This post may contain affiliate links, which help keep this content free. (Full disclosure)
Ah, Brussels sprouts – the stereotypical kids’ least favorite vegetable. If that’s what you’re picturing, too, it’s time for a brussel sprouts makeover. Pan fried brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar are not like those boiled ones kids dislike. And brussel sprouts with bacon are even better. But when you have both combined? Perfection. Once you try this crispy pan fried brussel sprouts recipe, you’ll never think of them the same way again!
How To Fry Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
The difference between a wilted and crispy fried brussel sprouts recipe is in the technique. But don’t be intimidated – it’s super simple!
Here are all the best tips for how to make pan fried brussel sprouts crispy and delicious…
Cut the brussel sprouts in half.
If the best part of pan fried brussel sprouts is the crispy edges, you need more surface area to make that happen! Since the outside is round, you need to cut them in half to get the flat insides that will brown most easily.
You could certainly quarter them – and sometimes I do if I have particularly large sprouts – but that’s more work and more sides to brown. Usually, just cutting them in half is the happy medium.
Take advantage of the bacon grease.
Frying brussel sprouts in oil or butter is good, but frying them in bacon grease is better! After all, if we’re making pan fried brussel sprouts with bacon, they’ll taste way more bacon-y if you take advantage of the bacon grease.
To do so, simply leave the bacon drippings in the pan after frying the bacon, then combine that with olive oil to make the perfect crispy fried brussel sprouts recipe.
Use a heavy bottom pan.
A quality pan is important for even heat and good browning. The link to the pan I use is under the Tools section below.
Fry at a high temperature.
Unlike many other veggies, pan fried brussel sprouts with bacon and balsamic are best when they are dark brown and crispy.
Those charred edges are delicious! You’ll need high heat to get them.
It will vary depending on your stove, but in general, don’t get below medium-high.
Make sure every sprout touches the pan.
Only the parts touching the pan will get crispy and brown. So, don’t crowd the pan and make sure each piece touches the bottom.
If you are making too many servings to make that work, you’ll need to pan fry the brussel sprouts in batches. Just don’t crowd the pan!
Don’t move the brussel sprouts around too much.
This is probably the MOST important tip! If you move the sprouts around a lot, they won’t brown well or get crispy. Let them fry against the bottom of the pan for a few minutes until that part gets nice and brown before flipping.
Let the crispy fried brussel sprouts dark enough.
One of the biggest mistakes when pan frying brussel sprouts is to remove them from heat too soon or not having the pan hot enough. Make sure they get nice and charred for the best texture and flavor.
Pan Fried Brussel Sprouts Calories & Carbs
One of the most amazing things about crispy fried brussel sprouts with bacon and balsamic vinegar is that you get the rich, bacon-y taste without too many calories or carbs.
A serving of this crispy fried brussel sprouts recipe is a generous 1 cup. Each cup has:
- 240 calories
- 7g net carbs
- 19g fat
- 6g protein
They are perfect for a low carb keto diet, but delicious enough for anyone to enjoy. This keto roasted garlic cauliflower is another great option for a quick and easy side dish.
How To Store Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
Do cooked brussel sprouts go bad? They do, but not very quickly.
The main issue with storing pan fried brussel sprouts is that they lose their crispiness. But, there are ways to deal with this!
How to store pan fried brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar
Fortunately, pan fried brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar last a while in the fridge. The vinegar helps to preserve them, and since they are cooked, they don’t wilt or spoil too quickly.
You can keep the cooked sprouts in an air tight container in the fridge for about 5 to 7 days.
How to freeze pan fried brussel sprouts
Can cooked brussel sprouts be frozen? Yep!
Frozen brussel sprouts do lose their crispness inside and become softer, but they are still delicious.
To freeze, allow the pan fried brussel sprouts with bacon to cool first. Then, transfer to a freezer bag and freeze until solid. Be careful not to smash them before they harden.
Placing the sprouts straight into a bag runs the risk of sticking together. If you prefer, you can arrange them on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze to solidify before transferring to a freezer bag.
How to reheat crispy fried brussel sprouts
The most important aspect of storing brussel sprouts is actually how you reheat them. The best way to do it is to pan fry them again! That will help bring back the crispiness, and since they are delicious charred anyway, it doesn’t matter too much if they darken a bit more.
What To Serve with Crispy Fried Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts go with just about any main dish! Here are a few simple favorites:
You can find more low carb dinner recipes here that will work as entrees with your sprouts.
Pan Fried Brussel Sprouts Recipe with Bacon and Balsamic Vinegar
Tools To Make Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts
Tap the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Quality knife starter set – A quality knife makes cutting brussel sprouts effortless. This set has a high quality chef’s knife and paring knife, which are the main knives you need in any kitchen.
- Cutting board – For chopping the sprouts and the bacon. This board is durable and won’t dull knives.
- Large saute pan – A large, heavy pan allows the brussel sprouts to get crispy.
Crispy Pan Fried Brussel Sprouts Recipe with Bacon and Balsamic Vinegar
Ready in under 30 minutes with 4 ingredients, this crispy fried brussel sprouts recipe is the best of both worlds! The perfect combo of pan fried brussel sprouts with bacon AND pan fried brussel sprouts with balsamic vinegar.
Recipe VideoTap on the image below to watch the video.
Like this video? Subscribe to my YouTube cooking channel for healthy recipes weekly! (Click the bell icon to be notified when I post a new video.)
Tap underlined ingredients to see where to get them. Please turn Safari reader mode OFF to view ingredients.
Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Place the bacon slices onto a large, cold saute pan on the stove. Turn heat to medium. Fry bacon for a few minutes on each side, until crispy.
Remove bacon and set aside to drain on paper towels. Leave the bacon grease in the pan.
Add 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil to the pan and swirl around. Add brussels sprouts. Season with sea salt and black pepper, and stir to distribute.
Increase heat to medium-high. Arrange brussels sprouts in a single layer in the pan, with as many surfaces touching the pan as possible. Sear for about 3-4 minutes, without moving, until well browned on the bottom. Flip or stir, and repeat on the other side. Repeat as necessary to brown all sprouts.
Meanwhile, chop the bacon while waiting for the sprouts to brown.
Add balsamic vinegar and remaining 1 tbsp olive oil to the pan. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes.
Return chopped bacon to the pan.
Last Step: Leave A Rating!
Share your recipe picture by tagging @wholesomeyum and hashtag it #wholesomeyum on Instagram, or in our Facebook support group, too - I'd love to see it!
Serving size: 1 cup
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
Want to save this recipe?
Create a free account to save your favorite recipes!Sign Up To Save Recipes
© Copyright Maya Krampf for Wholesome Yum. Please DO NOT SCREENSHOT OR COPY/PASTE recipes to social media or websites. We'd LOVE for you to share a link with photo instead. 🙂
We really loved this recipe. I’ve had crispy brussel sprouts at restaurants and decided to try them at home. The bacon really sent it over the top!
If I decide to leave out bacon, how much oil do you think I would need? I love bacon but sadly can’t eat it. I love your technique.
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Beth, Just a couple tablespoons should be enough, though you could also keep the original amount if you like. I like a generous amount because it helps the sprouts get extra crispy.
Wow! I made these, and they sure are yummy. However, you should have mentioned the need for a splatter screen. Plus my kitchen is full of smoke. I will use a more heat tolerant oil next time.
So easy and so good. Freeze good and reheat well.
This is one of the best brussel sprout recipes I have made…my husband said they were better than he had at a Vegas steakhouse and he didn’t think he would ever have sprouts that would even come close to those…and 14 yr old approved! YUM
Why not extra virgin olive oil?
Recipe looks and sounds delicious! Love Brussels sprouts.
Wholesome Yum D0
Hi Betty, Extra virgin olive oil has a slightly lower smoke point (how low varies by brand), so for high-temp frying I always recommend regular.
I added roasted slivered almonds with the crisped bacon. Soooo good!
Linda G Alexander0
This recipe is delicious. I made it for Christmas and am making it again today because I really enjoyed it!
Delicious! I made this exactly as written in my 12” cast iron skillet. It turned out so good! I was worried that a few sprouts got a bit too charred but even those tasted great. The perfect keto dinner!
Thank you!! It was just the recipe I was looking for!!
I love this dish, I make it often. I’ll also add small red potatoes in with the sprouts and cook the same way. The fam loves it and it so fast n easy to make!
We made this for Thanksgiving and it was really good, used some lemon juice instead of the balsamic vinegar. I’m making some more today.
My sister and I have problems with sulfites, so we don’t usually use balsamic vinegar or do any cooking with wine. Can we use apple cider vinegar with this recipe? Or do you have a suggestion for a substitute that would be tasty? I love your website, I am a diabetic. and with all the stuff that is now available to help reduce the carbs I eat and still have some variety your recipes have been a godsend. I’m very interested in trying this recipe, with the holidays coming.
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Sandi, Yes a small amount of apple cider vinegar (1 tsp) or a squeeze of lemon or lime will do nicely.
Love it! So easy and simple, yet tastes AMAZING. Highly recommend trying.
Love it! So easy and simple, yet tastes AMAZING. Highly recommend.
Mine came out kind of soggy.. any suggestions?
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Lisa, You can put these on a baking pan in the oven at a low temp to drive some of the liquid out of them. Try 200 degrees for about 20 minutes and see if the sogginess improves.
This turned out great in the airfryer (390F for 18-20 min). Thanks so much for the tip about not using EVOO — I always wondered why my airfryer veggies would often taste a little burnt. Now they looked charred without tasting that way. 🙂 We just tossed with the balsamic at the end — such a nice flavor twist!
So easy and so good, not your mama’s Brussels!
Can this recipe be made by using broccoli instead of brussels sprouts??
Wholesome Yum A0
Yes, Dianne! Make sure it’s chopped into bite-size florets and adjust the cook time to your liking.
Made this today and it is delicious. This is definitely a keeper. Very easy to cook.
I was searching online for this recipe since yesterday night and finally found what I was looking for! This is a excellent site by the way.
HOLY STRAWBERRIES! These brussels were my JAM! Made them with some salmon last night and both my boyfriend and I devoured them. the best brussel sprouts we have every had – and we don’t even like them that much.
These look delicious but I’m curious… why can’t you use extra virgin olive oil to cook the sprouts?
Maya | Wholesome Yum0
Thank you, Leonie! Extra virgin olive oil has a low smoke point, so is not recommended for high temperature cooking.
Can you use coconut oil?
Wholesome Yum M0
Hi Jennifer, Yes, you can use coconut oil.
Hi Maya, when I first looked at this recipe I’ll admit I was a doubting Thomas. I mean, the Brussel sprouts looked burnt so it couldn’t be any good, right? I like Brussel sprouts though so I thought I’d give it a go. I made this as a side dish for Thanksgiving. It was a big hit. SO YUMMY!! and so EASY. 🙂 I was amazed that despite the “burned look” the side dish was so good. This was also my first time trying balsamic vinegar. The brand you linked to (QO) is the one I ordered after taking a quick look around and seeing all the lousy added ingredients in other brands. The QO was delicious! Hubby isn’t wild about Brussel sprouts yet he hurried into the kitchen for another serving before it was gone, lol. We are doing keto so I really appreciate all that you do for your readers. Thank you!