I’m about thirty seconds away from head butting the screen.

Warm Brussels Caesar with Bacon Ciabatta Croutons I howsweeteats.com

This salad is THAT good.

And there is a great reason that I’m telling you about salad today. Salad? Can we call it that? It’s like bacon grease, bacon, bread, dressing and some cheese shavings. But it’s a salad. How fair is that?

Anyhoo, the reason is BACON CROUTONS. Yes. The croutons of the bacon variety.

But wait. How was your weekend?

My weekend was almost as good as bacon croutons. I watched about seven straight hours of sons of anarchy late into the night. I watched almost as many youtube videos on show interviews because I can’t keep real and faux life separate. I spent a large chunk of time with Eddie at a horse racing track supporting his passion and not-so-secretly stalking a bunch of people on instagram that I want to be my friends. We ate one meal and one meal only on Saturday that consisted of the most massive burger ever and a freaking burnt almond torte milkshake.

Yeah. I said burnt almond torte. Am I dead yet?

Warm Brussels Caesar with Bacon Ciabatta Croutons I howsweeteats.com

After that, we participated in marriage therapy otherwise known as grocery shopping.

See, there are certain activities that Eddie and I know better than to do with each other and one of these things is grocery shopping. Another one is attempting to run together but that is neither here nor there. We had a lapse of judgment on Saturday and found ourselves at the store – together – which prepped me for life with a small child and gave him good free throw training as he shot peppers, bok choy, whole chickens and bottles of bbq sauce into the cart from ten feet away right before he proceeded to buy $24 of seedless grapes. He also plays this duck hunt game on his phone and I’m like almost certain that he surpassed at least six levels while simultaneously running the cart into other shoppers on his own personal speedway.

Then. He dropped a giant jar of pickles on the ground and pickle juice went all over his pants and shoes while pickles piled up to his ankles. He hates pickles. He hates the smell of pickles.

I love pickles. So much that I could sip the juice. I think I did so as a kid. I know you either get it or think I’m nuts. It’s a thing though.

But. This was one of those instances where I could not stop laughing. Totally dying of hysterics to the point of embarrassment. Pickles for everyone!

We planned on coming home from the store, maybe taking a nap and then eating these Brussels salads for dinner since we had a huge lunch. We did come home, we did take naps, we did not eat Brussels salad and instead finished milkshakes. That’s a weekend meal right there for you.

Warm Brussels Caesar with Bacon Ciabatta Croutons I howsweeteats.com

But these salads. These freaking salads. I was inspired by this smoky kale caesar salad which was blowing my mind a few weeks ago. Last week I had an overabundance of Brussels – can I just say that even though I’m slightly giddy for spring, I’m really sad for this sprout season to be over because I just can’t get enough? – and was craving something… different. The thing is that I’ve done a bunch of crazy crap with the little green things this year and while I wanted something with variety, I didn’t want it to be crazy. Like I wasn’t feel a Brussels quesadilla at that very moment.

So I fried some bacon. Took the grease and drenched ciabatta cubes with it, then toasted them until golden. Sauteed the Brussels until slightly soft and warm and then folded in a bit of this yogurt parm Caesar dressing. The salad soaks up a bit of dressing but the flavor is on. Tossed with the bacon, the croutons, some extra shaved parm… UGH. It’s so me new favorite meal. I ate it three times last week.

I’m probably going to eat it again today? You will hear about this salad approximately 34 more times before I’m over it.

Warm Brussels Caesar with Bacon Ciabatta Croutons I howsweeteats.com


Warm Brussels Caesars with Bacon Ciabatta Croutons

Yield: serves 1 to 2

Total Time: 30 mintues


2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 cup ciabatta bread cubes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pound brussels sprouts, sliced and stems removed
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of pepper
freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

yogurt caesar dressing
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons greek yogurt
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
4 anchovies, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup olive oil


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the bread cubes on a baking sheet.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until crispy and the fat is rendered, then remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel. Pour the bacon grease from the skillet over the bread cubes on the baking sheet and toss well. Sprinkle with the garlic powder and toss once more. Add the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the cubes are golden, tossing once or twice while cooking.

Return the skillet to the burner and heat over medium-low heat. Add the brussels with the salt and pepper and stir well. If you need a drop of olive oil feel free to add it, but I just used a little residual bacon grease in the skillet. Cook the brussels until warm and slightly soft, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Remove them from the skillet and toss with a few spoonfuls of the caesar dressing. Add the bacon and croutons on top and serve!

yogurt caesar dressing
To make the dressing, add the garlic, yogurt, parmesan, mustard, vinegar, anchovies, lemon juice, salt and pepper to a food processor and blend until pureed. With the processor still on, stream in the olive oil until a creamy dressing forms. This will make more dressing than needed, but you can store it sealed in the fridge for about 5 days and stir well before using.

[dressing from my roasted corn caesars]

Warm Brussels Caesar with Bacon Ciabatta Croutons I howsweeteats.com

and it’s CRUNCHY too. My life.

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114 Responses to “Warm Brussels Caesar with Bacon Ciabatta Croutons.”

  1. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — February 3, 2014 @ 7:57 am

    I know you must be in heaven with those bacon croutons! I love that it’s a warmed salad and that there’s Brussels sprouts!


  2. #
    Taylor @ FoodFaithFitness — February 3, 2014 @ 7:59 am

    Totally laughed at your grocery store story! I used to go with my hubby and then realized it was not a good plan. So, the next time I went I told him he wasn’t invited anymore. At first he was all :( but then he realized it was a smart choice.
    BACON CROUTONS? Those may be all I ever need in life. Love this salad!
    P.s saw those burgers and milkshakes on insta…definitely the perfect weekend meal.


  3. #
    Madison — February 3, 2014 @ 8:04 am

    Haha–so funny about the grocery store with hubs. My husband is SLOW SLOW SLOW and I just leave him while he meanders about the store. :)

    BACON croutons yes please. I’m signed up and ready to go!


  4. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — February 3, 2014 @ 8:18 am

    OK, I am in awes of this salad but your story about Eddie’s grocery shopping antics has me in total hysterics! Sounds like there is never a dull moment with you guys. Grocery shopping is one of my fave forms of therapy, and I’m sure if I were to go with you guys I’d have sore abs from laughing so hard!


  5. #
    Emily aka The Three Bite Rule — February 3, 2014 @ 8:40 am

    hahaha yes! As much as I don’t like grocery shopping, I would pass on shopping with my hubbie. Then he goes separately since I don’t get enough snacks. The brussels sprouts look to die for!


  6. #
    ashley - baker by nature — February 3, 2014 @ 8:41 am

    This meal ———————> best THING ever. EVER. And that burger and shake look like insanity. I need!


  7. #
    Jamie @ Dishing Out Health — February 3, 2014 @ 8:53 am

    Your grocery store experience just had me in hysterics LOL and omg those freaking burgers!! As soon as I saw them on Instagram, my appetite became ravenous. And now all i’ll think about is this salad. You had a phenomenal food weekend, girl!


  8. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — February 3, 2014 @ 8:58 am

    Hahahaha. Loved that part about grocery shopping—so thankful that is one of those activities that Connor and I can do together. BUT the grocery bill is always more expensive each time we do. Without fail.

    Need this salad in my life!


  9. #
    Alicia Greenrabbit — February 3, 2014 @ 8:59 am

    What a good way to start the week. Especially after the weekend of cheesy heavy ,beery Superbowl food! Maybe I can get my girls to eat brussel sprouts this way, disguised as a salad……….mmmmm………. it may work.


  10. #
    Belinda@themoonblushbaker — February 3, 2014 @ 9:17 am

    I can not wait to make those bacon crumbs such a different way of boosting the bacony flavor of Caesar. Laughing and sympathizing with your super market story. I may not have a partner but my family gong shopping is intensive family time.


  11. #
    Liz @ Tip Top Shape — February 3, 2014 @ 9:28 am

    This looks amazing!!! I was dying at that 24 dollar seedless grape line. I almost did that myself, too, a few years ago! Why are they so expensive?!


    • Jessica — February 3rd, 2014 @ 10:18 am

      they are like those stupid cherries. you see the $5.99 sign and later realize it’s for one pound!


  12. #
    christina — February 3, 2014 @ 9:35 am

    Does it really taste like Caesar without the anchovies though?


    • Jessica — February 3rd, 2014 @ 9:39 am

      there are anchovies! in the dressing. ;)


      • christina — February 3rd, 2014 @ 9:42 am

        haha I totally missed them. Thanks!

  13. #
    Nora&Laura — February 3, 2014 @ 9:36 am

    this looks simply amazing!! yum!


  14. #
    Christina — February 3, 2014 @ 9:39 am

    Haha I can picture the two of you at the grocery store with that pickle jar broken at your feet. Too funny. I’m all over this “salad” and can’t wait to make it.


  15. #
    Carly @ Snack Therapy — February 3, 2014 @ 9:43 am

    THIS is a salad I can get on board with.


  16. #
    Jenny Flake — February 3, 2014 @ 9:49 am

    Yah, brussels sprouts are about my favorite thing ever!!! This salad is perfection :) xoxo


  17. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — February 3, 2014 @ 10:00 am

    I surrender all.


  18. #
    Erin | The Law Student's Wife — February 3, 2014 @ 10:05 am

    Laughing so hard at the grocery shopping visual. What is it with boys and turning everything into a sporting event? Also can I just say: BACON GREASE CROUTONS. So wrong it must be right.


  19. #
    Stephanie @cookinfanatic — February 3, 2014 @ 10:19 am

    This looks amazinggggg. That is all.!


  20. #
    Amanda — February 3, 2014 @ 10:30 am

    Cannot wait to try this! Yum yum yum!!


  21. #
    Sini | my blue&white kitchen — February 3, 2014 @ 10:31 am

    Loved to read about your weekend (AND of course the grocery store incidence). This salad looks and sounds a.m.a.z.i.n.g.. Can’t wait to make it!


  22. #
    DeLallo Foods — February 3, 2014 @ 11:11 am

    BACON CROUTONS, SPROUTS, & PARMIGIANO-REGGIANO. Love is not a strong enough word.


  23. #
    dervla @ the curator — February 3, 2014 @ 11:15 am

    ok, dying over eddie standing in the middle of a grocery store aisle with pickles all over his feet! Did you have to pick them all up? And that salad sounds delish!


    • Eddie — February 3rd, 2014 @ 6:36 pm

      I pointed at Jess so everyone thought it was her fault. I’m not afraid to throw her under the bus.


  24. #
    Izy — February 3, 2014 @ 11:55 am

    HAH, grocery shopping can only be an experience shared with a few people. If I go with my dad it can be terrible/amazing because he will let me buy anything (2 massive packets of doritos? WHY NOT!) but he also never reads the labels on anything so ends up getting the really weird versions of basic foods (like black pepper + cheddar English muffins ..?). Anyways, you’re killin it with this salad, those croutons sound ridic!!


  25. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen — February 3, 2014 @ 11:57 am

    You can never go wrong with a brussels sprout salad…especially with bacon! Yum!


  26. #
    Steph | Pretty LIttle Things — February 3, 2014 @ 12:44 pm
  27. #
    Helen @ Scrummy Lane — February 3, 2014 @ 1:25 pm

    I feel for you. My Mr. Scrummy always doubles (at least) my grocery shopping with non-essentials when he comes with. Wonderful idea to make a brussels Caesar!


  28. #
    Shea @ Dixie Chik Cooks — February 3, 2014 @ 1:29 pm

    Love the salad…and the shopping trip story!!


  29. #
    Terrie M — February 3, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

    Oh I am dying laughing over here at the pickle story!! LOL!!! Yes grocery shopping with the spouse in not ideal.

    I’ve printed this recipe and will be making it this week after I go to the grocery store alone!

    Thanks for you fabulous recipes, your great writing and humor. Love your blog.


  30. #
    Tracy | Peanut Butter And Onion — February 3, 2014 @ 1:53 pm

    OMG, you were the one who got me hooked on Brussels sprouts to begin with, you have just brought it to a new level


  31. #
    Christine @ Cooking with Cakes — February 3, 2014 @ 2:14 pm

    give me ALL THE BACON, any form will do.


  32. #
    3girls1apple — February 3, 2014 @ 2:22 pm

    I wish I had this now. Better than what I’m eating at the moment and healthy. Thanks for sharing from 3girls1apple.com.


  33. #
    Kristina — February 3, 2014 @ 2:42 pm

    I DO get it. I am the girl who makes Pickle Juice Cocktails. seriously. good. (you can really only have like, one, though – or, heartburn city).

    Your shopping shenanigans sound like ours – I am always trying to track Jason down (usually found at the beer bar, sampling EVERYTHING they have on tap), He tells me to give him three things to find and then runs off. Comes back with seven. Maybe one was on the list.

    I love ANY warm salad, this IS going on the menu.


  34. #
    Paula – bell’alimento — February 3, 2014 @ 3:00 pm

    This salad is amazing!


  35. #
    Sommer @ASpicyPerspective — February 3, 2014 @ 3:07 pm

    This salad is calling my name! I can’t wait to make this!


  36. #
    Esther — February 3, 2014 @ 3:47 pm

    This looks amazing. Do you think it would suck without the anchovies though? I’m not such a huge fan of those guys.


  37. #
    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence — February 3, 2014 @ 3:59 pm

    OMG, I love everything about this.


  38. #
    Chrissy — February 3, 2014 @ 4:12 pm

    I LOVE sprouts! Yum!

    I also lose all sense of reality when I binge watch TV shows. I haven’t done SOA, but I got addicted to Scandal over NY. Breaking Bad is next…


  39. #
    Lindsay — February 3, 2014 @ 4:38 pm

    Absolutely dying at your pickle story!! Your husband reminds me of the way I behave at the grocery store, which is why my husband hates grocery shopping with me!


  40. #
    Genn — February 3, 2014 @ 5:20 pm

    This looks amazing!!!! I’ve never even heard of bacon croutons…bet they’re incredible!


  41. #
    ATasteOfMadness — February 3, 2014 @ 5:38 pm

    Ooh, I don’t ever think I would get over this salad. It looks so good!


  42. #
    erin m. — February 3, 2014 @ 7:04 pm

    You crack me up. I almost choked when I read that you almost head butted the screen.love it!


  43. #
    Mariah and Coty@quirksandtwists — February 3, 2014 @ 8:43 pm

    Sounds like a killer weekend of yummy food! Love the spin on this dressing!


  44. #
    Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg — February 3, 2014 @ 9:33 pm

    Oh yeah, I want this salad now.


  45. #
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — February 3, 2014 @ 9:36 pm

    Oh dang, this sounds amazing! Brussels aren’t as easy to come by around here and my brussels-consumption for the season is definitely at a deficit. I think this salad should be my consolation prize.


  46. #
    Tobi from brag&butter — February 4, 2014 @ 3:11 am

    Total instacrave situation going on here – it looks so good! Nice idea with the yogurt Caesar dressing, thanks for that!


  47. #
    Kim in MD — February 4, 2014 @ 8:55 am

    I can always count on you for a good laugh, Jessica! This salad…oh my. If I had some Brussels sprouts in my fridge I would make this for breakfast! ;-)


  48. #
    lois — February 4, 2014 @ 9:43 am

    I am SO making this for dinner tonight. No one will eat it except for me, and I will be happy–because it will also be my lunch for the next three days.


  49. #
    Sues — February 4, 2014 @ 9:46 am

    I’m about to head butt the screen, too. Hello and YES.


  50. #
    Sheena @ Paws and Pavement — February 4, 2014 @ 10:12 am

    That salad looks amazing thanks for sharing!



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