This quick and easy Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Carbonara with a silky, cheesy sauce is the perfect way to spruce up your sprouts and get a tasty dinner on the table in 30 minutes.
Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
Love them or hate them, you can’t escape the good old brussels sprouts, especially during the festive season. Personally, I LOVE them but it has taken me a few years to learn the best way to cook them.
Bacon tends to make everything better, including Brussels sprouts. In this Brussels Sprouts pasta, the salty bacon just compliments the sweet Brussels sprouts so perfectly, and the creamy carbonara style sauce with egg yolks and cheese brings everything together.
I’m in love with this dish- it’s the perfect way to use up all the excess Brussels sprouts and bacon that I always seem to end up with at this time of year (too many blankets and not enough pigs!). Plus it is super quick and easy to make, meaning it’s ideal for a busy winter night.
Brussels Sprouts Pasta
Spaghetti or long pasta may be the norm for carbonara but this Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Pasta is great with short shapes like penne or orecchiette too. I personally love it best with Casarecce.
There is a little hint of chilli in this Brussels Sprouts pasta which perfectly compliments the creamy carbonara sauce, but you can leave it out if you are not a fan of spice.
You can make this Brussels Pasta vegetarian by simply omitting the bacon and using a vegetarian friendly parmesan style cheese.
Tips for Making Brussels Sprouts Carbonara
- When you cook your pasta, always make sure to keep at least a few tablespoons of the cooking water before you drain it. You can use this to help loosen the sauce if it’s too thick, plus the starch from the water helps the sauce to stick to the pasta.
- Make sure the pasta is still hot when you mix with the sauce – I like to use tongs or a spider skimmer to transfer the pasta directly from its cooking water into the sauce.
- Season as you go, but be wary with the salt – bacon is super salty, so be cautious about adding too much during cooking. You can go crazy with the black pepper though!
- I like to be super extra when making this dish and cut up my sprouts in a variety of sizes – I slice about half of them into 4 slices each, the rest into 5 or 6. That way, you get a good mix of delicious crispy bits as well as nice tasty chunks.
I hope you like this recipe as much as I do! Please leave a comment or tag me on Instagram @carrieskitchen_ if you make it!
More quick and easy pasta recipes you will love:
Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Carbonara
- Frying Pan
- large pot for cooking pasta
- 6 rashers streaky bacon cut into ½ inch pieces
- 200 grams Brussels sprouts sliced into quarters
- 1 green chilli finely diced
- 1 shallot or small white onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic finely diced
- 2 eggs
- 25 grams grated pecorino or parmesan plus extra for serving
- freshly ground black pepper at least ¼ tsp – but feel free to add more
- pinch salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 200 grams pasta I love casarecce for this recipe, but your favourite shape will be perfect
- pinch chilli or red pepper flakes optional, to garnish
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the bacon pieces. Cook until crispy (about 5 minutes) then remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper to soak up the grease.
- Add the shallot and chilli to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes until the shallot begins to soften.
- Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook your pasta until it's just al-dente (the lower end of the timing guide on the packet – be careful not to overcook).
- Add the garlic and Brussels sprouts to the pan with the shallot and chilli. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring every 1-2 minutes. Don't stir them too much – you want to allow the sprouts to get a nice crispy char.
- While the sprouts are cooking, mix the eggs and cheese together in a large bowl with a pinch of salt and a generous crack of black pepper.
- Add the bacon back into the pan with the sprouts and mix everything together.
- Drain the pasta or use a spider or skimmer (see notes) to scoop the pasta directly from the cooking water into the bowl with the eggs and mix quickly, making sure the pasta is fully coated. Add a little more of the pasta water if you need to loosen the sauce a little.
- Add in the bacon and sprouts mix to the pasta and toss everything together. Season to taste, though be careful with the salt.
- Serve with some extra grated cheese, cracked black pepper and an optional pinch of chilli flakes