Brussels sprout gratin is a decadent side dish that’s perfect for company, the holidays, or even as a Sunday treat.
Anytime I talk about making brussels sprouts, my father-in-law tells us the story of a date where the girl made him the most horrific dinner of his life. It must have been tragic, because he is still traumatized by it over 45-years later.
Brussels sprouts are kind of that way, though— either you love them because you ate them prepared well, or you hate them because well, bad food = traumatized taste buds.
It’s one of the reasons why I will never eat fried fish. It was NOT chicken, Mom!!
Anyway, this brussels sprout gratin is filled with ooey, gooey cheesy goodness that makes all of the bad brussels sprout nightmares recede into the night, and leaves only good memories in their wake.
This stuff, y’all, is the stuff that heaven is made of. I swear. It could also possibly be the stuff that gym memberships are made of, but that’s another, not so happy, story line. Let’s think about happiness again….
The extra sharp white cheddar cheese mixed with a touch of cream, pancetta, and just enough red chili flakes help these little roasted balls of cabbage taste like what I would imagine are angels singing, or santa arriving. Or, oh, I don’t know…maybe your favorite show coming back, in a bigger and actually better version of the original?! I know, I know, I’m dreaming…. But still, this brussels sprout gratin is THAT good!
Are you ready to learn how to make the gratin?! Okay, it’s super simple…
Halve your washed and trimmed brussels sprouts and drizzle them with some good extra virgin olive oil. Then, sprinkle with some sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Add some garlic and diced pancetta to the pan and roast them until they are just slightly tender. It takes about 15 minutes at 450 F.
Take them out of the oven and let them cool down, then roughly chop them.
Next, cube your extra sharp white cheddar cheese into small cubes. I think it melts better when it is cubed or crumbled (the discovery was a happy accident – I couldn’t find my grater). Mix the brussels sprouts with the cheddar cheese, the cream and the red pepper flakes and spread it into a baking dish. Bake it at 425 for about 20 minutes, or until the cream reduces by about half.
Next, mix up some panko crumbs with a little garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and melted butter. Cover the gratin with the panko mixture and bake in the oven for 5 minutes, or the top is golden brown.
Pull it out of the oven and rejoice!
You are about to dive into a brussels sprout experience that will make you rethink the cute little cabbage balls. And if you still hate them, well, I don’t know…give them to what (hopefully) won’t be your next ex-boyfriend?! 😉
- 1.5 pounds of brussels sprouts (washed, trimmed and halved)
- 2 cloves of garlic, quartered
- 1/2 pound of pancetta, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1/2 t Sea Salt
- 1/4 t Black Pepper
- 1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Roasted brussels sprouts, chopped
- 3/4 cup of heavy cream
- 1 cup of sharp white cheddar cheese (diced into small cubes)
- 1/4 t red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup of plain panko (if you don't have panko, use crushed crackers and omit salt if they are salted)
- 1 t garlic powder
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/4 t pepper
- 2-3 T unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Spread the washed, trimmed and halved brussels sprouts onto a rimmed sheet pan that has been lined with foil.
- Drizzle the olive oil onto them. Using your hands or a spatula, be sure that they are coated evenly with the olive oil.
- Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the brussels sprouts.
- Place the garlic and the pancetta onto the sheet pan, and toss it all together.
- Roast the brussels sprouts for 20 minutes, tossing them at least once half way through. They should be bright green and fork tender (but not overly so). The pancetta should also be cooked through.
- Place the panko crumbs into a bowl and mix with the seasonings.
- Once it is well combined, add the melted butter and toss with a fork until the crumbs are moistened.
- Place the roughly chopped roasted brussels sprouts into a 9x13 baking pan along with the pancetta, and pour the cream over the mixture.
- Sprinkle the mixture with the cubed cheese and mix with a spoon.
- Bake the mixture in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes (the cream should be reduced by about half).
- Add the panko topping, and bake for another 5-8 minutes (until the crumbs are golden brown).
BEFORE YOU LEAVE, BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THESE OTHER RECIPES THAT WILL ROCK YOUR SOCKS OFF!