Bacon and shallot pair well with brussels sprouts. These little cabbage delights love the cool weather of fall and winter. Our version is sautéed, so no watery texture – just crispy and tasty! They are the perfect side dish for those special dinners and your Thanksgiving feast! Forget the green bean casserole that grandma used to make and enjoy our low-carb recipe with pine nuts and a garnish of parmesan. If you have never been a fan of brussels sprouts this recipe will convert you for a lifetime of great eating!
We use our cast iron skillet to sauté the sprouts, producing a crisp caramelized coating – while still crunchy. So many recipes call for boiling or blanching or steaming the Brussels Sprouts to preserve the nutrition and color. Not needed! In fact, the real taste of the sprouts come from the sauté and some balsamic vinegar. And need we say it – BACON!
This side dish goes perfectly with any meat or dinner meal. We love it for holidays and as an addition to that perfect beef or pork roast and even that prime rib dinner. Let’s not forget the traditional Thanksgiving turkey. Joanie and I are already planning our Holiday feast with roasted turkey and this Brussels Sprout side dish – we know our guests will be delighted!
Cooking Tips for Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
The secret to this recipe is the bacon! Rendering the fat from 8 slices of bacon and cooking the shallots in the bacon fat makes the taste difference. Even the sprouts taste better when sautéed in bacon fat. We cut our bacon in 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks. We do not like bacon crumbles or salad bacon bits – we want to experience the taste of a bacon chunk with the crunchy sprout texture!
Shallots are essential to this dish. They add that onion flavor with a hint of garlicky after taste. You can use regular onion if you prefer but we love the way the shallot blends with the bacon fat and adds flavor to the Brussels sprouts. A little lemon juice adds a tang and citrus flavor that provides that fresh palate cleansing ingredient.
Do not overdo the balsamic vinegar – one tablespoon is enough. It will not over-power and yet it brings the dish together with a savory tang that only good balsamic vinegar can provide.
Pine nuts are one of our favorite accompaniments to any dish. They toast up perfectly and their crunchy yet slightly soft texture is just a rare treat. They also look great as an added touch to the Brussels Sprouts. Their nutty flavor with the garnish of nutty parmesan cheese compliment each other and add the flavor boost needed for the recipe!
The finished side dish is definitely tasty, low carb, and healthy. We previously discussed the benefits of sprouts in our Brussels Sprouts with Manchego Cheese post. Joanie made delicious low-carb barbecue spare ribs as a main dish last night with our Brussels Sprouts and Bacon side! Enjoy this one and think about replacing those green beans for Thanksgiving this year!
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Pine Nuts
- 1 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts (trimmed and halved)
- 8 slices Bacon (chopped in 1 inch to 1 1/2 inch slices)
- 2 Shallots (thinly sliced)
- 3 tablespoons Pine nuts
- 1/4 teaspoon Sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
- 2 teaspoons Lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (grated)
- Olive oil (if needed)
- Sauté bacon in a nonstick pan over medium heat until fat rendered - about 5 minutes.
- Add shallot slices and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Use a slotted spoon and set aside bacon and shallots. Leave fat in the pan.
- Increase heat to high, add sprouts and season with salt and pepper. Sear for 3 minutes, adding olive oil if needed.
- Reduce heat to medium, add lemon juice and cook for 5 minutes. Add balsamic and cook until softened but not mushy (about 2 minutes).
- Remove from heat, stir in bacon, shallots and pine nuts and stir to incorporate. Garnish with sprinkled parmesan and serve hot.