Thanksgiving Brussels Sprouts

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Warning: Do not make this recipe for Thanksgiving Brussels sprouts unless you are prepared to bring them to every Thanksgiving dinner for the rest of your life. These bacon-wrapped bites are sweet, salty, and seriously addicting. 

Perfect Thanksgiving Brussels Sprouts

When cooked properly, Brussels sprouts can taste nutty, sweet, and caramelized with a touch of earthiness. If you or a loved one is a Brussels hater, chances are you’ve only enjoyed them boiled or steamed. When roasted they take on a deep and delicious caramelized flavor that can’t be beat.

For the simplest method to Brussels sprouts success, follow these simple tips:

  • When shopping for Brussels sprouts, choose sprouts that are large and firm. They should feel dense and heavy for their size and not soft or hollow. 
  • Clean your Brussels sprouts by trimming off the bottom end and peeling away any outer leaves that look dirty or damaged. You can either roast them whole or cut into halves.
  • To cook simply toss them in olive oil, salt & pepper, and roast in a 375° oven for 30-45 minutes depending on size. Serve with accouterments that pair well with their roasted and caramelized flavor.  

Brussels Sprouts Pairings

Because of their unique characteristics, Brussels sprouts pair perfectly with ingredients that mirror their smokey, earthy, nutty, and sweet flavor profile. It’s ideal to choose one ingredient from each of the following categories:

Smokey/Meaty

  • bacon
  • ham
  • prosciutto
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • smoked paprika

Cheese

  • bleu cheese
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • cream cheese
  • goat cheese

Nutty

  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Pistachios
  • Mustard
  • Nutmeg
  • Brown butter

Sweet/ Tangy

  • Dried cranberries
  • Dates & figs
  • Pomegranate
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Maple syrup

Thanksgiving Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are popular for Thanksgiving due partly to their seasonality. Because they are a fall and winter vegetable, Brussels sprouts are harvested during the holiday season. Their flavor profile and the ingredients they are best paired with are also perfect accompaniments to Thanksgiving classics like turkey, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce.

If you’re a fan of classic Brussels sprouts pairings but are looking for a unique take on how to serve them this Thanksgiving, look no further. This recipe for Thanksgiving Brussels Truffles is a sure crowd-pleaser.

MAKE NEXT: Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

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Thanksgiving Brussels Sprouts

These Thanksgiving Brussels Sprouts made with a pinch of cream cheese, dates, bacon, and a maple/mustard glaze are irresistibly addicting.
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Thanksgiving Brussels Sprouts
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 30 servings

Equipment

  • 1 sheet pan
  • 1 sheet parchment paper
  • 1 cooling rack
  • 1 pastry brush
  • toothpicks

Ingredients

  • 15 large Brussels sprouts
  • 15 slices of bacon* room temp.
  • 15 dried & pitted dates
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons mustard brown or grainy
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

Assemble

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a baking tray by lining it with parchment paper and placing a cooling rack directly on top.
  • Trim the end off the Brussels sprouts and peel away any dirty or damaged outer leaves. Slice the sprouts in half from top to bottom/lengthwise.
  • Cut the pitted dates widthwise to make a little cup out of each half. Use your fingers to open up the cup like you would a pinch pot in grade school. It's okay if your date cups split open or aren't perfect. The goal is to just form a little pocket in which to put the cream cheese.
  • Using a teaspoon or small spoon, scoop a heaping teaspoon of cream cheese from the 3 oz. block of cream cheese into the cup of the date. Press the cream cheese-filled date half to the exposed inside surface of one of the Brussels sprout halves, adhering the two together and making a little sphere. Repeat until you have formed 30 Brussels sprout date balls.
  • Take the room-temperature bacon and cut the slices in half. Wrap each of the assembled Brussels sprout date balls with one of the half strips of bacon. If needed, use a toothpick to keep it secure. Line them up evenly spaced on the lined baking tray, laying them on their side.
  • Make a glaze by combining the maple syrup, mustard, and finely chopped fresh rosemary. Add salt & pepper to taste. Using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of glaze on the Brussels sprout date balls.

Roast

  • Roast the assembled Brussels sprout date balls at 375° for 20 minutes. At 20 minutes, remove the tray from the oven, flip the balls over, and glaze the other side. Roast for another 10-20 minutes, until the bacon is golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy warm or room temperature.

Notes

*Use regular-cut, not thick-cut bacon for this recipe. Thick-cut bacon takes longer to cook and is more difficult to wrap around the Brussels. Your bacon should be at room temperature so it will mold around the Brussels sprouts halves. If your bacon is not at room temperature, you will likely need a toothpick to help keep it secure.

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