Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Crispy Maple Bacon, Garlic And Thyme

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Crispy Maple Bacon, Garlic And Thyme
It appears I just can’t get enough of these guys.  I think I am drawn to Brussels sprouts because of their strong flavor and the ease of roasting them in the oven. They are a go-to for me during holiday time. I love a great roasted vegetable; I prefer them that way actually.  I was playing around in the kitchen recently looking for something new and interesting, yet not overly time-consuming. The addition of crispy maple brown sugar bacon fit the bill.  As most meat-eaters know, bacon complements numerous vegetable dishes. That is true especially of sprouts. In winter, when you are seeking a rich, hearty vegetable, a bit of bacon is a great addition.  For this recipe, I lightly brushed the bacon with maple syrup and a sprinkling of brown sugar before I roasted it in the oven.  Crispy, sweet-n-salty bacon was the absolute perfect accompaniment to the traditional thyme and garlic roasted Brussels sprouts that I make often. This is a lovely, flavorful vegetable side dish for winter.  Particularly with its bright colors, it will be a great addition to any holiday gathering—or even for a regular meal where you want a change of pace with your vegetables.

oven roasted Brussels sprouts

For the bacon, I like to use a thick cut, organic nitrate free, Sunday-style bacon—Applegate makes a great one but there are many kinds out there.  The large, think slices hold the sweet baste well and don’t shrink too much in the oven.  A nice, slow roast brings out some lovely caramel-red coloring and a great crunchy texture to boot.


Keeping this dish easy, I simply tossed some whole thyme sprigs on the roasting sheet along with some smashed garlic cloves further cutting down on prep time.  The key to roasting sprouts well is using a higher heat that allows for some nice coloration on your sprouts, makes them a tad crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked in the center.  Not over cooking sprouts is critical.  No one wants to eat a mushy sprout. Your cook time will vary based on the size of your sprouts. The ones I used for this recipe were in the smaller side, a bit more delicate, which is how I prefer them.  For larger ones, you may need to add to the cooking time, but always stay watchful.  The best way to not overcook something is to taste a bit as you go.  Pull a sprout from the oven and gauge it’s doneness.  Remember, you can always add cooking time. Sprouts also continue to cook a bit once out of the oven so sometimes, a bit less cooking time is best.

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Maple Bacon

December 23, 2017
: 6-8 slices
: 5 min
: 30 min
: 35 min
: easy


  • 6-8 slices of uncured thick cut, Sunday bacon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • vegetable oil, as needed for pan
  • Step 1 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking pan with aluminum oil. Lightly brush the foil with a little vegetable oil and set aside.
  • Step 2 Lay the bacon strips out flat on the prepared pan close together, but not overlapping.
  • Step 3 Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the bacon with the maple syrup. Turn the bacon over and repeat on the other side.
  • Step 4 Sprinkle the bacon with the brown sugar and use the pastry brush to help coat the bacon evenly. Turn the bacon over and repeat with the remaining brown sugar.
  • Step 5 Place in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes (depending on the size and thickness of the bacon) or until nicely browned and crisp. check on the bacon mid-way and using tongs, flip the bacon for even browning.
  • Step 6 Allow the bacon to cool and harden a bit before shopping and garnishing the roasted Brussels sprouts.

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