Crispy, seasoned Brussels sprouts with smoky, crunchy coconut bacon? It’s definitely a combination that’s sure to be a welcome side at any dinner table.
Brussels sprouts garnered a bad reputation for the longest time, but it’s been great to see them be redeemed in recent years. l thought for this holiday season I’d share a delicious Brussels recipe from my second cookbook, Vegan Yack Attack on the Go!
If you aren’t familiar with “Shake ‘n’ Bake” it’s a slightly gimmicky way of making crispy-coated chicken, pork, or potatoes but throwing the raw ingredients into a large bag along with a spice packet and bread crumbs, then shaking it all around and baking it for an “easier” dinner.
I remember my Mom getting into it in the early 2000s, and took inspiration when I made this recipe for the “Food on the Move” chapter. The idea was to have a dish partially prepped so that it was easy to bring with you on a camping trip or over to a friends house to finish off and keep it crispy! Of course, you can just use a bowl, but shaking everything up in a bag could also be a fun way to get kids involved with some food-making.
Substitutions + Tips:
- Brussels sprouts – I say to quarter these, but if your Brussels are on the small side just halve them.
- Coconut bacon – I share the Coconut Bacon recipe, also from VYA On the Go! and it is SPECTACULAR. But, if you prefer tempeh bacon, fry some up, chop it into pieces and use that in this recipe instead (still roughly 1/2 cup of it, though). Also, yes I know the recipe I gave you makes 1 cup but you only need 1/2 of it, you’re welcome.
- Sunflower oil – you can use any high-smoke point cooking oil in this.
- Maple syrup – though I prefer to have the maple flavor in this recipe, to compliment the savory smokiness, in a pinch you can use agave nectar.
- Brown rice flour – this gluten-free flour makes everything SO crispy, and is a great coating for this. White rice flour will also work (not the glutinous kind), and fine cornmeal would also be great, just have a different result.
- Here are some other tasty Brussels sprouts recipes: Crustless Bacon Brussels Quiche, Brussels Sprout Butternut Squash Salad, and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Raisin Vinaigrette.
Shake and Bake Vegan Bacon Brussels
"Growing up, shake and bake was a thing, and if you’re not familiar, that may make you luckier than I. It was exactly what it sounds like: shake things in a bag and bake them, though the ingredients were questionable. Here you can make your own version, but with Brussels and bacon – two of my favorite “b” foods." Recipe shared with permission by Quarto Publishing, Copyrighted 2018 Vegan Yack Attack on the Go!
For the Coconut Bacon (makes 1 cup (70 g))
- 1 cup (60 g) unsweetened coconut flakes
- 4 teaspoons (20 ml) maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
For the Brussels + Bacon
- 1 pound (455 g) quartered Brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed
- 2 tablespoons (15 ml) sunflower oil
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons (20 g) brown rice flour
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup (35 g) Coconut Bacon
- For the coconut bacon, preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC, or gas mark 4), and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, place coconut flakes, maple syrup, liquid smoke, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and black pepper. Toss mixture until everything is evenly coated, then spread it out in a single layer over the parchment paper.
- Bake for 5 minutes, stir bacon around, and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until coconut bacon is amber brown. If not using right away, store in a tightly sealed jar, in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Let it reach room temperature, once you take it out to use it.
- Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC, or gas mark 6), and have ready a baking sheet (you can use the same one as the coconut bacon, after it has baked). Do not use a baking dish like I have in these photos unless you want to bake everything for longer!!
- In a large plastic zip bag (I used a reusable one), place Brussels sprouts, oil, and maple syrup; shake Brussels until evenly coated. In a small bowl, whisk together brown rice flour, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle dry mixture over Brussels and shake again; lastly add Coconut Bacon and combine.
- Spread Brussels mixture over baking sheet, and cover it with aluminum foil. Roast Brussels for 15 minutes, remove foil, and roast for an additional 15 minutes, or until leaves are browning. Serve warm!
- At home tip: If you’re just making these at home, use a bowl for the Brussels to create less waste.
- On-the-move tip: Keep the Brussels sprouts in a bag with the oil and maple syrup, and dry mix + Coconut Bacon in a small jar. Once you’re ready to roast ‘em, add the dry mix in with the Brussels, and prepare according to the instructions.