Thanksgiving Side Dish: Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Parmesan

Thanksgiving is such an easy holiday to love. Why? Well, first, it’s so self-contained — there are little to no accompanying activities or assignments or tasks, just the big feast! And second, the focus on gratitude and family is pretty darn terrific. We’ve discussed perfecting a roasted turkey and pie crust, but the sides are where a lot of the fun starts. This year, you can’t go wrong adding Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Parmesan to your table.

Brussels Sprouts Stalk | Design Mom
Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Bacon | Design Mom
Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Parmesan, a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving! | Design Mom
Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Bacon | Design Mom
Fresh Brussels Sprouts for Shaved Brussel Sprouts with Pecans and Parmesan | Design Mom

Shaving the Brussels sprouts makes them easier to eat. It also means they don’t need a long cooking time. Just barely sautéing them is perfect. These are one of those veggies that fare better with lightly cooking rather than overcooking. High heat is a Brussels Sprout’s best buddy. Gently wilting the sliced sprouts in a hot pan brings out their natural sweetness.

Because they are a member of the Cruciferous family of veggies, they have an affinity for all of the things that also go well with things like kale, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli. (You know, the scary veggies that taste WAY better than they smell.) And they also go splendidly with bacon and cheese, both of which are in this recipe.

It’s great to toss the wilted Brussels Sprouts with a sweet and tangy apple cider vinaigrette. It helps cut through the richness of the bacon and cheese, and balances out the other flavors as well. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, you can totally leave out the bacon and Parmesan and the dish will still be really tasty.

One tip regarding shaving the Brussels Sprouts. Work from the top to the stem using a very sharp knife. If you work from the stem to the top, the leaves can get a little slippery and be more difficult to slice safely.

Thinly Sliced Brussels Sprouts for Shaved Brussel Sprouts Side Dish | Design Mom
Warm Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Pecans and Parmesan, a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving | Design Mom

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Parmesan

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Yield: 8-10 servings

1 1/2 to 2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup finely diced bacon
3-4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
1/2 cup shaved or grated parmesan cheese

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste

1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the bacon. Cook, stirring often, until the bacon is crispy. Remove from pan and set on paper towels to drain. Leave about 1 tablespoon of bacon fat in the pan and transfer the rest to a jar to save for another use, or discard.
3. Add the shallots to the pan. Sauté until tender and golden brown. Turn off the heat and add the Brussels sprouts to the pan. Season with a little salt and pepper. Let cook for 2-3 minutes in the residual heat to wilt the leaves, then transfer to a serving bowl. Pour the dressing over the top and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle the pecans, parmesan cheese, and the reserved cooked bacon over the top. Serve immediately.

Warm Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Pecans and Parmesan | Design Mom

– The Brussels sprouts can be shaved in advance to save time, and then used in the recipe. The sprouts can be served warm or at room temperature, but are best on the day they are cooked.
– One large Brussels sprout stalk is equal to around 1 1/2 to 2 pounds.

Credits: Images, styling & recipe by Lindsey Johnson for Design Mom.

11 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Side Dish: Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Parmesan”

  1. Pamela Balabuszko-Reay

    My very favorite holiday for all of the reasons you listed. I have the same approach. The turkey, mashers and stuffing are a given. For the rest I spend the whole month of November looking up recipes and plotting and planning. LOVE the side dishes. I hardly ever eat the turkey myself…it is all about the sides for me. This recipe looks YUMMY.

  2. Growing up I loathed brussel sprouts-maybe because my mother boiled them? Any way, I make them all the time now in a variety of ways-either some type of roasted or raw and shredded for a salad. I love them, my kids love them. This recipe looks great. I assume you could run them though the shredder blade of a food processor instead of cutting them by hand?

  3. Naomi Alexander

    Yum! I’ve not tried them like this….but the bestest best way is roasting them – they’re like little bites of roasted heaven :) Throw them in olive oil, salt and pepper in a roasting tin on about 180’C for around 20 mins or so, tossing them occasionally. They’re done when they’ve gone a little brown and have become soft. I defy anyone not to love Brussel Sprouts after trying them roasted. I know what I’m having for dinner now ;)

  4. When I met my husband 32 years ago, imagine my surprise when he told me his favorite vegetable. Brussel sprouts! I had always endured them, but over time I have grown to love them, and our kids do, too. I’m not a very imaginative cook, but roasting them in olive oil with a sprinkle of salt is always a crowd pleaser. Yum.

  5. Brussels sprouts are my favorite! I’m pretty sure I could eat 1 1/2-2 pounds all by myself. :)

    I’ll definitely try this recipe.

  6. We adore Brussels sprouts, but they haven’t made it on the Thanksgiving menu (until this year). We’ve been playing around with recipes but so far the one with onion, bacon, mushrooms, and parmesan.

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