in my family who does, so… MORE FOR ME!!

  • Giovanna

    They look delicious!

  • Michelle @ Eat Move Balance

    Is it strange that brussels sprouts make my mouth water? I love them, and this looks like no exception!

  • Marie @ Little Kitchie

    I could eat the entire pan!

  • Ruta

    Brown Sugar + Bacon + Brussels Sprouts? Sounds like an incredible pairing. I want it now!

  • Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

    Brussels sprouts are EASILY my favorite vegetable. My mom was convinced that she hated them (no doubt because they were boiled in the dreaded plain water). She now feels otherwise. I LOVE the brown sugar & bacon!!! Also– that photo is completely gorgeous.

  • ashley – baker by nature

    I’m happy to see sprouts going strong into the Spring! LOVE these.

  • Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today

    I had such a cravy for a brussels sprouts. I was looking for it but couldn’t find anywhere. Your recipe makes me want it even more :)

  • Joanne @ Fifteen Spatulas

    This post is epic! I totally agree about the brussel sprouts. Just don’t make them the wrong way and they’re amazing!

  • kirsten@farmfreshfeasts

    I love brussels sprouts! I also love bacon, and this combination sounds absolutely tasty.

  • Tracy | Peanut Butter and Onion

    I love brussel Sprouts

  • Helene D’souza

    I so enjoyed your little write up and I agree, Brussels sprouts can be amazing. I used to hate them as kids but then most children don’t like the flavor. Anyway, a brilliant idea to add brown sugar and bacon for the taste. A Good wine would fit here as well. ^.^

  • natalie @ wee eats

    Brussels sprouts and broccoli both have that sulfur-y tinge sometime, usually I get around it by (you’re right) NOT BOILING THEM! I bet the bit of brown sugar in here combined with the salty bacon makes these sprouts DIVINE! I’m definitely using this recipe next time I cook sprouts!

  • Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    Brussels sprouts are my favorite vegetable, hands down. I love them steamed, sauteed, roasted, you name it. And now?? NOW I will love them caramelized with brown sugar and bacon. HECK YES.

  • Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    Brilliant, brilliant!! Love Brussels sprouts and love this recipe! Totally going to try this

  • Alice @ Hip Foodie Mom

    by the way, love the post! Great writing! I love how you humanized my favorite veggie! :)

  • Jackie @ The Beeroness

    Seriously, what’s up with our parents and grandparents thinking boiling things (like brussels sprouts, pork chops, steak, carrots: gag) was a good idea? My grandparents used to boil steak! So strange, and so gross. I love Brussels sprouts once I figure out how easy it is to make them tasty. These little guys look awesome.

  • Susan

    I’m loving the addition of brown sugar with the brussels sprouts. Everything listed is my favorite combination, will have to just add the sugar next time!

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Love the dark mood!

  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking

    I love the simple, smoky flavors that you combined with these Brussels sprouts! They look so delish, Jen!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    Dude, I don’t even like brussels sprouts but I really want to try this! Look at you making me eat all healthy :)

  • Valerie

    Okay, I’m not a Brussels sprouts fan, but this…this I could do! Scrumptious looking dish! (Bacon makes everything better.)

  • Kate | Food Babbles

    I have long loathed brussels sprouts. I’m talking gagging, retching hatred for brussels sprouts. Only recently I decided to give them another chance. I found out that with bacon and balsamic vinegar I loved them!! I know that adding brown sugar to the mix will only make me love them more. I will definitely be giving this recipe a try!

  • Jennifer @ Mother Thyme

    I just picked up a bag of brussels sprouts at the market. but I was still unsure what I wanted to make. Now I know what I am going to make with them!

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    Brown sugar and bacon? Come let me love you! This sounds magical.

  • Joanne

    I am a HUGE brussels sprout fan, but they must be crispy and not mushy! Love the flavors you’ve infused into them!

  • Laura Dembowski

    I love Brussels sprouts and have been craving them constantly. I eat them a few times a week. I love them oven roasted with balsamic or curry or pan sauteed in hash or raw in slaw or even simply steamed.

  • Nutmeg Nanny

    Oh goodness, this has to be the best way to cook brussel sprouts :) this looks amazing!

  • Laura

    I’ve never liked brussel sprouts but you make me want to try!

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook

    So happy you shared your version of Brussel sprout recipes. I love brussel sprouts, and cook until my family start to refuse to eat anymore. ;) I haven’t tried with brown sugar. This is a must try recipe for sure! (and no, I haven’t cooked it for a while, so my family will enjoy! :))

  • Barbara | Creative Culinary

    This is very similar to one of my favorite Brussels sprouts dishes except that mine has some red cabbage. Both veggies benefit similarly being kept away from water! I have some in the fridge; now I’m dying to make a batch just to nosh on them all day!

    • Jennifer Farley

      Red cabbage sounds like the perfect addition!

  • Chris

    I only got Brussels Sprout prepared in a wrong way when I was a child, but I didn’t let that fool me. Really, a lot depends on how you do it. What you have here, really sounds like a good way.

  • Sheri

    Oh for the love of brussel sprouts! I’ve never tried adding a little brown sugar to them. I definitely need to try this. I usually just roast them with olive oil, balsamic, and salt & pepper. Occasionally I’ll saute them with panchetta.

  • Lizz

    Delectable! I crumbled a bit of bleu cheese over my helping. Perfectly yummy!

  • Samantha @FerraroKitchen

    Just saw you share this on FB…I agree..every year I make brussel sprouts for the family..all 16 of us! But, every year, I make them the same way…roasted with garlic and lemon zest. Delicious yes, but I think I need to change it up…brown sugar may be happening this year!

  • Angie

    Am I the only lover of boiled b.sprouts? I have always loved them boiled (not to death) with butter (real butter) and salt and black pepper…yum….

    So, loving them Eli’s way adding another set of fav ingredients mixed all together, MAN what a treat! I am making tomorrow to make sure it turns out right before the big turnkey day…heck, so easy don’t need a trial batch, just using it agencies to keep my trial sprouts to myself at home LOL!!!!!

    Anyone have a good browned cauliflower recipe, you know simply browned in oven with simple salt pepper, oil? Anything else? Need to be covered?