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If you’re serving up our favourite little green vegetable balls for Christmas dinner (as is tradition) you NEED to try them like this! Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chestnuts, with a bit of parmesan too, transforms this side dish into something worthy of festive dining.
I know, I know. Brussels Sprouts are the great divider, and over recent years efforts have been made to enhance them in all kinds of ways at Christmas. I think I have cracked it here!
This is simply a quick and easy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon recipe that you can make ahead on Christmas Eve to save time while you’re preparing the big feast.
And those extra few trimmings like chestnuts and parmesan really do make a huge difference to the dish. Yes they still taste like sprouts should, but better!
Disclaimer: You don’t just have to serve sprouts at Christmas – these are a lovely side dish to any winter warmer!
Make this as part of your No Stress Christmas Dinner Plan 2023!
Why you’ll love this Sprouts and Bacon recipe
⭐️ Super easy prepare-ahead dish
⭐️ So delicious!
⭐️ Not too different from tradition
How we came up with this recipe
I believe in tradition with a bit of something EXTRA when it comes to Christmas food. Yes, we want to keep the old favourites, but there is nothing wrong at all with zhuzhing them up a bit.
And this could not be more appropriate than when it comes to Brussels sprouts. If you’re someone who insists everyone has at least one on their Christmas lunch, then you might find the haters change their minds once they’ve tried them this way.
I wanted to make this a delicious side dish, but also a VERY easy one too.
There’s also an important tip to follow to make sure the sprouts don’t get overcooked and soggy (see below).
So just like my other tried-and-tested Christmas side dishes – Easy Roast Potatoes, Honey Roasted Carrots and Parsnips, Braised Red Cabbage and Cauliflower Cheese – there is a hack to making this recipe ahead of time.
Exactly what we need on a busy Christmas Day!
How to prep sprouts ahead
On Christmas Eve:
- Cook the sprouts in boiling salted water for about 5 minutes, then drain and dunk them into very cold water. Drain again and store in the fridge overnight.
- Fry up some bacon lardons or pancetta until crispy, then add some chestnuts. Allow this to cool and pop the whole pan in the fridge overnight too.
On Christmas Day:
- Heat up the pan with the bacon and chestnuts to a high heat. Throw in the sprouts and cook for 2-3 minutes until they are heated through and coated in the bacon deliciousness. Add salt and pepper, then sprinkle with parmesan.
Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Chestnut Ingredients
- Brussels sprouts
- Pancetta cubes – Or bacon lardons
- Chestnuts – The peeled ones in a vacuum-pack
- Grated parmesan
- Salt and pepper
How to cook Sprouts with Bacon
1. Cook the sprouts in salted boiling water according to the recipe. Drain and dunk into very cold water.
2. Drain again and store in a airtight container in the fridge.
3. Fry up some pancetta until crispy and add chestnuts. When the pan is cool, put it in the fridge.
4. The following day, reheat the pan, add the sprouts in and mix until everything is coated and heated through. Add salt, pepper and parmesan to serve.
Plunging the sprouts into cold water after you’ve boiled them stops them cooking and becoming soggy! This way they stay nice and firm and crunchy for the following day.
Yes. Just omit the bacon and parmesan (or use alternatives), but bear in mind you’ll need to add oil to cook the chestnuts as the fat from the bacon will be missing.
These would be ideal to use in Bubble and Squeak! Thrown them together with all the other leftovers from Christmas Dinner – yum.
They are so delicious and add a really lovely taste and texture to this dish. They are very traditional to eat at Christmas too!
I buy them from the supermarket in a small vacuum pack pouch, they are cooked, peeked
Let me know how you got on and what you thought of these recipes. Please rate the recipe using the ⭐️ below.
Also I’d LOVE to see your cooking creations. If you’d like to share yours with me, you can tag me on Instagram (@tamingtwins).
Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Chestnuts
- 500 g Brussels sprouts
- 150 g Pancetta cubes
- 100 g Chestnuts, The vacuum-packed peeled type
- 25 g Grated parmesan
On Christmas Eve:
- Plunge sprouts into boiling salted water for 5 minutes.
- Drain and dunk into very cold water. (Don’t skip this! It stops them overcooking.)
- Drain again and set aside in the fridge overnight.
- In a large frying pan or saucepan, fry the pancetta until crispy. Add the chestnuts, allow to cool and pop the whole pan into the fridge.
On Christmas Day:
- Heat up the pan with the bacon and chestnuts on a high heat.
- Throw in the sprouts and cook for 2-3 minutes until they are heated through and coated in the bacon deliciousness.
- Add salt and pepper, and parmesan.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.