Pan Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with bacon, pecans, garlic and maple syrup for the best fall side dish. Easy to make and ready in under 30 minutes, these crispy, caramelized sprouts are perfect for Thanksgiving or a busy weeknight.

Need more ideas for your mini cabbages? Try raw brussels sprouts salad, parmesan roasted brussels sprouts or air fryer salmon with Brussels.

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with bacon and pecans in serving dish

Sauteed brussels sprouts with bacon are YUM, my mouth is literally watering from the flavor as I write this. Traditionally, brussels sprouts are roasted in the oven, and lately we have been enjoying air fried brussels, too. But you have to try pan sauteing these little round veggies!

Pan sautéing at a high temp ensures these sprouts are crispy on the outside and tender (not mushy!) on the inside. Trust me when I say, this recipe for Brussel sprouts with bacon, maple roasted pecans, minced garlic and savory rosemary will become your new go-to for seasonal healthy sides during weeknight dinners or during the holidays.

Why Make Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon?

  • Nutritious: Brussels sprouts are loaded with antioxidants, cancer fighting properties, fiber and vitamins.
  • Healthy: Brussels are low calorie and full of fiber! 
  • Easy: Ready in under 30 minutes from start to finish, or meal prep some steps for even faster results!
  • Flavorful: Sautéed brussels with savory garlic and toasty pecans with sweet maple equals mouthwatering taste! 
  • Colorful: Let’s face it, some holiday foods can be a bit bland in color- these sprouts, though, are eye candy for the table!

Ingredients for Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

  • Brussels sprouts: I used two pounds of Brussels sprouts for this recipe, if you are only feeding two people, half the recipe.
  • Pecans: Pistachios, pine nuts or slivered almonds would be great too!
  • Spices and seasonings: Dried rosemary, maple syrup, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
  • Bacon slices: If you can find organic bacon, that’s my preference. So, I buy nitrite free bacon and enjoy it in moderation with this dish in the fall/winter and with bacon wrapped asparagus during the spring.
Brussels sprouts, bacon, maple syrup, pecans, rosemary and olive oil.

How to Saute Brussels Sprouts

There is a full recipe card below. 

  • Prepare brussels sprouts: Trim brussels sprouts with a paring knife and remove any bruised, wilted or basically unappealing leaves. Slice in half for this sauteed brussels sprouts recipe. Put aside.

If some of your brussels are on the larger side, cut those in quarters so your sprouts sauté evenly.

  • Make healthy candied pecans: Add pecans and rosemary to a hot skillet and cook until fragrant and roasted. Then add maple syrup, sauté just until caramelized and transfer to a bowl.

Healthy candied pecans can be made ahead up to 7 days in advance and stored until ready to use!

  • Sauté 4-5 strips of bacon: Remove bacon from the skillet and drain most of the fat in a bowl, leaving some for sautéing the veggies. Once cooled, dice.
  • Sauté brussels sprouts: Add them to the skillet and cook for 7 minutes or so. I also like to add olive oil to cut back on using bacon fat. Do not stir too often as you want the sides to caramelize. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Add garlic: When brussels sprouts are almost done, poke with a knife. If it almost goes through without resistance, add minced garlic. Now cook sprouts with garlic for another minute or so.

For a crisp yet tender sprout the keyword to notice in these instructions is “almost”. If your knife almost goes through, they are almost done and you should proceed with the next step!

  • Stir everything together: Now all you have left to do is to toss in the pecans and diced bacon, stir and serve warm. How to sauté brussels sprouts has never tasted better with this easy method!

Sauteed vs. Braised vs. Pan Fried

They all refer to cooking in a skillet, but what’s the difference?

  • Sautéed, which is best for this sprouts recipe, refers to cooking small pieces of food in oil (or another fat) over high heat, food is cooked quickly and turns out tender yet crisp. 
  • Braised refers to a combination method of cooking. First, your food is cooked over high heat but then it is covered with liquid and a lid and cooked at a low heat. Braising is ofen used for slow cooker or Instant Pot recipes.
  • Pan fried is best for larger pieces of food. Oil is used for coating the pan, then food is cooked over low heat – think pan fried steak, chops, tofu etc.

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

  • Lemon juice: Just a splash right before adding pecans and bacon gives the dish a vibrant finish.
  • Balsamic vinegar: Add just a small amount after sautéing the garlic for depth of flavor.
  • Parmesan cheese: Freshly grated parmesan right before serving is always the perfect finisher!
  • Dried cranberries: Stir in right before serving for a burst of sweet taste.
  • Avocado: Stir diced avocado in gently at the end with pecans and maple syrup. It adds a fun creamy twist!
  • Feta cheese: Also adds creaminess.
  • Chili flakes: Skip the rosemary and use chili flakes with the pecans for a sweet and spicy combo.
  • Fresh herbs: Freshly minced parsley, rosemary or thyme will add a fresh taste when sprinkled on right before serving.

Tips for Best Results

  • Hot enough pan: For this recipe you will need a consistent medium heat for a proper sauté. A great way to test if your pan is hot enough is to add a drop of water. If it sizzles, your pan is hot enough!
  • Use enough oil: Another key for crispy sautéed results, is hot oil (or fat). Be sure to not drain all the bacon fat, plus add the recommended olive oil. You need enough oil to ‘lubricate’ your pan. 
  • Don’t stir too much: You want your brussel sprouts to caramelize on each side. 
  • Avoid overcrowding the pan: It will trap steam and prevent food from browning.
  • Meal prep: Save time by making the maple pecans and trimming the brussels ahead of time. Now all you have to do is put it all together!

FAQs

How do you prepare brussels sprouts so they are not soggy?

If you have followed my how to sauté brussels sprouts method from this recipe, your brussels should not be soggy! If they are, you have cooked them too long, or you added extra liquid.

Do you need to soak brussels sprouts before cooking?

No, you do not need to soak your sprouts.

Why won’t my brussel sprouts get crispy?

If you drained all the bacon fat from the skillet and did not add any oil, your brussels sprouts may not get crispy. Follow the recipe as written for how to saute brussels sprouts so they get crispy, yet tender!

What skillet is best to use for sauteed brussels with bacon?

Cast iron, dutch oven or any larger skillet will work for this recipe!

Will it compromise taste to make these a day ahead and serve warmed up?

Yes, these are best served fresh and while leftovers are tasty, if you are serving them at any holiday, fresh is best. See my make ahead tips for what part of the recipe can be made in advance.

Serving Recomendations

Need another way to use brussels sprouts? Include them on a holiday charcuterie platter!

Making This Recipe in Advance

Make Ahead Tips: I assume many of you will be preparing this recipe for a Thanksgiving feast. Here are a few time saving tips for you.

  • Prep and store brussels: You can clean and chop brussels sprouts up to 3 days in advance. Refrigerate in a sealed bag, bowl or container to prevent from browning.
  • Prep and store candied pecans: Toast pecans up to 7 days in advance. Store in a cool dry place.
  • Store: Cooked leftovers can be refrigerated in an air tight container for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: Do not freeze.

More Healthy Sides You Will Love

brussels sprouts on a plate
sauteed brussels sprouts

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Pecans

Pan Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Pecans plus garlic and maple syrup for the best fall side dish. Easy to make and ready in under 30 minutes, these crispy, caramelized sprouts are perfect for Thanksgiving or a busy weeknight.
5 from 3 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 230
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • For each brussel sprout, trim the end with a paring knife and remove any wilted or bruised leaves. Cut small and medium brussels sprouts in half and large ones in quarters.
  • Preheat medium-large cast iron skillet on medium heat and add pecans and rosemary. Stir often until fragrant and toasted. Add maple syrup and stir until well coated. Remove from heat and set aside in a bowl.
  • Return skillet to medium heat and add bacon. Cook on both sides until desired doneness – soft or crispy. Transfer bacon onto a cutting board and drain almost all of the grease into a small bowl, reserving about 1 tbsp for sauteing.
  • Add olive oil and brussels sprouts. Cook for 7 minutes or so, stirring a few times but not too often letting veggies caramelize. Somewhere half way through sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • While brussels are sauteing, chop bacon.
  • Pierce brussels sprouts with a knife. If the knife almost goes through without resistance, it is time to add garlic. The keyword here is “almost”. Now cook for another minute or so.
  • Turn off heat. Add caramelized pecans and diced bacon, stir well. Serve and enjoy!

Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

    Notes

    • Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
    • Hot enough pan: For this recipe you will need a consistent medium heat for a proper saute. A great way to test if your pan is hot enough is to add a drop of water. If it sizzles, your pan is hot enough!
    • Use enough oil: Another key for crispy sauteed results, is hot oil (or fat). Be sure to not drain all the bacon fat, plus add the recommended olive oil. You need enough oil to ‘lubricate’ your pan. 
    • Don’t stir too much: You want your brussel sprouts to caramelize on each side. 
    • Avoid overcrowding the pan: It will trap steam and prevent food from browning.
    • Thanksgiving make ahead tips: Prep brussels and store in fridge. Toast pecans and store in cool place. 

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1cup | Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 354mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: North American
    Author: Olena Osipov
    Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

    5 Secrets to Easy Healthy Dinners

    Plus sign up for weekly emails with recipes to make your cooking stress free, delicious and healthy.

    You may also like

    Comments

    1. 5 stars
      Olena, you’re a genius! I never had brussel sprouts that taste soooo good! The nuts in there make it feel like its a sophisticated restaurant dish. My family loved it.

      By the way, just a note, I really appreciate your “all encompassing” info on every recipe you post. So down to earth yet so informative, easy to follow, and you answer all possible questions. I love the tips on how to store, freeze, use different cooking methods, substitute ingredients, hight quality pictures with step by step guide, nutritional value… Thank you for taking time to put it all together in such a perfect way! Not too much of info to make it boring, and not too little to live me with questions. I’m absolutely in love with everything you post. Thank you and wish you all the best!

    2. 5 stars
      Wow, these were so good! Probably the only recipe I can eat Brussels sprouts with. The flavors with the pecan are like dessert. Yum!

    3. 5 stars
      So good! And I’m not even a brussel sprouts fan! We warmed up leftovers the next day and they were still yummy.

      1. These are best served fresh. You can cut up Brussels, bacon and make candies pecans the day before though. Refrigerate first two and store in a pantry last one. Then combine on Thanksgiving.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    Recipe Rating




    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.