This roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes dish is topped with delicious bacon crumbles. It makes a great side dish or breakfast hash topped with an egg!
My Love of Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts! This cute vegetable that looks like mini cabbages, seems to divide the masses. Apparently, children don't often love Brussels sprouts. Well, this never was true to me. I mentioned before that my mom managed to bring us up to be veggie lovers... To a certain degree. Even I have my veggie nemesis - what's the deal with eggplant anyway? I mean really?!
But Brussels sprouts? I don't recall ever not liking them. Did you know that literally translated, Brussels sprouts are called 'rose cabbage' in German? Maybe it's the cute name that turned me favorable towards Brussels sprouts. As a side note, it's so interesting to learn the different names of vegetables and food items in various languages. German, for example, seems to be quite practical in its naming. One more reason to love traveling!
As for why I always loved these little green balls of delight, it probably had to do with the way they were prepared. The only way I ever had them growing up was with a browned-butter breadcrumb coating. What's not to love about that?!
Today's recipe is not exactly for those German breadcrumb-coated Brussels sprouts, but it is certainly a homage to them. This roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes recipe also includes sweet potato cubes, which you roast with the Brussels sprouts, onion, and garlic. Sweet potatoes are bright orange and a perfect contrast to the green of the sprouts.
How to Make Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes
To start making these roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, start by cooking some bacon. Bacon often goes with Brussels sprouts, and it is no wonder because it is delicious and often turns Brussels sprouts haters into Brussels sprouts lovers.
To cook your bacon, you simply add it to a skillet and cook it until it is crispy. Next, you should remove it to a paper towel-lined plate to drain the excess fat. While you want your vegetables to include the pleasant smoky and salty flavor of bacon, you certainly don't want them to be laden in grease.
So next, you should drain some of the bacon fat from the pan, but leave a couple of tablespoons for frying. Afterward, you saute your onion and garlic for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Afterward, the vegetables go in with some salt and pepper. You should turn the heat to low and cover the pan to trap some of the heat and steam. Uncover the pan to stir the mixture once in a while to promote even cooking.
The final step is to stir in some olive oil and Italian breadcrumbs to coat before sauteeing for another 10 minutes. The olive oil both prevents the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts from scorching, while also helping the breadcrumbs to stick. The Italian breadcrumbs add some crunch and an herbal flavour to this otherwise sweet and earthy dish. If you only have plain breadcrumbs on hand, though, you could use them as well. Simply season them up with typical Italian breadcrumb flavours like garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil.
Once done, the vegetables should look golden on the outsides. Meanwhile, their middles should be soft and fork-tender.
The Final Steps
To serve the roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, simply crumble or chop the bacon and sprinkle it over the top. You could even drizzle some balsamic vinegar or balsamic glaze and/or soy sauce over the top of the sweet potatoes and sprouts for some added flair. Balsamic vinegar is wonderful to cut through the richness of bacon, while soy sauce can add some umami and seasoning to the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
The Benefits of Slow Pan-roasting
Slow pan-roasting (as opposed to boiling) softens the Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes from the inside while leaving a little bite. Plus, the sweet potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts get a light smoky aroma and a crisp texture to their outsides. The breadcrumb coating with the bacon crumbles accentuates that crispness as well.
The ingredients for this hash are flexible. Other vegetables that this method could work well for are sliced cabbage, broccoli or cauliflower florets, cubed butternut squash or carrots, or even regular potatoes.
Slow pan-roasting on the stove is also great when you don't have room in the oven for traditionally roasted veggies, such as for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or other big family feasts. Cooking on the stovetop leaves your oven free for your favourite holiday roasts, stuffing, pies, squash, casseroles, scalloped potatoes, bread or buns, etc. The total time for these sweet potatoes and sprouts should only take 40 minutes or so, so it is a great side to make when everything else is almost ready. Otherwise you could certainly make this dish in the oven on a baking sheet, sheet pan, or a casserole dish.
How to Serve these Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes
This roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes recipe makes a great side dish for dinner but we actually enjoy it as our main course for lunch as well. If you are an absolute veggie lover like me, I could even see this being breakfast - especially with a fried egg on top!
Of course, this roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes compilation would also be perfect with a Thanksgiving dinner when Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes are at their best during harvest time.
You could even make roasted sweet potatoes and sprouts to add to hearty grain or salad bowls for lunch throughout the week. Adding these roasted sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts to a bowl of hearty kale leaves, dried cranberries, feta, and a balsamic vinaigrette would be absolutely divine, or on top of a bowl of quinoa with some sliced chicken and either a sriracha maple mayo or maple mustard drizzle.
If you want to omit the bacon and make this dish vegan, cook the veggies in about 2 tablespoons olive oil instead. I recommend adding some chopped nuts like almonds, pecans, or walnuts, in the end to still give this recipe a bit of a crunch.
Other Vegetable Dishes You'll Love:
- Honey Roasted Vegetables
- Maple Roasted Baby Carrots with Pesto
- Sauteed Beet Greens with Nectarines + Feta
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
- Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash
Original Photos from 2014
Brussels Sprouts Sweet Potato Hash
- 5 slices bacon
- ½ medium onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 cups Brussels sprouts halved
- 2 cups sweet potato cubed
- salt + pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- ⅓ cup Italian bread crumbs omit or use almond meal as paleo substitute
- soy sauce or balsamic vinegar for drizzling
- In a large skillet/sauteing pan cook the bacon slices until crispy. Place bacon on paper towel to drain excess fat.
- Keep 2 tablespoons on bacon grease and saute chopped onion and garlic on medium high heat for 2 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts halves and sweet potato cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to low and cover. Saute for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Drizzle olive oil over the roasting veggies and stir in the breadcrumbs. Saute uncovered for about 10 more minutes. Veggies should look roasted on the outside and be soft on the inside.
- Crumble up the bacon and sprinkle over top. Drizzle with soy sauce or balsamic vinegar if desired.
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Absolutely! Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes are both nutritious vegetables. Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, while sweet potatoes provide a healthy dose of vitamins and complex carbohydrates. When roasted, they retain much of their nutritional value, making them a wholesome addition to your diet.
Blanching is not necessary for roasting Brussels sprouts. Roasting alone can bring out their delicious flavors and create a crispy texture. However, some cooks choose to blanch Brussels sprouts briefly before roasting to soften them slightly and reduce the overall roasting time.
Boiling Brussels sprouts before roasting is not a common method. While blanching is occasionally done to soften them, boiling can lead to the loss of some nutrients. If you prefer a softer texture, you can try blanching or roasting them for a longer period.
Roasted Brussels sprouts pair well with a variety of flavors. They can complement dishes like roasted chicken, grilled steak, or even vegetarian options like quinoa and lentils. You can also add balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese, nuts, or bacon for extra flavor.
Several factors can affect the crispiness of roasted Brussels sprouts. Ensure they are dry before roasting, use enough oil to coat them evenly, and avoid overcrowding the pan. Additionally, high heat and sufficient roasting time are crucial for achieving crispy Brussels sprouts.
Restaurant-quality Brussels sprouts often benefit from professional techniques and equipment. Chefs might use commercial ovens that reach higher temperatures or special techniques like broiling. However, with the right approach at home, you can make delicious crispy Brussels sprouts too.