Hazelnut and Pancetta Brussels Sprouts

Christmas Brussels Sprouts Recipe

What can one say about brussels sprouts that hasn’t been said a million times over? Much maligned, they have been dealt a dodgy hand in life, even by vegetable standards. This is simply unfair. Butchered decade after decade by unknowing hands, it seems that many just don’t know how to cook brussels sprouts. But the preparation of these mini-brassicas is simpler than most seem to think, as this recipe for Hazelnut and Pancetta Brussels Sprouts proves.

As with any brassica, overcooking your sprouts will only cause them to lose sweetness and develop their trademark taste, hated by all. Personally, I’ve never been one for boiling sprouts; frying tends to lead to better results. Of course, deciding on how to prepare brussels sprouts depends on how you’d like to eat them, but in most cases water is not necessary. A knob of butter and a little added flavour – hazelnut and pancetta, perhaps – and you’ll have everyone at the table praising your culinary abilities.

How to Prepare Brussels Sprouts

Pancetta may seem like an expensive ingredient to use, but even we frugal fellows need a modicum of luxury in our lives. Besides, a little pancetta goes a long way and while 25g may seem like nothing at all, the amount flavour it bestows on this dish is surprising. Not bad for a lump of meat and fat worth approximately 50p.

More complex than plain sprouts, this recipe for hazelnut and pancetta brussels sprouts is nevertheless simple and quick enough to be perfect for both Sunday roasts and the all important Christmas dinner. The hazelnuts in particular give this dish a festive feel worth having at your table and you’ll never regret the small amount of extra work involved.

Hazelnut and Pancetta Brussels Sprouts

Serves 2-4


  • 250g brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 50g hazelnuts
  • 25g pancetta, diced
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • A pinch of salt and pepper


  1. Start by dry frying your hazelnuts over a gentle heat until cooked through. This should only take a few minutes.
  2. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the diced pancetta and cook until crispy.
  3. Add the quartered sprouts and cook on a high heat for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, roughly break the hazelnuts, leaving some whole.
  4. Add the nuts to the sprouts and cook for a further 3 minutes. Season to taste – a pinch of each should do – and serve immediately.

Best Way to Cook Brussels Sprouts Hazelnut and Pancetta Brussels Sprouts

Cost: Despite containing a couple of luxuries – pancetta and hazelnuts – this dish, perfect as a side or at lunch, can be made for as little as £1.50.

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24 comments on “Hazelnut and Pancetta Brussels Sprouts

  1. movita beaucoup
    October 19, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    I’ve been trying to convince my father to try Brussels sprouts done in a manner like this for months. He had some BAD sprout experiences growing up…

    • frugalfeeding
      November 16, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      Haha – didn’t we all? He must try it!

  2. Wings of Harmony
    October 19, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    Wow, looks so mouth – watering and yet deceptively simple! Nice one, there. 🙂

  3. cookinginsens
    October 19, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Yes, time for brussel sprouts.

  4. thepaddingtonfoodie
    October 19, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    One of my favourite vegetables, much to the dismay of my family. These look absolutely delicious.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 16, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      They need to taste these; converts they’ll become.

  5. midihideaways
    October 20, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Yikes, Christmas can’t be too far away!! 🙂

  6. francesca
    October 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    it’s a winning combination for sure – hard to go wrong with bacon and something that reminds me of nutella. Yum.

  7. Anne Bonney
    October 21, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    Ah, I’m trying this with my next sprouts purchase!

  8. Michelle
    October 22, 2014 at 3:44 am

    In my book, one can’t say enough about Brussels sprouts. And those look worth every word.

    • frugalfeeding
      November 16, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      Thank you! I don’t really know why people are so against them.

  9. Korena in the Kitchen
    October 22, 2014 at 3:59 am

    Pan-roasted sprouts are my favorite – hazelnuts and pancetta sound like fantastic additions!

  10. myriam / rhubarb! rhubarb! rhubarb!
    October 22, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    I just discovered your blog, and love your sense* of taste! Frugal + gourmet is exactly how I like my food, and this combination sounds mouthwatering.

    * no pun intended

  11. Grace
    October 24, 2014 at 5:13 am

    This looks absolutely delicious – certainly doesn’t look like it costs so little.

  12. Sarah
    November 1, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    If you think of them as mini cabbages, they seem much cuter 🙂 I love them too and hope they grow for me this winter.

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