Oven-roasted with pancetta and drizzled with thick balsamic syrup, this Brussels sprouts recipe comes together in 30 minutes and is the perfect balance of salty, sweet, bitter flavors.
I love Ina Garten. If there’s one chef I’d be lucky to have dinner with it would be the Barefoot Contessa herself (and Jamie Oliver, of course). You think they’d get along? Every one of her recipes are meticulously tested, they taste amazing, and I can tell you personally she’s the nicest (and I mean the nicest) person ever.
I also happen to love Brussels sprouts. There’s just something about the slightly nutty, almost bitter flavor that turns me into a complete addict. I know not everyone is a fan of sprouts, but Ina’s super easy and flavorful recipe will most likely change your mind.
How to Roast Brussels Sprouts
Ina halves the sprouts first and then coats them generously with olive oil. She also includes any stray leaves onto the sheet pan; they get all nice and crispy once baked. The flavor reminds me of potato chips but so much better!
Then, the Brussels sprouts are roasted with pancetta for 20-30 minutes @ 400 F. I used salami here (the grocery store was out of pancetta on this particular day); whatever you choose is fine to use. To finish, they get a quick drizzle of thick balsamic syrup.
A Few Tips:
Roasting: Do not over crowd your sheet pan. The Brussels sprouts won’t crisp at all. Work in batches if you have to.
Substitutions: For my veggie and vegan friends, you are more than welcome to leave out the pancetta or salami; it will taste just as good. My friend Amisha puts pomegranate seeds and walnuts in hers. The pop of color is so pretty.
Make-Ahead: if you’re making roasted Brussels sprouts for a dinner party, I would suggest trimming the ends and halving the sprouts one day in advance. Store everything in an airtight container (beware: it will stink the next day when you open it up). Then all you have to do is roast them the next day. For the pancetta, you can buy it already chopped, or pre-chop whatever you’re using the day before. For the balsamic syrup, I wouldn’t reduce it in advance. Make it fresh, unless you’re using syrup from the bottle.
Now, let’s talk about that balsamic syrup for a second…
First, I had to edit my FACE out of the pan you see above. I almost didn’t catch my own reflection! That would’ve been a sight (stop looking at the pan). Second, there are a few different ways to get your hands on some balsamic syrup:
- You can buy aged balsamic which is a nice, luxurious, syrupy vinegar that’s super expensive. Like, $90/ bottle expensive.
- You can buy a bottle of balsamic syrup itself at the store. It’s not easy to find but I know Trader Joe’s & Whole Foods carries it.
- You can also make your own, which is what I did. It’s super easy. BUT! I burnt it the first time around because it reduced so quickly it basically turned into TAR and the whole kitchen stunk like burnt vinegar which is one of the worst smells on the planet. My poor eyes.
How to Make Balsamic Glaze
To make your own syrup, just add some balsamic vinegar to a small sauté pan with a little sugar. Reduce the mixture on medium-low heat; it will only take 1-2 minutes. If you dare walk away, say to check your phone or answer the door, I promise you will pay the consequences.
*Pro tip: If your sauce is reduced, but you’re still waiting around for the sprouts to finish roasting, it might harden slightly if your kitchen is cold. This is what happened to me. All you have to do is warm it over LOW heat with a tiny splash of water. Stir continuously until the texture loosens up.
See? Check it out! Crispy bits! Yum!
Bottom line: you absolutely need this recipe for oven-roasted Brussels sprouts in your life right now. Whether it’s Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving, the holidays, flag day, Earth day, WHATEVER day, I promise this easy veggie side dish will be a hit!Print
Oven-roasted with pancetta and drizzled with thick balsamic syrup, this Brussels sprouts recipe comes together in 30 minutes and is the perfect balance of salty, sweet, bitter flavors. Recipe adapted from Ina Garten.
For the Sprouts
- 1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed & halved, leaves reserved
- 4 oz pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (I used 2 oz hard salami)
- 2 tbsp– 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp reduced balsamic syrup, or make your own (see note below)
Homemade Balsamic Syrup
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- Preheat your oven to 400 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Add the sprouts and the reserved leaves to the sheet pan. Add the pancetta (or salami). Coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally for even browning.
- Towards the end of cooking, prepare the balsamic syrup. Pour the vinegar into a small sauté pan and sprinkle with sugar. Reduce the mixture over medium-low heat; it will only take 1-2 minutes. Keep your eye on it so it doesn’t burn! You should end up with 1 tbsp of reduced syrup.
- When the sprouts are ready, drizzle the hot balsamic syrup directly over the pan. Toss well to combine.
- Serve right away.
Keywords: brussels sprouts, pancetta, balsamic glaze, roasted, Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa, side dish