My baked Brussels sprouts recipe turns ordinary Brussels sprouts into a scrumptious side dish with a few delicious bells and whistles. Seasoned with olive oil and herbs, then baked until crisp yet tender, these tasty Brussels sprouts are tossed with crispy pancetta and caramelized red onion, plus tart dried cherries, walnuts, and a sweet and tangy cider glaze!
Baked Brussels Sprouts Kissed with Cider Glaze
Being a lover of veggies, I'm always looking for new and delicious ways to jazz them up and turn them into extra flavorful and fun side dishes with varying textures and interesting flavors.
Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite vegetables to play around with, as I happen to really enjoy their little cabbage-like shape and mild flavor. But the other thing I really enjoy is the challenge of preparing them in creative ways in order to entice even those who aren't typically the biggest fans of them, and convert ‘em! 😉
The truth is, Brussels sprouts, on their own, are not necessarily the most flavorful vegetable; but the beauty of these little cruciferous sprouts is that they really come to life so well with a hint of sweetness and some acidic notes, plus a sprinkle of a few ingredients that create wonderful texture.
My baked Brussels sprouts recipe is a tried and true favorite perfect for the holiday table or even as a casual side, delicious with rich, roasted meats or even grilled fish.
Tossed with crispy pancetta and caramelized red onion, dried tart cherries and walnuts, these oven baked Brussels sprouts are finished with a sweet and tangy glaze for a wonderful pop of flavor and brightness, making these a fun and tasty recipe everyone's sure to enjoy!
How to Bake Brussels Sprouts
Preparing Brussels sprouts for baking is incredibly quick and easy. What makes them over-the-top delicious is how they're seasoned.
Really, the only prep needed to get Brussels sprouts ready for the oven is to trim any excessively long, stalky bottom stem (leaving just a little), and then pulling off the outer leaves that may be a bit blemished or off-color.
Then, all that's left to do is to cut the sprouts into the desired shape, which is either in half or into quarters, as is called for in this recipe. You could leave them whole, but they're a bit more difficult to eat and enjoy that way.
Here's a sneak peek at my baked Brussels sprouts recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To begin, I prepare my simple cider glaze by simmering together apple cider vinegar and the two sugars, then set it aside to have on hand.
- Next, I get my oven nice and hot at 400°, and line my baking sheet with either parchment paper or foil. I toss my quartered Brussels sprouts with some olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning, and bake them until crisp on the outside, yet tender in the middle, and still a lovely green, roughly 23-25 minutes.
- While the Brussels sprouts bake, I crisp diced pancetta and then caramelize red onion in the drippings, then set both aside.
- To assemble, I toss together my baked Brussels sprouts with the pancetta and caramelized red onion, some dried cherries and walnuts, plus a generous drizzle of my cider glaze. I then check the seasoning, and serve the sprouts nice and warm with extra glaze on the side, if desired.
Baked Brussels Sprouts with Cider Glaze
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 375 calories per serving
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Baked Brussels Sprouts Ingredients:
- Olive oil
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, quartered
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 8 ounces pancetta, finely diced
- 1 medium red onion, quartered and sliced thin
- ¼ cup tart dried cherries
- ¼ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
Cider Glaze Ingredients:
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided use
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- To prepare the cider glaze: into a small, heavy-bottom sauce pan, add the ½ cup apple cider vinegar, the ½ cup sugar and 2 tablespoons brown sugar, and whisk together. Place the sauce pan over medium heat, and once the mixture begins to simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the mixture to gently simmer for about 10 minutes, or until thicken up and syrupy.
- Turn the heat off, and whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, then set aside.
- To prepare the Brussels sprouts: cut the Brussels sprouts into quarters (if needed, trim the end stems, and remove the discolored leaves). Preheat the oven to 400°, and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Toss the quartered Brussels sprouts with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the sea salt, cracked pepper and Italian seasoning. Drizzle a little olive oil onto the foil-lined baking sheet, and turn the Brussels sprouts out onto the baking sheet and roast for about 23-25 minutes until golden-green and crisp-tender.
- While the Brussels sprouts bake, place a medium-size non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle very lightly with olive oil; once hot, add in the diced pancetta, and allow it to crisp up until golden brown, about 5-6 minutes; using a slotted spoon, remove the crisped pancetta from the pan and place onto a paper towel-lined bowl/plate to drain, and set aside; reserve about 2-2 ½ tablespoons of the pancetta drippings, and discard the rest.
- Next, lightly clean out the pan you crisped the pancetta in, add back into it the reserved pancetta drippings, and turn the heat on the medium-high; once hot, add in the sliced red onion, and allow it to caramelize until golden-brown for about 15 minutes; remove from pan and set aside.
- Once the Brussels sprouts are baked, remove them from oven and sprinkle over the dried cherries and chopped toasted walnuts, and lightly drizzle some of the cider glaze over the Brussels sprouts, starting with about half of it, and using all, if desired.
- Add the pancetta and red onion in, and gently toss everything together to combine the ingredients well; spoon onto a platter or into a bowl, and serve the baked Brussels sprouts with extra glaze on the side, if desired.
Tips & Tidbits for my Baked Brussels Sprouts with Cider Glaze:
- Choose fresh Brussels sprouts: When looking for Brussels sprouts, choose the ones that are fresh and firm, with a bright and healthy green color. They should be tight with nice leaves and a clean smell. If there are discolored leaves and the bottom stem is long and stalky, you can remove those outer leaves and cut a bit from that bottom stem to clean them up.
- Pancetta, or bacon, for savory flavor: Just for a bit of a twist, I opted for finely-diced pancetta here, but feel free to use bacon instead. Either of those add-ins provide some savory flavor with a mild smokiness, something that pairs well with Brussels sprouts.
- More tasty add-ins for texture: Dried cherries and walnuts add some sweet flavor and crunch to these baked Brussels sprouts, buy you can easily substitute dried cranberries, cashews, pine nuts, pistachios, or your favorite dried fruit/nuts. You could also leave them out if you prefer.
- Apple cider vinegar for tangy flavor: The reason I use apple cider vinegar to prepare the glaze rather than apple cider is because of the tangy zip that the vinegar provides. I make a syrup using equal parts vinegar to sugar, then simmer for 10 minutes to thicken things a bit. You can use as much or as little of the glaze as you like, and even serve some on the side if desired.
Craving more cozy vegetable side dishes? Check out these Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan Sauce, these Roasted Vegetables, this Cauliflower Casserole, these Rosemary Potatoes, or this Butternut Squash Casserole!
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2012, and has been updated with even more love!