Fall Fest: Our Best Pork-Filled Brussels Sprouts Recipes for the Holidays

Brussels sprouts, like just about any vegetable, benefit from being caramelized in bacon fat for a side dish that draws on the rich flavors of autumn and winter.
By: Kelsey Vala
michael-symon-roasted-brussel-sprouts-recipe_s4x3

michael-symon-roasted-brussel-sprouts-recipe_s4x3

My first experience with Brussels sprouts was not very pleasant: I used to associate them with small, soggy gray cabbages that looked like lumps of coal on our Christmas spread. Not to mention they smelled horrible. After a while, my mother wouldn’t let a sprout so much as cross the threshold of our doorstep. So one year when my sister wanted to try her hand at making Brussels sprouts for Christmas, it was met with adversity. But I quickly learned that this controversial vegetable doesn’t have to be boiled into oblivion; it can be roasted, sautéed or shredded for differing tastes and textures.

Lately, I've often seen Brussels sprouts paired with bacon, and this dynamic duo is on its way to becoming a new classic  -- like spaghetti and meatballs or peanut butter and jelly. Brussels sprouts, like just about any vegetable, benefit from being caramelized in bacon fat for a side dish that draws on the rich flavors of autumn and winter. And the resulting opulent aroma is always nutty and sweet. There's no question that something salty and porky will be paired with these little cabbages at my next holiday meal.

Roast these sprouts until tender and charred and toss with grainy mustard, textured walnuts and slab bacon.

Blanching the Brussels sprouts until “al dente” helps to retain a bright green color while softening their natural bitterness.

©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Brussels sprouts become bedfellows with kale and celery root in this hearty gratin made with thick chunks of ham and a mustard-breadcrumb topping.

Get the Recipe: Brussels Sprouts Salad

If you simply don’t like sprouts for their bulky texture, try delicately sautéing the leaves in duck fat and serving with bacon and Parmesan for a warm salad.

Brussels sprouts get hit with bright citrus and salty pancetta and Parmesan.

More Brussels sprouts recipes from family and friends:

And Love It Too: Lemon-Infused Brussels
Keep Reading

Next Up

TV's 5 Best Christmas Food Moments, from 30 Rock to Gilmore Girls

Get the best Christmas TV episodes, including The O.C.'s Chrismukkah, The Office, Gilmore Girls, 30 Rock, Friends and more on Cooking Channel.

How to Have the Best O.C.-Style Chrismukkah Celebration Ever

Get Chrismukkah recipes and ideas for a Christmas and Hanukkah party like The O.C.

Christmas for Chocoholics: Triple Chocolate Holiday Trifle

Get the recipe for a stunning English trifle filled with layers of sherry-soaked pound cake, creamy egg custard, raspberry preserves and vanilla bean whipped cream.

Puerto Rican Pasteles: Tamales for the Holidays

Make Puerto Rican pasteles, or tamales, for the holidays with this recipe from Cooking Channel.

Party in Five: Belgian Waffle Bar Holiday Brunch

For a simple Christmas brunch food idea, set up a Belgian waffle bar with toppings (and easy DIY decorations to match).

Holiday Specials Preview: 'Tis the Season with Rosanna Pansino, Chuck Hughes and More

Get a guide to Cooking Channel's holiday specials, including recipes and ideas from Rosanna Pansino, Rev Run, Chuck Hughes and more.

Dinner Party Game Plan + Recipes

Planning a dinner party should be as fun as attending one. Follow this game plan for a seamless menu (we'll leave the guest list up to you). 

Buñuelos Colombianos: Colombian Cheese Fritters

Make these authentic Colombian fritters in celebration of the Christmas season with this recipe from Ana Sofia Pelaez on Cooking Channel.

On TV

Taco Trip

7am | 6c

Taco Trip

7:30am | 6:30c

Taco Trip

8am | 7c

Taco Trip

8:30am | 7:30c

Taco Trip

9am | 8c

Taco Trip

9:30am | 8:30c

Carnival Eats

10am | 9c

Carnival Eats

10:30am | 9:30c

Carnival Eats

11am | 10c

Carnival Eats

11:30am | 10:30c

Carnival Eats

12pm | 11c

Carnival Eats

12:30pm | 11:30c

Carnival Eats

1pm | 12c

Carnival Eats

1:30pm | 12:30c

Good Eats

2pm | 1c

Good Eats

2:30pm | 1:30c

Big Bad BBQ Brawl

6:30pm | 5:30c

Big Bad BBQ Brawl

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

8pm | 7c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

8:30pm | 7:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

9:30pm | 8:30c

Good Eats

11pm | 10c

Good Eats

11:30pm | 10:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

12:30am | 11:30c

Burgers, Brew & 'Que

1:30am | 12:30c

Good Eats

3am | 2c

Good Eats

3:30am | 2:30c
What's Hot
What's Hot

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

New Episodes Mondays 9|8c

So Much Pretty Food Here