Crispy pancetta, garlic and onions raise a side dish of Brussels sprouts to a new level in this quick and easy, gluten-free recipe for sautéed Brussels sprouts with pancetta!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- Tasty! Brussels sprouts: you either love them or hate them! Either way, here's a tasty way to elevate an easy side dish of Brussels sprouts. Simply add crispy, salty, full-of-flavour pancetta!
- Easy: one pan and only 20 minutes or less to make.
- Healthy: Brussels sprouts are a powerhouse of nutrition!
Fresh Brussels sprouts have a mild flavour so they benefit from being paired with strong, pronounced flavours. For example, in this recipe for Air Fryer Balsamic Brussels Sprouts, I added bacon and balsamic vinegar to enhance their flavour.
And in this super popular recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes, maple syrup, pecans and cranberries add lots of interest and flavour.
This recipe for Honey Balsamic Roasted Acorn Squash and Brussels Sprouts features a slightly sweet but tangy honey-balsamic glaze, creamy squash and pops of tart cranberries!
Brussels sprouts can be delicious when served raw, too! This Brussels Sprout Salad with Cranberries and Pecans is tossed with my favourite maple-balsamic dressing.
🛒 Ingredients and substitutions
You'll find a complete list of ingredients with amounts in the recipe card below. But before we get to the full recipe, here are a few notes about some of the key ingredients.
- Brussels sprouts Choose fresh bright green heads with tightly packed leaves and no evidence of yellowing leaves or black spots. Small sprouts are often more tender than larger ones.
- pancetta: Look for fresh pancetta. It should be pink and damp, with white creamy fat. Avoid pancetta with yellow or greasy fat, and steer clear if it seems wet or slimy.
- onion: any type. You can substitute red onion for even more flavour.
- garlic: one large or two small fresh cloves
- lemon: you'll need both the zest and the juice.
Here's an overview of what you'll do to make this recipe perfectly. You'll find complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
- First, prep your ingredients. Finely dice the pancetta and set it aside. Use a sharp knife to remove the stems and damaged outer leaves of the sprouts. Slice each sprout into thin (⅛th inch) slices, or use a food processor to shred them. If you're pressed for time, you can buy pre-shredded Brussels sprouts, although they likely won't be as fresh and tasty. Dice the onion and mince the garlic.
- Once everything is prepped, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add the diced pancetta. Sauté it until it is beginning to become crispy and browned, then add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent and softened but not browned.
- Next, add the sprouts. Continue to cook with the heat set at medium-high until you notice the sprouts are beginning to brown. Lower the heat and cook just until they are crisp-tender.
- Add lemon zest and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. Check the seasoning and add sea salt and pepper to taste, then serve hot.
🔁 Possible Variations
While salty pancetta has a deliciously distinctive flavour, you can substitute bacon or prosciutto if you'd like.
You could also add a splash or two of balsamic vinegar instead of lemon juice.
👍🏼 Helpful Tips
Watch the skillet carefully as you cook the sprouts. You want to make sure the sprouts are lightly browned but not burned. Remember to lower the heat to allow them to cook once they have just begun to brown.
Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly. It is sold raw and must be cooked before consumption. It's cured primarily with salt, but sometimes spices or other aromatics are used in the curing process. It has a strong, somewhat salty flavour.
You can buy it in slices (or rashers) or diced, usually in the deli section of your supermarket.
Pancetta must be kept in the fridge in a sealed container.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
This recipe makes a delicious side dish for holiday dinners, or for a quick weeknight dinner, too. Serve these sprouts with any of the following Italian-inspired main dishes!
- Easy Baked Lemon Chicken
- Easiest Chicken Saltimbocca
- Air Fryer Garlic Parmesan Chicken
- Baked Sun-dried Tomato and Artichoke Chicken
⏰ Storage Instructions
To store: This side dish of Brussels sprouts with pancetta is best served hot from the stove. Store leftovers in a covered container in the fridge.
To reheat: Reheat leftovers in a skillet so they retain their crispy texture. Reheating in the microwave will make them soft and potentially soggy.
Looking for more holiday side dish recipe ideas? You'll find two dozen delicious gluten-free recipes in 24 Holiday Side Dish Recipes.
🗒 More gluten-free side dish recipes
When you make this recipe for Brussels sprouts with pancetta, please leave a comment and a rating below. I love hearing from you! Thanks in advance. Subscribe to my newsletter and receive new recipes delivered straight to your inbox.
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
- 1 tablespoon(15 ml) olive oil, extra virgin
- 3 ounces (85 g) pancetta, finely diced
- ¼ cup onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1.5 lbs (680 g) Brussels sprouts,
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
- 1 pinch each sea salt and pepper
- Use a sharp knife to remove the stems and damaged outer leaves of the sprouts. Slice each sprout into thin (⅛th inch) slices, or use a food processor to shred them.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet then add the pancetta. Cook until almost crispy, then add the chopped onions and minced garlic. Sauté until translucent but not browned.
- Add the shredded Brussels sprouts to the skillet and sauté until crisp tender.
- Add lemon zest, a generous squeeze of lemon juice, sea salt and pepper to taste, then serve hot.
Let me know if you have any questions!