Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chestnuts

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.

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


  • 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 Prep the Brussels sprouts: 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 Cook the bacon: Cut the bacon into pieces about 1/4 inch wide and put them in a large sauté pan over medium heat.

When the bacon is browned, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.


3 Cook the onions in bacon fat, add back the bacon:  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.


5 Add chestnuts, Brussels sprouts, stock: 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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  • John Austin

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

  • 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!


  • Lyndsay

    I’m bookmarking these for Christmas. I usually do Ina Garten’s roasted brussel sprouts but this looks really good. I often do a lot of my cooking ahead. Do you think this would work as a make ahead – squeeze lemon on after re-heating or no?

    Yes on make ahead, and yes on lemon after re-heating. ~Elise

  • Cynthia

    I shred the sprouts in the food processor -this makes them really thin – then saute them with 1/4 lb. of diced pancetta. The chestnuts should just be the icing on the cake!!! (If I can keep from eating them before I toss them with the sprouts!) Definitely on my Thanksgiving menu!

  • 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

  • Jill Anderson

    These brussels sprouts were a huge hit at our Thanksgiving feast today! Thank you for the recipe.


  • Shandy

    Would this reheat well? If I made this in the afternoon and reheated it in a casserole dish a few hours later (in an oven, not a microwave), would it do well or would it end up a mushy, not-green mess?

    I ate this for leftovers for days and loved it. It shouldn’t get mushy. It may not be as bright green. ~Elise

  • Whitney

    Made this last night — it was delicious! My grocery store didn’t have roasted chestnuts (or at least the person I asked didn’t know where they were), so I used toasted chopped hazelnuts. I will definitely be making this on Thanksgiving, and I’ll be on the lookout for roasted chestnuts!

  • Meagan

    I could eat 2 large bowls of this no problem, sometimes I wish my stomach was bottomless.

  • Gwen

    I love chestnuts with brussel sprouts. Lovely flavor combo. However, I live in a small rural town, so chestnuts are in the store in limited quantities only around the holidays. If I want the same feeling of chestnuts (though a different flavor note), I use walnuts or some other large meaty nut. Pecans work, but they add a slightly sweet flavor. Chestnuts are nice because they add a meaty, nutty element without a lot of other flavor distractions.

  • Wanda

    Are chestnuts the same as water chestnuts that you get in a can in the Asian section of the market? If they are not the same, are they close enough to substitute? I have never seen them. Is there a suitable sub?

    Definitely not the same, not even close. You cannot use as a substitute. I would ask your local grocer for either jarred or vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts. ~Elise

  • randi in canada

    Asian stores sell chestnuts in resealable zipbags. Never had to use the zip part as they are eaten almost immediately. I’ve also seen them like this in a few of the better grocery stores. I could eat a plate of only brussels sprouts for dinner and be perfectly happy.

  • Megan

    Could I prepare the sprouts day before – and quickly cook the bacon and saute day of? This looks awesome!

    I haven’t made this ahead, but I’m guessing that you could cut and blanch the brussels sprouts the day before, and to the rest the day of. ~Elise

  • Renee

    This sounds simple and good. What part of the grocery store carries roasted chestnuts? I don’t think I’ve ever seen them.

    They come in jars. Where you find them in the store really depends on the individual store. Near canned vegetables? Near raisins? I would just ask. That’s what I have to do. ~Elise

  • Dee

    This is very similar to something I did last night, except I didn’t boil the sprouts. Cut that thinly, they don’t need it and a simple saute in the skillet is enough to cook them through. I cooked about the same time (maybe a minute more) and did add a couple of tablespoons of water, covered with a lid to steam for maybe a minute or two (of the entire cooking time). I find they absorb the taste of the fat better and stay nice and crisp.
    Love the idea of the chestnuts, will try that next time. thanks!