All right, friends. Let’s have an honest conversation about vegetables. I love them. I really do. Salads, roasted root vegetables, snap peas, kale and all that antioxidant goodness.
Here’s the thing though, on Thanksgiving, I don’t really care about the greens (I’m excluding great bean casserole from this, because it’s one of my favorites, and it has way too much cream and fried onions to be considered “greens”). I always take an obligatory scoop of salad and tuck it in that far corner of the plate where the vinegar and shredded carrots won’t touch my “real food”
In case you are beginning to judge me for my view of salad on Thanksgiving, ask yourself and your family what all of their favorite parts of the Thanksgiving meal are, and not a one will tell you “mmm…I just have to have the greens!”
This is where Bacon Cranberry Brussel Sprout Medley comes in. It’s got a ton of greens in it! All the other delicious goodies in there elevate these greens to the same type of decadent status that the rest of the Thanksgiving feast has naturally. Greens, and crispy bacon, sweet/tart cranberries, toasted pecans, and a hint of orange zest!
I promise, you won’t rush your way through this veggie side first thing so you can get to your stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy!
It’s so easy to put together, and only takes up about 20 minutes of the busy oven schedule on Thanksgiving Day! Plus, it makes your house smell like bacon, and all your guests will be dying to try it by the time you eat dinner!
I used to HATE brussel sprouts, but then I realized that was only because I had only eaten them when they were mushy. Once I tried them crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, I was hooked. The texture of this is aided by the bacon fat! It helps them crisp right up.
I just can’t make appropriate portions of all these Thanksgiving dishes with such a small household, so feel free to double this (that would mean two jelly roll pans) if you’ve got a lot of people to feed!
I love balsamic vingear combined with brussel sprouts, and I couldn’t resist adding a little, even though I really wanted the orange and cranberry flavors to be the star. The balsamic complements them nicely!
Tell me, how do you honestly feel about the greens at Thanksgiving?
- 4 cups brussel sprouts
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup pecans, chopped fine
- 2 tbl balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp orange zest
- ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Wash and trim brussel sprouts. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
- Chop bacon into ½” pieces and transfer to a large sauté pan over medium heat until browned and crispy.
- Once bacon is cooked, remove pan from heat and add brussel sprouts, cranberries, pecans, orange zest and balsamic vinegar. Toss to coat mixture in bacon fat.
- Transfer mixture to jelly roll pan and spread as evenly as possible. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until brussel sprouts are browned and soft. After 10 minutes, take mixture out and turn with a spatula and return to oven.