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A large circular white serving dish filled with shaved Brussels sprouts with pancetta and balsamic.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Balsamic

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy Brussels sprouts recipe, Holiday side dish, how to shave Brussels sprouts
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 182kcal
Shaved Brussels Sprouts is such a unique and special way to prepare this delicious vegetable. The cooking of the pancetta, toasting of the pine nuts, and reducing the balsamic can all be done hours in advance of serving.
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  • Large skillet


  • 6 oz pancetta cubed
  • cup pine nuts lightly toasted
  • 2 lbs Brussels sprouts dark leaves removed and rough stems trimmed
  • 2 tbsp Madiera wine or white wine
  • 2 tbsp balsamic glaze
  • tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper freshly ground


  • Use the slicing attachment on a food processor to shred the sprouts. Or, use a sharp knife to thinly slice the sprouts. Set aside.
  • Cook the pancetta in a large skillet until cooked and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels.
  • In the same skillet, add the wine and de-glaze the pan (scraping up cooked on pancetta bits) over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until softened and somewhat reduced, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in 1 tsp of salt, as well as the pepper, pancetta, toasted pine nuts, and balsamic glaze. Remove from heat and taste. Add more salt if desired. Transfer to warmed serving dish and serve at once!



Be sure to look for Brussels sprouts that are nice and bright green.  If there are few dark leaves here and there, that's okay.  If most of the outer layers are dark, try and find some elsewhere.  The size of the sprouts isn't as important, you'll just need 2 lbs.  Remember, as the sprouts cook, they will cook down and reduce in size.
For a completely vegetarian version, omit the pancetta and the wine.  Start off by heating 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan and then add the shaved sprouts, following the recipe as written from that point on. 
When toasting the pine nuts, keep an eye on them...they will burn quickly!
We love cooking with Madiera wine, but a nice quality white wine or sherry will work just fine, too.  If you'd prefer not to use wine, then de-glaze the pan with apple cider vinegar.
Be sure to taste and add salt accordingly before serving.  These sprouts can handle a lot of salt, but remember that the pancetta is pretty salty to begin with. 
The pancetta can be cooked in advance and the pine nuts can be toasted in advance.
To make your own balsamic glaze, simply heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add 2 tbsp of brown sugar (dark or light) and ⅔ cup of balsamic vinegar.  Bring to a bowl, and then simmer for about 15 minutes until syrupy and somewhat thick. This can be done a couple of days in advance, too.
This dish is best served right off the stove.  And though leftovers are tasty, it loses the freshness after about a day in the fridge.  It also doesn't freeze very well.  Don't worry, though, it almost always gets devoured in its entirety when served to guests. 


Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 533mg | Potassium: 517mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 863IU | Vitamin C: 96mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 2mg