What’s the best way to make Brussels sprouts taste amazing? Roast them in the oven and add bacon! Looking to elevate them to a whole new level of deliciousness? Make a sauce with Medjool dates, broth, red wine and balsamic vinegar. Yes! A simple but delicious combination.
The Brussels sprouts are roasted until golden and caramelized, then tossed with crisp bacon and a warm sweet-tart vinaigrette. They’re so delicious, it’s hard not to eat the entire dish while standing at the stove before you serve them. They make an excellent side dish any day of the week or during holiday feasts!
Tips for buying fresh Brussels sprouts
First of all the color, is a good indication of freshness. They should be a rich shade of green. A very light shade of green, represents freshness when first harvested. If the outer leaves are yellow, brown or wilted, then they are not fresh and not properly handled. Second to color, the heads should be firm and should not give way if you apply pressure. You will find them in season from October to February, with some stocks still in March.
Making perfect roasted Brussels sprouts is easy! When done properly they are crispy on the outside and tender (not mushy) on the inside. Here’s what you need to do:
Turn up the heat
Brussels sprouts can be roasted at a temperature anywhere between 200-230°C. Anything over 200°C will help them get those crispy, caramelised edges.
Scrap the parchment paper
Although I love it for its easy clean-up, parchment paper does reduce some of the roasting effect. So if you want really crisp caramelised vegetables, then scrap it. Since the roasted Brussels sprouts are tossed in a sauce, I think its absolutely fine to go for the easy clean-up method.
Season the sprouts
Toss the trimmed and halved sprouts with olive oil and generous pinches of salt. Arrange them on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer with their cut sides facing down. This way, you’ll get nice browning on the cut sides of the sprouts, and their exposed leaves will crisp as they bake. Include the loose leaves as they will become lightly charred and deliciously crunchy.
Give Brussels sprouts room on the pan
If they are too close together on the baking sheet they will steam. And steam is the enemy of crispiness. If they are too jam-packed on the baking sheet, then roast them on two. Simply roast them in the top and bottom third of the oven, and then rotate the baking sheets halfway through.
Finally, it’s time to bake!
Ingredient Tips for Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Dates
- Smoked bacon: smoky, salty bacon adds amazing flavor to this pasta. I use organic, sustainably raised smoked pork belly from PACKLHOF which I think gives dishes the best flavor.
- Medjool dates: I highly recommend going with Medjool dates for the best results!
- Vinegars: In addition to red wine vinegar, balsamic is used. This ties all of the flavors together perfectly!
Looking for more Brussels sprouts recipes?
Then try one of these favourites:
- Pasta with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
- Roasted Chestnuts and Brussels Sprouts with Lemon
- Mediterranean Style Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Capers, Dill & Lemon
- Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Cream
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Dates
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 600 g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved through the stem end
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 50 g smoked bacon, diced
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (soft)
- 1 cup chicken broth (250 ml)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C and line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper.
Transfer the sprouts and any loose leaves to the baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt. Toss until evenly coated and arrange them cut-side down, spreading out so that they are not crowded.
Transfer to the preheated oven and roast until golden brown, and a bit crisp outside and tender on inside, about 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large heavy-bottomed or cast-iron frying pan over medium to medium-high heat, and cook the bacon with the 1 tablespoon olive oil until the bacon has rendered most of its fat, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the dates and broth to the pan. Reduce heat slightly, and with the back of a wooden spoon, press the dates into the sauce, breaking them into smaller pieces, stirring, as the pan sauce reduces slightly (4-5 minutes). Once fully incorporated into the sauce, add both the vinegars.
Add the roasted sprouts to the pan, toss to coat and then transfer to a serving plate. Serve warm. Enjoy!
- If the Medjool dates are dry and firm, then soak them in water for 10 minutes. Strain the fruit and discard the water before proceeding with this recipe.
For a relaxing atmosphere in the kitchen I recommend my personal Elle Republic: Chilled Out Kitchen Tunes Playlist on Spotify.
Did you try this recipe?
How did you like it?
Please let me know how this Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon & Dates recipe turned out for you! I would love to hear how you liked it. Simply rate it with the stars above ⭐ or leave me a comment and rate it below.
Did you make any changes to this recipe?
If you have tips for other readers, let me know! It helps me and other readers so much. Sharing is Caring :-).