Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts and Pancetta

Brussel sprouts, chopped chestnuts and bacon in a silver pan

Do you love them or hate Brussels Sprouts? I love them but not when they’ve been boiled to within an inch of their life and taste like old-school socks. These pan-fried Brussels Sprouts are sautéed in butter with crispy pancetta and creamy cooked chestnuts. Complete heaven.

What you’ll need for pan-fried Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts (in season from October until March but they are available year round)
Pancetta (I would use smoked bacon in a pinch but pancetta is ideal due to the fat content, you get really great flavour)
Chestnuts (I like the packet from Merchant Gourmet)

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you parboil Brussels sprouts before frying?

Parboiling Brussels sprouts before frying is a good technique to ensure they cook evenly and become tender on the inside while allowing for a crispy exterior when fried. It’s not always necessary but we think it works here to create a soft middle and crisp exterior in the pan. When you boil them, the water should be well salted which allows seasons the sprouts from the inside out for best flavour all the way through.

Why aren’t my Brussels Sprouts getting crispy?

Moisture Content: If the Brussels sprouts are wet or haven’t been dried properly after washing, they can steam rather than fry. I steam dry the sprouts (allow them to sit in a colander once drained for the steam to evaporate) before frying.
Overcrowding the Pan: Frying too many Brussels sprouts at once can lower the pan’s temperature, causing them to steam rather than crisp up. Choose a large pan so they aren’t totally on top of one another.
Not Enough Oil or Heat: Not enough oil or not heating the oil enough can prevent the sprouts from crisping. Use enough oil to coat the pan evenly and ensure it’s hot before adding the sprouts.

Other recipes you might enjoy

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Creamy Caesar Dressing
Simple Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Bacon
Roasted Aubergine Salad with Yoghurt and Tahini
Spicy Halloumi Salad with Basil Dressing and Lentils
Easy Asparagus with Parma Ham and Soft Boiled Eggs



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  • Author: margie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 46 as a side 1x


  • 500g Brussels Sprouts, halved
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 140g pancetta
  • 180g cooked whole chestnuts (Merchant Gourmet do good packets), chopped


  1. Cut the sprouts in half, and boil just for a few minutes so they are a little softer. (If you can smell sprouts when you’re boiling them – you’ve overcooked them )
  2. Meanwhile, fry the pancetta until crispy, add the chopped chestnuts and then set aside. Fry the sprouts in a little butter for a few minutes until golden and gorgeous. Then mix everything together in the pan and tuck in.


If you want another delicious way to make Brussels Sprouts that is not as traditional, my Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with crispy bacon, almonds and pecorino is one of the best salads ever!

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What do you think?

April 21, 2024

I was looking for a recipe to first boil the Brussel sprouts because I wanted them cooked in the center. This was perfect instruction!!! I just added air fried bacon and it was a great brunch

May 4, 2024

Hi Caroline,
Oh I’m so pleased to hear this, great news! x

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