These Roasted Brussels Sprouts with California Grapes and Bacon are an easy, fuss-free and delicious way to spruce up your Brussels sprouts this Holiday season. You get the beautifully charred sprouts, crispy bits of smoky bacon, crunchy pecans, nutty Parmigiano Reggiano, and tangy balsamic glaze.
What You Need for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Grapes and Bacon
- Brussels Sprouts: For best results, use fresh, whole Brussels sprouts. Look for ones that are a deep green colour without spotting or bruising. Avoid frozen Brussels sprouts in this recipe. They are almost always waterlogged after thawing and will not brown or caramelize.
- Grapes from California: These are the real hidden gems here. They add a delicious and unexpected pop of juicy sweetness that balances the slightly bitter sprouts and the acidity cuts through the richness of the bacon. Grapes from California are incredibly versatile and pair well with a variety of ingredients and flavours. Grab some at your local market and try adding them to your favourite recipes this Holiday season
- Bacon: Use the best quality, thick-cut, smoked bacon you can find. You can substitute turkey bacon to keep it pork-free. Or, omit the bacon altogether. If you want to mimic the smokey flavour, you can toss the Brussels sprouts with a teaspoon of smoked paprika instead. Just note that if you omit the bacon you will need to add a little more olive oil to account for the rendered bacon fat.
- Pecans: For some nutty flavour and crunchy texture, I like to add some chopped pecans to the sheet pan a few minutes before the Brussels sprouts have finished roasting. You can substitute just about any kind of nut here (walnuts, slivered almonds, pine nuts, cashews), or even sunflower seeds if you want to keep it nut free.
- Parmigianno Reggiano: The cheese is optional, but if you want to make this a bit more indulgent you can add some shaved parmesan overtop of the roasted Brussels sprouts. It will add flavour, some tang and pairs really well with the roasted grapes.
- Balsamic Glaze: Look for a balsamic glaze that is made with balsamic vinegar and grape must, like this one from De Nigris.
It’s also very easy to make your own balsamic glaze at home. Add a small bottle of balsamic vinegar to a small sauce pan and place over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vinegar has reduced to a syrupy consistency. Transfer to a bottle and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Brussels Sprouts Substitutions
If you’re just not a fan of Brussels sprouts or maybe couldn’t grab some in time for your Holiday party, you can substitute asparagus, green beans, broccolli or cauliflower florets instead. The method and other ingredients will work well with any of these vegetables. The only things that will likely change are the cooking times and ingredient amounts.
For Best Results
To make sure these roasted Brussels sprouts come out as delicious as possible, I recommend the following:
1. For maximum char, roast the Brussels sprouts undisturbed and cut-side down. I like to line the sheet pan with parchment paper for easier clean up. For an even better char, you can roast the sprouts directly on the sheet pan.
2. Keep the grapes whole. Slicing them will release moisture and prevent the Brussels sprouts and bacon from getting crispy. Also, keeping them whole make sure you get a delicious burst of unexpected juiciness.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with California Grapes and Bacon
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts sliced in half and stems trimmed
- 1 cup Red California Grapes
- 4 strips thick-cut bacon thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped raw unsalted pecans, substitute walnuts
- ¼ cup thinly shaved Parmigiano Reggiano plus more as desired
- 2 tablespoons balsamic glaze plus more as desired
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. On the sheet pan, combine the Brussels sprouts, grapes, bacon, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat and evenly distribute everything in a single layer, Brussels sprouts cut-side down. Transfer to the oven and roast until the cut side of the Brussels sprouts are charred, 20-25 minutes. Spread the pecans overtop and return to oven for 5-6 minutes.
- Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a serving platter. Top with shaved Parmigiano Reggiano and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Best served immediately.