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Easy recipe for oven roasted maple bacon Brussels sprouts. Fresh Brussels sprouts caramelized in maple syrup and topped with crispy bacon pieces will become your new favorite vegetable side dish!
WHAT ARE BRUSSELS SPROUTS?
Brussels Sprouts are those little cabbage looking vegetables that many kids try to hide or feed to the dog. In their defense, I have seen some dogs turn their nose up at them. They can be bitter, nasty, and stinky when not cooked properly.
IS IT BRUSSELS SPROUTS OR BRUSSEL SPROUTS?
Enough of the grammar lesson lets move on to cooking them!
CRISPY BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Oven roasting is the best method for getting crispy Brussels sprouts. As the outer sprout leaves start to brown they take on a much sweeter flavor that kind of balances out the bitter taste. You will want to cut large brussels sprouts in half.
People who don’t care for Brussels sprouts might find that they just didn’t like them prepared by steaming, boiling, or microwaving. I’ll eat them cooked just about any way someone serves them to me, but I think baked Brussels sprouts have a superior flavor.
Another way to make them crispy is to sauté them in oil in a medium hot skillet. A skillet that is too hot will burn the Brussels sprouts.
Slow cooking Brussels sprouts will produce lifeless, colorless, stinky sprouts. Think overcooked cabbage or broccoli here. This right here is why lots of people dislike them. They have only eaten them overcooked.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS SMELL
Brussels sprouts emit hydrogen sulfide gas when cooked. Short of reducing your cooking time to less than 5 minutes, there really isn’t much you can do about the smell.
I promise you that after you taste these, the smell will have been well worth it.
REAL MAPLE SYRUP VS PANCAKE SYRUP
Real maple syrup is really required in this recipe. Pancake syrup doesn’t actually even have any maple syrup in it and has way too much corn syrup or other sugar added to it.
Real maple syrup will not make the brussels sprouts overly sweet, pancake syrup will. The real stuff is going to counteract the bitterness.
I don’t have anything against pancake syrup, my husband likes it better than the real deal.
COOK BACON SEPARATELY
It’s hard to get brussels sprouts and bacon cooked perfectly at the same time. Usually one is way overcooked.
I find the best way to avoid this is to cook the bacon separately and sprinkle the cooked bits over the sprouts when they come out of the oven.
I cook the bacon first and save some of the bacon fat to mix with the brussels sprouts before roasting them. This bakes a bacon flavor into them.
I wouldn’t add any bacon to my brussels sprouts that wasn’t at least partially cooked first. Trust me on this. You don’t want flabby bacon in this dish. You also don’t want to burn the maple syrup trying to get the bacon cooked.
Cooking the bacon first lets you omit any cooking oil and using strictly bacon fat for flavoring.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS WHEN MAKING OVEN ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
- Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or non-stick aluminum foil to prevent a sticky baked on mess
- Use fresh brussels sprouts that are tight and firm
- Cut larger Brussels sprouts in half to ensure the big ones cook all the way through
- Use real maple syrup
- Use bacon fat for extra flavor
- Cook the bacon separately from the sprouts
WHAT TO SERVE WITH MAPLE ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
These are fancy enough to serve with holiday meals!
Brussels sprouts will go with just about any meal that you would serve a green vegetable with.
Our favorite recipes for serving with maple roasted brussels sprouts;
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVER ROASTED MAPLE BACON BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Store cooked brussels sprouts in an airtight container like a covered bowl or a sealed plastic baggie in a refrigerator. These leftovers should be eaten within 3 days.
REHEATING ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Brussels sprouts can be placed in a microwave safe container and microwaved for 45 seconds to 2 minutes at full power. The exact time will depend on the amount you are trying to reheat.
They can also be placed back into a 400⁰F oven on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or non-stick foil for 10 to 15 minutes or until heated through.
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Oven Roasted Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts
- Preheat an oven to 400⁰F.
- Prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or non-stick foil.
- Cut bacon into small pieces and fry in a skillet over medium-high until bacon is crispy.
- Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels and set aside. Reserve the fat from the pan.
- Prepare the brussels sprouts by trimming the hard stem end and removing any loose or yellowing leaves.
- Slice any large brussels sprouts in half.
- Add brussels sprouts to a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of reserved bacon fat, maple syrup, salt, and pepper and mix until all the brussels sprouts are covered.
- Pour brussels sprouts onto the prepared baking sheet and place into the preheated 400⁰F oven.
- Roast for 25 to 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Brussels sprouts are done when the outer leaves begin to turn medium to dark brown.
- Remove from the oven and add the cooked bacon and stir to combine.
- Serve immediately.