Brussels Sprouts – Not So Bad After All

I decided to give Brussels spouts a second chance after reading this creative recipe a few months back. My first experience with Brussels spouts, which was within the last year, was rather unpleasant. But I know that sometimes it’s not the food, it’s the preparation. So I’ve been wanting to give this a try and last night I finally got the chance.

I LIKED ’em! Don too. His first comment was, “they are very un-Brussels sprout-like.” Exactly. They don’t have to smell or taste like feet! Yay!

My heartfelt thanks to Tara at for this wonderful, tasty recipe. Tara posted it as a holiday dish but I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t have it throughout the year. So I will call this…

Cranberry, Walnut, and Bacon Brussels Sprout Salad

Servings 3-4

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and quartered
  • bacon – 5 or 6 slices would be nice (I only had 4 and it was enough)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • salt, to taste

First, start your bacon since that always seems to take ages.

While the bacon cooks, prep your sprouts. Wash, trim the stems, and quarter. Remove any loose leaves as well.

In a small saucepan, reduce your balsamic vinegar over low-medium heat, whisking continually so it doesn’t cook to the pan. Once it reduces from a watery consistency to something more syrupy, add your chicken stock, combine well. Remove from heat and set aside.

When the bacon is done, set it aside to drain on a paper towel and add your sprouts to the same pan and saute them in all that yummy bacon grease. Cook over low-medium heat for about 4 minutes.

Add your balsamic-chicken reduction to the pan and continue cooking over low-medium heat for another 10 minutes. (We were running behind on our other side dish so I stretched it out to 15 minutes on low.) If you run low on liquid you can add a little extra chicken broth.

Lastly, add your walnuts, bacon bits (which you want to chop while your sprouts are cooking), and cranberries. Mix to combine and let warm through for a minute or two. If, like me, you’ve already reduced your heat to low, you can let them go longer but if you’re still using medium heat, it would probably only need about a minute to heat it all through.

Taste, and add salt if desired.

I almost couldn’t get enough of these. That’s how good they are. Don was making lots of good noises while eating so I know he liked them too. I really can’t take much credit as I pretty much followed Tara’s recipe to a T, simply reducing it for less servings. I am thrilled to have found a preparation method for Brussels sprouts that we both enjoyed immensely. If you’ve always avoided them but are open to trying new things, give ’em a try! It’s hard to not like something with bacon added. 🙂

Healthful whole foods improve our brain function as well.
~ Marilu Henner


  1. WOW- no sooner do I email asking for what your next great idea is and viola! Up pops this post. I love brussel sprouts but my family… not so much. Perhaps THIS will be the recipe to turn the tide! I can’t wait to try it! Will let you know the outcome… Happy Friday!


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