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An Easy Thanksgiving Side of Brussels Sprouts and Apples from 'Milk Street'

Daniel Hautzinger
Brussels Sprouts with apples and bacon in a black bowl
A simple vinaigrette enlivens Brussels sprouts in this easy recipe from 'Milk Street Simple.' Credit: Erik Bernstein for Milk Street

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The new cookbook Milk Street Simple takes the Christopher Kimball's Milk Street tenet that “Good cooking shouldn’t take hours” seriously. It focuses on various easy techniques that can maximalize flavor while minimizing time, like adding a basic vinaigrette to a dish, as in this fall side dish of Brussels sprouts with bacon and apples that's perfect for Thanksgiving. 

Milk Street culinary director Wes Martin shared Thanksgiving tips and more about Milk Street's approach with us while he was in Chicago.

Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Bacon

Excerpted from Milk Street Simple by Christopher Kimball. Copyright © 2023 by CPK Media, LLC. 
Used with permission of Voracious, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

Thinly sliced Brussels sprouts, apples, and shallot cook quickly and absorb flavors beautifully, and we cook the ingredients in stages to create layered texture and taste. Two of the three sliced apples hit the skillet several minutes ahead of the remaining apple and vegetables; this gives the fruit time to soften and for their flavors to concentrate. A food processor fitted with a slicing disk makes for fast and easy prep, but feel free to use a sharp chef’s knife instead. 


3 tablespoons cider vinegar 
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard OR Dijon mustard 
Kosher salt and ground black pepper 
3 crisp, sweet apples, such as Honeycrisp or Gala, unpeeled, quartered and cored 
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed 
1 medium shallot, halved lengthwise 
4 ounces bacon, chopped


1. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; set aside. 

2. In a food processor with a slicing disk, slice 2 of the apples; transfer to a small bowl. Using the same slicing disk, slice the remaining apple, the sprouts, and shallot; set the mixture aside separately from the first 2 sliced apples. 

3. In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. 

4. To the fat remaining in the skillet, add the 2 sliced apples; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the sprouts mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are tender crisp, 5 to 6 minutes. Off heat, toss in the dressing and bacon. Taste and season with salt and pepper.