Pasta with Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Feta

brussels sprout pasta 2

It’s pasta time. Also: wooly sock time and turning-on-the-furnace time. I saw my very first bin of pumpkins at the grocery store. We discussed Thanksgiving plans at dinner tonight (and ate roasted turkey, in fact). It was dark by 8:00. I’m fine with it. Really.

I’m OK with pushing aside fragile greens in favour of beets and Brussels sprouts. I’m ready. Summer is lovely, but at some point you have to stop making the most of brilliantly warm and sunny days or you’ll never get anything done. I’ve had enough of it being too hot to sleep. Bring on the seasons.

Brussels sprouts

This pasta has been on my must-make list for eons, ever since Jan posted it, because shredded Brussels sprouts with pasta? Hello, delicious. I added bacon, because it gets along with pasta and Brussels sprouts so well, making this reminiscent of a kind of Brussels sprout carbonara. The hot pan, after cooking the bacon, does a brilliant job of caramelizing the shredded sprouts into a sort of salty, bacony, easy-to-twirl-on-a-fork-with-spaghetti slaw.

Brussels sprout pasta 3

I love dishes in which everything winds up in a big skillet together; in this case the hot pasta go in along with a crumble of intense, salty feta, or creamy goat cheese, which melts more quickly into everything else in the pan, and a long pour of cream. (Or not.) Either way, it’s a delicious hot mess.

brussels sprout pasta 1

Pasta with Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Feta


September 22, 2013

  • Makes: Serves 4-6.


1/2 lb. spaghetti or other dry pasta

6-8 slices bacon, chopped

1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved and thinly sliced

1 Tbsp. butter or olive oil

1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream

1/4-1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese

salt and freshly ground pepper


1In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions, or until al dente.

2While the pasta is cooking, cook the bacon in a heavy skillet set over medium-high heat; once the pieces are crisp, remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the drippings in the pan.

3Add the butter to the skillet, and then the Brussels sprouts. Cook them for 5-7 minutes, tossing as needed and seasoning with salt and pepper, until they are soft and starting to turn golden on the edges.

4Reserve 1/4 cup of your pasta cooking water when you drain the pasta, then and add it to the skillet along with the cream. Add some of the reserved pasta water if it seems dry, and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning (this dish loves pepper) and top with feta or goat cheese, tossing once or twice to combine.

5Serve immediately.


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14 comments on “Pasta with Caramelized Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Feta

  1. christine
    September 23, 2013 at 8:21 am

    I am so sad to see the summer going as we have spent most of it recovering from the flood and doing little that I would clasify as FUN. O well. The finishing touches on our re-done basement happened yesterday so maybe I will make this tonight to celebrate the beginning of a new and hopefully more fun season.

  2. Lynne Demmery
    September 23, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Sounds heavenly…. gonna try this. I love brussel sprouts (and all the other ingredients too)

  3. Andrea @ Recipes For Divine Living
    September 23, 2013 at 9:25 am

    This sounds awesome! I want some right now.

  4. the other Al
    September 23, 2013 at 9:25 am

    your so right about making the most of every sunny day (when you live in a northern climate its a must!)) but you end up never getting anything done! If you stay in you’re sad if you go out you’re guilty. Ha Ha

  5. kelley
    September 23, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    This looks beautiful! perfect “comfort food.” Yum can’t wait to try!

  6. Carolyn
    September 24, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Was listening to an Alton Brown podcast the other day and he was talking about cooking pasta differently – adding the pasta to the water when you put the pan on the stove, barely covering the pasta with water and by the time the water comes to a boil, the pasta is cooked. And the water is nice and starchy – so good for any recipes where you add pasta water back to the sauce.

  7. CathyH
    September 24, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Made this last night and did not have Brussels sprouts and didn’t want to run to the store. I substituted chopped broccolini and added 2 Spolumbo’s chicken sausages for my meat obsessed husband. Also used quinoa pasta for his gluten free diet. He said to me, ” You can make this again”, which is the true seal of approval. Thanks again Julie for yet another favourite at our house!!!

  8. Laura
    September 25, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Wow this looks scrumptious! I would love to have this for dinner 🙂

  9. Renee
    September 25, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    I love me a hot mess. This looks perfect.

  10. Barbara
    September 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Three of the best things ever — Brussel sprouts, bacon and pasta. Wow.

  11. Cath in Ottawa
    October 9, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    I made this tonight and it was a huge hit. A great new way to cook Brussels sprouts and so good with pancetta and goat cheese. Thanks for another great addition to my dinner rotation!

  12. Lauren
    January 9, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    This is my kids favorite meal and a weekly staple in the winter! Thanks for the great recipe!

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