By: Leah Golden, MS, RD

Are you a fan of brussel sprouts? These mini cabbages are tiny, but pack some great nutrition! And c’mon, who can pass up crispy roasted brussels with bacon and a lemon honey drizzle…sounds pretty yummy to me. I know there are people out there that are not on the brussels train (I used to be one of them!), but maybe this dish will make you hop on board.  They do have some bitterness, but with the addition of bacon and honey, it adds some savory and sweet notes that really balance the dish out. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.

Brussels sprouts and bacon are a classic dish. I’ve altered this dish over the years, adjusting the ingredients to taste just right. I really enjoy the flavor with the addition of roasted chestnuts and the lemon honey drizzle. Roasted chestnuts always remind me of traveling to Seattle during the Winter with my family as a kid.  We all looked forward to getting fresh roasted chestnuts from the cart outside of the Four Seasons Hotel. If you haven’t had fresh, roasted chestnuts, I highly recommend them. They’re warm, creamy, have a nice savory & nutty flavor. They’re nice alone but go very well paired with brussels sprouts and bacon.

This dish is perfect as a side for dinner or as a mini meal. It’s an easy recipe and will likely appeal to most (trust me, give it a try!).  The lemon honey drizzle has an added kick of crushed red pepper that you can include or omit, depending on your preferred spice tolerance. Enjoy this dish with a garnish of pomegranate seeds (not pictured) for a bright color and an additional pop of sweetness.

Enjoy and let me know if you’ve given it a try! I’d love to know what you think!

~ Leah

Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Chestnuts and Bacon with a Lemon Honey Drizzle

If you’re looking for a savory dish with a touch of sweetness for you next meal, give this recipe a try! These mini cabbages are tiny, but pack some great nutrition! And c’mon, who can pass up crispy roasted brussels with bacon and a lemon honey drizzle…sounds pretty yummy to me. Enjoy this classic dish with a twist of lemon-y honey and creamy chestnuts.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25-35 minutes

Total time: 40-50 minutes

Author: Leah Golden, MS, RD

Recipe type: Side dish

Serves: 6 servings    


Main dish

  • 1.5 lbs or 24 oz brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • Bacon, 5 slices
  • 2 Cups roasted chestnuts, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme + 2-3 whole sprigs

Honey Drizzle

  • 3 T honey
  • 1.5 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1.5 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt


  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 450 ° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Put brussel sprouts on baking sheet, drizzle with a little olive oil and mix till coated.
  2. Roast brussels sprouts in oven for about 25 minutes or until browned and crispy.
  3. While brussel sprouts are roasting, pan fry the bacon in a large cast iron skillet on medium-high heat (or another large skillet) until crispy. Put bacon on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Once drained and cool, chop into bite size pieces. Set aside.
  4. Line a small bowl with aluminum foil and pour the excess bacon fat into the foil. Once cooled, save for future cooking or discard.  Put pan aside.
  5. Make honey lemon drizzle while brussels sprouts finish roasting. In a small saucepan, add honey, lemon juice, lemon zest, red pepper flakes and salt. Warm over medium low heat. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
  6. Once brussels sprouts are taken out of the oven, return the skillet to the burner and set to medium-high heat. Add the sliced chestnuts and fresh thyme to the skillet with bacon fat and mix around often to prevent burning.
  7. After about five minutes the chestnuts should begin to crisp. Add the brussel sprouts to the skillet and stir until crispy and golden.
  8. Add the lemon honey drizzle to the skillet and stir to coat brussel sprouts and chestnuts. Add chopped bacon to skilled and heat for an additional 3-4 minutes.
  9. Taste and add more salt or lemon zest if desired.
  10. Serve immediately and garnish with pomegranate seeds.