This 25-minute Brussels sprouts pasta is the perfect weeknight meal. With just six ingredients, it’s perfect for quick dinners but with added bacon, sun-dried tomatoes and artichokes, it’s got plenty of delicious decadence to make it an impressive meal.
Don’t let the simplistic ingredient list and short cooking time of this dish fool you. This Brussels sprouts pasta has all the feel good comfort vibes you crave from a pasta dish despite it’s quick prep and cooking time.
If you’ve ever had cacio e pepe, imagine this recipe as a dish that builds upon the creamy, cheesy and simple base of that pasta using crispy pieces of bacon, artichoke hearts, some chopped sun-dried tomatoes and sliced Brussels sprouts.
We love eating this in the winter when I always seem to have Brussels sprouts in my shopping cart. It’s a great way to use them up and a nice departure from roasting them on the stalk — my usual seasonal go-to.
This recipe isn’t new. In fact, it made its debut in 2012 but desperately needed a facelift. Oftentimes, when I redo these posts, I tweak the recipe a bit as there’s usually something that can be improved from the original, but upon remaking this Brussels sprouts and pasta recipe, I couldn’t find one thing that needed changing. I’m giving myself a pat on the back for that and telling you as a testament to just how good it is.
Brussels sprouts pasta ingredients
The full detailed recipe is down below but here’s an overview of the simple ingredients you’ll need to make this pasta.
My Pro Tip
While there’s not much preparation for this meal, have all the ingredients sliced, chopped and ready to go. Once you start cooking, the recipe comes together quickly.
- Pasta — I’ve made this pasta every which way and you can really use whatever shape you like but there’s something about the satisfaction of twirling a long noodle around your fork that just adds to the comfort of the whole dish. I like linguine or spaghetti the best.
- Brussels sprouts — Look for a fresh bunch where the heads are tightly compact. Chop off the bottoms and shred them really finely either using a sharp knife or a mandoline.
- Artichoke hearts — You can use either a can of artichoke hearts packed in water that you drain before adding to the pasta or artichoke hearts packed in oil and vinegar. The latter adds a pop of tangy flavor to the dish that’s a nice option.
- Bacon — Brussels sprouts and bacon are like peanut butter and jelly, this combination never tires and makes the pasta shine. The bacon grease acts as the fat to sauté the shredded Brussels sprouts.
- Sun-dried tomatoes — Like the artichoke hearts, use either dry packed sun-dried tomatoes or the ones packed in olive oil. The latter, again, giving a bit more flavor to the finished dish. Their sweetness helps balance all the savory flavors in the dish.
- Parmesan cheese — Freshly grated is the only way to go in a simple pasta like this where the ingredients matter. Pecorino Romano can be swapped out if preferred. Pre-shredded cheeses do not melt as nicely into sauces, don’t be tempted by their convenience for a recipe like this.
- Salt and pepper — As the only seasonings in this simple Brussels sprouts pasta, be generous with some good sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
How to make the pasta
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the sliced bacon and cook until crispy. Remove and transfer to a paper towel lined dish to drain the excess grease. Once cooled, crumble into pieces.
Turn the heat down to medium on the skillet and add the shredded Brussels sprouts to the pan. Sauté for three to five minutes, stirring frequently until softened.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions.
My Pro Tip
The pasta is best cooked al dente. This is usually about one minute before the end of the cooking time.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes then the chopped artichoke hearts to the skillet. Sauté for another two minutes then season generously with salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta, reserving about one cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pasta to the skillet with the parmesan cheese and toss to combine. Pour in the pasta water a little at a time until the dish reaches a nice creamy consistency.
Top with the crumbled bacon and serve with additional grated parmesan.
Why you’ll love this pasta
- It’s a fun way to enjoy Brussels sprouts in a main dish instead of as a side. Brussels sprouts soup is another.
- It’s a 25-minute dinner great for busy weeknights.
- Bacon is a great motivator to get the kids to eat some greens!
Variations to try
Add a different protein: You can swap bacon for something more substantial like Italian sausage. Sausage and pasta are a classic match that always go well together. Chicken or salmon are both great lighter options.
Lemon: Some lemon zest and lemon juice are a nice touch to liven up the flavors in the recipe. If you do this, add both right at the end when you transfer the pasta and parmesan to the skillet.
Leafy greens: If you want to add extra greens, baby spinach, kale or any other leafy green can be added to the dish.
Nuts: The crunchy texture of walnuts or the subtle nutty flavor of pine nuts both make a nice addition to this meal.
Gluten-free: Using a a gluten-free pasta is the only swap needed to make this a gluten-free friendly meal.
Leftovers and storage
This type of pasta dish is best eaten immediately and warm. Leftovers tend to try out and the bacon becomes soggy.
Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, add a splash of broth and warm in a skillet on the stove top for the best results.
Here are more quick pasta recipes like this to try
Bucatini pasta with garlic shrimp is another 25-minute dinner whose taste far exceeds the effort to make it.
Craving something baked? Our sun-dried tomato and broccoli rabe pasta bake is a cheesy comforting vegetarian meal that’s a crowd-pleaser.
Lemon spinach feta pasta is a recipe that’s great for the warmer months, quick to throw together and easily adapted to include a protein if desired.
Brussels Sprouts Pasta
- 1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti or linguine
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, cleaned, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 14 ounces canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
- 4-5 slices of bacon
- 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, sliced
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- salt & pepper
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Meanwhile, add bacon slices to a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook until crispy. Remove from skillet, set aside and crumble once cooled.
- In the same skillet with the bacon grease, add sliced brussels sprouts and saute for 3-5 minutes.
- At this point, water should be boiling. Salt water and cook pasta until al dente.
- While pasta cooks, add the sun-dried tomatoes to the Brussels sprouts and saute for another 1-2 minutes.
- Next, add the artichokes and sauté for 2-3 more minutes. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once pasta is done, drain, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid.
- Add pasta to the skillet along with the parmesan cheese.
- Toss to combine, adding in some of the pasta water as needed to keep it from being too dry.
- Top pasta with crumbled bacon and serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.