Thanksgiving Side Dish: Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta

The centerpiece of Thanksgiving is usually a turkey (and I have an incredible recipe for that!) but I’m also a big fan of a great side dish too.

If your family gathering is as large as mine, then you want something substantial. My Brussels sprouts with Italian pancetta is one I make every year and it never disappoints! Even better? It tastes divine the next day for leftovers.



  • 3 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice (It can either be purchased in a slab or pre-cubed.)
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  • First, peel the outer layers of your Brussels sprouts, cut them in half lengthwise.
  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the frozen peas, about 2 minutes. You want them to still have a crunch and not be too mushy.
  • Drain the peas and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • In a large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil with your pancetta. Once crispy, remove and place to the side.
  • Add the sliced sprouts into the same pan you used for the pancetta (you may need to add some additional oil here, a tablespoon or less should suffice) and place them cut-side down until brown. This will give them a nice caramelization.
  • Add the peas back into the pan, along with the pancetta and season with pepper. Mix gently to incorporate all the flavours.
  • This works with any meat, whether turkey, chicken or steak.