If there’s one thing in this world that makes any situation better, I declare it to be bacon. And believe you me, these Loaded Brussels Sprouts have plenty of the good stuff. In fact, I could probably go all Sound-of-Music on you and start singing about this recipe. Bacon and walnuts and dried cranberries and onions and gorgonzola… these are a few of my favorite things! Yeah, that sounded nothing like the song… But you get the point. This stuff is amazing! Mitch even suggested making them in place of green bean casserole for Thanksgiving! Whaaaa?? I was utterly shocked, because that’s coming dang close to blasphemy in my opinion, but they’re so good, I just might do it. We’ll see… I do so love my green bean casserole…
Start out by quartering each brussels sprout. Aw, look at my handsome helper.
Then slice up an onion. We diced this one into small pieces, but if you like your onions in long slivers, then go for it. Did I really just say that? Long-slivered onion lovers, raise your hand! Eh, sorry I’m weird.
Now fry up about 6 slices of bacon in a large skillet until crispy, then remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel. Keep all of that grease in the pan. You might feel guilty about it, but let me assure you that that grease is the key to taking this dish from “Hmm, that’s quite good,” to “OH MY GOSH GIVE ME MORE OF THAT GREEN STUFF NOW.” So, put your health-conscious tendencies aside this one time and embrace the grease. Join the dark side, my friends.
Keep the grease on medium-high heat, and add all of those chopped brussels sprouts. Give it a big ‘ol stir to coat the veggies, and let the sprouts brown up just a bit, maybe 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. During this time, chop up the bacon into small pieces.
Clear a little spot in the middle of the brussels sprouts and add the chopped onions right onto the hot surface.
Stir them a bit for a few minutes, keeping them on the direct heat, and then mix them in with the rest of the sprouts. Cover, and continue cooking for 6 or 7 more minutes. At this point, everything is starting to get nice and tender, right? Now for the rest of the goodies…
First up, red walnuts. Ever tried these before?
These come from the Sanguinetti Farm in California. They have this gorgeous red color that looks lovely against the green brussels sprouts. They also taste somewhat… creamier, than regular walnuts. I just love how festive they look!
We also add a healthy portion of dried cranberries, and salt and pepper to taste. If I can urge you to do one thing, it’s to be meticulous with the seasoning! Without enough, the delicious flavors we’ve concocted will be sadly underplayed. With too much, you’ll be shuddering with every swallow! So just, take your time and add salt, little by little, until it tastes nice and flavorful, but not overwhelmingly so. For 2 lbs of brussels sprouts, I added about 1 1/4 tsp of salt, if that helps give you an idea. The type of bacon you use will affect that amount though, so just go by taste!
Stir the bacon pieces back in, and pour everything into a serving dish. Top with a large mound of crumbled Gorgonzola, serve yourself up a large portion, smack your lips, and enjoy this bacon-infused, crunchy, salty, sweet, delightfully savory dish.
Anyone else thinking about making this for Thanksgiving?
And here’s the printable!