The BEST Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts
These roasted maple bacon brussels sprouts are the perfect sweet & savory Thanksgiving side dish. Tossed with dried cranberries & crunchy pecans, this flavorful dish will be everyone’s holiday favorite!
*This post was originally published on November 28, 2018 and was updated with new photos and copy on November 16, 2021.
Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts, the Ultimate Holiday Side Dish!
This side dish is one of the first recipes I put together back when I started on my paleo journey! It’s simple and perfect for the holidays (or any time of year, really). Roasted in bacon fat, and tossed with maple syrup, these Brussels sprouts are so delicious. The salty crunch of the bacon and pecans meets the sweetness of maple syrup and chewy dried cranberries make a sweet and savory combination full of perfect textures and flavors. Did I mention this is the best side dish?
This is a refined-sugar free, grain-free, and dairy-free side dish that the entire family will love. These notes will help you pick the very best ingredients!
Sugar-Free Bacon & Dried Cranberries: Look for sugar-free versions of the bacon and dried cranberries. Sugar in bacon? I know. So many grocery stores offer sugar-free bacon now though, so just be sure to check the label! The best dried cranberries for these Brussels sprouts have no-added sugar. They are pretty easy to find and the natural sweetness of the cranberry will come out without any additional sugar needed! If you don’t care about this, use whatever bacon/Craisins you have on hand. It will be delicious either way.
How to Make This Maple Bacon Paleo Side Dish
I made this for Friendsgiving, and it was a hit! Even people who said they have never liked roasted brussels sprouts liked them. WINNING! While this dish tastes like it requires a ton of work, it’s actually very easy!
The first step is to toast the pecans lightly, followed by pre-cooking the bacon. I love to use my no-mess baked bacon method! Step 3 is what makes this dish so amazing, the Brussels sprouts roast in the leftover bacon fat. Toss all the ingredients, and serve! The sweetness from the maple syrup and the cranberries + the salty & savory bacon is seriously to die for.
Mary’s Tips & Tricks
bacon fat: don’t throw the bacon fat away after cooking the bacon! Pour it over the Brussels sprouts and bake to crispy perfection. This adds so much flavor and depth to the Brussels sprouts.
no-sugar bacon: I order my bacon through ButcherBox. Their bacon is sugar-free and Whole30 compliant and I love having it on hand in my freezer! I also never have to worry about going to the store and wondering if I can find bacon with no sugar in it. It gets delivered right to my door!
pecans: I buy my pecans in bulk from Costco or from Trader Joe’s. I find this is the most cost-effective way to buy nuts, especially during this time of year if you’re making yummy Thanksgiving sides. If you have pecans to use up, make my amazing (& so easy!) paleo sweet potato casserole!
Will this Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts side dish work for other holidays? Yes! Even the colors of this dish scream Christmas! Cranberries are a perfect winter fruit, and the cozy, roasted Brussels sprouts really complement any protein you’re serving as the main dish.
Can I make this side dish ahead of time? Brussel sprouts are best when they’re crispy and roasted fresh. You can definitely prep this dish ahead of time, but I would roast the Brussel sprouts on the day of serving to maximize freshness, crispiness, and flavor.
How do I reheat leftover Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts? You can sauté them in a pan, microwave, or heat at 350 for 20 mins. The baking and sauteeing options will give them the best chance at getting crispy!
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The BEST Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts | Paleo
- 2 lbs brussels sprouts , halved (or quartered if they're very large)
- 8 pieces bacon, look for sugar free if doing paleo
- ½ cup dried cranberries, look for sugar free if possible
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Toast chopped pecans in the oven at 350 for 5-7 mins while you prepare the other ingredients. Once they are done, bump oven temp up to 400.
- Place bacon on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the bacon for 12-13 minutes until crisp. Remove and set aside to drain.
- Meanwhile, add chopped brussels sprouts, maple syrup, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a large bowl and toss to coat.
- Add the brussels sprouts to the pan with the leftover bacon fat. Toss to combine. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and browned. Break up the bacon pieces into bits. When the brussels sprouts are done, add dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and bacon bits and stir. Enjoy!