Sautéed Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta


This 5-ingredient sautéed Brussel sprouts recipe makes traditionally bitter Brussel sprouts sweet, crispy, and crazy delicious thanks to caramelized bites and crispy, salty pancetta.

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta | Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta |

This recipe is brought to you by Kroger

Brussel sprouts have a history of being a divisive vegetable. These cruciferous cabbages used to have a bad reputation for being boiled, mushy, and bland. Thankfully times change, and so do our palates. 

The beauty of this Brussel sprouts recipe—and why I now actually like eating them—is the crispy but caramelized sweetness that occurs when they’re roasted. Typically this happens in the oven on a sheet pan, but when mega cooking days like Thanksgiving take up all that precious oven space with roasted turkey, stuffing, and homemade rolls, the cast-iron skillet is where I put these babies to work.

A cast-iron skillet plus high heat equals perfectly crisp Brussels right on the stovetop with salty pancetta, maple sweetness and a contrasting vinegar tang. Oh, and did I mention this recipe has just 5 ingredients and comes together easy and fast? 

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Sauteed brussels Sprouts ingredients Sauteed brussels Sprouts ingredients

What’s in These Sautéed Brussel Sprouts?

Brussel sprouts don’t need a laundry list of seasonings to achieve their stellar flavor. A few heavy hitter ingredients can go a long way.

Here’s what you’ll need to make these sautéed Brussel sprouts:

  • Pancetta—I buy it in one 1/2 pound chunks at the deli counter, then dice it into smaller pieces myself. Or use thick-cut bacon instead.
  • Olive oil
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Maple syrup
  • White balsamic vinegar—feel free to use regular balsamic instead
  • Kosher salt and pepper

What Are The Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium, and Vitamin C. They also have cartenoids, which help promote healthy vision, and may have cancer-fighting properties. These cruciferous veggies are also said to help regulate blood sugar and reduce inflammation.

How to Cook Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta | How to Cook Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta |

How to Make These Sautéed Brussel Sprouts

Not only do you only need a few ingredients for this recipe, it’s also totally easy and quick to make.

Here’s how to make these sautéed Brussels sprouts:

  • Wash & trim your sprouts. To trim and halve the Brussels sprouts, simply cut the end of the sprouts off (it’s very woody and inedible) before peeling off any yellowing leaves. Then, slice the sprouts in half.
  • Cook your pancetta in some olive oil. Pancetta (Italian bacon made of pork belly meat) that is salt cured and very similar to the flavor of bacon. Because pancetta is leaner than bacon, you’ll need to cook it in a bit of olive oil.
  • Remove & drain the pancetta. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove your pancetta from the skillet and drain it on a paper towel-lined plate. Then, add the halved, fresh Brussels sprouts to the skillet. And that’s when things really get cooking.
  • Dress your sprouts. Simply mix a bit olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup for a bit of sweetness and add at the end. The dressing is absorbed right into the sprouts and mellows their bitterness with every sweetened, crunchy bite.

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta | Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta |

Tips for Making Crispy Brussel Sprouts

Try to find Brussel sprouts that are smaller and more compact—they will be sweeter. The larger the sprouts, the more cabbagey and bitter they will taste.

The key to getting these sautéed Brussel sprouts crispy is to let them cook undisturbed in the heavy-bottomed cast-iron skillet cut side-down. This is where the caramelization process begins. All vegetables become sweeter with that continued exposure to higher heat, releasing the sugars within.

In addition to cooking the sprouts at a higher heat, maple syrup and balsamic are key for helping offset some of the bitterness.

There’s no need to cook the sprouts before adding them to the pan. They become tender and delicious as they cook all the way through. Simply cover with a lid, and let them do their thing.

What to Serve With These Brussel Sprouts

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.


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Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta

To create the sweet caramelization of Brussel sprouts, be sure to cook them undisturbed for 4 mintues or so before turning, but check the first one or two sprouts at about the 3 minute mark to see how well and how quickly they’re browning so they don’t burn.

Course Side Dish

Cuisine American

Keyword brussels sprouts

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 10 minutes

Total Time 20 minutes

Servings 4

Calories 378kcal


  • 1/2 pound pancetta* , cut into small dice (about 1 cup)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil , divided
  • 1 pound fresh brussel sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is fragrant and beginning to crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain and set aside.

  • While the pancetta is cooking, trim the ends of the brussels sprouts and cut in half from the root to the tips of the sprout. Raise the temperature of the pan to medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts cut side down in an even layer, and cook for 4-5 minutes and the sprouts begin to brown and caramelize, then turn, season with kosher salt and black pepper, reduce the heat to medium and cover with a lid. Add another tablespoon of oil to the bottom of the pan if needed. Cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the sprouts are fork tender.

  • Add the pancetta back to the pan with the sprouts. Whisk the remaining tablespoon of olive oil with the maple syrup and balsamic vinegar and add to the sprouts, tossing to coat, and cook for another minute or two, so the sprouts are still fork tender but not mushy. Season with more kosher salt and ground black pepper and serve.


  • *You could also use regular bacon if you’d prefer. Just choose a really good quality brand or pick it up directly from the meat counter itself. The lesser brands of bacon turn out all fat and end up becoming a grease bomb without much flavor.


Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 406mg | Potassium: 576mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 876IU | Vitamin C: 96mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2mg

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