Get that mistletoe hung stat! Christmas Brussels Sprouts with pistachios and cranberries hit that sweet/salty/savory spot right in the kisser. This pretty palate pleaser features tender brussels sprouts, pan roasted with smoky bacon and tart cranberries, then topped with pistachios for crunch.
Did anyone else play at kitchen alchemy as a kid? Or was that just me? Like, you’d just mix random crap together just to see what magic might happen? None of it was palatable, of course.
This evolved into “hangover cures” in college – prairie oysters, oatmeal smoothies, straight bitters – sometimes all together. Unpleasant to say the least.
But, in adulthood, we get to play this game (hopefully) to better results. If we’re lucky, to brilliant results.
Christmas Brussels Sprouts are the outcome of one such experiment. To be fair, nothing in this pan roasted brussels sprouts recipe is “risky,” but it was a departure from my norm.
I certainly didn’t have holidays on the brain when I came up with it, but between the red cranberries, ruddy bacon, leafy sprouts, and green pistachios, I was instantly reminded of jolly times. And I hope that now being the proud beneficiary of the best Brussels sprouts recipe for Christmas, you’ll feel jolly too.
For a more concise post, click to view the web story for this festive side dish!
Why We Love This Recipe
- Stovetop for the win! Pan sautéing on the stovetop saves both time and oven space.
- Sweet and Salty. The combo of cranberries and bacon is the sweet and salty savory “treat” you didn’t know you needed.
- Savory and Crunchy. If you need to take sweet and salty up a notch, adding crunchy is always a winning ticket! Roasted pistachios are perfect, but don’t worry – we’ve got sub suggestions below.
We eat brussels sprouts probably twice a week when they are in season. For a long time, I was a roasted Brussels sprouts purist: brussels + fat + salt + oven = done. I didn’t even use bacon. Sacrilege.
Last month I cleaned out our pantry (horror of horrors) and discovered that I had basically an apocalyptic stockpile of nuts and dried fruit.
I scratched my head for a moment, and decided to toss some pistachios and cranberries with some brussels sprouts to try and nail down that elusive sweet / savory / salty combination that suits cabbage so well. The flavors went well, but something was missing. So, I took a chance on my favorite mantra – “bacon makes everything better” – and here. we. are.
How to Make Christmas Brussels Sprouts
Hip hip hooray for holiday sides that work on weeknights too! These Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios and Cranberries are caramelized and crunchy with the just the right kick of sweetness. They’re simple enough for an everyday meal, but look simply stunning in your Christmas spread.
- Cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat renders and the pieces are golden brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Drain all but 2 tablespoons of rendered back fat. Add trimmed and sliced brussels sprouts to the pan, toss to coat in the fat, then arrange in an even layer. Cover and cook 6 minutes.
- Remove the lid. Toss the brussels sprouts and cook for 3 minutes.
- Toss again and cook 3-4 minute more, or until the brussels sprouts are charred on the outside and tender on the inside.
- Return the cranberries and bacon to the skillet, then pour in the balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan. Scrape up as many browned bits as possible.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the pistachios. Taste for seasoning and season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately.
- The brussels sprouts will saute for 12-14 minutes total. In the first 6 minutes, they’ll both sear and steam while the lid is on. In the second half of cooking, continue to saute and stir every few minutes until the sprouts are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
- If you scale the recipe up, use an extra large skillet or plan to prepare in two batches. If you overcrowd the pan you’ll wind up with soggy sprouts.
- Swap cranberries for dried cherries for a slightly sweeter dish.
- Swap pistachios for pecans or walnuts if needed.
Our Best Brussels Sprouts Recipes
- Crispy Shredded Brussels Sprouts
- Air Fryer Brussels Sprouts
- Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Hazelnut Vinaigrette
- Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts with Pecans
- Keto Brussels Sprouts Hash
Did you make these Christmas Brussels Sprouts? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- Cast Iron Skillet
- 6 strips bacon, diced to ½” pieces
- 1½ lb brussels sprouts
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
- 2 tbsp roasted salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- Trim the ends of the brussels sprouts, then peel and remove the tough outer leaves. Halve smaller sprouts and quarter the larger ones.
- Add the bacon pieces to a cold 12" skillet, then adjust the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders and the bacon pieces are golden brown and crisp. Remove using a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Remove all but two tablespoons of fat from the skillet. Increase heat to medium high. Add the brussels sprouts to the pan, toss to coat in the fat, then arrange in an even layer. Cover and saute undisturbed for 6 minutes.
- Remove the lid. Continue sautéing the brussels sprouts, tossing occasionally, for 5-6 minutes more, until golden brown all over and tender on the inside. You should be able to insert the tip of paring knife into the center and meet little resistance.
- Add the cranberries and cooked bacon to the skillet; pour in the balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan. Saute 1 minute more, stirring constantly, or until the balsamic vinegar is completely absorbed and most of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan have been absorbed.
- Remove from heat and stir in the pistachios. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve immediately.
What do you suggest in lieu of bacon? I don’t mean another fake meat, but that same salty, smoky flavor? Extra pistachios and smoked paprika? Maple? (I’m looking around my fridge as I do this)
Looking to veganize this, if that wasn’t clear. Thaaaaaaanks!