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Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries

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Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts with glazed pecans and dried cranberries are a sweet and salty side dish that not only looks beautiful but tastes fantastic.

Great for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas (although do not let that stop you year-round!), this Brussels Sprouts side dish is sure to win over the taste buds in your house. And we all like easy dishes, and this one counts as that!

Simple prep, this recipe is an un-scary addition to a plate that takes no time at all and serves perfectly as a steak side dish, with a lamb chop, or with most chicken breast recipes.

pecan brussels sprouts with cranberries being picked up by a spoon

Why you will love this Holiday Side Dish

For whatever reason, Brussels Sprouts get a bad rap. I don’t know if it’s the whole idea of being forced to eat vegetables as a child, but staring at a plated pile of Brussels Sprouts can drag fear out of the most confident child.

Admittedly I didn’t understand these green balls until I was much older. Through a fluke of my husband trying them at a restaurant smothered in bacon and INSISTING we eat them at the house, I barely even knew they existed.

That was about five years, ok, and since then, it’s like my entire mouth awakened, and I make them constantly.

This particular recipe is super simple, focusing on softening the hard Brussels Sprouts by boiling them first. Then, after halving the Brussels Sprouts, sautéing up with a bit of oil and adding glazed pecans and cranberries.

Originally I had started this recipe out with the idea that I would make Brussels Sprouts and chestnuts to bring a lot more “Christmas” value to this side dish, but I could not find them anywhere, so here we are.

I am relatively pleased with the recipe, and judging by my husband’s reaction and an empty plate; it’s a winner of a side dish.

Cranberry & Pecan Brussels Sprouts Ingredients

Before getting started, make sure you have all ingredients on hand. Once verified, scroll through the recipe to see step-by-step instructions or head to the bottom for a condensed, easy-to-print recipe version.

  • 16oz Brussels Sprouts – typically comes in bags. Even if there are only “microwavable steam in the bag” available, those are fine. It just means the raw vegetable is in the bag.
  • One bag of glazed pecans – typically, you can find glazed nuts in the produce departments, near snacks, AND in baking aisles.
  • EVOO – EVOO is short for Extra Virgin Olive Oil and is an excellent oil to pan fry halved brussels sprouts. 
  • Dried cranberries – While I love fresh cranberries in many holiday side dish recipes, dried cranberries (also known as Craisins) work perfectly for this perfect side dish. As a substitute, other options include dried blueberries, dried cherries, or even golden brown raisins. 
  • Kosher salt & black pepper – Salt and pepper are an absolute must, and while I do not personally need extra spices, some garlic powder or a few pepper flakes can change this veggie up. 
brussels sprouts in a dish with cranberries

Prepping & Boiling Brussels Sprouts

  1. To get started, the first step is to boil whole raw Brussels Sprouts in a saucepan.
  2. Put all Brussels Sprouts into the pan, cover with water (They will float), and place on stovetop. Bring to a boil and then continue rolling boil for three additional minutes.
  3. Remove sprouts from heat and drain (carefully!) in a colander. Let Brussels Sprouts cool down to the touch.
  4. Once able to handle Brussels Sprouts easily, chop straight down the middle, halving them. Complete with all sprouts and set them aside.
boiling brussels sprouts in a saucepan

Sautéing Glazed Pecans

  1. With sprouts halved off to the side, move on to the next step. Drizzle Olive Oil (about a tablespoon) into a skillet and bring to medium/medium-high heat.
  2. Once the oil is heated (it should take a minute or two), dump 16 oz, bag of Glazed Pecans into skillet and let warm, sauté the nuts for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Let them warm up and stir often enough that they do not stick to the pan and allow them to heat.
drizzling olive oil in pan

Pan Frying Brussels Sprouts

  1. Add Brussels Sprouts back to the pan and continue to sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes. At this level, it is fine to add another tablespoon or drizzle of oil as needed to get a bit of crisp or brown edges onto the sprouts.
  2. I use tongs to place mine straight down on the pan, so the open-faced portion gets some golden.
  3. Generously season with a pinch of salt and black pepper.
  4. Once they reach the level of brown you want (usually under 5 minutes), remove from heat and dump in 1/2 cup of dried cranberries.
  5. Give a stir before serving hot.
adding in cranberries

Variations in Cranberry Brussels Sprouts

This cranberry Brussels Sprouts recipe with pecans is relatively easily altered for different tastes and textures to produce a side dish customized to your family. 

  • Toppings – Easily change out glazed pecans for glazed walnuts. Additionally, bagged nuts work fine in this recipe (although the sweet glaze with the salty Brussels Sprout is a great addition and unique to the recipe). Another recommendation is to look at the bags of salad toppers that come with nuts and dried fruits to add. There are often mixtures of nuts with dried strawberries, cranberries, raisins, or blueberries that would also work fine with this method of cooking Brussels Sprouts.
  • Dressings – Dressings typically go great with these vegetables ( for example, the homemade Caesar dressing on Caesar Brussels Sprouts), and sticking to this recipe, a tablespoon Balsamic Reduction, Balsamic Vinegar Glaze, or a Balsamic Vinaigrette would complement it well. At the holiday table, brussels sprouts also go well with sweet, so a drizzle of maple syrup can also be welcome.
  • Crumbled Soft Cheeses – Gourmet cheeses often make their way into many Brussels Sprouts side dishes like this, so feel free to add a bit of crumbled Gorgonzola, Goat Cheese, or Blue Cheese to this dish (based on your tastes).
  • Cooked, Crumbled, and Crispy Bacon Pieces – Need I say more? When cooking the bacon first, combine the leftover bacon grease with extra oil to pan-fry brussels sprouts. You also get that delicious bacon flavor, making this dish a real comfort food.
brussels sprouts being served with a spatula

How to store leftover Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts can be left in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days. Rewarm on the stove over a little heated oil. 

There are many ways to enjoy a Brussels Sprout!

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Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Sautéed Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts with glazed pecans and dried cranberries, is an incredible Brussels Sprouts side dish that is perfect for both regular dinner sides and for special holidays like Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas Dinner and even Easter! Tastes fancy, looks fancy but is simple to prepare- all the best combinations of a delicious and easy Brussels Sprouts side dish!

Ingredients
 

Cranberry Pecan Brussels Sprouts Ingredients

  • 1 pound Brussels Sprouts raw whole
  • 5 oz. glazed pecans bag
  • EVOO
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Boil whole raw Brussels Sprouts in a saucepan. Put all Brussels Sprouts into pan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Continue on rolling boil for 3 additional minutes.
  • Remove saucepan from heat and drain water in a colander. Let Brussels Sprouts cool down to the touch.
  • Once Brussels Sprouts are cooled, halve each one and set aside. (they should cut fairly easily)
  • Using a skillet, drizzle a bit of Olive Oil (about a tablespoon) into a skillet and bring pan to medium/medium-high heat.
  • Once oil is heated, dump 16 oz. bag of Glazed Pecans into skillet and let warm.
  • Sauté the glazed pecans for 2-3 minutes. Let them warm up and stir often enough that they do not stick to the pan but also allowing them to heat.
  • Add halved Brussels Sprouts back to pan and continue to sauté for an additional 3-4 minutes. At this level, it is fine to add another tablespoon or drizzle of oil as needed to get a bit of crisp or brown edges onto the sprouts. Tongs can be helpful with individually placing sprouts down on pan.
  • Generously season entire pan with salt and pepper.
  • Brussels Sprouts should begin to brown up a slight bit and its fine to decide what level of "golden" you want.
  • Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup of dried cranberries.
  • Combine and stir all ingredients together.
  • Serve as is or add a bit of Balsamic Glaze on top (OPTIONAL).

Notes

  • Toppings – Easily change out glazed pecans for glazed walnuts. Additionally, any bagged nuts work fine in this recipe (although the sweet glaze with the salty Brussels Sprout is a great addition and brings something special to the recipe). Another recommendation is to look at the bags of salad toppers that come with nuts and dried fruits to add. There are often mixtures of nuts with dried strawberries, cranberries, raisins or blueberries that would also work fine with this method of cooking Brussels Sprouts.
  • Dressings – Dressings typically go great with these vegetables ( for example the homemade Caesar dressing on Caesar Brussels Sprouts) and sticking to this recipe, a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar Glaze or a Balsamic Vinaigrette would complement it well.
  • Crumbled Soft Cheeses – Gourmet cheeses often make their way into many Brussels Sprouts side dishes like this, so feel free to add a bit of crumbled Gorgonzola, Goat Cheese, or Blue Cheese to this dish (based on your own tastes).
  • Cooked, Crumbled, and Crispy Bacon Pieces – Need I say more?

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 99mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 16g

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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