Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Pecans, and Cranberries

A delightful combination of roasted Brussels sprouts, crispy bacon, toasted pecans, and sweet cranberries, this dish brings together a medley of flavors and textures. Perfect as a side dish or a main course for a light meal, it’s both nutritious and satisfying. Here’s how to make this delicious recipe.


  • 12 oz Brussels sprouts (ends trimmed, yellow leaves removed)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 slices bacon (cooked and chopped)
  • 1 cup pecans
  • ½ cup dried cranberries


How to Roast Brussels Sprouts:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  2. Prepare the Brussels Sprouts: Slice all Brussels sprouts in half.
  3. Season the Brussels Sprouts: In a medium bowl, combine halved Brussels sprouts, olive oil, and salt. Toss to coat.
  4. Roast the Brussels Sprouts: Place Brussels sprouts on a baking sheet, cut side down. Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes. Turn them over for even browning during the last 5-10 minutes. The cut sides should be partially charred but not blackened.

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven:

  1. Prepare the Bacon: Line a separate baking sheet with foil. Place bacon slices in one layer.
  2. Bake the Bacon: Bake in the preheated oven at 400°F for about 20 minutes or until the bacon is done. This can be done simultaneously with roasting the Brussels sprouts.
  3. Chop the Bacon: Drain bacon fat and chop the bacon into small bites.

How to Toast Pecans:

  1. Prepare the Pecans: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread pecans in a single layer.
  2. Toast the Pecans: Toast pecans in the preheated oven at 350°F for about 5 minutes, or until they darken in color.

Prepare Dried Cranberries:

  1. Soak the Cranberries: Briefly soak dried cranberries in hot water for best results. Bring a small pot of water to a boil.
  2. Drain the Cranberries: Place dried cranberries in a medium bowl. Pour hot water over them and soak for about 10 minutes. Drain.


  1. Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, combine roasted Brussels sprouts, warm chopped bacon, toasted pecans, and soaked dried cranberries. Toss everything together. The olive oil from the Brussels sprouts and the fats from the bacon should be sufficient to coat the ingredients. If desired, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the mix (optional).

Preparation and Cooking Time:

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Servings: 4

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips:

  • As a Side Dish: This dish pairs perfectly with roasted meats such as chicken, turkey, or pork. It can also complement vegetarian mains like stuffed squash or a hearty grain salad.
  • As a Main Course: Serve as a light main course by pairing it with a simple green salad or a bowl of soup.
  • Garnish: Add a sprinkle of fresh herbs like parsley or thyme for added color and flavor.
  • Presentation: For an elegant presentation, serve this dish in a large, shallow bowl or platter, allowing the vibrant colors of the Brussels sprouts, bacon, pecans, and cranberries to shine.

Storage Tips:

  • Refrigeration: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The dish will stay fresh for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating: Reheat leftovers in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat them in the oven at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Avoid Freezing: Freezing is not recommended as the Brussels sprouts may become mushy and the textures of the other ingredients can be affected.
  • Separating Components: For best results, you can store the components separately and combine them just before serving. Keep the roasted Brussels sprouts, cooked bacon, toasted pecans, and soaked cranberries in individual containers.


Different Nuts and Seeds

  • Almonds or Walnuts: Substitute pecans with sliced almonds or chopped walnuts for a different nutty flavor and texture.
  • Pumpkin or Sunflower Seeds: For a nut-free option, use toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds. They add a satisfying crunch and are great for those with nut allergies.

Cheese Additions

  • Goat Cheese: Crumble goat cheese over the top for a creamy and tangy addition.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Shave some fresh Parmesan over the dish before serving for a salty and savory flavor.

Fruit Variations

  • Fresh Pomegranate Seeds: Add fresh pomegranate seeds instead of cranberries for a juicy and slightly tart burst of flavor.
  • Apples or Pears: Incorporate diced apples or pears for a sweet and fresh contrast to the savory ingredients.

Different Meats

  • Prosciutto: Replace bacon with crispy prosciutto for an Italian twist. Prosciutto can be baked until crisp and then crumbled over the dish.
  • Pancetta: Use pancetta instead of bacon for a similar but slightly different flavor. Pancetta can be cooked in the same way as bacon.

Vegetarian Option

  • Omit the Bacon: Simply omit the bacon for a vegetarian version. Add a little smoked paprika or liquid smoke for a hint of smokiness that bacon would provide.

Spice it Up

  • Chili Flakes: Add a pinch of chili flakes or a drizzle of hot sauce for a spicy kick.
  • Garlic and Herbs: Toss the Brussels sprouts with minced garlic and fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary before roasting for an aromatic boost.

Sweet Enhancements

  • Honey or Maple Syrup: Drizzle a little honey or maple syrup over the dish before serving for a touch of sweetness that pairs well with the salty bacon and nuts.
  • Balsamic Glaze: Finish the dish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze for a sweet and tangy note.

Grain Additions

  • Quinoa: Mix in cooked quinoa to make it a more filling main course. Quinoa adds protein and a slightly nutty flavor.
  • Farro: Incorporate cooked farro for a hearty and chewy texture. Farro’s nutty flavor complements the Brussels sprouts and bacon well.

Different Cooking Methods

  • Grilled Brussels Sprouts: Instead of roasting, grill the Brussels sprouts for a smoky flavor. Simply toss them in olive oil and grill until charred and tender.
  • Sautéed Brussels Sprouts: Quickly sauté the Brussels sprouts in a skillet with olive oil for a faster preparation method.

These variations allow you to customize the Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Pecans, and Cranberries to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs, making it a versatile and adaptable dish!


  1. Can I use frozen Brussels sprouts for this recipe? Yes, you can use frozen Brussels sprouts. Thaw and pat them dry before roasting to ensure they crisp up nicely.
  2. What can I use instead of bacon for a vegetarian version? For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon and consider adding smoked paprika or liquid smoke for a hint of smokiness. You can also add sautéed mushrooms for a meaty texture.
  3. How do I prevent the Brussels sprouts from becoming too soft? To keep Brussels sprouts crisp, make sure they are evenly coated in oil and roasted at a high temperature. Avoid overcrowding the baking sheet, which can cause steaming instead of roasting.
  4. Can I make this dish ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the components ahead of time and store them separately. Combine and reheat them just before serving to maintain the best texture and flavor.
  5. How should I store leftovers? Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat or in the oven at 350°F until warmed through.
  6. Can I use fresh cranberries instead of dried? Fresh cranberries can be used, but they will be more tart than dried. You might want to roast them briefly with a bit of sugar to balance the flavors.
  7. What’s the best way to toast pecans? Toast pecans in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 5 minutes, or until they darken in color. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.
  8. Is this dish gluten-free? Yes, this dish is naturally gluten-free as long as all ingredients, including bacon and any added seasonings, are certified gluten-free.
  9. How can I make the Brussels sprouts more flavorful? Enhance the flavor by tossing Brussels sprouts with minced garlic and fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary before roasting. You can also finish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze or honey.
  10. Can I add other vegetables to this dish? Yes, you can add other vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, or butternut squash. Adjust the roasting time accordingly to ensure all vegetables are cooked through and tender.

These FAQs will help you master the Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Pecans, and Cranberries recipe, ensuring delicious and consistent results every time!

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Pecans, and Cranberries is a flavorful and nutritious dish that combines the savory, sweet, and nutty elements in a delightful way. Perfect as a side or a light main course, this versatile recipe can be customized to suit various tastes and dietary needs. With easy preparation and storage tips, it’s an ideal addition to your meal rotation. Enjoy the harmony of flavors and textures in this simple yet elegant dish!