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!
If you enjoy colorful holiday recipes, you will also love green beans with bacon and butternut squash and Brussels sprouts.
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.
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Pecans, and Cranberries
- 12 oz Brussels sprouts ends trimmed, yellow leaves removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 slices bacon cooked and chopped
- 1 cup pecans
- ½ cup dried cranberries
How to Roast Brussels Sprouts
- 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.
How to Cook Bacon in the Oven
- 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.
How to Toast Pecans
- 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.
Prepare Dried Cranberries
- 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).
- 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 + ¼ 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.
- You can use white balsamic vinegar to brighten this dish!
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
I'm making this now to try before Thanksgiving. My question is about the glaze. I bought a premade glaze, will that work as is or should I warm it with some honey as described in the directions to make your own?
Sarah, if you use pre-made glaze - you don't need to warm it up - and you don't need to mix it with anything (don't mix with honey). The store-bought glaze is already thick and syrupy!
This recipe looks great. I’m going to try it this Thanksgiving. Thank you!
Diane, this would be so delicious for Thanksgiving! Enjoy! 🙂
Can you use frozen sprouts?
You can either thaw frozen Brussels sprouts and slice them in half, or roast them whole from frozen (without even defrosting them). In either case, I would toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper - just like I did in this recipe (even if they are frozen, but you can thaw them first and slice each one in half, too).
When you use frozen Brussels sprouts, I would roast them in the preheated oven at a higher temperature (at 425 F or 450 F) for about 20 or 30 minutes - without the parchment paper, obviously (so that it doesn't burn). It's also especially important with frozen Brussels sprouts to spread them out on a baking sheet so that they have enough space between each other and don't steam. I would also use a lower oven rack so that they roast faster and check them after the first 15 minutes and depending on how browned they get on the outside, maybe toss them over to the other side for even roasting.
Their texture will be softer and not as crispy as if you're cooking fresh ones, but it will still be delicious!
Can you make this dish ahead of time and travel with it? Unsure of how to reheat. Thank you! Looks delicious and can't wait to make!
Amy, yes you can! Here are some tips:
If you plan to make this dish a day ahead, don’t add nuts and dried cranberries. Add them only when ready to serve (to make sure they are crunchy) and add the balsamic glaze right before serving.
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. And drizzle with the balsamic glaze (or balsamic vinaigrette).
Thanks for the feedback. I am making this ahead of time today- for tomorrow should I add the cranberries and pecans after it is reheated or add the cranberries to the rest of mix to reheat? Should I boil the cranberries today or tomorrow? I have made this fresh last year for Thanksgiving and it was amazing! Hoping it tastes just as good reheated!!
If you reheat this in the oven, I would add pecans and cranberries after it is reheated.
If you reheat this in the microwave (which will be quicker than the oven), I would reheat this with cranberries, and add pecans after everything is reheated.
Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂
This sounds delicious for Thanksgiving side dish! Is it okay to cover sheet with foil before cooking brussel sprouts for easier clean up? Or would that affect the baking?
Wanda, yes, you can line the baking sheet with foil before adding Brussels sprouts - that's what I do, but I usually use parchment paper.
Could this be made in a crockpot? Thanks!
Ari, I haven't tried it! But, I would imagine, it's much better roasted. I think the crockpot will make the veggies too mushy.
Can you use broccoli the lids don’t like Brussels sprouts
Meg, roasted broccoli would be amazing! You can even roast it with Parmesan or Asiago cheese for more crunch. See this recipe as an example: https://juliasalbum.com/asiago-roasted-broccoli/
Just try it with the sprouts! I never thought I would eat them either until I had them roasted. Don’t tell them until you find out they like it!
Roasted brussels sprouts are a game-changer! Especially when served right away while they are still crunchy and not soggy.
Can't wait to try this for thanksgiving! I would love it as is, but I'll be serving it to someone with a tree nut allergy. Considering swapping out the pecans for pumpkin seeds, but open to suggestion if you have any!
Julie, if your friend can eat pumpkin seeds - they would work great here! Here is another Thanksgiving recipe with pumpkin seeds:
Excellent! I used a balsamic reduction with honey. Also added some smoked Gouda cheese.
Kimberly, this salad is delicious with balsamic and honey reduction! Smoked gouda cheese is a nice touch!
I’m thinking about trying this beautiful looking dish at Thanksgiving! Have you ever tried it with fresh cooked cranberries or would that be too watery for the dish?
Rhonda, fresh cooked cranberries would be too watery. But I think this recipe could work well with a drier, homemade version of cranberry relish.
I just made sweet potato gnocchi. I think I’m going to try that along with this recipe:)
Dani, homemade sweet potato gnocchi sound so good! They would be delicious in this recipe. If you like gnocchi, take a look at these 2 recipes as well: