Brown Sugar-Glazed Brussels Sprouts With Bacon

Move over, string beans. These cold-weather vegetables have become the unsung heroes of the holidays

Brown Sugar-Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Photo: photographs by ANTONIS ACHILLEOS; RECIPE: ANNA THEOKTISTO; FOOD STYLING: RUTH BLACKBURN; PROP STYLING: CHRISTINA DALEY
Active Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
Servings:
4

IBacon makes everything better—Brussels sprouts included! This 7-ingredient recipe will be a big winner on your Thanksgiving sides table for several key reasons: It's fast (20 minutes, tops), it's easy (we weren't kidding, it really has only 7 ingredients), and it's downright tasty! To paraphrase a line or two from one of our favorite Thanksgiving episodes of Friends (Rachel's Meat Trifle!), "Bacon? Good! Brown sugar? Good! Pecans, Good!"

If you're having trouble envisioning Brussels sprouts as "good," then maybe you've never had the pleasure of trying them cooked in a cast-iron skillet. Unlike steaming, which unfortunately is how many of us first experienced Brussels sprouts, cooking them in a skillet renders all the layers of tiny cabbage-like leaves crispy, caramelized, and delicious.

On top of that, this recipe goes the extra mile by sautéing them in rendered bacon fat, which is a wonderful Southern powerhouse ingredient. To top it all off, a little brown sugar, butter, and seasonings go in at the end, along with some chopped pecans for crunch. The result is a fantastic stovetop side that delivers big flavor without taking up any oven space, which is quite the blessing on Thanksgiving day!

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, chopped

  • 1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

  • 2 Tbsp. light brown sugar

  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt

  • ¾ tsp. black pepper

  • ¼ cup chopped pecan

Directions

  1. Cook bacon in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high, stirring often, until fat has rendered and bacon is crisp, 8 to 10 minutes.

  2. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate, reserving drippings in skillet. Reduce heat to medium, and add Brussels sprouts to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender and charred in spots, 8 to 10 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat; stir in cooked bacon, brown sugar, butter, salt, pepper, and pecans until butter melts.

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