Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Garlic Croutons

November 24, 2014
5 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

When I told Amanda about this dish, she asked, "Don't the breadcrumbs burn in the oven?" The answer is no, but just barely. They do get very brown and crisp, as do the pancetta, shallots and garlic, and you need to stir the sprouts once or twice while they're in the oven to keep things from sticking. If caramel-colored breadcrumbs are not your thing, keep the heat low on the stove top when you add the sprouts and cover the pan with foil before you put it in the oven. It will still be delicious. —Merrill Stubbs

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • 2 slices rustic country bread
  • 2 ounces pancetta, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 fat clove garlic, smashed
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan (optional)
  1. Heat the oven to 425° F. Trim and quarter the brussels sprouts (halve them if they're small). Tear the bread into rough crumbs about 1/3 inch in diameter; you'll need about 1/2 cup.
  2. In an ovenproof pan that will work for serving, fry the pancetta over low heat until crisp. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan, and over medium low heat soften the shallot, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and whole thyme sprigs and cook for another minute. Turn the heat up to medium and add the croutons, stirring to coat them in the oil. Cook for a couple of minutes, until the croutons start to brown.
  3. Push everything to the sides of the pan and turn up the heat to medium-high. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the center of the pan, along with the sprouts. Cook for a minute or so, until they sizzle and start to brown. Stir everything together, adding salt and pepper to taste, and the nutmeg, and transfer the pan to the oven. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the sprouts are just tender, about 15 minutes, and everything is crisp and burnished.
  4. Remove the thyme sprigs, shower the sprouts with the Parmesan (if using) and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Lauren Miller
    Lauren Miller
  • MCBrown
  • Brian Cahill
    Brian Cahill
  • Xtinabytes
  • AntoniaJames

14 Reviews

Lauren M. November 30, 2020
Turned out great. I baked them a little bit longer than the recipe called for to get that extra caramelization. Next time I will mince the garlic to get that flavor more throughout the dish.
MCBrown December 9, 2017
Just tried these for the first time. They were delicious, even though I forgot the Parmesan! Will do it right the next time.
Nancy F. March 5, 2016
This is WONDERFUL I bought a pkg of Brussel sprouts (not exactly my favorite vege, but I need variety). I decided to look here instead of braising them like I usually do, & found this. WOW!!! The crunch, the garlic, the carmelization...soooo good. Thank you.
ann S. March 1, 2016
Antonia James... you seem a little impatient in some of your responses (?)
schnie November 13, 2015
A question about this recipe----
Can I prepare the recipe up until the brussel sprouts go in the oven and finish at a later time? I.E the night before? or in the morning with an evening eating scheduled? Thanks!
AntoniaJames November 17, 2015
I just responded to this question on the Hotline. The short answer: Don't cook the Brussels sprouts at all until shortly before eating. Cooking them in advance gives them an unpleasant cabbage-y taste. I've provided more detailed suggestions in my Hotline answer. ;o)
Brian C. November 11, 2015
I'm definitely going to try this recipe....and I'm sure it's delicious. That said, one clove of garlic?!? Am I missing something? I thought this came from a list of the "garlickyest" recipes. Lol I think I'll shoot for somewhere between a half dozen cloves to a bulb.
Xtinabytes October 5, 2015
Just made it and eating it now, standing at my counter. I may not have any left for my family!
meli6 October 18, 2015
Standing at my kitchen counter right now eating the leftovers cold. Delicious!
Cindy G. October 5, 2015
I read it 3 times--sorry that I missed it
Cindy G. October 5, 2015
So I heat the oven to 425 and never put anything in it? How long do I need to roast the sprouts for?
Rebecca F. October 5, 2015
Check step says to transfer the pan to the oven and roast for about 15 minutes.
AntoniaJames December 27, 2014
And I quote: "The croutons in these Brusslies are excellent." And, "Love the garlic in these."
I made these using Black Forest cured bacon instead of pancetta, as that was more convenient. And no Parmesan, as we had quite a bit of cheese in other dishes.
A new family favorite! ;o)
Susan W. November 25, 2014
Another winner from Merrill that I can't wait to try. I wish I was Clara.