Recipes

brussels sprout and bacon frittata

As a Content Creator (appended with a saracastic ™), I can tell you that December is a weird time. All we want are buttery cookies, heavily spiced cakes, and luxe cocktails and if sparkly string lights were edible, probably that too. Who can blame us? This year — as we try, against what sometimes feels like stacked odds, to find cheer and festivity wherever we can concoct it — the singular devotion to December decadence seems even stronger. I can put the whole internet to sleep merely by saying, “So, how about some salad?”


all preppeda not-small amount of baconadd shallotsthen brussels

But what about dinner? It’s still happening, right? [I didn’t say breakfast. That will be a jelly doughnut with a latke chaser, obviously.] Much as I try to ignore it some days, 5pm arrives and with it the “Wait, we don’t have a dinner plan?” conversation as we go through the list of things we have and try to find those in the very narrow Venn diagram of what most of us want to eat or want to cook, 5pm becomes 6pm and the Small and Hangry are demanding treats.

whisk eggsadd to bacon and brusselscook partially on the stovefinish under the broiler until set

Enter: The dinner frittata. Separate from the breakfast frittata, which I prefer more delicate with herbs and unchallenging extras, I like a dinner frittata to have an absolute clutter of vegetables and, because it’s the holidays, a bit of decadence. This brussels sprout and bacon frittata from Justin Chapple (whose last book is wonderful and whose spaghetti pie is a mainstay here) in a 2014 Food & Wine has checked all of the boxes twice this month, its own December miracle. There’s a significant amount of both bacon and brussels sprout in it — it’s most of the volume — plus cheese, a couple shallots, and chives and it was clearly cooked up by someone who understands that a dinner frittata should be hearty enough to actually feel like dinner to frittata skeptics. I hope it fills the void between trays of sparkling treats for you too.

brussels sprout and bacon frittata

Previously

6 months ago: Whole Lemon Meringue Pie Bars
1 year ago: Cider-Glazed Bacon-Wrapped Dates
2 year ago: Chocolate Caramel Tart
3 years ago: Endive Salad with Toasted Breadcrumbs and Walnuts
4 years ago: Spinach Sheet Pan Quiche and Chocolate Caramel Crunch Almonds
5 years ago: Date Breakfast Squares, Parsley Pecorino Biscuits and Potato Kugel
6 years ago: Crispy Sweet Potato Roast and Cranberry Pie with Thick Pecan Crumble and Twice-Baked Potatoes with Kale
7 years ago: Cauliflower with Brown Butter Crumbs, Parsley Leaf Potatoes and Sugared Pretzel Cookies
8 years ago: Cauliflower-Feta Fritters with Pomegranate
9 years ago: Dijon-Braised Brussels Sprouts and Nutmeg-Maple Butter Cookies
10 years ago: Roasted Chesnut Cookies
11 years ago: Gingerbread-Apple Upside Down Cake and Cappucino Fudge Cheesecake
12 years ago: Mushroom and Barley Pie, Mustard-Roasted Potatoes and Walnut Tartlets
13 years ago: Rugelach Pinwheels
14 years ago: Winter Panzanella

Brussels Sprout and Bacon Frittata

The brussels sprouts will be a significant part of the volume of the frittata — we love it but it might not be for everyone. If you’d like more egg to come through, use only 1/2 pound. The original recipe calls for a 12-inch skillet but I like my frittatas thicker. If you use a 12-inch, you’ll only need to broil the frittata for 3 minutes.

Note: You can watch an Instagram Story demo of this recipe here.

  • 1/2 pound bacon, diced
  • 2 small- medium shallots, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 pound brussels sprouts, halved and sliced 1/4 -nch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk or cream
  • 1 cup shredded gruyère cheese
  • 1/4 cup snipped chives, divided

Preheat your broiler and position a rack 6 inches from the heat. No broiler? Just crank your oven up as hot as it goes, usually 450-475°F

In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, cook the bacon over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until darker in color and almost fully crisp, 5 minutes. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until crisp-tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the eggs with the milk, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt (taste a piece of bacon; if it’s really salty, you might be fine with 1/2 teaspoon) and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Stir in the shredded cheese and half the chives. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring gently, until the eggs start to set, about 1 minute, and then a few minutes more, until the bottom is lightly browned, about 4 more minutes.

Transfer to the broiler (or very hot oven) and cook until the top is a deep golden brown and the eggs are just set in the center, about 5 minutes, but keep an eye on it. Poke a knife in a couple places to see if any runny egg spills out; if it’s still runny, return it to the broiler for another 1 to 2 minutes. Scatter remaining chives on top and finish with a few grinds of pepper.

If you’d like, run a rubber spatula around the edge of the frittata and slide it onto a serving plate, then cut it into 6 pieces and serve. Or, you can serve it directly from the skillet, as we do.

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89 comments on brussels sprout and bacon frittata

  1. Helen

    I think I am the first! This has never happened, but wow this looks incredible! I’ll definitely have to make it once final season is over :)

  2. Scott Petrovits

    Sounds delicious. Am I reading the recipe correctly, in that you don’t drain the bacon fat before adding the veg? I love bacon fat, but it seems like not draining a half pound’s worth of it would make the frittata greasy.

    1. deb

      Whoops — meant to add a suggestion to check. When I’ve made this, it always seems like it’s kind of swimming in fat, but then I scoop out the bacon and it’s just 2T, which is fine to me. Will edit.

    1. Dane

      I have improvised a similar frittata with breakfast sausage and cabbage. it came out pretty…sulphuros, to put it delicately. The cabbage was very soft and emitted a lot of water. I ended up draining it after the stir fry and before adding eggs. it was significantly less classy than Deb’s recipe, but was still edible.

    1. Celine

      If you have smoked paprika, it adds the smokiness from the bacon. A little leftover potato fried in olive oil is great in a frittata and would give you some substance and crispy edges.

      1. Marina

        Deb, you are the best! Last night for dinner I rather desperately threw together a gloriously sloppy (but delicious) Taco Salad! Tonight it will be this frittata. I’m already daydreaming about it (6:50am)!

      2. jane

        crispy sauteed mushrooms are always the answer to meat subs : ) Could also just add “fakin bakin” but i prefer unprocessed mushrooms personally

      1. Theresa

        This looks amazing! I’m going to try it! Would it be possible to transform it into a quiche? I miss the pie crust (also I can bribe my kids to try it with crust).

  3. Aurora

    Thank you so much!
    My husband bought way to many Brussels sprouts recently. I used them instead of cabbage in a recipe ( not recommended) and it was too late to doa meatloaf, which I came on this site to look up.
    I subbed onion and cheddar cheese but it was delicious. We rounded it out with box biscuits and a splendid meal was had by all.

    1. Katy Large

      I definitely think it could. You might want to add some nutritional yeast for that cheesy-type flavor/depth though, or sub in something like Daiya. Some shredded potatoes or sweet potatoes could help add the bulk that will be missing without the cheese. I’m mostly DF so I feel your pain!

  4. Alene

    Yum! I love brussels sprouts! We’ve done spinach, other greens, zucchini and summer squash, and asparagus, but we’ve never thought of brussels sprouts. What a great suggestion. And I am getting tired of cooking, for sure!

  5. Carol Fisch

    Do you have a favorite bacon you use? I love eatting it but rarely buy it. May have to give in to make this delicious sounding meal. A bacon recommendation will help me from spending time looking at all the choices in my no more than 15 min shopping time during this crazy time. Thanks.

    1. Jim

      I like Wright brand smoked bacon. Comes in Hickory and Applewood, usally sold in 1.5 lb packages. Its really good and is on sale every couple months.

  6. Joanna Friesner

    I like everything about this except the bacon as I am vegetarian. I’ve seen a few suggestions for cooked potatoes and extra shallots, anything else to substitute for bacon? I’d love to give this a try.

    1. deb

      For bacon, you can of course skip it. You can use a meatless bacon substitute. You could bump up flavor with nutritional yeast. You can add another shallot and some thinly sliced mushrooms to the mix, too.

    1. deb

      Don’t be ridiculous. 🤣 She has eaten things like this before but in the last few weeks, she’s been particularly, uh, particular. She’s also rejected latkes and as-good-as-homemade jelly and chocolate-doughnuts from Breads Bakery, jam shortbread, and her once-favorite Caesar salad. We are awaiting the great Hungering that will reverse this course.

  7. IMS

    This has been a staple in our house for many years—we can’t do dairy so sub canned coconut milk and a few tablespoons of nutritional yeast with great success. Always delicious!

  8. ariel

    fantastic. this was so simple and DELICIOUS. a couple minor pantry swaps, but I can see how this would be good with any number of swaps.

  9. Penny Kronenberg Carlson

    Yay! A low-carb recipe that sounds wonderful and that I cannot wait to make! Miracle of miracles! Thank you, Debbela!

    1. Penny Kronenberg Carlson

      My first frittata! I had to use Jarlsberg but otherwise the only change I made was to halve the recipe. I got a thin but delicious dish! Can’t wait to make the full thing for company (when and if).

  10. Abby

    Thank you, Deb, for publishing recipes for festive-looking, conceivably handheld food these days. Staring down outdoor, distanced, small gatherings is easier with ideas for food that aren’t all large communal roasted things…

  11. Theresa

    This looks amazing! I’m going to try it! Would it be possible to transform it into a quiche? I miss the pie crust (also I can bribe my kids to try it with crust).

  12. Zoe

    Quick, easy, fast dinner! I used 6 eggs and reduced the time on the stove a tad after adding the eggs – Success! This recipe fed 3 adults with no leftovers. Don’t hold back on the bacon!

  13. Stephanie Mayer

    This so good! Didn’t have brussels so subbed cabbage; used duck bacon. Can’t wait to try it with brussels! Thank you, Deb!

  14. Emily

    I was going to make this in my cast iron skillet but am worried it isn’t seasoned well enough / that the eggs will stick. Wondering if you think it’s better to risk that, or to just bake it in a greased deep casserole (rather than cooking on the stove and broiling?) Wonder what you think would be best?

    1. deb

      I think you can risk it because you’re going to start by cooking half a pound of bacon in it, which is kind of the best way to season a pan, regardless.

  15. Rachael W

    This was delicious! I only had goat cheese and green onion, so I subbed those for the gruyere and chives. No matter, the sprouts/bacon/shallot combo was amazing! Totally easy and adaptable. Will definitely make again.

  16. Ndeye Laura

    I made a variation of this. I skipped the “frittata part” (so no eggs or cream or oven) and added gnocchi instead and it was wonderful! Definitely will make it again. For cheese I used a combination of what we had on hand- smoked gouda, parmesan, and mozzarella. We appreciated as well that cooking the brussels sprouts quickly like this was much less stinky than some preparations of brussels sprouts.

    1. Annie

      Ooohhh now I’m torn!! I am making this for dinner tonight and have both pie crusts handy as well as a pack of gnocchi! Frittata, quiche, or gnocchi, how to decide??

  17. Lynn+Swiniarski

    I made this as directed in a 12″ cast iron skillet. It was very good but the texture seemed drier than I would have liked. After adding the egg, it is supposed to cook on the stove top for about 5 mins and then brown under the broiler for 2-3 minutes more (for 12″). Perhaps it was because of the heat conduction of the cast iron, but this seemed like too long. The heat of the pan, and hot Brussels and bacon nearly completely cooked the eggs in 2 minutes on the stove top. Next time I will then pop it under the broiler for 2 mins to brown. It’s ok with me if the bottom doesn’t get brown.

  18. Brittany

    We made this with Parmesan instead, as that’s our always around cheese, and no chives. It came out as a winner. It was possibly even better cold/room temp. I imagine this will be a weekly or more make.

  19. Emily

    I made this tonight exactly as specified with the exception that I didn’t have chives. It was… Fine? Sort of less than the sum of its parts to me? I think I’d prefer just bacon and sprouts– the eggs seemed to kind of dull those flavors to me.

  20. Leslie

    This looks amazing and as Brussels sprouts are one of the few veggies my son actually likes, I think he’s enjoy this. Only problem is I don’t have a cast iron skillet! I know I know, it’s at the top of my list. If I want to make this before getting one though, can I just cook the bacon and veggies in a regular skillet and then transfer to an 8×8 casserole dish to bake?

  21. Rebekah

    I used 6 oz of bacon and doubled the brussels sprouts (what I had on hand) so I added an extra egg and it turned out really well! Very hearty and not at all dense like other egg bakes can be.

  22. Joanne

    This came out really tasty with none of the sulphurous taste you can sometimes get from brussels. I was out of ideas for a frittata this week and thought “I wonder what is on Smitten Kitchen” and this was right there on the home page. Thanks for sharing it.

  23. Jenelle Welling

    This is so good! My 10 year old non-Brussels Sprouts eater had seconds — and I even screwed up the recipe. Said 10 year old distracted me while cooking and I promptly added the eggs before the Brussels sprouts. I pulled the pan off the heat, cooked the Brussels sprouts in a separate pan, then added and continued. It still turned out great. Both kids (10 and 11), husband, and mom declared it a “do over!” (in a good way!)

  24. Laura in CA

    Made tonight with side of roasted potatoes and salad. We excluded the bacon and didn’t have chives. Next time I would certainly add chives, but it was delicious nonetheless. I would definitely make again.

  25. Vanessa Shkuda

    This is SO GOOD. Just sent the recipe to all my friends suggesting they make it too! And it actually came right out of the pan to slice up for easy reheating!

  26. Emily

    This is a major hit for us. So easy and to me, basically restaurant flavor food. The first time I made this, had to go excavate some chives from our snowy yard, but that was easy. Second time I didn’t feel like it, so skipped the chives. Still good! Also reheats beautifully as leftovers.

  27. Kate

    I made this as soon as I read the recipe, and it’s delicious! Such a great way to use Brussels- usually I just roast them, which I love, but this felt so fancy! Thanks Deb.

  28. Irene Zabarkes

    Just made this tonight and … wow! I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s a perfect all-in-one balanced meal that is delicious and nourishing, a lovely blend of flavors and textures. I was worried about all that bacon fat, but it was simply used up in sautéing all the other ingredients, with no unpleasant greasiness or saltiness left behind. Fun to make and eat. A frittata star! Thanks, Deb!!

  29. Katherine

    Deb, we absolutely loved this frittata. I did not use my mandolin, preferring to keep my fingers, but shredded the Brussels in the food processor. The result was a frittata absolutely full of bacon, Brussels, and just enough cheese. I will definitely be making it again! (Nothing makes me feel happier than realizing breakfast is waiting in the fridge for me after a night of waking up with the baby!)

  30. Renee

    I made this and it was delicious! It seems to me this combo of cheese + bacon + a green would be good with lots of sturdy greens. I’m currently eyeing that leftover bunch of kale that is hanging out in the fridge… The frittata also made a great pack ahead lunch for work.

  31. Dana L. Lambert

    This was delicious! I will remove a little bacon grease next time, as mine was a little greasy for my taste. No having enough guyere, I used some feta also. I will make this again!

  32. Claire Zulkey

    I screwed up and ordered frozen sprouts instead of fresh, so I subbed in .75 lb chopped cauliflower instead which worked fine (but heads up–you WILL want to use the 12″ skillet if you do this since the cauli won’t cook down like sprouts.) On the one hand I have a feeling the sprouts would have been even yummier than the cauli, but OTOH my 5 YO asked for seconds and we all finished the leftovers at breakfast so I’d say the substitution was still a success!

  33. Emily Moran

    So I made a bastardized version of this, and holy wow. Subbed bacon for some facon + veg breakfast sausage, added some mushrooms, and did a mix of white and sharp cheddar. It was SO freaking good. My husband who is a lovable big baby when it comes to vegetables didn’t even bat a lash, he loved it! For those who are tepid about the brussels moment, they pair perfectly with the meaty savoriness (even in my veg friendly version). It comes together pretty quickly/effortlessly, definitely a new staple!!!!!

  34. laura

    oh my gosh this was so good! came together perfectly, we used cream and it was extremely worth it. the sweetness of the brussel sprouts is a delight and i want to make this all the time now!!

  35. Meghan

    I thought this was phenomenonal with the bacon but was also very pleasantly surprised and how good it is without – I think very little is lost. It’s been great with parm or goat cheese depending on what we had. Sour cream on top is a must.

  36. Alexis

    I made this for a meal prep breakfast this week, and it was phenomenal! It reheated very well, and I woke up each day looking forward to the bacon-y, Swiss cheesy, sprout-y deliciousness of it all. Thank you, Deb, for another winner of a recipe!

  37. Denise

    Have keto family, and this is great for them. Endless possibilities with the base recipe. I used three different kinds of cheese to use up some blocks. Added minced jalapeno. I get high quality, inexpensive bacon “ends,” which are perfect for this preparation. A nice change from our usual scramble. The browned top makes this a delight.