May 20, 2016

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 20 mins
The Brussels sprouts are first roasted so that they are tender and lightly charred. They are then mixed together with béchamel sauce, crispy pancetta, shallots and lemon zest and topped with a mix of Gruyère and Parmesan cheese.

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Brussels Sprouts Gratin

The Brussels sprouts are first roasted so that they are tender and lightly charred. They are then mixed together with béchamel sauce, crispy pancetta, shallots and lemon zest and topped with a mix of Gruyère and Parmesan cheese.

Brussels sprouts are a commonly hated vegetable among people because of how they are often served, boiled until they are mushy and gross. I feel like it is one of those vegetables that people hate before they try them just because they feel like they are supposed to. This dish will convert any hater with the creamy béchamel and cheese and if it doesn’t, then there’s no hope for you.

brussels sprouts gratin

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Brussels sprouts – Look for tight heats of Brussels sprouts with 1-2″ in diameter. Remove any yellowing leaves from the outside of the sprouts. I cut them in half before roasting them so the cut side caramelizes slightly. The Brussels sprouts are first roasted before they are added to the béchamel sauce and topped with cheese.
  • Gruyère – Gruyère is a hard cheese with a nutty, sweet flavor from Switzerland. The fact that it melts well (due to a high water to oil ratio) mixed with t’s distinct flavor makes it the perfect addition to anything from sandwiches to mac and cheese or fondue. If you can’t find Gruyère, I recommend substituting with another Swiss cheese like Emmental.
  • Parmesan – Parmesan-Reggiano is definitely one of my favorite cheeses. It’s a hard cow’s milk cheese aged for different lengths of time. I’d recommend buying a roughly cut piece of wrapped cheese from the grocery store – it’s typically a higher quality cheese.

How to Make This Brussels Sprout Gratin Recipe

  1. Roast the Brussels sprouts. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Cut the Brussels in half then toss in olive oil, salt and pepper and spread in an even layer, cut side down on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Roast until the Brussels sprouts are soft on the inside and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
  2. Make the béchamel sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and melt. Add the flour, whisking to combine. Let the roux cook for a minute until a pale golden brown. Add the milk and thyme, whisking to incorporate.
  3. Simmer the sauce to thicken. Bring the mixture to a boil then lower the heat to medium-low. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and discard thyme sprig. Remove the béchamel sauce from heat and set aside.
  4. Cook the pancetta. In a small sauté pan over medium low heat, cook pancetta until fat has rendered and it is crispy, about 10 minutes.
  5. Sauté shallots. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta to a medium mixing bowl, leaving as much fat in the pan as possible. Add the shallots and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes.
  6. Assemble gratin. In a large bowl stir together the Brussels sprouts, pancetta, béchamel and lemon zest until combined. Pour the mixture into an 8-inch cast iron baking dish. Lower oven to 375ºF.
  7. Top with cheese and bake. Top with the Gruyère and Parmesan cheese and bake until the mixture is browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes.
brussels sprouts gratin overhead

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Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt, as needed
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • ½ cup diced pancetta
  • ¼ cup diced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¼ cup shredded Gruyère cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Cut the Brussels in half then toss in olive oil, salt and pepper and spread in an even layer, cut side down on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Roast until the Brussels sprouts are soft on the inside and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and melt. Add the flour, whisking to combine. Let the roux cook for a minute until a pale golden brown. Add the milk and thyme, whisking to incorporate.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil then lower the heat to medium-low. Cook, whisking occasionally, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and discard thyme sprig. Remove the béchamel sauce from heat and set aside.
  • In a small sauté pan over medium low heat, cook pancetta until fat has rendered and it is crispy, about 10 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta to a medium mixing bowl, leaving as much fat in the pan as possible. Add the shallots and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes.
  • In a large bowl stir together the Brussels sprouts, pancetta, béchamel and lemon zest until combined. Pour the mixture into an 8-inch cast iron baking dish. Lower oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
  • Top with the Gruyère and Parmesan cheese and bake until the mixture is browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes.

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