This is the best brussels sprouts recipe, with bacon, potatoes and balsamic vinegar reduction. It is the perfect easy side dish because it is a veggie and starch in one! With the addition of bacon, it can also stand in for simple and satisfying light lunch. Made in the air fryer or pan roasted, you will love this simple and delicious recipe!
If you grew up on old school boiled brussels sprouts like I did, the thought of making the tiny little cabbages more appealing sounds crazy. But I promise when cooked correctly, they are one of the most delicious, satisfying vegetables. Roasting is always a sure win, but I recently started air frying them, to even more delightful results. And of course they only get better if you layer in fantastic flavoring and crispy bacon bits.
Why this recipe works
- Super easy to put together, especially if you find a premade balsamic reduction like the one I found at Trader Joes
- Healthy and nutritious! Seriously, brussels sprouts are just loaded with nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. Add in a bit of extra protein from the bacon, and a healthy carbohydrate, you get a powerhouse of flavor and nutrition in one simple dish.
- Cooks up quick, in under 30 minutes so you can get dinner on the table in a flash.
- The mix of a sweet flavor from the balsamic vinegar reduction and salty bacon works to reduce the bitter taste that usually accompanies sprouts.
- Fresh brussels sprouts of course, trimmed, outer leaves peeled off, and cut in half
- Fingerling potatoes or another type of small white, yellow or red potato, sliced and cut up into similar sizes as the brussels sprouts.
- 4 slices bacon, cut into 1-2″ pieces
- Tangy balsamic vinegar or a premade balsamic glaze
- Olive oil, salt and black pepper
Begin by tossing the halved brussels and potatoes in a bowl, and add in the sliced bacon. Toss together with 2 tbsp of balsamic glaze and 2 tbsp of olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper.
How to make your own balsamic reduction
If you do not have a premade glaze, you will need to make your own vinegar reduction:
Add ¼ cup balsamic vinegar to a small sauce pan bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer until thickened and starting to look syrupy, adjusting heat as necessary to prevent burning, 2 to 3 minutes.
Keep a close eye on it; it will go from reduced to burned very quickly. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit, as it will thicken as it cools. Proceed with tossing your brussels sprouts with your homemade glaze and olive oil, reserving a bit to give a drizzle of balsamic glaze to cooked sprouts.
Cooking in the air fryer
If cooking in an air fryer, add the brussels sprouts mix to your basket or tray, and air fry at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Make sure to toss halfway between cooking, and adjust cooking time as needed.
The size of your cut sprouts and potatoes will vary just a bit, as will the cooking time for your own particular air fryer. One batch took 13 minutes, but when I made them a second time with larger vegetables, it too 2 additional minutes, for a total of 15 minutes.
Roasting in the oven
For balsamic roasted brussels sprouts, spread out the veggie mix in a single layer on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Roast in a 400 degree preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until potatoes and sprouts are fork tender.
Remove from the air fryer or oven, place in a serving dish and sprinkle with crunchy kosher salt and pepper, and drizzle with a bit more of the glaze.
The balance between the savory flavors and sweetness from the balsamic is the perfect combination. Crisp bacon, complemented with tender yet crispy brussels sprouts and tender potatoes makes this one of the most delicious recipes. This dish has the best flavor and will definitely become one of your favorite vegetable dishes.
Other expert tips
- Feel free to swap out fingerling potatoes for sweet potato. Also, this dish tastes wonderful sprinkled with a generous helping of parmesan cheese.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or pop back in the air fryer for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.
Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Balsamic
- Air Fryer
- 1 lb brussels sprouts trimmed and cut in half
- 1 lb fingerling potatoes peel on cut in half (can also use sweet potato)
- 4 slices bacon cut into 1" pieces
- 2 tbsp balsamic reduction glaze see recipe notes to make your own if you don't have glaze
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper & additional glaze to drizzle to taste
- Combine potatoes, brussels sprouts and sliced bacon in a bowl
- Toss with olive oil and balsamic glaze and season with salt and pepper
- Air fry at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes or roast in oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Place on a serving platter and toss with more salt and pepper as desired, and drizzle with additional balsamic glaze.