Charred Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Pancetta in a Fig Glaze

If you’re looking for a new side dish to impress the family, consider this recipe I stumbled upon on

You’ll need:

Brussels Sprouts - Rachel Dean

3 tablespoons of olive oil

3 to 4 o.z of pancetta

1 ½ pounds of brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (about 6 cups)

¼ teaspoon of kosher salt

2 tablespoons of your favorite fig jam

¼ teaspoons of freshly ground pepper


Turn your stove on medium high and and heat 1 TBSP of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the pancetta and let it cook, stirring occasionally until crisp (about 3 minutes) – think crispy bacon! Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta onto a small plate with a paper towel.

Add the remaining 2 TBSP of oil into the pan and turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the brussels sprouts, keeping them in a single layer – you don’t want to crowd the pan because that will cause the veggies to steam, which is not what we’re going for in this dish. Having a couple extra sprouts in the pan is not a big deal, but just don’t add too many. We want evenly browned brussels sprouts. If you’re making more, you can also cook these in batches and just throw it all back together in the end. Ok, getting back on track – next, add the salt and stir to mix it in. Continue to stir occasionally, until brussels sprouts are tender and evenly browned (this will take about 10 minutes). Depending on your stove, you may need to adjust the heat, so the brussels sprouts don’t brown too quickly.

Once the sprouts are all set, add the fig jam and 1 TBSP of water. Stir until the jam has melted into the water and coats the brussels sprouts (start getting excited – we’re almost done). Finally, add the crispy pancetta back in, finish off the dish with the pepper and combine. Add additional salt or pepper to taste, if needed and voila. A gorgeous and delicious side dish that will impress the entire family.