Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Toasted Pecans, and Dried Cranberries is an easy Christmas side dish that will add colors and vibrancy to your holiday menu!
This is such a perfect Christmas recipe. Roasted Brussels sprouts taste great combined with the classic holiday ingredients, such as pecans and dried cranberries. Dried cranberries provide a nice, sweeter contrast to the Brussels Sprouts. And, there is a little bit of crunch from toasted pecans and chopped cooked bacon. This side dish is bursting with colors!
What I love the best about this Christmas Brussels sprouts recipe is that it fits so well with the traditional holiday side dishes, such as green beans, potatoes, and stuffing. It’s a perfect recipe for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve or any other holiday!
This side dish is packed with vegetables and nuts. It’s healthy, gluten-free, and rich in fiber!
Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon have become one of my favorite holiday recipes.
OTHER HOLIDAY SIDE DISHES
If you want to discover other colorful and vibrant holiday side dishes, check out these recipes:
- Garlic and Bacon Green Beans – crispy and crunchy green beans sautéed with garlic and bacon in olive oil and butter on the stovetop.
- Creamy and Crunchy Salad with Peas, Bacon, and Pecans – easy and beautiful side dish for the holidays!
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries – this vibrant recipe will work perfectly for both Thanksgiving and Christmas!
- Winter Fruit Salad with Maple Lime Dressing – the holiday ingredient list includes red apples, pears, clementine oranges (or mandarin oranges), kiwi fruit, dried cranberries, and pomegranate seeds.
- Butternut Squash and Spinach Salad with Pecans, Cranberries, Pomegranate – perfect healthy holiday salad features Poppy Seed Honey-Lime Dressing.
CHRISTMAS MAIN COURSES
Brussels sprouts and bacon will pair well with any Christmas main course. I recommend that you try one of these recipes for your holiday dinner, especially the duck:
- Roast Duck is a perfect holiday main course! This Roast Whole Duck has tender and juicy meat, crispy skin, and it’s glazed with the honey-balsamic glaze to give the duck a beautiful roasted look.
- Duck Breast with Cranberry Sauce – this recipe will make a perfect main dish for any special night, an anniversary celebration, or holidays, especially Christmas or New Year’s Eve.
- Lamb Chops with Cranberry Balsamic Reduction – this recipe features holiday ingredients, such as pomegranate seeds and pecans. Simple lamb chops marinade is made of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Roasted Cornish Hen is made with root vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes) and onions.
HOW TO MAKE BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON
1) Start by cooking the bacon in the preheated oven at 400 F for about 20 minutes. After the bacon is cooked, drain it of fat and chop it up into smaller pieces.
2) Next, prepare the Brussels sprouts by tossing them with olive oil and salt. Add them to a baking sheet.
3) Roast the Brussels sprouts in the preheated oven at 400 F for about 20 minutes.
4) Finally, in a medium bowl, combine together roasted brussels sprouts, chopped cooked bacon, toasted pecans, and dried cranberries.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- To save time, roast both Brussels sprouts and bacon on 2 separate baking sheets at the same time, on the same rack in the oven.
- Optionally, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the final dish. The dish should already have enough oil from Brussels sprouts and the cooked warm bacon.
- Soak dried cranberries briefly in hot water to plump them up. This will make dried cranberries juicier, softer, and more vibrant.
HOW TO MAKE IT AHEAD
- If you plan to make this dish a day ahead, don’t add nuts. Add nuts only when ready to serve (to make sure they are crunchy).
- Reheat this dish in a shallow pan, such as a sheet pan or a sheet cake pan lined with parchment paper. Spread the ingredients on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan. Reheat for about 15 minutes in the preheated oven at 350 F. Then add toasted pecans, when ready to serve.
SERVE THIS COLD OR HOT?
- This dish is best served immediately, warm or at room temperature.
- Don’t want to use pecans? Use pumpkin seeds, walnuts, or pine nuts.
- You can use dried cherries, raisins, or chopped dried figs instead of dried cranberries.
- What is a good substitution for regular bacon? Use prosciutto, duck bacon, or turkey bacon.
Christmas Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Pecans, and Cranberries will add color and vibrancy to your holiday table! This crispy and crunchy salad might become one of your family's favorite Christmas side dishes! Dried cranberries provide a sweet contrast to the savory Brussels Sprouts. There is a bit of crunch from toasted pecans and chopped cooked bacon.
- 12 oz Brussels sprouts ends trimmed, yellow leaves removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 slices bacon cooked and chopped
- 1 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Slice all Brussels sprouts in half.
In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussels sprouts, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and toss to combine.
Place Brussels sprouts on the baking sheet, cut side down.
Roast in the oven at 400 F for about 25 minutes. During the last 5-10 minutes of roasting, turn them over for even browning, the cut sides should be partially charred but not blackened.
Line the separate baking sheet with foil. Add the bacon slices in one layer. Bake in the preheated oven at 400 F for about 20 minutes or until the bacon is done. You can do it at the same time as roasting the Brussels sprouts.
Drain bacon of fat and slice the bacon into small bites.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add pecans in one layer.
Toast the pecans for about 5 minutes (maybe a bit longer) in the preheated oven at 350 F until they get darker in color.
For best results, briefly soak the dried cranberries in hot water. Bring a small pot of water to boil.
Add dried cranberries to a medium bowl. Pour hot water over the cranberries and soak them for about 10 minutes. Drain.
In a large bowl, combine roasted Brussels sprouts, warm chopped cooked bacon, toasted pecans, and soaked dried cranberries. Toss everything together. The olive oil from Brussels sprouts and fats from bacon should be enough to coat the ingredients. If desired, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to mix with the salad (optional).
If you would like to ADD SAUCE TO CREATE MORE FLAVOR, here are some easy options:
- Drizzle with a balsamic glaze. Make the balsamic glaze by cooking down the balsamic vinegar together with a small amount of honey or brown sugar until the mixture reduces by about half. For example, combine 1 cup of balsamic vinegar + 1/4 cup of honey or brown sugar and cook it down. Consistency should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon but should not be overly thick.
- Drizzle with a very high quality aged balsamic vinegar made in Italy. Aged balsamic vinegar is often sold in specialized stores or sections of foreign foods at some grocery stores. High-quality Italian-made aged balsamic vinegar is usually expensive but it does not need cooking down. Just use it as is. And, you don't need to use much.
- Or, use your favorite balsamic vinaigrette based salad dressing.