Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Brussels sprouts dish in a cast iron pan

Back in San Diego I used to take Ziba on these smoking hot dates at our favorite restaurant. We’d dress up for each other, with baby in tow and enjoy the Frank Sinatra being played in the background. We are huge foodies so we love to try new foods that peak out interest. She is allergic to shellfish, (she’s a cheap date now!) so instead of ordering calamari or crab cakes, we would get these delicious Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts every time. We just loved them so much we had to recreate them, our way.

The Basics

From Prep to Completion 40 minutes

Temperature 425F for 20 to 30 minutes

Servings 4 to 6 side dishes

When It Is Done The Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts will be fork tender and vibrant green. Your extra leaves will also be nice and crispy!

Pair With Oven Roasted Whole Chicken on a Bed of Leeks, Vibrant Oven Roasted Beets and Carrots with Feta and Thyme, Colorful Mixed Greens Salad with Versatile Rustic Dressing

Variations Use spices such as smoked paprika and cumin, or sautéed garlic

A Little Bit About: Brussel Sprouts

Most people do not find Brussels sprouts as a desirable side dish. As a matter of fact, I know when I was a kid, they ended up almost last on my list of veggies to choose from and this was because of how they were cooked. On the other hand, when you spend some time in the kitchen, refining your skills, you learn how to take these so called ‘gross’ or ‘boring’ vegetables and make them absolutely delicious!

Furthermore, Brussels sprouts are a cool-season crop, best in the early spring, fall and winter. They can vary in size so you might need to cut them in half or quarters. Also, cut the ends off and keep all of the loose leaves because those turn into delicious little crunchy bits once they are done roasting.

Notably, It is important to realize that Brussels sprouts are best eaten this way when they are fork tender and vibrantly green in color! Therefore, if their color starts to fade, they are slightly over cooked but still tasty, just keep working on your timing. These visual cues are something to practice in the kitchen.

assembly of cooked Brussels sprouts dish in a cast iron pan
Brussels sprouts dish in a cast iron pan

A sprinkle of pomegranate seeds on these Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts makes for a perfect combination of sweet, tangy, and salty with a burst of color!

Teaching Moment

How to Cut a Pomegranate

Using a paring knife cut off the top and bottom of your pomegranate, then make 5 cuts into the skin of the pomegranate.

how to cut a pomegranate

Do not cut in too deep, you do not want to cut into the seeds. The flesh only needs to be cut slightly so you can separate the inner fruit by hand.

how to cut a pomegranate

Peel the outer skin back, you will have 5 sections.

pomegranate seeds in membrane

Scrap the seeds out with your hands and place them into a bowl filled with cool water.

pomegranate seeds being removed from membrane

The seeds will sink and the membrane will float. Scoop out the membrane that has floated to the top and discard. Strain and now you have all your delicious, bright red seeds!

pomegranate seeds in cold water

Balsamic Glaze

A balsamic glaze is simply made by reducing balsamic vinegar over the stove top. However, by adding ingredients such as sugar or spices you can enhance the flavor of your glaze to fit your needs.

Additionally, we love the Madhava brand, which you can purchase their organic balsamic vinegar in most grocery stores and you can get Madhava Organic Olive Oil here, which you will also use in this recipe!

Regarding reduction, most agree that you must reduce the vinegar by half, but it depends on how thick you desire the glaze. Give it a try and see if you like it more like syrup or molasses. Your glaze is ready when it coats the back of a spoon.

Making the Time

From the beginning, Ziba and I have always hoped that you would use our blog to help you connect. With hospitality always on our mind, we want to help sweeten the experience! In reality, that can be difficult when your mind is on cooking, so we came up with Family Table Talk. Please use these questions not as an end all be all, but as a prompter to get conversation flowing between friends, family, children, and maybe even a stranger!

Mise en Place

Read the recipe first | Lay out your ingredients | Prepare your tools | Start cooking

Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

ingredients for balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts in oil, salt, and pepper
Brussels sprouts dish in a cast iron pan

Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Try serving these Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts to your children, family, or friends. Despite them being an under desired vegetable, this recipe can bring new life to a vegetable that is so over looked.


Balsamic Glaze

1 cup of balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp of brown sugar


2 lbs of brussels sprouts, ends removed, halved or quartered, retain loose leaves

3 tbsp of grapeseed or olive oil

1-2 tsp of salt

1 tsp of fresh ground pepper

1/2 cup of shredded parmesan

1 lemon, zested and juiced

4 slices of thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped

1 pomegranate, seeded for topping


  1. In a medium sauce pan whisk your balsamic vinegar and sugar together. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and stir until glaze coats the back of a spoon and reduces in half. Roughly 10-15 minutes. At this time pre heat your oven to 425F. Set your balsamic glaze to the side to cool and thicken.
  2. Cut the ends and halve or quarter your Brussels sprouts depending on their size. Remember to keep all of the loose leaves that fell off, for your crisps. Toss them in a large mixing bowl with your oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place in a roasting pan and cook at 425F degrees for 20-30 minutes. The Brussels sprouts should be fork tender and bright green when ready. The crisps will be slightly browned or blackened and nice and crispy! In the meantime, cut your pomegranate (see instructions above).
  4. Lightly toss the brussels sprouts with the bacon, lemon zest, lemon juice, and half of your parmesan cheese. Drizzle on 2-3 tbsp of balsamic glaze, sprinkle with the rest of your parmesan cheese and top with pomegranate seeds. Plate and devour!

What to Consider

Cast Iron pans are a wonderful way to incorporate a new style of cooking in your kitchen. Use them for frying, searing, roasting, and even baking. We use the Lodge 10.25in Cast Iron Skillet, Pre-seasoned. Give it a try and see that you too will fall in love with it!

Remember to keep your balsamic glaze in the fridge and save it for future recipes such as a Caprese salad or other oven roasted vegetables such as squash, broccoli, and even asparagus.

One of the coolest things about this dish is the layering. This dish tastes great with just oil, salt, and pepper. As you add the cheese, then the bacon, the hint of lemon, your sweet and tangy glaze, and finish off with the fruity aroma of pomegranate every ingredient stands out on its own.

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