This a sweet and savory vegetable side dish! Maple Bacon Brussel Sprouts are perfect for Thanksgiving because more than half of it can be done ahead of time!
Why this works
One way to impress your friends and family during the holiday season is to make these maple bacon brussel sprouts. This is such an easy vegetable side dish for any of the holidays and people always remember it. To put it nicely, vegetable side dishes at holidays can be hit or miss.
I remember I had an aunt who used to bring over a green bean casserole each year. That was a dish my mom made us put on our plates, but I don't think any of us actually ate it. We just picked the fried onions off of it.
These brussel sprouts are not a mushy mess that no one eats. It's a delicious way to get everyone some greens on Turkey day.
Plus, you can make the candied pecans ahead of time, You can chop the bacon the day before, and then all you have left to do is bake the brussel sprouts, which can be done while the turkey is resting!
Ingredients Notes and Substitutions
Pecans. Want to save yourself some time? Buy premade candied pecans and make your holiday one step easier!
Bacon. Thick-cut bacon will work the best. It will retain its texture and it won't get lost in the mix of pecans and brussel sprouts.
Maple Syrup. Not Aunt Jemima! Use real maple syrup!
Preheat your oven to 400°. Chop the brussel sprouts in half and toss them in olive oil, salt, and pepper and transfer them to a pan. Separate them as much as possible for the crispiest texture.
The key to maple bacon brussel sprouts is the bacon. Try to use thick-cut bacon if you can. Usually, you can ask the butcher at the supermarket for this. Chop the bacon up and spread it out around the brussel sprouts.
Place in oven and roast for 30-35 minutes. You want the bacon to be nice and crispy.
How to Candy Pecans
Roughly chop your pecans.
In a small pan melt your butter on medium heat until it starts to bubble. Toss in your pecans and stir occasionally for about 3-5 minutes until they start darkening and becoming toasted. It will smell nutty. Yes, the nuts will smell nutty. Quote me on that.
Add in the brown sugar and cinnamon and stir until the pecans are coated. Then add in the water and vanilla and stir continuously until the water completely evaporates.
The water will evaporate and the sugar will become stickier and caramelize to the pecans. That's when you want to remove them from the pan so that the sugar does not burn!
Transfer the pecans to a parchment-lined tray. Roast the pecans in the oven for about 5 minutes. This will give them a crunchy texture and get rid of any remaining water.
Once you pull the sprouts out of the oven, toss them with the pecans. Then add in the maple syrup and mix until everything is glazed with the maple syrup. You'll want to make sure you toss the maple syrup while the brussel sprouts are hot.
Serve this delicious brussel sprouts recipe as a Thanksgiving dinner side, a holiday dish, or just a great way to get vegetables in for the family in a way that tastes great.
Every vegetable doesn't have to be steamed or eaten raw to get the best value. Sometimes it's hard to get kids or even adults to eat their veggies. I've always found that adding bacon helps people become more veggie-friendly.
Cooking Pecans Ahead of Time
The pecans can be made prior and you can store them at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to a week and still maintain their sweet and delicious flavor.
They can also stay fresh in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Trust me when I say make extra because you can quickly eat all these up while the brussel sprouts are roasting.
The correct way to spell brussel sprout is actually brussels sprout. There is an 's' at the end because they are named after the capital city of Belgian, which is Brussels. I won't be spelling it that way!
They can be added to salads, put out as a snack, added to trail mix, or eaten with fruit. They're great if you can make extra.
What to make with brussel sprouts when it's not Thanksgiving
- Looking for some chicken dishes to have with these? Try it with Crispy Italian Chicken Cutlets, Restaurant-Style Chicken Marsala, PERFECT Cast Iron Chicken Breast, Chicken Bacon Ranch Skillet, or Cast Iron Lemon Basil Orzo with Chicken Thighs.
- I'd also add it to my seafood like Lemon Garlic Broiled Flounder, Pistachio Crusted Fish, Cast Iron Lemon Dill Salmon, or Pan-Seared Vermillion Snapper
Storage and Reheating
The fact of the matter is, brussel sprouts are at their best when they're cooked fresh. You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for the 3 days. You can maintain some crispiness by reheating in the oven at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.
More Holiday Dishes!
Maple Bacon Brussel Sprouts
- 1 baking tray
- parchment paper
- 1 small frying pan
- 1 Lb Brussel Sprouts halved
- 3 Slices Bacon Chopped
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- ½ Tsp Pepper
- 1 Cup Pecans Roughly Chopped
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- 1.5 tablespoon Brown Sugar
- ½ Tsp Cinnamon
- 2 tablespoon Maple Syrup
- ¼ Cup Water
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place them on a tray mixed with chopped bacon. Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
- Bring a small frying pan to medium heat. Place in 1 tablespoon of butter, then add your pecans. Stir occasionally for 3-5 minutes until pecans are toasted. Add in brown sugar and cinnamon and stir until combined. Add vanilla and a quarter cup of water. Stir until all water is dissolved. The sugars will start to become caramelized and appear to be sticky and bubbly.
- Remove the pecans from the pan and place them on a parchment-lined tray. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Once your brussel sprouts are brown and crispy remove them from oven. Mix with pecans and maple syrup. Serve immediately
- Remove the pan from the heat while cooking the pecans if it's too hot and finish off the heat. The sugar can burn quickly. Add more water if you feel like it evaporates too quickly or if something is stuck to the bottom of the pan.
- The pecans can be made days in advance! The bacon can also be chopped a day in advance!