Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chestnuts

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Have you started your holiday meal planning yet? If you have, bravo! If you haven’t, don’t despair, neither have we. Typically that happens about two days before the event.

But if I have anything to do with it this year (and that’s a big if, as my dad is usually the one who decides what we eat for the big family meals) these brussels sprouts with chestnuts and bacon will be on the menu.

Chestnuts and brussels sprouts are a natural combination—earthy and strong, warm and filling. Add bacon to the mix and you have a match made in heaven.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chestnuts

Whatever you do, don’t overcook the sprouts! Overcooking them will give them a somewhat sulfuric taste. But cooked just enough? Perfect. Especially with the chestnuts and bacon.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chestnuts Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8 as a side

Chestnuts are delicious, but a major pain to roast and shell (have you ever exploded chestnuts all over your kitchen? I have). Canned (jarred more like it) chestnuts actually work better in recipes than the kind you roast and peel yourself. The texture and moisture content is more consistent. So, we suggest using canned roasted chestnuts for this recipe. You can of course roast and shell your own if you prefer.


  • 1 pound brussels sprouts
  • 1/3 pound thick-sliced bacon or slab bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces or batons
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 20-25 canned roasted chestnuts, quartered or roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon wedges to serve


1 Cut the brussels sprouts in half and slice thinly, starting at the top of the sprout and working back toward the stem. Discard the hard tip of the stem side.


2 Cut the bacon into pieces about 1/4 inch wide and put them in a large sauté pan over medium heat.


3 When the bacon is browned, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat (do not put down the drain, see how to render bacon fat). Turn up the heat to high, add the red onions. Cook until the onions begin to brown, add back the bacon.

brussels-sprouts-bacon-chesnuts-method-3 brussels-sprouts-bacon-chesnuts-method-4

5 Add the chestnuts and brussels sprouts to the sauté pan with the bacon and onions. Add the chicken stock and toss to combine. Stir in about 1 teaspoon of salt, more or less to taste. Cook over high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add pepper to taste.

Serve hot with lemon wedges. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the sprouts right before you eat them.

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Sautéed brussels sprouts with almonds and onions - from here on Simply Recipes

Roasted brussels sprouts - from here on Simply Recipes

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Apples - from 101 Cookbooks

Brussels Sprouts with Pasta - from Orangette

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Brown Butter - from Smitten Kitchen

Showing 4 of 17 Comments

  • John Austin

    Most UK supermarkets stock vacuum packed chestnuts –
    If you can’t find them check out for suppliers

  • Jessica

    This may be a silly question, but the Trader Joe’s near my house sells fresh brussel sprouts still attached to the stalk, and I was wondering if your “1 lb.” measurement includes the stalk or just the sprouts. (If it’s just sprouts, about what weight would I want with stalk still attached?) Thanks!

    The 1 lb measurement does NOT include the stalk. Brussels sprouts are usually sold loose. Good idea to get them on the stalk though, because they will likely be more fresh and will keep better. No idea what the weight would be with the stalk still attached, but I’m guessing that you would be fine with this recipe with the sprouts from one stalk. ~Elise

  • Penny

    Dee-lish! Finished off with a little bit of umeboshi vinegar, a nice big bowl of these makes a whole meal. I think the secret is not to boil them too long, because you can always saute as long as you want. Thanks Elise!

  • Angela

    We made this for Thanksgiving (in fact, we had a nearly all Simply Recipes Thanksgiving) and it was great! Aside from the part where we exploded chestnuts all over the kitchen, though :)

    Oh yes, I’ve done the exploding chestnuts too. You’ve got to score them before cooking if you make them that way. ~Elise

  • Greg

    Had these for Thanksgiving, too! We substituted toasted chopped walnuts for the chestnuts, and it was a big hit! And this may sound odd, but the leftovers made a great omelet filling this morning! I mixed in a little grated parmesan, and it was terrific!

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