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Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Pancetta

These Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Pancetta take only 15 minutes to cook, making it the perfect side dish! Recipe with step-by-step photos.



  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add 1 teaspoon of sea salt.
  2. Meanwhile, trim the ends of the Brussels sprouts and remove any discoloured leaves. For large sprouts, cut an “X” at the bottom to help them cook more quickly.
  3. Cook the Brussels sprouts in the boiling water for about 5 minutes.
  4. Drain the Brussels sprouts.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.
  6. Cook the pancetta until they have browned nicely on all sides.
  7. Add the garlic and onion, and stir for about 1 minute until they become translucent.
  8. Add the cooked Brussels sprouts and give everything a good mix.
  9. Carefully separate the chestnuts and try to keep them whole.
  10. Add the chestnuts to the saucepan and stir for a few minutes to warm them through.
  11. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
  12. Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Kitchen Notes

I prefer to cook with small (or very small) Brussels sprouts which are about the size of large grapes or small cherry tomatoes. Ideally, they should be bite-sized and about the same size as the chestnuts. Small Brussels sprouts tend to be less bitter and are usually sweeter and nuttier in taste.

Pancetta is Italian-style bacon and it is often sold in small slabs or ready-cubed in packets. You could also use French lardon or thick-cut bacon in this recipe.

For this recipe, it is easiest to use pre-cooked chestnuts. I like to use pre-cooked chestnuts which are sold in vacuum-sealed packs, but you can also find them sold in glass jars or frozen. If you have the time and opportunity, you could also roast and peel your own chestnuts.

To cut down on the cooking and preparation time, I recommend the following:
* buy Brussels sprouts which have already been trimmed, prepared and washed
* buy pancetta or bacon which have already been cubed
* if you are using vacuum-sealed chestnuts, separate the chestnuts ahead of time and store them in a zip-lock freezer bag in the fridge until needed

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.