Maple Bourbon Brussels Sprouts

April 12, 2013

It’s Friday! I totally forgot about Wednesday until I got out of the shower and Josh yelled to me, “Did you know today is Wednesday?  You didn’t put anything together for your blog.”  Yeaaahhh, well… Oops?  This week has just felt so weird.  I just know you were all sitting there anxiously waiting on Wednesday for a recipe that never came, so… Sorry!  I’ll try to do better next time.  Luckily this isn’t homework and no ones going to knock me down a letter grade for missing the deadline 😉


One thing I can’t forget?  This Brussels sprouts recipe.  A few weeks ago, I tried Brussels Sprouts for the first time in a vegan mac and cheese.  All I’ve ever heard is how gross they are and what a weird texture they have, so my expectations were very low, but I couldn’t resist trying them out.  And they were amazing.  I was so upset at the world for steering me wrong for 24 years, I needed more Brussels sprouts in my life, ASAP.


I immediately bought another pound and they sat in my fridge for another week with me staring at them longingly, trying to figure out a recipe to do them justice.  I happened to also have a fifth of Maker’s Mark on top of my fridge – another one of those tried it and immediately had to buy a big thing of it, only this has sat there for well over a year at this point.  I knew these two ingredients were destined to be BFFs, and trust me, they definitely get along amazingly.  This is one of my new favorite veggie recipes – which is really saying something!

Maple Bourbon Brussels Sprouts
Serves: 4

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • ⅓ c Pure maple syrup
  • ⅓ c Bourbon (I used Makers Mark)
  • ¾ tsp Garlic powder
  • 1-3 dashes Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 3 Strips veggie bacon (or pre-cooked real bacon, or bacon bits), optional
  • Liquid smoke, to taste (use more if omitting the bacon)
  • Feta to top, optional (I used about 2 tbsp total)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Clean and cut the Brussels sprouts into uniform sizes – I cut mine in half.
  2. Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Spritz with nonstick spray and place the sprouts cut side down. Let cook for ~5 minutes without stirring.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the syrup through cayenne, adding more cayenne if you want more than just a hint of spice.
  4. Sprinkle sprouts with salt and pepper and stir. Cut side should have a nice brown color on it. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until sprouts have almost reached desired texture.
  5. Chop up veggie bacon into small pieces and add to sprouts – don’t worry about getting them crispy, the sauce will make them soggy again. Just cook through, 1 – 2 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat and add maple sauce. Cook until reduced and slightly stick, ~ 5 minutes. Add liquid smoke to taste (I used a few good shakes, use more if omitting bacon).
  7. Turn off head and sprinkle with feta, if using. I highly recommend leaving some of the pieces big, as they are amazing when coasted with sauce! Mix gently and serve.

Taste the sauce before and after adding liquid smoke. Add more bourbon, maple or seasonings as desired.

Nutrition Information
Calories: 190 Fat: 3g Carbohydrates: 29g Fiber: 5g Protein: 5g


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    bakerbynature Apr 23, 2013

    Bourbon and maple are pretty much the loves of my life, and I friggin adore brussels sprouts, so this dish is just screaming “MAKE ME”.

    sheloveshealthyliving Apr 17, 2013

    I need to try liquid smoke. And yes Brussels Sprouts are awesome…I had them for dinner Monday and Tuesday, probably Thursday and Friday as well. Always try something for yourself before saying nay!

      Kelly Apr 17, 2013

      Most grocery stores have it near the BBQ sauce. It’s AMAZING! I use it all the time. It makes everything taste like you spent hours developing a nice smokey flavor, when really it only takes a few minutes 🙂

    The Domestic Rebel Apr 15, 2013

    Liquid smoke.. YESSSS. I live for Brussels sprouts and thankfully, am the only one in my fam who likes them. More for me, yippee! Totally making these, Kelly — they’re awesome!

      Kelly Apr 15, 2013

      I’m glad someone else shares my love of liquid smoke! I put in an absurd variety of things. Let me know if you try the recipe out 🙂

    greensandchocolate Apr 13, 2013

    I absolutely LOVE brussels sprouts! I’ve never made them with maple or bourbon…must change this!

      Kelly Apr 13, 2013

      let me know what you if you try them!

    Christine @ 24 Carrot Kitchen Apr 13, 2013

    I am the only one in my household that likes brussel sprouts. I can’t understand it; they are sooooo awesome. I usually make them the same way every time and this recipe gives me an opportunity to try something new.

    Joanne Apr 13, 2013

    I was wondering what happened to you! That maple dressing for the sprouts sounds awesome!

    Reeni Apr 12, 2013

    I think this might be the most delicious brussels sprouts recipe I’ve ever seen! In my entire life. For being such a new vegetable to work with you did them proud.

      Kelly Apr 13, 2013

      Thanks, coming from you that compliment means even extra! Let me know if you try it out. It’s definitely a recipe I’ll be making all the time.

    Jackie @ The Beeroness Apr 12, 2013

    I was the same way with Brussels Sprouts, I grew up hearing how awful they were and once I started making them as an adult I felt like I had been tricked. I love them, and the maple bourbon twist sounds fabulous.

    Becky @ Olives n Wine Apr 12, 2013

    Brussels Sprouts are one of my favorite veggies – weird? I think not! Even my husband loves them when I roast the green beauties with garlic. This recipe looks perfect. I will definitely use it the next time B sprouts are on the menu!

    Erin | The Law Student's Wife Apr 12, 2013

    Confession: I can binge eat roasted Brussels sprouts like candy. With the bourbon, these have to be totally love the top. Awesome!

      Kelly Apr 12, 2013


    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl Apr 12, 2013

    I tried brussel sprouts for the first time last year and now I am obsessed! They are one of my absolute favorite vegetables to roast :). I will have to try out this recipe for a different flavor!

    Ashley Bee Apr 12, 2013

    I never had brussels sprouts until I was an adult and I feel misled as well! Never thought to pair them with bourbon though, yummm…

    Reba - Not So Perfect Life Apr 12, 2013

    Liquid smoke on brussel sprouts? Such a great idea! I make brussel sprouts on a weekly basis. SOO good!

      Kelly Apr 12, 2013

      They’re definitely going to be appearing in my kitchen more often.