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Pan-seared Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Cranberries & Maple Syrup

These roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, cranberries & maple syrup are sweet, savory, and completely delicious. I made them as a side dish with the holidays in mind, but this is the perfect side to enjoy ALL season long.

There are a few tricks to cooking the very best Brussels sprouts. To begin with, bacon & Brussels just go together. After I fry my bacon, I discard a little grease while keeping some in my pan, and I cook the Brussels sprouts in the bacon grease. They taste sooo much better that way!

The other trick is covering the Brussels sprouts as they’re cooking in the pan. Covering them for the first 15-20 minutes of cooking traps the steam and allows them to soften. Then, remove the lid for the last 5-10 minutes to allow them to crisp up nicely.

These are seriously the easiest side dish to make, and they take very little time and effort. Plus, they’re beautiful to look at, so try them and see what I mean!

Ingredients you’ll need:

Brussels Sprouts-Can’t skip these—ha! The best way I can describe these cute little things is they look like baby cabbages. I cut mine in half before tossing them in the pan, and they come out soft in all the right places and crispy in all the other ones, which is pretty much Brussels sprouts perfection, if there is such a thing.

Maple Syrup-Brussels are a cool weather crop, and maple syrup is THE sweetener of fall & winter, so the two make an undeniably delicious pair. I have yet to find a recipe that doesn’t taste better with maple syrup, and these Brussels sprouts are no exception.

Bacon & Bacon Grease-Much like the maple syrup, almost everything tastes better with bacon. Both salty & savory, the bacon does an amazing job of balancing the sweetness of the maple syrup. It also adds a little depth to the dish, so like all the others, this recipe gets extra stars for all that extra bacon flavor!

Craisins-I needed fresh cranberries for a recipe one time, and I couldn’t find any. Instead of panicking, I walked to my pantry and grabbed some Craisins to rehydrate, knowing in my gut the taste would be different. Well, I was right, but it was for the better!! Now, when I need cranberries as an accent to a dish, I rehydrate craisins every time, and I’ll never look back. In this dish, the addition is magical and seals the deal making this one of my absolute favorite sides for the season!

Optional ingredients: parmesan flakes or goat cheese; toasted pecans or walnuts; and a splash of balsamic vinegar & olive oil.

Any combination of these additions, or none at all, would be just fine for these Brussels sprouts. I’ve tried them before with parmesan flakes, and they were divine!! If you use the balsamic vinegar & olive oil combination, toss 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar & 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pan when you add the maple syrup, and let the sprouts cook in the medley.

If you make these Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Cranberries & Maple Syrup, be sure to leave a comment! I love to hear from everyone and will do my best to respond. Also, if you make this recipe, I'd love to see it on Instagram! Tag me so I can see photos of the recipes you've made!!

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