Brown Sugar and Bacon Brussels Sprouts

updated May 15, 2023
Brown Sugar Bacon Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Amp up your Brussels sprouts game with this sweet twist.


Prep10 minutes

Cook15 minutes

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brown sugar bacon brussels sprouts in a serving bowl
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Micah Morton

If you’re not already a believer, this brown sugar Brussels sprouts recipe with bacon will make you one. The balance of smoky flavor from thick-cut bacon and sweetness provided by brown sugar turn this often-maligned brassica into a veggie anyone will want to eat. And this is coming from someone who used to hate the mere thought of Brussels sprouts.

Why Make Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Brown Sugar?

When I was growing up, I thought of Brussels sprouts as mushy, under-seasoned, and just plain unappetizing. It wasn’t until recently, when I started experimenting with different flavor combinations, that I realized just how versatile Brussel sprouts are — also how well they pair with other dishes (like pork chops, roast chicken, or juicy, oven-roasted steak, to name a few).

While there are any number of Brussels sprouts recipes that can make you a convert, this one with brown sugar and bacon is my absolute favorite. Sweet and savory, crispy and tender, the sprouts cook up quickly in one pan for a side that’s easy enough for a weeknight, but unforgettable enough for a special occasion.

Brown Sugar Bacon Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Amp up your Brussels sprouts game with this sweet twist.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 15 minutes

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


  • 5 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 2 tablespoons

    packed light or dark brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pound

    Brussels sprouts

  • 3 slices

    thick-cut bacon (about 4 ounces)


  1. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, place 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl and stir to combine. Trim and halve 1 pound Brussels sprouts. Add the sprouts to the bowl and toss to combine. Dice 3 thick-cut bacon slices.

  2. Add the bacon and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is golden brown and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.

  3. Add the Brussels sprouts to the pan and arrange cut-side down in a single layer. Cook undisturbed until the cut-sides are dark golden brown, about 4 minutes. Return the bacon to the pan and toss to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are crisp tender, 3 to 4 minutes more.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a microwave for less than 2 minutes, on the stovetop, or in a 275ºF air fryer until warmed through.