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Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman

Bacon and Brussels Sprout Orecchiette

This is one of my favorite pasta salads for fall, and I especially love the combination of brussels sprouts and bacon. The tangy vinaigrette brings it all together, and pomegranate seeds give it some beautiful color and a pop of freshness! I really like to let it marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours so that all the flavors can come together - which makes it a great make-ahead dish too.

Bacon and Brussels Sprout Orecchiette


Main Course Side Dish

Prep Time

25 minutes

Cook Time

10 minutes




Giada De Laurentiis

Image of Bacon and Brussels Sprout Orecchiette


  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus additional for seasoning pasta water)
  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts (separated into leaves)
  • 1 pound apple wood smoked bacon (chopped)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds


  1. This recipe first appeared on Giada’s Holiday Handbook. Episode: Giada’s Fall Festival.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season generously with salt and add the pasta. Cook until just under al dente, about 9 minutes. Remove the pasta to a rimmed baking sheet using a spider, allowing it to continue cooking and cool slightly. Return the water to a boil and stir in the Brussels sprout leaves. Simmer for 30 seconds.
  3. Remove the leaves to the same tray using a spider. Cool slightly.
  4. Add the bacon to a medium skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the bacon is brown and crispy, about 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the Parmesan, olive oil, vinegar, mustard and 3/4 teaspoon salt together in a large bowl. Add the slightly cooled pasta, Brussels sprouts and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Remove the crispy bacon to the bowl with a slotted spoon and toss well to coat. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and toss gently if desired. Allow the salad to marinate at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerated up to 4 hours before serving.
  6. Cook’s Note: You can also blanch and shock the Brussels sprout leaves. To do so, prepare an ice bath in a medium bowl. Prepare the pot of water as above. Cook the leaves until bright green and just tender, about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Remove the leaves to the ice bath, using a spider, to shock, until chilled. Drain well and blot dry with a towel. Set aside.



per serving
Amount/Serving % Daily Value
51 grams
21 grams
47 grams
Saturated Fat
13 grams
46 milligrams
928 milligrams
5 grams
4 grams


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