Finally, Brussel Sprouts I Like

 Bowl of Brussel Sprouts

I have tried and tried and tried to like brussel sprouts, honestly I have. I never cared for them as a kid, which was strange because I liked most vegetables growing up, including most leafy greens, spinach, cooked broccoli and cabbage. I’ve tried to keep an open mind about brussel sprouts as an adult, occasionally not substituting them for a different side in restaurants, with no success. I had almost given up on them, until recently that is.

Brussel Sprouts as a side dish

A few years ago my (now former) senior editor and friend, Jerry Jackson, sent me a recipe for “Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta and Balsamic Vinegar” that sounded, well, tolerable. Anything is better with bacon (or in this case, pancetta) and I love balsamic vinegar, so when I saw brussel sprouts on sale I decided to give them one final chance. I had recently found a stashed-away, printed copy of Jerry’s recipe, so I was ready, albeit skeptical, to finally give it a try. Jerry has never steered me wrong with any of his recommendations and I’m happy to report that is still the case. Finally — some brussel sprouts I like and will definitely make again.

One of the best things about this recipe, in addition to its great flavors, is that it only requires 6 ingredients (that includes salt and pepper, my friends) and is so easy to assemble and prepare. So if you’re a brussel sprout hater like I was, give it a try!


Kel's Brussel Sprouts ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh brussel sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons diced pancetta
  • Balsamic vinegar to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse off the brussel sprouts and pat dry with a paper towel. Cut off the ends, and then slice each sprout in half, lengthwise.

Slice Brussel Sprouts in half

In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, salt and pepper.

Whisk oil, salt and pepper

Place the brussel sprouts in a large plastic bags, add the olive oil and shake until well coated.

Toss Brussel Sprouts with vinegar oil mixture

Transfer the brussel sprouts to a nonstick baking sheet and sprinkle them with the pancetta.

Place Brussel Sprouts and pancetta on baking pan

Roast for 15 minutes or so, until they are caramelized.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts, up close

Place in a serving dish, drizzle the balsamic vinegar on top and gently toss.

Drizzle roasted Brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar

Serve immediately! I think they went great with the pork chop, pickled beets and corn as pictured here, but will pair them with a baked sweet potato next time out.

Dinner is served with Kel's Brussel Sprouts!

And as usual, Jerry, thank you for this recipe and please keep sending others my way!

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

Follow Kel’s Café of All Things Food on Twitter at: @kelscafe


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4 Responses to Finally, Brussel Sprouts I Like

  1. Jerry Jackson says:

    Thanks for the shout-out! Hope you are well. I know that you miss the kids. So sorry they are so far. Cheers from Doha, Qatar. Am headed home, albeit the long way!


    Sent from my iPad


    • You’re welcome, Jerry – I can’t believe you took time out of your fun and exotic vacation to comment on this post. Safe travels – it looks like you’ve been having a great time so far (although I’m not so sure about drinking the cobra blood.)

  2. Lisa Deubler says:

    I love brussel sprouts…and I can’t wait to try this recipe…it sounds awesome!

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