Take Brussels Sprouts to the next level by pan frying them and adding crispy pancetta and festive chestnuts – a fantastic Christmas side dish that takes just 15 minutes to make!
If you’re a sprout hater, these Brussels sprouts with pancetta and chestnuts might just be the recipe to convert you!
Sprouts get such a bad rap, but I actually really love them. When you think about it, they are just baby cabbages, aren’t they? They are very versatile – but simply boiling them is actually doing them a great disservice, in my opinion. Pan frying them is the way to go.
If you don’t like sprouts, then chances are you’ve only ever had them boiled until they are mushy – and I don’t blame you at all! Overcooking sprouts does them no favours whatsoever.
They taste so much nicer when they still have a little bite. I’m a firm believer that they absolutely deserve a place alongside your Christmas turkey dinner.
christmas side dishes
A few well made side dishes can really elevate your Christmas dinner to another level – I also have recipes for my crispiest roast potatoes ever, creamy mashed potatoes, Christmas spiced red cabbage, honey mustard glazed roasted parsnips and carrots, sausagemeat, sage and cranberry stuffing, sticky maple pigs in blankets, cranberry and orange sauce and if you believe Christmas dinner isn’t complete without them, Yorkshire puddings!
step by step (not interested in step by step? Keep scrolling to find printable recipe card)
- Step one – Cut your sprouts in half or quarters if very large. Place them in a pan of salted boiling water and parboil for 3-5 minutes or until just beginning to soften. Drain and immediately rinse with very cold water, drain again and set aside.
- Step two – Add a little olive oil (or if you have any, garlic oil would be even better) to a large frying pan and place on a medium high heat. Add the pancetta cubes and fry for 3-4 minutes or until crisp and golden.
- Step three – Add the drained sprouts and season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper, stirring to coat the sprouts in the bacon fat.
- Step four – Add the chestnuts, crumbling them a little so they break up. Add butter, Madeira (see recipe notes for substitutions) and taste to see if you want to add more salt and pepper.
- Step five – give everything a stir together until the butter has melted. Transfer to a serving plate and serve warm.
- If the sprouts are very large, cut them in halves or even quarters. This ensures they cook evenly and much faster.
- Since it’s Christmas and all that jazz, I like to add a splash to booze to the sprouts, pancetta and chestnuts. Madeira, Marsala or a dry sherry work very well. If you don’t want to add alcohol, substitute with a little maple syrup and a splash of sherry vinegar.
- If you don’t have pancetta, Lardon cubes or a few slices of cut up bacon work just as well.
more savoury christmas recipes
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- 350g brussels sprouts, cut in half if large
- 1 tablespoon olive or garlic oil
- 150g pancetta cubes (or use chopped up bacon)
- 180g ready cooked vacum packed chestnuts
- 30g butter
- 50ml Madeira, Marsala or dry sherry (or 2 tablespoons maple syrup and a splash of sherry vinegar)
- Plenty of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cook the sprouts in a pan of boiling salted water for about 3-5 minutes or until they are just beginning to soften slightly - you still want them to be quite crisp since you'll also be pan frying them. Drain the sprouts in a colander, rinse in very cold water, drain again and set aside.
- Add the olive oil to a large frying pan and place on a medium high heat. Add the pancetta cubes and fry for 3-4 minutes or until crisp and golden.
- Add the drained sprouts and season with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper, stirring to coat the sprouts in the bacon fat.
- Add the chestnuts, crumbling them a little so they break up. Add butter, Madeira or the maple syrup and sherry vinegar and taste to see if you want to add more salt and pepper.
- Give everything a stir together until the butter has melted. Transfer to a serving plate and serve warm.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 291Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 225mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 5g
Calories and nutritional information are provided by a third party application and should be viewed as indicative figures only.