Linguine with Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Shallots

Main Dish, Pasta, Pork, Quick Meals | 24 comments

We spent last Monday at the Botanic Gardens with the kids. It was a lot of fun, though exhausting because it was 90 degrees without a cloud in sight that day. On the way home we drove past Whole Foods and decided to stop since I had a list of fruits and vegetables I needed to buy. The nearest Whole Foods is a good 35 minutes from our house so we don’t often go.


We’ve really been working with Logan on trying new foods ever since I found out about all the foods his teacher said he would eat at school during snack time. Foods he would never eat for us. I told him that anytime he saw a new food at the grocery store that looked interesting he should tell me that he wanted to try it. This time it was Brussels sprouts. Surprised? Me too!


I knew that by the time we would get home it would be pretty late and we weren’t really that hungry because we had stopped for frozen custard after the Botanic Gardens. But I felt like we needed to eat some real food. Browsing the How to Cook Everything iPhone app (highly recommend this!) while Eric drove so I could get a head start on dinner, I found a recipe for Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon. Incidentally, Logan has also been asking to try bacon.


I decided to turn this simple and quick side dish into an easy main dish for us to eat. Logan didn’t like the Brussels sprouts or bacon, though at least he tried them – that’s a huge improvement! Madeline only wanted the bacon. And Eric and I loved the whole meal. We even had it again the next day (I needed pictures of the success!) and still loved it. I never knew that bacon would compliment the sprouts so well and I think the shallots really rounded out the flavors.

I hope the Brussels sprouts in our garden do well so we can enjoy this dish many more times.

Linguine with Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Caramelized Shallots

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8 ounces center-cut bacon, chopped*
1 lb. brussel sprouts
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
6 shallots, halved and sliced thin
10 ounces linguine, cooked according to package instructions
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste (if desired)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
freshly grated Parmesan, for serving


Wash the Brussels sprouts Cut each Brussels sprouts into quarters, cutting from the top of the sprout to the bottom (not horizontally). Set aside.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 7-10 minutes. When done, discard about 1/4 of the rendered fat. Keep the remaining in the skillet along with the bacon. Stir in the shallots and saute over medium heat until tender and caramelized, 3-5 minutes.

Add the sprouts and 1/4 cup of water to the pan. Season with salt and pepper, turn the heat to medium, and cook covered and undisturbed for about 3-5 minutes. Sprouts should be nearly tender.

When the sprouts are ready, uncover and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook until excess water has evaporated and sprouts have reached desired tenderness – but do not overcook. Remove from heat. Stir in the pasta, balsamic vinegar, thyme, and additional salt (if desired).

Serve immediately and top with freshly grated Parmesan.

*Note: I prefer center-cut bacon in most all recipes because it has less fat and calories with all the great taste of bacon.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Jessica @ How Sweet - June 07, 2010 @ 11:02 am

    I love cooking with shallots – one of my favorite ingredients! And bacon, well, I adore it. Perfect dish to me!


  • 2
    ABowlOfMush - June 07, 2010 @ 11:51 am

    Looks like an absolutely gorgeous linguine recipe! :)


  • 3
    Nick (Macheesmo) - June 07, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

    Wow. I can't believe he wanted to try brussel sprouts! Most kids despise those! I don't think I even started liking them until I was 20…This dish looks totally delicious.


  • 4
    Lyndsey - June 07, 2010 @ 12:59 pm

    This does look good. My daughter liked brussels sprouts way before I even prepared them, she had them at a friend's house. I did learn to like them when I roasted them with balsamic. She eats very well and is now 15 and still tries new things. I always use shallots instead of onions, it's more popular at our house. Thanks for a great recipe!


  • 5
    Cheeky Kitchen - June 07, 2010 @ 1:35 pm

    Brussels?!!!!!!!!!!!LOVE.I'm all over this recipe tonight. THANK YOU, Katie!


  • 6
    Tasty Eats At Home - June 07, 2010 @ 1:36 pm

    Good for him! I'm hoping to take advantage of all the produce at the farmers markets in the coming months, and the kids are going to choose something from the market to use in their cooking. Crossing my fingers that they pick something surprising, like brussels sprouts! This does look great.


  • 7
    Maria - June 07, 2010 @ 4:31 pm

    I love brussel sprouts, I just wish I could get the hubs to eat them:)


  • 8
    Nina T. - June 07, 2010 @ 7:00 pm

    Ok I just printed this out…..I'm really drooling over here! :P Thanks for posting this!!!


  • 9
    Amy from She Wears Many Hats - June 08, 2010 @ 1:07 am

    That's impressive, about Logan trying the sprouts. It does look tasty!


  • 10
    Cherine - June 08, 2010 @ 7:23 am

    This looks so good!


  • 11
    dining sets - June 08, 2010 @ 8:03 am

    This is really something very good! I want to try this one out! Thanks for the share.


  • 12
    lisa - June 08, 2010 @ 10:59 am

    Im new to the site and made this dish last night and threw in some asparagus, it was great! Thanks for the recipe


  • 13
    Amy K - June 08, 2010 @ 6:36 pm

    I've never cooked with brussel sprouts before, but after your post & lovely photos (which even has one of my three kiddos intrigued, too!) I'm definitely preparing this within the next week!! I can't wait to try it!! Thanks for sharing & WTG Logan & Madeline for trying it!!


  • 14
    Joanne - June 08, 2010 @ 8:51 pm

    I have been loving mark bittman lately. I swear that man is a genius. This recipe looks fantastic! Brussel sprouts are one of my favorite veggies.


  • 15
    twistedkitchen - June 09, 2010 @ 5:49 am

    Wow, that looks so good. Thanks for the idea.


  • 16
    Tickled Red - June 09, 2010 @ 1:54 pm

    That is the perfect end of the day quick meal :) Healthy and delicious.


  • 17
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - June 10, 2010 @ 2:25 am

    This looks great… You always make the best pasta dishes!And, I have to tell you… I LOVE the wood table/surface that you staged the pictures on. Beautiful texture and color. It really makes the colors of the food pop in the pictures.


  • 18
    Michelle @ Taste As You Go - June 16, 2010 @ 3:35 am

    I've roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon before (PS. YUM), but I've never tried the combination tossed with pasta. What a brilliant idea and such a simple meal!


  • 19
    Mark - June 18, 2010 @ 11:16 pm

    Katie,Just a little Father's Day weekend "heads-up" for readers who were on the fence about the Bittman App, the How to Cook Everything App is actually on special this weekend for only $1.99 (http://www.howtocookeverthingapp.com)Yippee!


  • 20
    Pili - July 16, 2010 @ 11:10 pm

    This looks delicious! I must try this one for sure!


  • 21
    Cait - January 09, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

    Just made this and it was wonderful! Added some dried figs (chopped) to the shallots as they caramelized. YUM! Thanks so much for the great recipe.


  • 22
    Shawn - February 28, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

    I know you posted this recipe quite some time ago…but I finally got around to making it! OMG! Loved it! A super light dinner with amazing taste. I only had 2 very big shallots and plan to add 4 more next time I make this. Really tasty and delish! Loved every bite! Thanks!


  • 23
    Ali r - March 20, 2012 @ 10:43 pm

    Oh my gawd! I made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing. My roommate an I both had two bowls. I did modify just a smidge, took the brussel sprouts down to 3/4 of a pound and added a 1/2 pound of broccoli. Just before mixing the pasta in, I threw in 3 eggs and scrambled them into the veggies. Oh, and I used turkey bacon. Delicious. I can’t wait to make this again and I have a large tupperware of leftovers in the fridge still!


  • 24
    Aimee @ Simple Bites - September 13, 2012 @ 7:53 am

    This is going to be dinner tonight. Lucky us!


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