Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Shallots

Tuesday 23 November 2010

There's no doubt about it, brussels sprouts have to be one of my absolute favourite of all vegetables. Todd loves them too, although he is quick to add that they don't exactly love him!! ('nuff said!)

A member of the Brassica or cabbage family they are loaded with vitamins, fibre and are thought to be a protection against colon cancer!

Aside from all that, I just think they are plain good, good, GOOD!

Unfortunately most people don't really know how to cook them properly and we end up with them being cooked to death and all soggy on our plates.

One doesn't want them as hard as a rock of course, but you just can't beat a properly cooked, crispy tender sprout for taste!

Six to seven minutes, boiled or steamed is enough to give you a very tasty, crispy tender, delicious sprout!

Mind you, this here is my favourite way of doing them. They end up perfectly cooked every time . . . crispy tender and beautifully green, with slightly caramelized edges and all tasty with bits of crispy pancetta and caramelized shallots!

Not just perfect for the holidays either . . . these sprouts are so easy to cook, and so tasty that you'll want to treat yourself to this version often!

I could quite happily sit down to just a plate of these and nothing else . . .and in case you were wondering, those embarassing side effects seem to disappear when you cook em this way . . . if you know what I mean!

*Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Shallots*
makes about 10 servings

You don't have to wait for the holidays to enjoy this delicious side dish. Crispy tender brussels sprouts sauteed with crispy bits of pancetta and shallots. Oh so tasty!

2 1/2 pounds of Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and then shredded
into thin slices with a sharp knife
1/4 pound of thick pancetta, cut into bits
a knob of butter
1 eschalon Shallot, peeled and chopped finely
(That is the banana shaped shallot)
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, divided
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp lemon juice (optional)

It may seem a bit fiddly to prepare the sprouts for cooking but it really isn't. I trim off the bases and any bad looking leaves and discard. Then I take a sharp knife and just quickly cut them into 1/4 inch slices.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Throw in the pancetta. Cook, stirring until it begins to brown. Add the butter and the shallots. Cook and stir until the shallots are softened. Add the brussels sprouts, stirring to coat, along with half of the thyme leaves. Cook, stirring occasionally over medium heat, until the sprouts are crispy tender and beginning to brown a bit on the edges. Season to taste with some salt and pepper and the lemon juice if using. Add the remainder of the thyme leaves and serve.


  1. Great recipe - I'll be keeping this in mind for Christmas Day.

  2. These not only SOUND delicious, Marie...they LOOK beautiful! I love all the color with the pancetta--so appealing!

    I hope you're having a wonderful day, my dear friend! Wishing you so much joy today, and sending you lots of hugs from chilly California!


  3. Yummo! Yes this is the best way to serve sprouts - delish.

  4. Might have to try this one! Your photos make them look devine - such vibrant colours :)

  5. I loved these so much at your house, they were lovely. I reckon that even if you hate sprouts you would love them done like this. (Note to mums!)

    I actually wanted to make it last Sunday so I just had to wing it, having no recipe at the time. I used chopped smoked bacon instead of pancetta and it worked quite well. Also, as my right arm was on strike for slicing sprouts, I chopped them roughly in the food processor.

  6. Wiping away a
    little tear here...
    {hee hee} as I am
    the only one in my
    immediate family who
    loves these and this
    year we will be alone,
    so I didn't buy any
    to make. However, my
    mom always makes them
    at Christmas and I
    will get some, then!
    But now that I see
    your delicious recipe,
    I'm not sure that I
    can wait! And, they are
    so healthy!
    xx Suzanne

  7. I found your blog through a comment of yours on another, so glad I did.
    Actually you saved the day for me, because I was planning to make Brussel Sprouts for Thanksgiving as a side dish. I feel better seeing someone else's yummy recipe,than surfing thru the net.
    Looks delish with the pancetta.
    I am also following your blog...don't want to miss out on future posts.
    Thank you for sharing, and I'd like to invite you over to my blog too, @

  8. April 29th! We don't have much time!

    I suggest sardines on toast for the savory. Which course is that, starters or later? I read somewhere Prince Charles likes that, so maybe William grew up eating it. Kate would probably prefer a bruschetta.


  9. I made this as a side dish for our dinner tonight and it was a huge hit! Everyone loved it. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.



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