Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts – Carlsbad Cravings

Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts – Carlsbad Cravings

Oven Roasted Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts are the crispy, caramelized, sweet, salty, and savory, idyllic appetizer or side dish!  They are guaranteed to be your new favorite… and everyone else’s too! 

Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts are crispy, sweet and salty heaven – the MUST make appetizer or side for Thanksgiving and Christmas!  Maple sriracha glazed bacon is wrapped around tender sprouts, baked until golden, crispy, caramelized and infused with flavor, then dunked in creamy tangy horseradish or honey mustard dip.  This Brussels sprouts recipe is an impressive crowd pleaser that disappears in a flash, simple to make and prep ahead friendly – you should probably double the batch!

When prepared correctly, Brussels Sprouts are one of the tastiest side dishes! Make sure to check out my other recipes: Sautéed Lemon Garlic Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Creamy Brussels Sprouts.

How to Make Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts Recipe

showing how to serve bacon wrapped Brussels sprouts by spearing with a toothpick
Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts with crispy maple glazed bacon

Ingredients for Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts 

If you think you hate Brussels sprouts, think again! With the help of maple glazed crispy bacon, humble Brussels sprouts are transformed into a side dish that everyone will want seconds of! Here’s a look at what you’ll need to make this Brussels sprouts recipe (full measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post): 

FOR THE SPROUTS

  • Brussels sprouts: You will need 18 Brussels sprouts which will be sliced in half to create 32 servings. Select medium Brussels sprouts that are roughly all the same size. If they are less than 1 inch in diameter, then leave them whole (which means you’ll will need more of them).  
  • Bacon: Use regular bacon, NOT thick cut bacon. Thick cut bacon is too thick and will not become crispy by the time the Brussels sprouts are done baking.
  • Spices: Salt, pepper, dried thyme, dried basil and garlic powder flavor the sprouts and maple glaze. 
  • Olive oil:  Just a tablespoon is needed to combine with the spices before tossing with the Brussels sprouts so they stick.

FOR THE GLAZE

  • Maple syrup: Use pure maple syrup, not imitation syrup or pancake syrup.  
  • Brown sugar: The brown sugar underscores the sweetness of the maple syrup with additional molasses notes. 
  • Sriracha:  The Sriracha will not make your recipe spicy, but is needed to cut through the sweetness.  If you want to make them spicy, then add more than 1 teaspoon.  Sriracha is a chili sauce and my pick for this recipe because it rounds out the flavor of the chilies and vinegar with sugar and a little garlic for a more balanced and complex flavor instead of straight heat.
  • Balsamic vinegar: Adds a slight tanginess to the sauce to balance the sweetness. Use quality balsamic vinegar for the best flavor.
  • Dijon mustard: I promise it won’t make your Brussels sprouts taste like mustard! It adds a hint of complex tanginess.
top view of serving Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts on a serving platter with dip

How to Make Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts 

Making Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts may sound tedious, but the process is fairly quick and simple but tastes divine!  Here’s how (full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post): 

Step 1: Trim the Brussels sprouts. Trim the stem ends from the Brussels sprouts, and halve lengthwise; set aside.

showing how to make Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts by slicing the sprouts in half lengthwise

Step 2: Season the Brussels sprouts. Add the olive oil and seasonings to a large bowl, whisk to combine, then add the Brussels sprouts.  Gently toss until evenly seasoned. 

showing how to make Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts by tossing with olive oil and seasonings

Step 3: Make the glaze. Whisk the Maple Glaze ingredients together in a small bowl. 

showing how to make Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts by whisking together maple glaze ingredients

Step 4: Prep the bacon. Cut the bacon in half crosswise, then brush it with some of the maple glaze. 

showing how to make Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts by brushing bacon with maple glaze

Step 5: Wrap the Brussels sprouts in bacon. Wrap each Brussels sprout half with half a strip of bacon glaze side in. Wrap it so that the seam is on the flat side. Place seam-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet, leaving a bit of space between each sprout. 

showing how to make Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts by wrapping sprouts in bacon

Step 6: Roast. Brush the remaining maple glaze over the sprouts, then roast for about 20 minutes, then broil an additional 5 minutes, until the bacon is brown and crispy.

showing how to make Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts by roasting sprouts on a baking sheet until the bacon is crispy
up close of roasting Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts on a baking sheet
  • Purchase uniformly-sized Brussels sprouts. Similarly-sized Brussels sprouts will cook evenly and at the same rate. Hand-select them from your grocer’s bulk bin instead of grabbing a bag.
  • Use fresh Brussels sprouts: Set yourself up for success by using the freshest Brussels sprouts – not ones that have been hanging out in your fridge for days and days.  They should be green, firm and free of any black spots.
  • Size matters: If using smaller Brussels, wrap them whole.  If all of your Brussels Sprouts are smaller, then bake for less time and broil until crispy. 
  • Get the Brussels sprouts as dry as possible: After rinsing Brussels sprouts, pat them very dry with a clean kitchen towel or the winning combo of salad spinner and clean kitchen towel. Any moisture left on the Brussels sprouts will inhibit the roasting process of both the sprouts and the bacon!
  • Leave plenty of space: Don’t let the Brussels sprouts overlap or even touch or the sprouts will steam instead of roast and the bacon won’t get crispy.
  • Don’t use thick-cut bacon for this recipe: It’s too thick to get crispy by the time the sprouts are done. Use regular/traditional bacon.
  • Wrap the Brussels sprouts tightly: This will make for the prettiest presentation and helps the bacon stay in place/cover the whole sprout as it shrinks.
  • Wrap the bacon so it’s seam side down:  Try and wrap each sprout so the end of the bacon finishes on the flat cut surface of the sprout which will be placed flat against the baking sheet.  This will keep the bacon in place and help it crisp up.  To accomplish this, it doesn’t mean starting the bacon on the flat surface – start it wherever it needs to start to finish on the flat surface, which may vary between sprouts.
  • Use toothpicks or don’t:  If you plan on serving the sprouts as an appetizer, you may want to add toothpicks before roasting.  If you plan on serving as a side dish, then the toothpicks aren’t necessary, as long as you roast the sprouts bacon seam side down on the baking sheet.  The ends of the bacon strips will fuse together as the fat renders and the strips crisp.
  • Don’t skip the broil:  The Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts will get pretty crispy by baking, but broiling takes them to another level!  Broil for as little or as long as needed – but don’t walk away and let them burn!
  • Use different vegetables:  Create a medley of glazed veggies by using Brussels sprouts, potatoes, thick chunks of zucchini, etc. (adjust cooking time as needed).
  • Use a different glaze:  Instead of the maple, any glaze will work, just make sure it isn’t too salty because the bacon already has a lot of salt.  Asian sweet chili sauce would be tasty or any of your favorite marinades/glazes (again omit the salt).
  • Add nuts: Sprinkle with chopped pecans, pistachios, cashews, sliced almonds, etc. 
  • Add seeds: Sesame seeds, pepitas, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • Go Italian Lemon Parmesan: Skip the maple glaze and toss the Brussels sprouts with a splash of lemon, Italian seasonings, lemon pepper and freshly grated Parmesan before wrapping in bacon.
  • Add cheeses to garnish: Sprinkle with goat cheese, feta cheese or gorgonzola cheese after baking.
  • Cajun: Season with your favorite Cajun seasoning for a kick.  
  • Spice them up: Add additional Sriracha to the maple glaze. 
  • Use dressing: Toss the Brussels sprouts in your favorite dressing like Italian, lemon vinaigrette, or even pesto before roasting.
  • Turkey bacon: I have not tested this recipe with turkey bacon, so please let me know how it goes!
up close of Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts showing how crispy they are
showing how to serve Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts by dipping sprouts in Horseradish Sauce

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  • 18 medium Brussels sprouts (about 1 ½ pounds)
  • 18 strips traditional cut bacon (do NOT use thick-cut)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp EACH garlic powder, dried basil, dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Prep: Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup.

  • Brussels Sprouts: Add the olive oil, salt, garlic powder, dried basil, dried thyme and pepper to a large bowl and whisk to combine. Trim the stem ends from the Brussels sprouts and halve lengthwise; add to the olive oil/seasonings and stir until evenly coated; set aside.

  • Maple Glaze: Whisk the Maple Glaze ingredients together in a small bowl.

  • Glaze Bacon: Cut bacon in half crosswise, then brush bacon with some of the Glaze.

  • Wrap Sprouts: Wrap each Brussels sprout half with half a strip of bacon, glaze side in, so the bacon seam is on the flat side of the sprout. (Optional: If serving as an appetizer, you may wish to add a toothpick.) Place seam-side down on the baking sheet, leaving a bit of space between each sprout. Brush with remaining Glaze.

  • Bake: Roast the Brussels sprouts on the lower oven rack until browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn the oven to broil (don’t move the pan) and broil until the bacon is browned and crisp and the sprouts are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 5 additional minutes.

  • Horseradish sauce: While the sprouts are roasting, prepare the horseradish sauce (click for recipe). Serve warm.
  • Use fresh Brussels sprouts – not ones that have been hanging out in your fridge for days and days.  They should be green, firm and free of any black spots.  The fresher the Brussel sprouts, the better, sweeter tasting they will be. 
  • Purchase uniformly-sized Brussels sprouts. Similarly-sized Brussels sprouts will cook evenly and at the same rate. Hand-select them from your grocer’s bulk bin instead of grabbing a bag.
  • Size matters: Look for medium Brussels sprouts.  If using smaller Brussels, wrap them whole (in which case you will need more of them).  If all of your Brussels Sprouts are smaller, then bake for less time and broil until crispy. 
  • Use toothpicks or don’t:  If you plan on serving the sprouts as an appetizer, you may want to add toothpicks before roasting.  If you plan on serving as a side dish, then the toothpicks aren’t necessary, as long as you roast the sprouts bacon seam side down on the baking sheet.  The ends of the bacon strips will fuse together as the fat renders and the strips crisp.

Prep Ahead

  • OPTION 1: Prep without Baking. Assemble the Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts on a baking sheet, but don’t brush with remaining glaze.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Just before baking, let come to room temperature. Brush the outsides with the remaining maple glaze mixture and roast as directed.
  • OPTION 2: Bake and Reheat. Roast until the bacon is almost crisp, about 15 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate.  Finish baking/reheat at 350 degrees F just before serving, until warmed through, then broil until the bacon is crispy.

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