I know Brussels Sprouts have had their extended moment on menus all over the country. I’m not a huge fat, however. That said, I buy them occasionally just for something different. I’ve discovered two ways I love them and no surprise, both of them involve bacon. Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Bacon made in the oven or airfryer is one and I will show you the other one that came about with the by-product of my Brussels Sprouts prep method.
Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Bacon Two Ways – Hot and Cold
I only like the lightest, crispiest Brussels sprouts that mimic kale leaves when served hot. Since I can’t philosophically throw out the parts of the brussels sprouts I don’t want, I’ve developed a way to use the whole sprout without sacrificing the crispy texture.
Air-Fryer Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
For the crispiest cooked sprouts, use only the individual leaves and tiniest sprouts that have been halved. It’s a process, but if you really like crispy sprouts, it’s worth it. (See the video below.) I coat them well in avocado oil and Magic Salt. The Air Fryer does all the work after that. I simply use the Air Fry setting (which is typically 400 degrees) and cook until they are as crispy as I like them. Toss hot cooked bacon with the cooked sprouts and top with a few pickled shallots or onions. See below for how to cook in the oven.
Shredded Brussel Sprouts Slaw
After I have removed the leaves and tiniest heads, I shred the remaining larger sprouts to make a slaw. After all, Brussels sprouts are in the same family as cabbage and look like a cabbage “Mini-Me.” You can do this in a food processor fitted with the slicing blade. This is the fastest method. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a sharp knife. Cut them in half first then just chop through them with your knife. (See this process in the video below as well.)
Once the sprouts are shredded, add a big drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Massage a few minutes to slightly wilt the brussels sprouts. Add pickled shallots or onions, dried cranberries, crispy bacon and toasted pecans to make a slaw that will go with any roasted or grilled meat. If you eat dairy feel free to add a little feta, sharp cheddar or goat’s cheese. Take this make ahead to a party or barbecue and you will have the star side for sure!
How to Prep Brussels Sprouts
Have you ever seen a whole stalk of brussels sprouts and had no idea what to do with it? The video below shows you how to handle the whole stalk. If you buy a bag of fresh brussels sprouts instead, skip the stalk part and watch how I prep for the two ways of making Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon.
Roasting Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Bacon in the Oven
If you don’t have an air fryer, your oven will work just as well. There are a few secrets:
- A thorough coating of oil or other fat along with your favorite seasoning blend. Avocado oil, light olive oil, melted ghee or other leftover fat will all work.
- A HOT oven – 450 degrees. This will quickly evaporate the moisture in the sprouts to crisp them up more quickly than lower temps.
- Flip halfway through. You will notice the volume of sprouts has reduced by at least half due to loss of moisture. This is a good thing!
Bonus Idea: if you’ve made Oven Bacon don’t waste the pan drippings and bacony goodness that isn’t loose enough to leave the pan. Roast your Brussels sprouts (or really any vegetable) on the same pan.
- When bacon is done, turn oven up to 450 degrees.
- Drain off all but a couple of tablespoons of the bacon fat. (Save for other cooking uses.)
- Toss the halved sprouts and separated leaves in the bacon fat to coat and season with Magic Salt or you favorite seasoning blend.
- Roast at 450 degrees until they are as brown and crispy as you like them, flipping halfway through
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