Pancetta & Red Onion Brussels Sprouts

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Brussels sprouts and bacon is a classic combination. This recipe substitutes pancetta instead of bacon which gives the same savory/salty effect without having to worry about the quality of the bacon. And seriously now…if you are eating bacon (which I think is totally fine in some degree of moderation), you really want to think about buying high quality! Make friends with the meat vendor at your local farmer’s market, buy the really good stuff (such as from US Wellness meats. Also, Applegate Farms products are just about the best you can get in a commercial supermarket like Whole Foods)…you really want nitrate-free pork, raised in the best possible conditions. For an interesting take on bacon, check out the Whole9 Bacon Manifesto…good reading!


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 large red onion, diced
  • 4 oz. pancetta, diced finely (I got mine at TJ’s pre-diced)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Cracked black pepper


1. Trim and steam Brussels sprouts. I was lazy and will admit to buying them in the bag from TJ’s and doing the in-bag steam in the microwave for about 3 minutes. Let cool and slice in quarters.

2. Meanwhile, heat skillet to medium. Throw in pancetta and start browning it, mixing often, about 5 minutes.

3. When the pancetta begins to brown, add in chopped onion and saute for a few minutes until it begins to soften.

4. Add cooked Brussels sprouts and cook for a few minutes until all flavors combine.

5. Splash with balsamic vinegar and season with black pepper.

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