Brussels sprouts are one of those polarizing vegetables that spark a wide range of emotions at the dinner table. For some, they are the unsung heroes of the green vegetable world, full of culinary potential. For others, they invoke memories of little, tasteless boiled cabbages and childhood dinner table trauma. Those in the adamant aversion category have most likely never had Brussels sprouts with guanciale.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Guanciale is a delicious combination of textures and tastes. This recipe showcases the earthy goodness of crispy, perfectly roasted sprouts with the indulgent, savory flavor of guanciale, creating a side dish that everyone will love. Guanciale is an Italian bacon similar to Pancetta. The difference is that Pancetta comes from pork belly and Guanciale comes from pork jowl.
Whether you are a Brussels sprouts enthusiast or skeptic, this recipe just might cause a culinary revelation to unfold. They are that good. If you like the sweet, roasted longhorn Brussels sprouts at the Longhorn Steakhouse in Texas, give these savory Brussels sprouts a try.
Let's dive into this easy to make tasty side dish.
- Brussels sprouts
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
See recipe card for quantities.
Fresh Brussels sprouts require a bit of preparation before cooking.
First, remove any discolored or yellow leaves and cut ⅛" off the bottom of the stem. Then, cut the Brussels spouts in half and remove the tough stem by cutting out a small triangle with a pairing knife.
Cut the guanciale into ¼" slabs then dice those into ¼" pieces. Cook them in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
Guanciale fat has a very low smoke point so turn on the fan and watch it carefully. It's a fine line between done and burned. Remove the guanciale and drain on paper towels.
Add the Brussels sprouts, in a single layer, to the cast iron skillet and cover with diced onion. Sprinkle with a little olive oil and they are ready to cook.
These roasted Brussels sprouts were cooked in a wood-fired oven but they could easily be done in a conventional oven at 400˚ F for 20-22 minutes until golden brown. Loose leaves will char a bit and that's OK. Serve them along with the rest of the Brussels sprouts
If you have trouble finding guanciale, use thick-cut pancetta. Most markets carry ¼" diced pancetta that will work for this recipe. I prefer guanciale because I think it has a richer, unique flavor, but it can be challenging to find.
I used a cast iron skillet and a wood-fired oven for this recipe but neither are necessary. I have also made this dish on a prepared baking sheet lined with aluminum foil in a 400°F oven and they Brussels sprouts were crispy and delicious.
Most leftover vegetables can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days. However, leftover Brussels sprouts do not store well. They get soggy and will never be crisp again. Save the little pieces of guanciale for an omelette and throw away the leftover sprouts. They are not worth saving.
Don't walk away when cooking the guanciale. It takes a while to get cooking but then it is done fast and can easily burn. If that happens, throw it out and start over. Burned guanciale is not good.
For my family, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Guanciale is the best way to prepare this perfect side dish. Serve them as your next delicious side dish. Enjoy!
Looking for other great side dishes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with this recipe.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Guanciale
- 4 ounces Guanciale diced
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts trimmed, halved and cored
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 2 tbs olive oil
- Pinch salt
- Fry the guanciale in a cast iron skillet over low heat. When crisp, remove the guanciale with a slotted spoon. Do not over cook the guanciale. Wipe out the excess fat from the skillet with paper towels and discard.
- Add the Brussels sprouts and onion to the cast iron skillet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes until done. Some of the loose leaves may brown, but that's OK. Top with the cooked guanciale and serve.