Serves a Crowd

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Bacon & Balsamic-Cranberry Glaze

October 19, 2018
15 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
Author Notes

These are my family's favorite Brussels sprouts, hands-down. A few tricks make them especially delicious: starting with a rocket hot sheet pan so the bacon and sprouts cook at the same rate and get ultra crispy; and coating the cooked sprouts with balsamic-cranberry glaze. The cranberry sauce rounds out the sharp edges of balsamic vinegar and lends an addictive sweet-tart-tangy quality that's perfect with smoky bacon and the slightly bitter sprouts. (Taste the reduced balsamic before and after adding the cranberry sauce to understand the difference the cranberries make!) —EmilyC

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6 (or more if part of a big meal)
  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, rinsed and dried well, trimmed, and halved (or quartered if large)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, or lesser amount of red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1 large or 2 small shallot (about 4 ounces total) thinly sliced; about 1 cup in total
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced bacon, 1/4-inch-diced (pancetta can be substituted)
  • 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (an everyday variety)
  • 3 tablespoons of your favorite homemade cranberry sauce (or Ocean Spray canned cranberry sauce works well!)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
In This Recipe
  1. Place an empty sheet pan on the bottom rack of oven. Heat to 450°F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts (and any loose, unblemished leaves) with olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, Aleppo pepper, shallot, and bacon (making sure to separate the cubes of bacon for better crisping).
  3. Carefully remove the heated sheet pan from oven. Add the Brussels sprouts mixture, using tongs to arrange the sprouts cut-side down. (Alternatively, toss the Brussels sprouts on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, arrange them cut-side down, and transfer the parchment from the cookie sheet to the heated sheet pan.) Roast until softened and deeply browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. (Check the sprouts halfway through roasting; if they're already deeply browned on the bottom, stir a few times and return to oven.)
  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar to a simmer and reduce by half (note: this only takes 2 to 3 minutes, so don’t walk away!). Add cranberry sauce and butter, lower heat, and cook another 30 seconds to a minute (stirring constantly) until butter and cranberry sauce are well integrated; break up any whole cranberries with the back of your spoon.
  5. Pour the glaze over the Brussels sprouts on the sheet pan and toss well. Return the pan to the oven for another minute or two to set the glaze. Serve warm.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jessie Chen
    Jessie Chen
  • ihaventpoisonedyouyet
  • Karl Rosaen
    Karl Rosaen
  • Tina Bee
    Tina Bee
  • EmilyC

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

11 Reviews

Jessie C. December 7, 2020
Would like to add more bacon next time but it was pretty good. I used lingonberry jam and it turned out fine :)
ihaventpoisonedyouyet December 8, 2019
This thanksgiving I was tasked with the side dishes and after searching through various brussel sprouts recipes I chose this. They were absolutely fabulous! Although the cranberry sauce had me going gaahhh while reading ingredients I followed the recipe as written and I would never not include it now. It adds a balance to the dish. Seriously, this is so delicious.
Author Comment
EmilyC December 8, 2019
What a nice note -- thank you! I feel the same way about the cranberry sauce. Every time I make it for guests, people give me the side-eye when I mention this ingredient, but it really works! Thanks for making it a part of your Thanksgiving!
lindamettler November 27, 2019
This is a fabulous recipe. I used pancetta instead of bacon, a fig balsamic vinegar, and rather than the cranberries, a fig balsamic jam. Outstanding.
Author Comment
EmilyC December 8, 2019
Thanks Linda! Love these tweaks!
Karl R. December 10, 2018
The recipe was a hit at thanksgiving so I made it again for a friendsgiving, a hit again! The glaze is so easy and tasty, feel like I'll be adapting that year round with different fruit preserves.

The second time I made it I had the oven at 500, took only about 15 minutes total and required a little bit more monitoring as some of the smaller pieces crisped quickly. I'd probably just do it at 450 next time per the instructions.
Author Comment
EmilyC December 10, 2018
Hi Karl: so glad to hear that this was a repeat hit! And yes to experimenting with other fruit preserves—great idea! (I’ll bet balsamic and fig preserves would be lovely here.) Thanks so much for your note!
Tina B. November 17, 2018
Horrible recipe. Doesn't say which level to put your pan on when you put it back and so I left it back on the bottom and it ruined the sprouts. Also, you say that the shallots should be 4 oz or a cup. 4 oz does not equal a cup.
Author Comment
EmilyC November 17, 2018
Sorry this didn’t work for you, Tina. I didn’t specify which rack because I’ve made this recipe on different racks of my oven, all with good results. (I usually put my sheet pan on a pizza stone, which makes it even hotter!) And the 4 ounces of shallots is weight, not volume.
Lynnht November 23, 2018
I made this tonight and everyone loved it. Thanks!!
I had a very large shallot and used half of it. (The recipe does say approx 4 oz AND that it is approx 1 cup. I had way less than 1 cup and it was fine.) I didn't use all of the balsamic cranberry glaze but I might have made too much. (I'm not great at exact measurements.)
Someone asked about cooking the bacon separately from the brussel sprouts, but I think the bacon cooking with it really upped the flavor!
Author Comment
EmilyC November 23, 2018
So glad that this was a hit at your table, Lynn! Thanks so much for trying it and your feedback!