Are you ready to for a killer vegetable side dish that could easily take the starring role of any meal? Well, then please continue to read about this roasted butternut squash and brussels sprouts with a maple bacon glaze.
When did brussel sprouts become one of the cool kids at school? Butternut squash has always been cool. Who doesn’t love the sweetness of the butternut squash that can make deliciously, creamy soup (if you are in mood for soup check out my butternut squash soup here) or the colorful addition to a salad? But, brussels sprouts? I never thought they would join the ranks with the butternut, but I think the morsels of cruciferous goodness finally have made a name for themselves. Now, think of the power that this unexpected duo will have when paired together. Butternut squash and brussels sprouts. Seriously? Actually, these two veggies shine in the spotlight when prepared in my Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts with Maple Bacon Glaze.
Butternut squash + Brussels Sprouts + Maple + Bacon = taste bud heaven!
I have always loved brussels sprouts so seeing them pop up onto every popular restaurant menu over the years has been wonderful. The mini cabbage looking morsels are prepared perfectly and loaded with flavor. I am surprised by how satisfying a mere brussels sprout can be.
Bacon must be one of the more natural counterparts for brussels sprouts. The super umami punch of flavor brings the sprouts alive and the bacon fat makes an excellent cooking medium. I am already drooling.
The idea for this dish evolved at Christmas. I was searching for a vegetable side dish to make for Christmas dinner that my mainly vegetarian mom would enjoy. She loves butternut squash and so I thought combining the two vegetables would work well. Although my mom doesn’t care for most meat, she likes bacon (who doesn’t?!) if it is cooked well. Please see my necessary tangent below regarding bacon. From bacon my mind naturally drifted to maple syrup because I had started to think of pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Doesn’t that sound delicious? Bacon and maple. Do I really need to explain that combination more?
Ok, time for an absolutely necessary tangent.
We all know bacon is amazing, right? Whether it is for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or random snack with guacamole (yes that is a thing. You should try it, now!), bacon is possibly addictive. Well, I found bacon that is even more addictive and amazing. The bacon I get from Buy Ranch Direct is possibly the best bacon, EVER! I don’t know what exactly makes it taste better, but it does. If you have some time and a hankering for quality bacon, check out their site and story. I am only bragging about this bacon and this company because I love it and, in no way, am I sponsored. I am a new blogger and excited to share my foodie finds with you all!
Back to the brussels sprouts and butternut squash.
The sweetness of the maple and butternut squash compliment the saltiness and fatness of the bacon, while the brussels sprouts bask in the glory as the star of this dish. The rosemary and sage bring a savory, earthiness to the dish while the cinnamon and clove bring out the sweetness. Orange zest adds brightness to the maple, bacon glaze.
The butternut squash and brussels sprouts are coated with the maple, bacon glaze and then roasted to tender perfection.
Just you wait…Just you wait! (Every time I say those three words the entire soundtrack of Hamilton starts playing in my head.) Once you get these babies into the oven, the smell of them roasting will leave you counting the minutes until they are done.
The next time you are craving something sweet and salty, whip up this recipe. You will satisfy your craving and get some super healthy veggies at same time.
Enjoy and Happy New Year! (I still can’t believe it is 2018!)
Roasted Butternut Squash & Brussel Sprouts with Maple Bacon Glaze
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 lb brussel sprouts
- 4 slices bacon
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp bacon fat (coconut oil or olive oil works as well)
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
- 1/16 tsp clove, ground
- 1/4 tsp salt
- zest orange
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary
- 1/2 tbsp fresh sage
- Preheat oven to 350F. Arrange bacon on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in oven until browned but not burnt. Set bacon aside and pour bacon fat from tray into small bowl.
- Increase oven temperature to 425F and have large baking sheet ready.
- Peel the butternut squash. Slice in half length wise and remove seeds. Chop into 1” pieces. Slice brussel sprouts in half if large. Put sprouts and sqush into large mixing bowl.
- In the small bowl you will need about 3-4 tbsp of fat so, if not enough bacon fat rendered, add in some coconut oil (olive oil will work) to reach needed amount.
- Into the bowl with bacon fat, add in the maple syrup, cinnamon, clove, salt, and orange zest. Whisk together. Taste for seasoning. May need to add extra salt if bacon wasn’t overly salty.
- Pour the maple mixture over the squash and sprouts. Sprinkle in the sage and rosemary. Stir to coat the vegetables.
- On large baking sheet, spread squash and sprout mixture
- Roast in oven until tender rotating pan 90-180 degrees halfway through cooking. Baking time is about 35-45 minutes.
- Chop bacon into nickel sized pieces. In serving bowl, stir in bacon with roasted veggies. Finish with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
I knew I had to try this recipe as soon as it was posted! I am a fan of butternut squash (and bacon-of course 😉) and am always looking for ways to enjoy Brussel sprouts- a somewhat mysterious creature. This recipe hits the jackpot for sure. For me it is the perfect balance of sweet with savory with bitter all in one. Not to mention that beautiful browning that occurs because of the maple syrup based glaze. You get the best of winter comfort food with this dish. I really loved it- Thanks Ashley 👌🏽
I am so glad that you enjoyed this dish and that bit of winter comfort it can bring! Xoxo