Who doesn’t love bacon and Brussels together? Added bonuses, this pasta with bacon and Brussels sprouts is relatively quick to make and it reheats well for Thermos lunches! What else do you need in life?!
Do what works best for you!
It’s thrilling when everyone in your house likes a meal! And it’s even more exciting when the leftovers work well reheated for Thermos lunches. This is one of those dishes I made often in 2021 and it’s got a permanent spot in our “meal rotation”. I don’t actually have a meal rotation. That’s too organized for me. But I’m fascinated by people who are that organized! Keep in mind everyone’s idea of organization is different. Do what works for YOU! There isn’t one right way to organize planning, shopping for, and cooking meals.
We love Brussels sprouts!
As you may know, from previous posts my family loves Brussels sprouts. Here are 3 posts with ways we love to cook them.
- Simple Sauteéd Brussels Sprouts
- Sauteéd Brussels Sprouts – Our Holiday Tradition
- Keep It Simple – 3 Quick and Easy Meals
Do you have selective eaters?
Yes? Then this dish is a great one if you have selective eaters because it’s easy to serve deconstructed. To serve deconstructed, toss the cooked pasta with enough neutral-tasting oil (I use olive oil or canola oil) to prevent it from sticking together. Let everyone come through the kitchen and serve themselves the parts of the dish they’d like.
Ingredients you need to make the pasta
- 1 – 16 oz box pasta -A shape like a farfalle or an orecchiette works well. I like to use orecchiette (fun fact: it means little ear) for this dish because the little ear shaped pasta hold bits of Brussels sprouts, bacon, and grated parmesan all at once.
- 1 lb. Brussels sprouts – pre-shredded or whole Brussels sprouts that you shred using a Cuisinart and the slicing blade attachment.
- 1 lb. bacon
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons reserved bacon grease
- 2 cloves garlic and 1 small onion
- Juice of 1/4 of a lemon
- 1 cup reserved water from cooking the pasta
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese – for serving
Steps for making the pasta
- Heat a large pot of salted water over high heat.
- Cut the bacon into 1/4 inch pieces and cook over medium-low heat
Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally in a sauté pan large enough to hold the Brussels and cooked pasta.
- Peel and dice the onion and garlic
Set them aside until the bacon is finished cooking.
- Prepare the Brussels sprouts for cooking
Slice off the ends of the Brussels sprouts. Discard the ends and any leaves that naturally fall away. Then shred the Brussels sprouts in a food processor fitted with the slicing blade. Set them aside until the bacon is finished cooking.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water
Cook according to the package instructions.
- Using a slotted spoon remove the cooked bacon from the pan
Place the cooked bacon on a paper towel-lined plate or pan and set aside until you’re ready to serve the pasta.
Carefully pour the bacon grease into a small heat-proof bowl or pan and reserve.
- Cook the onion, garlic, and Brussels sprouts
Add 2 Tablespoons of the bacon grease and 1 Tablespoon of olive oil to the pan you cooked the bacon in. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the minced garlic and diced onion and sauté for about 5 minutes or until the onions and garlic begin to soften. Next, add the shaved Brussels sprouts and salt and pepper and sauté over medium-high heat until they turn bright green and are softened. This will take about 5-7 minutes.
- Drain the cooked pasta
SAVE 1 cup of the cooking water to add to the Brussels sprouts along with the cooked pasta.
- Stir the Brussels, 1 cup pasta water, and cooked pasta together
Then squeeze the lemon juice over the dish and stir one more time.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed
- Serve with cooked bacon bits and freshly grated Parm on the side
I haven’t made this without bacon, but I’d imagine it would still be good. I’d probably try it with toasted walnuts and shaved parmesan (use a vegetable peeler to shave off large, thin pieces) as opposed to grated parmesan.
You can make this with less bacon if you prefer. Just know you won’t have as much of the yummy, crispy bacon to sprinkle on each serving.
You can use a 1/4-1/2 tsp white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar instead. Lemon (or another acid like vinegar) adds a bit of brightness to the dish.
Don’t let that stop you from making this. Don’t worry! I’ve made this without both. The dish just won’t have quite the same depth of flavor, but it will still taste great!
Definitely. Though the sprinkling of freshly grated parm adds a nice richness to the dish.
Definitely! I’m a HUGE fan of cooking bacon in the oven. The only downside is you won’t be able to cook garlic, onion, and Brussels in a pan with tiny bits of bacon deliciousness that will add to the flavor of the dish. If you do cook the bacon in the oven, be sure to carefully spoon off 2 Tablespoons of the bacon grease to cook the garlic, onions, and Brussels in.
Stir the items together in the pot you cooked the pasta in (after you carefully empty the hot water into the sink) or put all the ingredients in a large bowl.
Pasta with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts
A relatively quick and delicious dinner! Who doesn’t love the combination of bacon and Brussels sprouts?
This is adapted from the recipe for Brussels Sprouts Pasta in Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters.
1 lb box of pasta
1 lb Bacon
2 TBS bacon grease
1 TBS olive oil
2 TBS bacon grease
1 small onion, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 lb Brussels sprouts
1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
Salt and pepper
Juice of 1/4 of a lemon
- Heat a large pot of salted water over high heat.
- While the water is heating, cut the bacon into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces. Place the cut bacon into a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the bacon stirring occasionally until it begins to brown and crisp. Then turn the heat down to medium low and allow it to finish cooking. This will proven the bacon from burning. Continue stirring.
- When the bacon looks nice and crispy, remove it from the pan onto a paper towel-lined plate to cool.
- Carefully pour the bacon grease from the pan to a heat proof bowl.
- While the bacon cooks, chop the garlic and onion and set aside.
- Next, cut the ends of the Brussels sprouts off and discard the ends and any of the outer leaves that naturally fall away.
- Fit your food processor with the slicing blade. Place the Brussels sprouts in the feeder tube and shredded them.
- Add 1-2 Tablespoons of bacon grease back to the pan. Also add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil. Turn the heat to medium high and add the chopped garlic and onion and sauté for about 5 minutes until they begin to soften.
- By this time the water should have come to a boil. Add the pasta and give it a stir.
- Then add the shaved Brussels sprouts to the pan along with some salt and pepper. Sauté until they turn bright green and are softened – 5-7 minutes. Leave on warm while the pasta cooks.
- When the pasta is finished cooking, add about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water to the cooked Brussels sprouts.
- Drain the pasta.
- Add the cooked pasta to the large sauté pan with the cooked Brussels sprouts. Squeeze a lemon wedge over the pasta and stir to combine.
- Serve with the crisp bacon and a generous grating of fresh Parmesan. Enjoy!
This post contains affiliate links. If you use our links to make a purchase we might earn a small commission on that purchase.