Simple Sundays | The Beauty of Brussels Sprouts

One of my most favorite vegetables has reappeared, welcoming autumn in a most beautiful way. Brussels sprouts. Don’t groan. If you don’t share my love for these adorable buds, you must concede, they are quite pretty, especially when you can find them still on the…

Simple Sundays | The Beauty of Brussels Sprouts

One of my most favorite vegetables has reappeared, welcoming autumn in a most beautiful way. Brussels sprouts.

Don’t groan. If you don’t share my love for these adorable buds, you must concede, they are quite pretty, especially when you can find them still on the stalk. Just look up close, and see the gorgeous colors.

I would love if I could convince the Brussels sprouts haters in the world to give it another chance. If your taste buds have been tainted by tasteless, mushy, bitter sprouts in the past, I can understand, really, I do. But I know if you try again, you might change your mind. For me, the pivotal moment was when I tried Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta. It was one of the first recipes I posted on this site (as my photography will attest, don’t laugh, please), and one my family continues to enjoy.

In keeping with my love for Brussels sprouts and bacon, I have for you today a Brussels Sprouts, Pancetta and Caramelized Red Onion Crostini. Salty, sweet and tangy, I am happy enough eating it without the bread as a side dish, but if you are entertaining, it’s a unique appetizer that will definitely turn heads. It may even convert you.

More Brussels Sprouts Inspiration

Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta – Kitchen Confidante

Crispy Fried Brussels Sprouts with Honey and Sriracha – food52

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan and Truffle Oil Crostini – Authentic Suburban Gourmet

Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Lemon, Walnuts and Shaved Parmesan – Lemons and Lavender

Brussels Sprouts, Pancetta and Caramelized Red Onion Crostini

Serves 6-8.


  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 oz pancetta, minced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 cups shredded Brussels sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, divided
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • crumbled goat cheese
  • baguette, sliced


Preheat the broiler. Brush the baguette slices with olive oil and toast in the broiler on both sides until golden, about 3-5 minutes per side.

In a heavy pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter in 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the red onion, season with salt and pepper, and stir. Cook for 5 minutes, then add sugar. Let it cook until the onions are tender. Add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and remove from heat.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat the remaining olive oil and brown the pancetta until crispy. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the Brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper. Cover. Stir periodically. When the Brussels sprouts are a vibrant green and tender, stir in the remaining tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Remove from heat.

Combine the red onions with the Brussels sprouts. Assemble the crostini by topping each baguette slice with the Brussels sprouts and sprinkle crumbled goat cheese. If you wish, melt the cheese in the broiler. Serve immediately.


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  2. Beth Michelle

    Your photos are beautiful. Just stunning. I am a recent lover of brussel sprouts but my husband hates them! Perhaps this delicious looking recipe will turn him around. If not, more for me!

  3. Lori

    I’m so excited that Brussels sprouts are back in season. I have yet to see them in my farmers markets, but as soon as they are I have big plans for them! Thank you for the link love – very much appreciated. And you made the humble little Brussels sprouts look very pretty against the dark background!

  4. A Little Yumminess

    Brussels sprouts are quite the new favorite around here and I used to really dislike them. This is a good one…I will have to try it out…

  5. Monet

    One of my favorite vegetables…I broke my arm…so I can’t type much but wanted to know that I’m still reading your lovely blog. You make me smile, as always. Blessings and love!

  6. Norma

    I love my sprouts…we call tem “repollitos”. I mae them once with chestnuts. Your pictures are winners.

    Have a wonderful weekend.

  7. kita

    Amazing shots. We have been trying to fall in love with brussels sprouts in my household. We’re still leaning – but as pretty as you make these I really want to try again soon!

  8. Anna

    Indeed, autumn has sprouted! Love the photos! Thanks for posting your recipe. Now, I can use brussels sprouts other than pairing it with the skewer and the grill…

  9. Ann

    What a great recipe and I LOVE brussels sprouts on the stalk. The first time I ever cooked with them that way was Christmas last year and they were amazing!

  10. Vanille

    I was surprised when I saw for the first time brussel sprouts still on the stalk and I concede that’s a very original and cute plant. As for the buds, I leave them all to you ;)

  11. Kimmi

    I love this! Your pictures are fantastic and show the natural beauty of these great little veggie nibbles. I love brussel sprouts and from the comments above, I see I’m not alone. I like how you used it as a bruschetta on top of bread. great idea.

  12. kankana

    Oh Those photos are so beautiful! I love brussel sprouts .. sharing ur love here :) Never tried on crostini though .. but i can say it will taste awsm.

  13. Liz

    Amazing photos! The best Brussels sprouts I’ve eaten were made with bacon and leeks…so I know I’d love your version~

  14. Maria

    I am with you! I love Brussels sprouts! In fact, I think this dish could convince anyone to love them :-)

  15. Stephanie

    Every time someone touts their hatred for brussels sprouts, I secretly die a little inside. They’re too delicious to hate. ESPECIALLY when combined with pancetta. How could you go wrong? Lovely presentation!

  16. Kathryn | Dramatic Pancake

    I always hated brussel sprouts growing up, but now they are one of my favorite vegetables. They’re soo good pan fried with just a little butter, garlic, salt and pepper (which is what I usually do with them), but your recipe sounds WAY more interesting! I agree with Patty above, these would make for a great Thanksgiving appetizer!

  17. patty

    This brussels sprouts stalk is so very photogenic in your very competent hands!
    I will try these as an appetizer, maybe at Thanksgiving?? They look delicious and of course beautiful;-)

  18. Mindy

    I was a Brussels sprout hater growing up, for the reason you mentioned. Then as an adult, I discovered the beauty of roasting them. Or sauteing them with a pork product as you’ve done here. Amazingly good. I just saw an idea the other day for putting them on a skewer and grilling them. It was a, now why didn’t I ever think of that, moment. I’m looking forward to eating them every which way this season.

  19. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet }

    Liren – those photos of brussels are simply stunning!!! I too am in love with them – in fact had them roasted last night at a dinner party with a lemon greek dipping sauce. They are also on the menu for tonight. Love, love, love your crostini recipe – you know how I love a great appetizer. Nicely done! Happy Sunday. { BTW – Thanks for the link shout out :-) }

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