How to make crispy Brussels sprouts with pancetta

Unlike many people I didn’t grow up hating Brussels sprouts.  My Mum didn’t actually ever cook with them so I don’t have any horrible childhood memories of overcooked flaccid sprouts.  Brussels sprouts have got a bad rap over the years but now it finally seems they are back in vogue.  Restaurants like Porteno in Sydney and Meat Mother here in Melbourne are serving up sprouts as an attention seeking side dish.    


The trick to making Brussels sprouts a show stealer rather than a mere side dish is firstly not to overcook the sprouts when you boil them first.  Then to get some crispy edges happening you need to fry them and then pop them in the oven.  I also like to use tiny pieces of diced pancetta to add a delicious salty flavour to the sprouts. 

Cooking the pancetta with the sprouts


Crispy Brussels sprouts with pancetta
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1584 calories
71 g
226 g
115 g
81 g
39 g
960 g
3813 g
17 g
1 g
66 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1584
Calories from Fat 1026
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 115g
Saturated Fat 39g
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 12g
Monounsaturated Fat 54g
Cholesterol 226mg
Sodium 3813mg
Total Carbohydrates 71g
Dietary Fiber 29g
Sugars 17g
Protein 81g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 750g brussels sprouts
  2. 150g thick pancetta cut into small cubes
  3. 2 tbsp butter
  4. Salt and pepper
  5. Pinch of dried chilli
  6. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  7. 1 bunch continental parsley
  1. 1. Cook the sprouts in simmering salted water for 4 to 5 minutes until just tender. Make sure not to overcook. Drain well and wait until cool enough to handle. Cut each sprout in half.
  2. 2. Heat the oven to 220 degrees. Cook the pancetta in a hot frypan until crisp. Add the sprouts and cook cut-side-down over high heat for 2 minutes.
  3. 3. Add the butter, salt, pepper and chilli, and toss well for a further 3 minutes until browned.
  4. 4. Transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 10 minutes or until crisped.
  5. 5. Scatter the parsley leaves across the top, shake up the sprouts, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season to taste.
Gourmet Chick


  1. I never grew up eating brussel sprouts but the new wave of them are so good, especially when paired with pancetta!

  2. I grew up hating it! Being in an Irish household half the time (stepmum is Irish).. there would always be yucky brussel sprouts!

  3. I’m so glad I never grew up eating Brussel Sprouts thus never hated them! But I love the idea of crispy edges and the saltiness from the pancetta – inspired to make it as a side soon!

  4. Lorraine – Everything is better with bacon isn’t it?!

    Ms I Hua – Have you come around yet or are you still too traumatised?

    Catherine – Hope you like them this way…

  5. That sounds delicious Cara! As an alternative to pancetta they are also delicious with spicy chorizo cooked in pretty much the same way. I then like to toss the sprout mixture with wilted calvo nero. Really enjoying your blog and big congrats on the new addition xox

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