Cranberry Brussels Sprouts

“Cranberry brussels sprouts” as the title of this delicious dish, is fairly underwhelming. Especially when you consider all the different flavors, textures, and foods in this seasonal dish. When you eat this dish, you will feel like you are eating fall! Could you help me think of a more appropriate name? “Honey brussels sprouts with cranberries, apples, walnuts, and pancetta” is quite a bit too long. But something simpler, like “the harvest dish” doesn’t give the reader any indication of what’s in it. I’m really at a loss.

We’ve been making these cranberry brussels sprouts for at least five years. They get better each year! The dish started out as plain roasted brussels sprouts, which are yummy on their own. (Or you can try sautéed brussels sprouts here). The next year, I had leftover cranberries so I threw those onto the pan. The finished dish, even with a bit of honey, was so tart that I knew I needed a bit more roasted sweetness. Apples and pears have both made an appearance in this dish. It wasn’t long before my husband begged for a bit of savory meatiness, which adds a euphoric element of smokiness. It’s pretty darn close to perfection at this point!

Making these cranberry brussels spouts

I love how easy these brussels sprouts are to make. You will find yourself doing quite a bit of chopping—the sprouts, in particular, will take a bit of time. But once the chopping is done, the oven does the rest of the work. We recommend pulling the spouts apart a bit as you chop them. All those little leaves get a little charred in the oven and taste amazing. If you love roasted veggies, try these amazing green beans as well!

Ingredient Notes:

Optional pancetta: While pancetta is used in Mediterranean cuisine, it should be eaten in moderation. The Mediterranean Diet generally recommends using meat products like red meat and bacon sparingly. This dish is amazing without any meat at all. Feel free to leave it out if you prefer, especially if you are planning to eat a lot of turkey. You may want to adjust the salt if you leave out the pancetta. Optional honey: Honey is optional in this dish. My kids prefer it with a bit of honey, and I love it when they eat brussel sprouts, so I normally make it that way. The apples give this dish some sweetness without any added honey, so feel free to leave it out entirely! You are welcome to use any kind of apple. We recommend a sweeter red apple. If you have leftovers, make this super easy applesauce.

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