Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Pesto Pasta is a simple, but hearty weeknight meal. Shredded brussels sprouts, crisp bacon and pasta are tossed together in pesto, parmesan cheese and fresh lemon juice. An effortless dinner that only takes 30 minutes to make!
Before we head down the rabbit hole of all things Thanksgiving, I thought a quick and easy dinner recipe was in order. This Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Pesto Pasta is as easy to make as it is satisfying to eat!
If you think you don’t like brussels sprouts, this is the recipe that might actually change your mind. My husband is not a fan of them, yet he loved this pasta. Honestly, I’m not even sure he realized he was eating brussels sprouts. Between the bacon, pesto and parmesan cheese, b-sprouts haters will have a hard time disliking this dish.
What Do I Need to Make the Pasta?
The shopping list for this pasta is on the shorter side, which is never a bad thing.
- Bacon, preferably a high-quality uncured brand. I like to buy center cut and low sodium when possible.
- Brussels sprouts
- Garlic and crushed red pepper flakes
- Pasta, I went with shells but any any short shape will work well.
- Parmesan cheese. Splurge and buy the real stuff it’s worth it, don’t use that dust in the green can.
Whenever I make a recipe that doesn’t use a lot of ingredients I buy the best quality ingredients I can find. For example I splurge and buy a block of Parmigiano Reggiano and grate it myself versus buying one that’s pre-grated. Nothing compares to the flavor of Parmigiano Reggiano. Not to mention when you buy the block you can save the rind and use it in soups like I did with this Tuscan Chicken Tortellini Soup.
How Can I Make this Pasta Vegetarian?
If you’re looking to make this pasta vegetarian it’s very simple. All you need to do is omit the bacon and use a tablespoon of olive oil to cook the brussels sprouts and garlic in versus the bacon fat. If you want to add protein to the dish, I suggest adding in a can of rinsed and drained cannellini beans at the end.
To make this Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Pesto Pasta, start by cooking the pasta. While the pasta cooks, thinly slice the brussels sprouts. You can also use the shredding attachment on a food processor or buy then pre-shredded at the grocery store. Next, cook the bacon in a large skillet then remove it and let it drain on paper towels. Chop it up into small pieces once it’s cool.
Remove all of the bacon grease from the pan except for one tablespoon. Add the brussels sprouts in and sauté them for 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic, red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cooked pasta, pesto and bacon. Squeeze in the lemon juice and stir in the parmesan cheese. Taste for seasoning then it’s ready to serve. On the table and ready to eat in 30 minutes!
More Easy Pasta Recipes
- 4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
- 12 ounces brussels sprouts
- 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 8 ounces uncooked pasta shells or similar shape/size, gluten-free if needed
- 3 tablespoons pesto
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions and drain. While the pasta cooks thinly slice the brussels sprouts or use the shredding attachment on a food processor.
- In a large skillet cook the bacon. Drain on paper towels and chop when cool enough to handle. Reserve one tablespoon of the bacon grease in the skillet and discard the rest.
- Add in the shredded brussels sprouts and red pepper flakes, season with salt pepper. Sauté for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Stir in the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds.
- Add the chopped bacon, pasta, pesto, lemon juice and parmesan cheese into the skillet. Stir everything together until combined. Taste for seasoning and serve topped with extra parmesan cheese.
To save time you can buy a bag of pre-shredded brussels sprouts.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 382 Total Fat: 13g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Cholesterol: 18mg Sodium: 360mg Carbohydrates: 51g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 3g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 17g