Pancetta Brussels Sprouts is a simple side dish packed with flavor. The sauteed sprouts are sweet and tender which pairs well with the salty and crispy pancetta. Your family will love this and ask for it all the time.
I have had a sordid past with Brussels sprouts. Why do they call them Brussels sprouts anyway? And do you capitalize the B in Brussels or is it just brussels? These are things I ponder as a food blogger. I mean, there’s always Google but how reliable is that?
According to Google, well, Wikipedia really, Brussels sprouts are popular in Brussels which is there their name may have come from. And even though they’re more Mediterranean than European, they first appeared in the 5th century in Europe where they were cultivated. How did they get here? French settlers in the south brought them to Louisiana. They’re now grown mainly in California from June through January.
Yeah, I bet you didn’t think you’d get a history lesson about sprouts today, didja? Well, I wanted to know and thought you might want to know, too. So, there ya have it!
And did you know that they grow on a stalk? Like, put a stick in the ground and imagine those sprouts just growing off the sides of it. I can’t even think of something that grows like Brussels sprouts to be able to give an example.
Anyway. There’s your sprouts lesson for the day.
So, I’ve had a sordid past with Brussels sprouts. I know. I said at the beginning before I went down this rabbit hole of telling you all about sprouts. Growing up, I think we only had one kind; frozen. I don’t think we ever had fresh sprouts. I say this because they all tasted the same no matter when we ate them. My dad used to make this fake hollandaise sauce, so we would eat them.
Fast forward many years later. I decided I would give them a try again, as an adult. Of course, I bought fresh ones this time. And those fresh sprouts were popped into the oven and roasted. Oh my word game changer. Seriously. If you haven’t had Brussels sprouts roasted, you really should. I even wrote a post about it.
Ever since then, I’ve been incorporating them into recipes regularly. I added them into this kielbasa and sprouts hash. Then my favorite carbaronara recipe is this roasted Brussels sprouts carbonara. And they’re added to this sheet pan pretzel chicken dinner as a side dish.
So, as you can see, ever since I realized Brussels sprouts were more than boiled either fresh or frozen, I’ve been eating them and can’t get enough of them. They’re not little cabbages. They have a flavor all their own that’s sweet when caramelized. Especially in this pancetta Brussels sprouts recipe!
Then one day I thought, “I wonder if they’re good sautéed. I mean, if they’re different roasted, then why not sauté them and see how they taste!” Of course, I couldn’t just toss them in the pan without adding something as equally delicious into the pan. Enter the pancetta!
Brussels sprouts are sweet when they’re cooked. Yes, sweet with a little bitter on the back end, but they’re sweet all the same. So, what goes great with sweet? A little salty! I was going to go for bacon, but I thought, “Nah! This is Easter! Let’s kick it up a minute and add some pancetta!”
Oh yeah. I did. I added little cubes of that sweet and salty cured meat to this pan of sautéed pancetta Brussels sprouts. Actually, it was the other way around. I added the sprouts to the pancetta. You see, I tasted that pancetta in the pan before I added the Brussels sprouts. I wanted it to have a nice, crispy texture and release some if the flavorful renderings to the pan. I wanted those sprouts to sauté in that pancetta goodness along with a little garlic olive oil making them taste amazing.
You can see them glisten with that garlic flavored olive oil and pancetta flavoring. Then there’s those little cubes of salty goodness in the background. I’m really glad that sprouts have a long growing season. Because having them any other way but fresh just doesn’t do them justice. And I’ve tried with the frozen ones. Of course, they’re still good cooked and smothered in my dad’s mock hollandaise.
How do you like to cook your sprouts? Have you served them as a side dish for Easter? If you’re looking for other sides for your Easter table, make sure you see what the rest of the Festive Foodie bloggers are serving up.
- 1 cup cubed pancetta
- 2 tablespoons garlic flavored olive oil
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Swirl the olive oil into the pan and add the pancetta.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta begins to brown slightly and begins to crisp.
- Stir in the Brussels sprouts and continue to sauté until the sprouts are fork tender.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 267Total Fat 23gSaturated Fat 8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 14gCholesterol 26mgSodium 36mgCarbohydrates 9gFiber 3gSugar 2gProtein 7g
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