Savory and robust, these sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Basil cook fast and add unique, bold flavor to meals as a side dish.
Hi, my name is Sarah and I am addicted to Brussels sprouts. When cooked well, these diminutive veggies are seductively savory with a tinge of sweetness. Add in some meaty pancetta, bright basil and sweet but vibrant garlic that’s been sauteed whole before mincing, and you have a dish that’s memorable and delightful.
If you like Brussels sprouts too, that is.
Fortunately (or perhaps unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), my kids do as well.
These Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Basil are great fresh from the stove. But the leftovers are also excellent for lunches — I reheat them at work but my 14-year-old son likes them cold.
How to Make Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Basil
This recipe cooks rather quickly, which makes it ideal for quick and easy dinners.
First, you saute the garlic — it’s cooked whole (but crushed) and then removed from the pan. The cooking process renders it crispy on the outside and soft on the inside — and it flavors the oil as well.
Then, add the pancetta to the pan and cook it, stirring occasionally, until it’s browned.
While the garlic and then the pancetta is cooking (actually, you should begin earlier than that), trim all the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half. Trimming is removing the end and any damaged outer leaves.
The Brussels sprouts — all two pounds of them — are added to the hot oil and pancetta and cooked, covered. They will get tender and browned on one side without overcooking or becoming mushy.
Finally, the basil and chopped garlic are stirred in. Taste the dish, and adjust the seasoning as desired. I don’t add additional salt (or pepper) to this, but you might want to.
Then dig in.
Like you needed an invitation!
- 2 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 5 oz diced pancetta
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the garlic is lightly browned. Remove garlic from the pan and set aside. Pour in the diced pancetta and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently (until it's cooked). While the pancetta is cooking, mince the softened garlic.
- Stir in the Brussels sprouts and cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and stir. Recover and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Add the minced garlic and basil. Season with salt. Enjoy.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.