Healthy Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta, Pine nuts & Pomegranate

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

As the Thanksgiving table is filled up with dish after dish of delectable delights, why not consider eating something that’s low in fat, high in fiber, has a multitude of vitamins and can be used in everything from soups to salads?

Would you believe we’re talking about Brussels sprouts? Like kale, Brussels sprouts are becoming increasingly more popular on nutritious menus – largely because home and professional cooks are preparing them in tasty ways.

For Thanksgiving, we’re offering up a mouth-watering recipe featuring the small, mini-cabbage that can easily be incorporated into your holiday menu. Here’s why Brussels sprouts are so important in a healthy diet: a 1-cup serving of roasted sprouts contains about 130 calories, including 4 grams of total fat. If roasted, a 1-cup serving contains about 18 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of fiber.

And consider this: a 1-cup serving of Brussels sprouts roasted with diced onion, garlic, and olive oil contains about 160 percent of a recommended daily allowance for adults of Vitamin C. Just one cup of the vegetable supplies more than 270 percent of a person’s daily value of Vitamin K.


Yield: Serves 12 | Cook Time: 30 – 40 minutes


  • 3 lbs. Brussels Sprouts
  • 8oz. pancetta, ¼” thick slices, or pre-diced (not thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Trim the ends of the sprouts and peel a few outer leaves, if needed.  Rinse sprouts thoroughly under cold water.  Shake to remove excess water.
  3. Cut sprouts in half through the stem, to keep them intact.  Place in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Toss with olive, salt & pepper.
  5. Dice pancetta into ¼” sized pieces.
  6. Spray sheet pan or rimmed cookie sheet with non-stick spray or drizzle with olive oil.
  7. Spread out the sprouts in an even layer, flat side down. 
    NOTE: When roasting food, be sure not to crowd food onto the pan, as it will not roast well. If crowded, the vegetables will steam and the desired caramelization and color will not occur.  Caramelization is what gives food the sweet, nutty flavor.
  8. Roast at the sprouts at 450°, 30 – 40 minutes or until tender with a rich amber color. Meanwhile, place pancetta in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, cook until crispy.  Remove pancetta with a slotted spoon or tongs and place on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.  Leave the fat from the pancetta in the pan.
  9. Using the pancetta grease, lightly toast the pine nuts over low – medium heat.  Be careful not to burn them.  Once lightly toasted, remove the pine nuts and place on the plate with pancetta.
  10. Remove pomegranate seeds (arils) from the pomegranate.  Set aside to add to the dish just prior to serving.
  11. When the Brussels sprouts have finished cooking, toss with the pancetta, pine nuts, and pomegranate seeds and serve.
About the Author

Author: Christy Cioni, Dietary Services Director

Christy attended U.C. Santa Cruz, earning a degree in Spanish and Linguistics. After spending time working in the Silicon Valley and Boston, MA she later moved to Portland, OR. There, she followed her passion for food and cooking by attending the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland, earning a degree in Culinary Arts. Christy ultimately came full circle when she returned to the Central Coast, accepting a position at a private school in Santa Barbara, developing a Culinary Arts curriculum, teaching and cooking for the students and staff. Christy was thrilled to join the team as Director of Dietary Services for the Champion Center where she finds joy combining her passion for cooking, love of feeding others and working with an incredible staff of kitchen professionals.

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