Best Brussels Sprouts Ever 8.000

James M. Thresher for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Nov 18, 2009

What to some people makes these the best Brussels sprouts ever is the fact that they don't taste strongly of Brussels sprouts. The bacon gives them a deep, rich flavor and marries well with the vegetables' unexpected crunch; the sprinkling of chives makes its own contribution to what is simply a great combination of flavors.

As originally written, the recipe called for dicing all of the bacon, which meant the dish was studded with small dice of pure bacon fat. We've chosen to avoid that by rendering and then discarding the fatty parts of the bacon strips. The sprouts still have a satisfying bacon flavor, and the dish is more healthful. (If eating bacon fat isn't a problem for you, dice the entire amount and leave it all in the pot.)

Don't overcook the sprouts. In the Chinese fashion, they should be cooked until just crisp-tender.

Make Ahead: These are better if served immediately, but they can be made the day before, covered and refrigerated. Before serving, divide the sprouts into smaller amounts and warm each portion very gently in a microwave on LOW. Stir often; do not overheat, or the sprouts will become limp.

8 - 12

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8-12

  • 2 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 1 pound slab bacon (rind removed), cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 medium carrots (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh chives, snipped, for garnish


Trim the stem ends of the Brussels sprouts and remove any tough outer leaves. Cut the sprouts in half through the stem ends, then cut each half into very thin strips (julienne).

Cut the fatty strips from the bottom of the bacon slices and reserve. Cut the remaining meaty portions of bacon into 1/4-inch dice.

Heat the oil and butter in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the bacon pieces and the reserved strips of bacon fat; cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meaty bacon pieces turn golden. Add the carrots and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until they begin to soften. Remove the strips of bacon fat from the pot and discard.

Add the sprouts to the pot, toss well to coat, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring, just until crisp-tender. Taste, and add pepper as needed. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the chives; serve warm.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from a 1997 Sheila Lukins recipe.

Tested by Jane Touzalin.

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