Watch the Food Lab Video Series Seared Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Lardons

Note: Slab bacon is ideal for this recipe, though sliced bacon will work in a pinch. You can also substitute your favorite cured pork product. Prosciutto, guanciale, or Spanish dry-cured chorizo all work well. If your brussels sprouts are very large (greater than 1 1/2 inches), par-cook them by dropping them in boiling water until slightly tender but still crisp (about 5 minutes) then transferring to ice bath before continuing with recipe as directed.

Seared Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Lardons

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 6 to 8
Active time:40 minutes
Total time:40 minutes
Special equipment:large non-stick skillet
This recipe appears in: The Food Lab Thanksgiving Special: My Favorite Brussels Sprouts Recipes The Food Lab Thanksgiving Special: Brussels Sprouts Worth Eating


  • 1/2 pound slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch by 1/4-inch lardons
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds small brussels sprouts, outer leaves discarded, stems trimmed, split in half
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. 1

    Add bacon and olive oil to 12-inch nonstick skillet. Add enough water to barely cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring to break up bacon. Allow water to completely evaporate, about 8 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring and tossing occasionally until bacon is crisp on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to fine mesh strainer set over large heat-proof bowl.

  2. 2

    Toss sprouts in bowl with bacon fat until well coated. Wipe out skillet and add 1 teaspoon bacon fat. Heat over high heat until smoking. Add as many sprouts as fit in single layer face down to skillet and cook without moving until deeply charred, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook on until second side is charred and sprouts are tender-crisp throughout, about 3 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper and transfer to serving bowl.

  3. 3

    Repeat with remaining sprouts. Add rendered bacon to serving bowl and toss all to combine. Serve immediately.

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