I encourage you to learn from my mistakes so, dear reader, if you have never cooked brussels sprouts and bacon together, here is my advice: don’t walk, RUN.
In this post, you will learn how to roast brussels sprouts and bacon in the oven, and on the stovetop. Feel free to eat them plain (as a side-dish to some baked potatoes) or, like the title says, put it all on top of a pizza.
Tip: If pizza is your goal, I recommend making the brussels sprouts and bacon while the pizza dough is rising, because the dough takes at least 1 hour to rise.
Either way, the first step is for the sprouts and bacon to get friendly.
There are two methods to choose from, though your ingredients are the same for each:
1 lb. brussels sprouts, quartered
4 – 8 slices of bacon, chopped roughly
2 T. melted fat of choice
salt and pepper
Method #1: Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
Thaw your bacon. Preheat your oven to 400F. Take a large baking sheet and line it with tinfoil.
Melt your fat of choice (I chose butter, as I always do – you can also use coconut oil, bacon fat, ghee, olive oil, etc.) in a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl. Microwave in very short (about 5-second) intervals, mixing it in between, so it doesn’t spit angrily in the microwave, like my butter did.
Cut the brown ends off each sprout as much as you can, without making the sprout fall apart into individual leaves. Quarter the sprouts (cut in half, then in half again) and toss them into the large mixing bowl of melted fat. Stir to coat. Generously salt and pepper.
Now, take a scissors to your bacon and cut it all up into bite-sized chunks, right into the brussels sprouts bowl. Deciding on the quantity of bacon is not an exact science – use as much or as little as you please. I recommend going overboard.
Now, give it a final stir to combine the sprouts and bacon evenly, and spread the mixture onto the tinfoiled baking sheet.
Your total baking time will be 30 – 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes, take the sheet out of the oven, and flip the sprouts and bacon with a plastic spatula (don’t use metal – it’ll rip the tinfoil up, in my experience) or tongs, so they don’t burn or stick.
Method #2: Pan-Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
Thaw your bacon.
Cut the brown ends off each sprout as much as you can, without making the sprout fall apart into individual leaves. Quarter the sprouts (cut in half, then in half again) and set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once heated, take a scissors to your bacon and cut it all up into bite-sized chunks, right into the pan. Deciding on the quantity of bacon is not an exact science – use as much or as little as you please. I recommend going overboard.
Let your bacon cook just enough so it’s starting to sweat (it should not be browned much, if at all – I’d estimate 2 minutes), and then add your sprouts. Salt and pepper generously, straight into the pan.
Cover the pan. Turn your heat down to medium-low for about 15 minutes, stirring intermittently, and then back to medium for about 15 more, stirring more frequently.
Homemade Pizza Tip: I really believe the secret to delicious pizza is to finely chop your toppings, vegetable or meat. You know when you’re eating a slice of pizza, and you bite into a large piece of topping that pulls everything off the rest of the slice, so you’re left with a sad, empty crust? Finely chopping your toppings fixes this problem.
Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Pizza
Pizza Dough (makes 2 crusts)
3 c. flour
1 & 1/4 c. warm water
1 package instant yeast
a pinch of salt & sugar
optional: dried oregano, red pepper flakes, dried basil
cooked brussels sprouts and bacon mixture
a log of mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
preferred quantity of pizza sauce
optional toppings: mushrooms, onion/shallot, pepperoni, garlic, chèvre, spinach, etc.
In a large mixing bowl (preferably, a stand-mixer with a dough-hook attachment), add the package of yeast, and the pinch of sugar.
Add 1 & 1/4 c. of warm water (not lukewarm, but not hot). Let sit for up to 30 minutes, at least for 10. Watch the yeast bloom! After it is done sitting and blooming, add your pinch of salt, and your optional dried herbs & spices.
In the large mixing bowl, slowly incorporate the flour, 1/2 cup at a time. I like to use half whole-wheat flour, half white flour, in my pizza dough. Mix with the dough hook, or with your hand.
Once the flour is incorporated, let the hook beat the dough on low for a few minutes, until it forms a relatively smooth ball; then, knead with your hands briefly to shape.
Add 1 Tb. of olive oil to the empty mixing bowl, and put the dough back in the bowl, rolling it around in the oil. Cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise for 45 minutes to 3 hours in a warm spot, depending on how much time you have to spare.
Once the time has passed, take the ball and halve it, creating two dough balls. Knead each half for 2 minutes, and then put them back into the oiled bowl. Cover to rise for another 15 minutes to 1 hour.
As the dough begins to rise for the second time, preheat your oven to 400F. Chop your toppings. Grate or slice the cheese (a fresh mozzarella log can simply be pulled apart).
Take a baking sheet with edges (so the oil doesn’t spill into the oven) and use a paper towel to grease it liberally with olive oil.
Roll out one of the dough balls on the oiled sheet, gently. You can make two pizzas simultaneously, or saran wrap and refrigerate the other dough ball to use in the next couple of days.
Rub the edges of your pizza crust with pesto, if you have it. Poke holes in the crust, and bake for 5 minutes.
Take the crust out, and now add your toppings in whatever order you please. I generally stick with sauce, then cheese, then toppings. Make sure to sprinkle your grated parmesan on last.
Move your oven rack as high as it can go, and bake the pizza there for 10 – 15 minutes.
Original Oven-Roasting Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
Pizza Inspiration: Cast Iron Skillet Brussels Sprouts Bacon Pizza