Our best brussels sprouts appetizer- brussels sprouts wrapped in bacon with a balsamic brown sugar glaze! Perfect for parties and tailgates. And we even included a creamy mustard dip, or you can serve them with our popular homemade honey mustard sauce for extra sweetness!
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Our readers are big fans of the pomegranate brussels sprout salad and have been asking for more brussels sprout recipes.
But if you have seen my goat cheese and beet bites you know I strongly believe that small bites should pack maximum flavor. Don't get me wrong, I love chips and dip, but little nibbles are always more popular at my parties.
And a half brussels sprout is the perfect size for a one-bite appetizer!
Do you need more reasons to make this brussels sprout recipe? Okay... here you go:
- Can be prepped in advance and popped in the oven before serving
- They can be served warm or at room temperature making them perfect for parties or potlucks
- Naturally gluten-free and dairy free
- Ideal for Fall and Winter holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas
🧾 Ingredients and Substitutions
All you need for this recipe is the obvious, brussels sprouts and bacon plus a few pantry staples.
- Brussels sprouts - You will need about a pound, maybe a little is they are small. You want to pick small to medium-sized brussels sprouts. You can use purple or green brussels sprouts.
- Bacon - Thin-cut bacon is preferred because it wraps easier. Use a regular smoke variety and not additional flavors like maple or pepper.
- Balsamic vinegar- No need to buy the fancy one. Because we are adding sugar and reducing a mid-tier variety is good enough.
- Brown sugar- You can also use coconut sugar or honey if you prefer.
- Dijon mustard- Brown or grainy mustards work fine as well. If you only have honey mustard, skip the brown sugar.
Creamy Mustard Dipping Sauce
- Dijon mustard
- Fresh parsley
See the recipe card for quantities.
⏲️ How to Make Bacon-Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
This appetizer recipe is perfect for beginning cooks and foodies alike. Easy to make and maximum flavors. You might even be able to get that picky eater to try a brussels sprout!
Step 1- Prep the Pan
Preheat your oven to 400˚F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and set a cooling rack inside the baking sheet. Set aside.
Propping them up will allow the air to circulate around the bacon and make them less greasy.
Step 2- Trim and Wrap the Brussels Sprouts
To trim the brussels sprouts, use a small paring knife to cut off any knobby stems. Remove any brown outer leaves. Then cut it in half lengthwise.
I like to lightly season them with salt, but that is optional.
Wrap each sprout with a half piece of bacon and place on the wire rack, with the bacon seam side down.
Depending on the length of the bacon you may get 3 wraps from one piece. Test one by cutting the bacon piece in half. The bottom of the bacon should just overlap. You don't want the brussels sprout to be wrapped more than once fully.
Step 3- Glaze
In a small pan mix together the balsamic vinegar, mustard, and brown sugar. I prefer to use a saute pan over a saucepan because it makes dipping the pastry brush in for the glazing easier.
Bring to a simmer and reduce until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Whisk occasionally to help accelerate the brown sugar dissolving.
Use a pastry brush to brush the glaze on top of the sprouts.
Step 3- Bake and Serve
Bake 25 to 35 minutes. Bacon should just be getting crispy. It is optional to turn them halfway through. You need the glaze to be fully crisped before turning. But do rotate the pan at the halfway mark to ensure even cooking.
Transfer to a serving platter and serve with mustard sauce.
Creamy Mustard Sauce
While the sprouts are baking mix together all the ingredients for the dip, I like to put a sprinkling of parsley on top of the dip as well. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
🥘 Expert Tips
- I can't emphasize enough that you should cut the brussels sprouts in half. These are meant to be one-bite appetizers. Have you ever tried to bite a whole brussels sprout in half? Not easy.
- Only glaze the top of the bacon-wrapped brussels sprouts. If you glaze the bottoms it will make them stick to the rack.
- Don't overcook the sprouts, we want them to be a little crunchy.
Keto Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
This appetizer is perfect for the keto diet with a simple modification. You have two options:
- Omit the glaze altogether.
- Omit the brown sugar.
I personally don't like the taste of Swerve and other Keto-friendly sweeteners. If you leave out the brown sugar just increase the balsamic. The vinegar will reduce down to a glaze, just might take a few minutes longer.
A note on balsamic vinegar and the keto diet, cheap brands of balsamic will add sugar so be sure to check the label.
Tip: Going tailgating? Add these Keto Buckeyes to your menu too! Go Bucks!
You may be wondering if you really need to bake the sprouts on a wire rack. And the answer is, it is preferable. The bacon will crisp up better.
If you don't have a wire rack, be sure to line the pan with foil or parchment. Drain off any excess fat halfway through baking the brussels sprouts.
If you don't have a silicone pastry brush you can pour the glaze onto a small saucer and carefully dip the sprouts in the sauce.
🌡️ Making Ahead and Storage
The brussels sprouts can be prepped and wrapped in the bacon the night before you plan on serving. Go ahead and place them right on your baking rack set up.
Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator. Glaze right before baking.
You can make the glaze the night before as well but I typically do not as it needs to be reheated and it only takes a few minutes to make fresh.
The creamy mustard dip can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving,
Leftover cooked bacon brussels sprouts should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge. They are best eaten cold or reheated in the oven on a baking sheet at 300 F degrees until warmed through.
👩🏻🍳 More Appetizer Ideas
💬 Frequently Asked Questions
They are different varietals. Purple ones are known for being sweeter but that isn't always the case. You can use either in this recipe.
For a one-bite appetizer, you should absolutely cut them in half. Or even quarters if they are really large. While roasted brussels sprouts can be prepared whole or halved, appetizer portions should be easy to consume in one bite.
Balsamic Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
Creamy Mustard Dipping Sauce
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and set a cooling rack inside the baking sheet. Set aside.
- Trim the brussels sprouts. Remove any brown outer leaves. Cut in half lengthwise. Season with salt and pepper.1 pound brussels sprouts
- Wrap each sprout with a half piece of bacon. Place on wire rack, seam side down.1 pound brussels sprouts, 1 Pounds bacon
- In a small pan mix together the balsamic vinegar, mustard, and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer and reduce until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Use a pastry brush to brush the glaze on top of the sprouts.¼ cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- Bake 25 to 35 minutes. Bacon should just be getting crispy. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with mustard sauce.
Creamy Mustard Sauce
- While the sprouts are baking mix together all the ingredients. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve.1 teaspoon dijon mustard, ½ cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Brussels sprouts can be prepped and wrapped a day in advance. Place on rack in a sheet pan and cover with plastic wrap. Glaze right before baking.
- Dip can be made up to 2 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.