Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Maple Orange Glaze Recipe - Skillful Cook
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Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Maple Orange Glaze

15 reviews / 4.9 average
Caramelized brussels sprouts in a white bowl.

The thing about caramelized brussels sprouts is that they are a) adorable, b) delicious, and c) healthy, because they're like baby cabbages disguised as beautiful food.

On our Washington, D.C. weekend getaway, I found various forms of brussels sprouts on every restaurant menu. Caramelized, roasted, chopped, sauteed, braised, you name it. And obvi, I ordered all of them. But there was only one that really made my heart flutter, and that was the caramelized brussels sprouts. How can a real live person say no to that crispy, golden exterior? So lightly sweet and so perfect.

And this is still a VEG-E-TA-BLE we're talking about here.

Brussels in a blue bowl.

Brussels sprouts are totally trendy right now, so in addition to being delicious and 150% cute, if you like them you get a free pass to the Cool Kidz Club because of their built-in awesomeness. And a bonus 200 cool person points for caramelizing them with a sweet maple orange sauce. And crumbling bacon all over them. And yeah, I'm serious.

I made these three different times because I am kind of picky about texture. The first time, they were sure crispy alright. Like, CRISPY crispy. My oven is a leetle bit over-zealous, and it's all my oven. Totally all my oven. The second time, they were smushy and soft when sauteed on the stovetop. Not so much, friends. We're looking for the light crunch factor here.

So the final time, when I got the crunch just right but not too much, it was by doing this:

Brussels in a pan.

That's right, cut side down, in the pan. Not ideal for my lazier moments, because you have to literally place them one. by. one. in the pan. It requires moving your hands for at least two minutes, which... I know. WHAT IS THIS. It's like I became your bossy Jillian Michaels. But the one on one attention to place each of them down in the pan is so worth it. They browned evenly on the cut side, cooked just enough to be fork tender on the back side, and then just sizzled to a perfect caramelization state when I added the sauce.

Angels singing? I hear it too. LALALALALALA.

This plus bacon plus Parmesan equals done. Delicious and done.

And keep barking up that brussels sprouts tree because ->

Chopped Brussels Sprout Salad with Chicken and Walnuts

Chopped Brussels Sprout Salad with Creamy Shallot Dressing

Bacon and Brussels Sprout Salad


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A picture of Simple Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Simple Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

  • Author: Skillful Cook
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 as a side 1x


These caramelized brussels sprouts with a simple maple orange glaze take just 20 minutes from start to finish and pack a little nutrition punch.


  • 6 slices bacon
  • 20 brussels sprouts
  • juice of one navel orange (I got about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 shallot, peeled and quartered
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons stone ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons cane vinegar (any kind would work)
  • 2 teaspoons real maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Parmesan for topping


  1. Remove the base of the brussels sprout by cutting off just the very bottom part of the stem (it's white). If you cut too much off, the leaves will fall apart, so be careful. Slice the brussels sprouts in half as pictured and set aside.
  2. Puree the orange juice, shallot, olive oil, mustard, vinegar, maple syrup, and salt in a food processor until a smooth sauce forms. Taste and adjust if you want more of a certain flavor. Set aside.
  3. Fry the bacon according to package directions until crispy. Drain on paper towels. When cool enough to handle, chop into small pieces. Pour the hot grease into a small heatproof container and set aside.
  4. Return the same pan to medium high heat and add the brussels sprouts to the pan, cut side down. Drizzle with a little bit of the reserved bacon grease (1-2 teaspoons) and gently push the brussels sprouts around in the pan, keeping them cut side down. You might need to do it twice depending on how many you can fit in your pan at one time. After about five minutes, when the brussels sprouts have browned slightly on the cut side and the pan is hot, pour the sauce in with the brussels sprouts. It will sizzle like crazy; that's perfect! Pick the pan up by the handle(s) and shake it a little bit so that the brussels sprouts move around in the pan. They burn easily, especially once the sugars are there, so do this quickly (1 minute or less) and remove from heat when you have the right amount of caramelization. Toss with the reserved bacon and Parmesan cheese. Yummay!
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: brussels sprouts, caramelized brussels sprouts, brussels sprout recipe, orange glaze

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Brussels sprouts are my favorite veggie to eat in the winter and I’m always looking for ways to spice ’em up! This is perfect. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Yep that caramelized base is now haunting my salad dreams. When ever we get brussels in Australia; I am not passing that chance to buy my self some and try your recipe. Veggies are always cute; especially bacon.

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    After I read the title I thought–I bet those would be really good with bacon… And you’d already thought of that! Because you’re a genius.

    I’m super picky about brussels sprouts, too many mushy ones in my childhood. But these look really good! Maybe I’ll try them this weekend!


  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    We love brussels sprouts at our house! I have never made them this way, but amazingly enough I think I have all the ingredients to do this! Now….to find the time…. 😉 Thanks for the great recipe!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    This looks great Lindsay. Thanks! Brussels sprouts are quite strange little vegetables – and you’re right, they’re like minime cabbages packed full of flavours. Thanks for the frying tip – great idea! Love this combo of flavours/ingredients. I just googled and realised that red brussels sprouts also exists – how awesome is that? Have a great day! 🙂

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Ahh crispy texture, I’m sold. I agree with Brussel sprouts it is all about the texture and though I’ve never had it with a glaze, if it involves maple syrup it’s bound to be delicious. Maybe I can even get my hubby to try them!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    The fact that I stumbled across your blog and this is the very first recipe up at the top–it’s ZING, fate! I am in such a brussel sprout groove right now and lady, I love your writing, your photos, and your recipes. Cheers to mini cabbages on my plate tomorrow night, and all that jazz <3

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wonderful – I had actually spotted some Brussels in the supermarket the other day (which being summer I thought was rather strange) but will need to give this recipe a whirl as I do so love Brussels – but funnily enough I hated them as a child in UK, where they seemed to be a regular on our dinner plates day after day! Your pulled pork recipe was also made again yesterday, ready for todays sandwiches.
    Love your recipes…..

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    These brussels sprouts do look good! I love how you added the orange juice, that must have helped with the caramelizing.

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    Yes please! I could absolutely eat a whole plate of the brussels sprouts for lunch–maybe with a fried egg on top? So good!