Caramelized Brussels sprouts with brown sugar & bacon are a wonderfully simple side dish. To make Brussels sprouts even more wonderful caramelized them in a cast iron skillet and add blue cheese for a sweet, salty, creamy, and nutty flavor combination. These sauteed brown sugar Brussels sprouts are my favorite way to eat this classic vegetable.
This quick & easy recipe transforms Brussels sprouts into a gourmet appetizer, small plate, or side dish by elevating them with all the delicious flavors. While some may find them bitter when raw, once cooked to a golden caramelization with crispy edges, most people find them sweet & nutty.
Some of my favorite restaurants have fantastic Brussels sprouts on their menus and I almost always order them. I was inspired and finally started to try and replicate many of those yummy appetizers and small plates myself at home.
The cast-iron pan really adds flavor to vegetables and this is especially true when cooking these. Brussel sprouts sauteed in a skillet get brown, crispy, and pan-fried for deep flavor. Similar to my cast iron chicken breast recipe, this one-pan recipe tastes gourmet but is so quick & simple.
- Ingredients for Brown Sugar Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- How to Make Brown Sugar Brussels Sprouts
- Variations & Substitutions
- What to Serve with Brown Sugar Brussels Sprouts
- Recipes to Serve with Brussels Sprouts
- How to Store Leftovers
- PIN FOR SAFEKEEPING & SHARING!
- Caramelized Brussel sprouts with Brown Sugar, Bacon, & Blue Cheese
Ingredients for Brown Sugar Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
To make this recipe, you will need fresh Brussels sprouts. Try and purchase sprouts that are similar in size so they cook evenly and are done at the same time. I aim for medium-sized Brussels sprouts.
You will also need bacon that has been diced up. There are also freshly sliced onions, brown sugar, crumbled blue cheese, and spices for this recipe.
- Brussels Sprouts
- Blue Cheese
- Brown Sugar
How to Make Brown Sugar Brussels Sprouts
Begin by dicing the bacon and slicing the onion. Gather the rest of your ingredients including the crumbled blue cheese and the brown sugar. You will want to have everything within reach once you start cooking since this is a quick and easy Brussels sprouts recipe.
Cook the Bacon
First, you will want to cook the diced bacon. Heat the cast-iron skillet on the stove over medium heat. Once hot, add the bacon to fry.
I like to use a screen splatter cover like shown below. It helps keep you safe and clean from the possible bacon fat splatter that is common when cooking bacon on the stove.
Once the bacon is cooked to your desired likeness, remove it carefully and place it on a paper towel-lined plate, set aside. This should take 5-10 minutes. You may want your vent fan on as it may get smoky.
Do NOT drain the bacon fat, keep that in the pan and the heat on medium. Scrape up any bits and remove them from the pan.
Saute the Brussel Sprouts & Onions
In the cast-iron skillet with the bacon grease, carefully add the Brussels sprouts. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to brown all sides.
Add the onion, salt, & pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes. The onion should be cooked and the sprouts should still be green with the edges caramelized and brown. If you pierce them with a fork they will be tender.
Add Brown Sugar, Bacon, & Blue Cheese
Once the Brussels sprouts and onions are cooked, the remaining ingredients are ready to go in pretty quickly. Turn down the stove to your lowest setting. Now add the brown sugar.
Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes. Be careful not to cook too long as the sugar can burn quickly. Stir as it melts and coats the vegetables; this will cook pretty fast, 5 minutes maximum.
Next, add the blue cheese and bacon to the cooked and seasoned vegetables. Stir gently so that it is incorporated but the blue cheese and bacon crumble stay intact. Optional, drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
I like to add about 75% of the cheese and bacon to the pan. The rest I save on the side to add once I serve the Brussels sprouts and they are plated. This way there is some pop right on top.
Variations & Substitutions
Here are a few alternative ways to make this recipe. If you have food allergies or would like to make this your own, these ideas are great to try.
- Bacon - make Turkey Bacon in the Oven, and use it instead of pork bacon. Add olive oil to the pan to use since there will not be any bacon grease to cook in. Or Omit to make vegetarian Brussels sprouts.
- Blue Cheese - use gorgonzola or cambozola as a substitution.
- Brown Sugar - if you are out, try one of these substitutes for brown sugar.
This recipe is already grain-free and gluten-free. If you wish to make it dairy-free omit the cheese or use a dairy-free blue cheese.
What to Serve with Brown Sugar Brussels Sprouts
Once the cast-iron skillet Brussel Sprouts sauteed and caramelized with brown sugar, bacon, and blue cheese recipe is ready to eat, it is hard to resist digging in right away. This recipe is a great appetizer at parties, dinners, and holidays. and potlucks. Plate and enjoy immediately all on its own or pair it with something yummy.
It is also a wonderful side dish for any weeknight or special dinners like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or anniversaries. These Brussels sprouts with brown sugar are a family favorite and the best side dish for all your holiday meals.
Recipes to Serve with Brussels Sprouts
I really love these Brussels sprouts with my WHIPPED SWEET POTATOES and chicken, as shown below. Here are some other great recipe ideas to cook and pair with Brussels sprouts. All these entrees and other side dishes go well with these sweet & savory caramelized Brussels sprouts and will complete your meal.
How to Store Leftovers
This brussels sprouts recipe is easy to store and reheat later. They make great leftovers to enjoy even for breakfast like a hash. I love reheating these in the saute pan and adding poached eggs on top for an amazing brunch.
PIN FOR SAFEKEEPING & SHARING!
Product Recommendations for this Recipe:
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Caramelized Brussel sprouts with Brown Sugar, Bacon, & Blue Cheese
- cast iron skillet
- 6 slices bacon
- 2 pounds Brussel sprouts
- ½ onion
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 4 Tablespoons brown sugar
- ⅓ cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar OPTIONAL
- Dice the bacon into small pieces. Also, slice the onion thinly.
- Heat the cast-iron skillet on the stove over medium heat. Once hot, add the bacon to fry. Once the bacon is cooked to your desired likeness, remove it carefully and place it on a paper towel-lined plate, set aside. This should take 5-10 minutes. You may want your vent fan on as it may get smoky. Do NOT drain the bacon fat, keep that in the pan and the heat on medium. Scrape up any bits and remove them from the pan.
- In the cast-iron skillet with the bacon grease, carefully add the Brussel sprouts. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to brown all sides.
- Add the onion, salt, & pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes. The onion should be cooked and the sprouts should still be green with the edges caramelized and brown. If you pierce with a fork they will be tender.
- Turn down the stove to your lowest setting. Now add the brown sugar. Stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes. Be careful not to cook too long as the sugar can burn quickly. Stir as it melts and coats the vegetables; this will cook pretty fast, 5 minutes maximum.
- Next, add the blue cheese and bacon to the cooked and seasoned vegetables. Stir gently so that it is incorporated but the blue cheese and bacon crumbles stay intact.
- Serve immediately - Optional, drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
- Store any leftovers in an air-tight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave.
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 15.4g||20%|
|Saturated Fat 5.9g||29%|
|Total Carbohydrate 30.6g||11%|
|Dietary Fiber 8.5g||30%|
|Total Sugars 13.6g|
|Vitamin D 0mcg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
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