Brussels sprouts are a vegetable that fall on either end of the spectrum: They are either life-changingly good, or they’re mushy and terrible and the poster child of vegetables that kids do not want to eat.
Here, they’re braised in bacon fat and white wine vinegar and sprinkled with parmesan, which I think secures their place on the ‘life-changingly good’ end of the scale.
These are fancy enough to make for a holiday meal (and would be so good with a Thanksgiving turkey!), but also easy enough for your regular, non-holiday dinners.
Do I have to use white wine vinegar?
You can experiment with whatever vinegar you want! I like white wine vinegar here because it packs an acidic punch without being overpowering. Balsamic and apple cider vinegar would also be good options to try. Since they’re sharper than white wine vinegar, I’d start with only one tablespoon and add more if the sprouts needed it.
Can I double this?
Definitely! I often double this recipe and it works perfectly. Make sure you’re using your widest pan so lots of sprouts can be in contact with the bottom and get browned.
I don’t like mushy Brussels sprouts. Will I like these?
I also have a low tolerance for mushy Brussels sprouts, and I like these! I’m 95% sure you will, too. The cook time is short and the heat is low here so that your sprouts will not get mushy. They should be tender, but still hold their shape well. If crispy Brussels sprouts are more your speed, check out these.
What else should I put in these?
Add dried fruit and nuts if you want this to be more of a hot salad-type side. We love dried cranberries in this! Sliced almonds or chopped walnuts would also be delicious. Stir in any additions with the bacon and parmesan at the end.
Bacon + Vinegar Braised Brussels Sprouts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped bacon (from 2 thick slices)
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
- Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet with a lid over medium-low. Add the bacon and cook until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp – about 10 minutes. Remove to a plate. Add onion to the pan and cook until softened – about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and cook 30 seconds more. Add Brussels sprouts and toss to combine. Add vinegar and 1 tablespoon water. Cover and cook 20 minutes – stirring occasionally – until sprouts are browned and tender. Stir in shredded cheese and crisped bacon. Serve hot.