These Make-Ahead Brussels Sprouts and Bacon are a winning side dish every-single-time I make them. Have you noticed that there is always a holiday, potluck, or special dinner approaching? You can make side dishes days ahead for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other special Holiday dinner and help your meal be as stress-free as possible. One of the smartest things ever is having some make-ahead side dishes in your recipe collection will help you get ahead.
I’m always looking for recipes that use real foods, are economical and pack a nutritional power-punch. This is one of those. It’s also gluten-free, paleo, Keto, and D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S !
I was on a dumb diet … again.
And, what happened?
I got invited to a big family birthday and Thanksgiving combo event. I knew that if I wanted something that I could eat, I better bring it myself.
That’s a smart idea – ya know? Bring something you can eat if you have diet restrictions.
So, I made these Make-Ahead Brussels Sprouts and Bacon.
And, guess what?
I get asked every single year to make them again. I don’t mind, because hello, super simple and amazingly tasty.
And, because I can make them ahead, in my spare time, they fit right into my Stress-Free Thanksgiving Plan.
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Looking for more Side Dishes? Check out Make-Ahead Side Dishes for Thanksgiving and Maple Ginger Glazed Carrots
Preparing Make-Ahead Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
I purchased my ingredients at Costco. All, uhhh, 2 of them. Brussels Sprouts and Bacon — that’s it! I don’t count salt and pepper, because, don’t we all have salt and pepper in our cupboards?
1. Start by shredding your brussels sprouts.
I used the slicing blade in my Cuisinart Food Processor (you could also use a mandoline like this one, just be careful not to cut yourself). Run all of the Brussels Sprouts through the chute and they will come out in nice slices.
If you do all 2 pounds you will fill the Cuisinart bowl entirely, a couple of times. Just dump them all in a big bowl until you’re finished with every last one. Once you’re done with that, move on to the bacon.
2. Slice your bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and saute in a pan until it is crispy.
I used my Le Creuset Dutch Oven. I know these pans are expensive, but they are sooo worth it. I’ve had mine for over 20 years, and I use it all-the-time for so many different dishes.
OK, back to the bacon. Once it is crispy, remove it to a paper towel-lined plate and spoon out most of the grease until you have about 2 tablespoons left in the pan.
Don’t … I repeat, DO NOT nibble on all the bacon while you’re still cooking the Brussels Sprouts. Yeah, I know how tempting it is – OK, you can have a couple of nibbles – that’s it. Resist! The! Temptation!
3. Now add the Brussels Sprouts and some salt. Stir and cover.
Stir occasionally until your Brussels Sprouts are just done. Poke the tip of a knife in one of the core ends of the Brussels Sprouts to check for doneness. You want it to just slip in and then stop cooking them before they turn to mush.
4. Once they’re done, add the bacon back in.
Then, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Now, wasn’t that simple?
Ingredients for Make-Ahead Brussels Sprouts and Bacon:
- 2 lb. Brussels Sprouts
- 1 lb. Bacon
This side dish transports very easily and can be warmed up when you get to your destination. Feel free to make it a couple of days ahead of time and heat up on the stove or in the microwave when you’re ready to serve.
Make sure that when you’re heating it up, that you don’t overcook the Brussels Sprouts. It’s easy to let them sit and steam in the microwave and, WARNING — if you do that, they will get mushy and turn a pale, gross, green.
Since I have this recipe in my collection, I don’t mind getting asked to make it again and again. People have no idea how simple it is to make, thinking I’ve slaved over the stove for hours. Let’s keep that part a secret.
You’ll be amazed by how fast that bowl is emptied, even by those vegetable haters.
Be sure that you get my Thanksgiving Planner below in order to get all your holiday dinner details planned out.
Make-Ahead Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
A delicious side dish perfect for Thanksgiving, potlucks, or any other dinner. You can use this as a make-ahead recipe or eat them right away. They're simply irresistible.
- 2 lbs. Brussels Sprouts
- 1 lb. Bacon
Slice the Brussels Sprouts in a food processor.
Dice the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces.
Cook the bacon in the dutch oven until it is crispy, then remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate.
Remove the bacon grease from the pan, leaving about 2 T. behind.
Saute the Brussels Sprouts in the bacon grease with some salt until they are just tender. Be careful not to overcook or they will become gray and mushy.
When they are finished cooking, salt to taste and stir the crumbled bacon back in.
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