Skillet Brussel Sprouts Bacon and Onions is a wonderful, flavorful side dish. Perfect with your choice of protein, this savory side will definitely satisfy.
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When it comes to vegetables, I’m all in or not at all. I was a very picky eater as a child, and if I decided I didn’t like a certain vegetable or food, I refused to eat it. Green vegetables were no excepetion. I loved kale and green beans and could eat them daily; I refused to eat broccoli crowns, but would eat an entire bowl of the stalks; and you couldn’t pay me to eat brussel sprouts or zucchini. About 4 years ago I finally began to eat zucchini, and now I’m a fan. But I still avoided brussel sprouts like the plague.
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH BRUSSEL SPROUTS?
I think my main problem with brussel sprouts is preparation. I’m a texture eater, and I love flavor. The times I remember my mom making brussel sprouts when I was a kid, they were mushy. And steamed brussel sprouts don’t smell good at all, and have very little flavor. I’ve had delicious brussel sprouts a couple of times at restaurants, and they are usually fried. Go figure.
A few months ago I began a partnership with Stillwater Living Magazine, as a contributing writer for recipes. It was a huge win for me personally, and a major leap for the blog. For the November issue, I created a Roasted Cornish Game Hen recipe. I included roasted vegetables with the hen, and the produce manager at the grocery store convinced me to add brussel sprouts. I hesitantly agreed, and even more hesitantly tasted one brussel sprout when it came out of the oven…and decided he was right.
This year I went to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving, and they asked me to bring a vegetable side dish. My go-to entertaining side dish is usually my Homemade Baked Mac and Cheese, so I had no idea what to prepare. Nothing on Pinterest jumped out to me. I considered a roasted brussel sprout recipe, but was concerned that it wouldn’t hold up well. I ended up with a different side dish, but I had already bought brussel sprouts and was kind of on a mission to come up with something.
During my Pinterest search I had seen several recipes using pearl onions. I love onions, and eat them in nearly every single dish, but had never cooked with pearl onions. I couldn’t find frozen pearl onions anywhere in town, so I bought a batch of the fresh.
How cute are these pearl onions? And why am I only NOW discovering them??? I’m officially obsessed, and on a mission to use them as often as possible. With that in mind, I created Skillet Brussel Sprouts Bacon and Onions
Look at the gorgeous color! Even if you don’t like brussel sprouts, no chance you can resist these beauties.
KEYS TO THE PERFECT SKILLET BRUSSEL SPROUTS BACON AND ONIONS
- Fresh brussel sprouts: Yes, they do sell frozen brussel sprouts. And I’ve read that frozen vegetables are just as good as fresh. But if you can get fresh, why wouldn’t you?
- Get brussel sprouts that are all about the same size. My local grocery store sells brussel sprouts in bulk, so I can pick and choose. When they’re all the same size, they cook at the same time
- Cook the onions low and slow. If you cook them over high heat, they will sear, but won’t get that beautiful caramel color
- Once you add the brussel sprouts to the skillet, LEAVE THEM ALONE! If you toss/turn them too early, they won’t get that gorgeous color
- Use thick-cut bacon. The bacon adds a wonderful, salty bite, and also a great contrast in texture. And besides, there’s nothing wrong with thick-cut bacon. Or any bacon.
- Avocado oil: The bacon should render enough fat to cook the onions and brussel sprouts. But if you need a little extra, use Avocado oil. I discovered it a few months ago, and love the silky, buttery texture. It also has a very high smoke point, which makes it perfect for this dish. If you don’t have avocado oil, then Canola oil is a good substitute
- Season well with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.
TOOLS FOR COOKING SKILLET BRUSSEL SPROUTS BACON AND ONIONS
- Nonststick skillet: A few months ago I got a new skillet, and I love it. I read a few negative reviews that it lost its nonstick after a few uses, but I use mine regularly and have had no problems to this point
- To prevent scratches I bought a couple of silicone utensils, and always hand wash the skillet with a non-abrasive sponge
Skillet Brussel Sprouts Bacon and Onions is not a labor-intensive dish, but it does take about 35 minutes for the entire recipe to come together. However, it is well worth it for the gorgeous caramel color and flavors. You just can’t rush good flavor.
Skillet Brussel Sprouts Bacon and Onions is a perfect side dish, or even for lunch. It is best served immediately after cooking, but it would also hold up well as a potluck dish to be served at room temperature. I’m now motivated to find more delicious ways to prepare brussel sprouts, and to incorporate them more into my meal plans
- 1 lb brussel sprouts, all about equal size
- 8 ounces pearl onions (fresh or frozen)
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh-cracked black pepper
- 1/2 Tablespoon avocado oil or canola oil (if necessary)
FRESH PEARL ONIONS: Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add pearl onions and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove onions and shock in a bowl of ice water, to stop cooking. When cool enough to handle, trim the bottom of the onions with a sharp knife. Hold onion between 2 fingers, and squeeze from the top...onion will slide out easily. Toss skins
In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat. When finished, remove bacon and drain on paper towels. Cut into small dice
If needed, add a little bit of oil to skillet. Add pearl onions and a dash of salt. Cover, and cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes to allow onions to caramelize. Toss occasionally
Meanwhile, trim the bottom end of brussel sprouts. Cut in half lengthwise. Lay brussel sprouts face-down in skillet. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Turn heat to medium, and cook for about 8 minutes. Turn brussel sprouts over, and cook for about 6 minutes.
Add bacon to skillet, and toss to combine well. ENJOY