May 20, 2016

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 20 mins
Roasted Brussels sprouts are tossed in a béchamel sauce with pancetta and topped with gruyere and Parmesan. This rich side is perfect for the holidays!

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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. I always recommend roasting Brussels sprouts a little longer than you think you need to – they should look slightly caramelized on the bottom.
  • 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

roasted brussels sprouts on baking sheet

Step 1: Roast Brussels sprouts.

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.

cooked pancetta with fat rendered

Step 2: Cook pancetta.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook pancetta until fat has rendered and it is crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a small bowl, reserving as much fat as possible in the pan.

sautéed shallots

Step 3: Sauté shallots.

Add the butter and melt. Add the shallots and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes.

bechamel sauce in pan bubbling

Step 4: Make roux.

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.

Bechamel and brussels sprouts with pancetta in bowl

Step 5: Make béchamel.

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.

Brussels sprouts gratin mixture in bowl

Step 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 (190ºC).

Brussels sprouts gratin topped with gruyere cheese and Parmesan

Step 7: Bake and serve.

Top with the Gruyère and Parmesan cheese and bake until the mixture is browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly and serve.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

How to Make this Recipe in Advance

Assemble the gratin in advance then cover and refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve. Cook as directed below.

To Make This Recipe Dairy Free

Hard cheeses like Gruyère and Emmentaler as well as Parmesan don’t contain any lactose. It’s actually broken down in the production process so those who have a lactose intolerance can eat those cheeses. To make the recipe dairy free, substitute with a lactose free milk or non-dairy alternative.

Substitutions
  • Try swapping the pancetta with diced bacon if needed.
  • A gratin like this is great with a hearty green like kale or collard greens. Simply sauté and use in place of the Brussels sprouts in this recipe.
roasted brussels sprouts gratin

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this Brussels sprouts gratin recipe, I recommend checking out some of these

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
  • ½ cup diced pancetta
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup diced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 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 medium saucepan over medium heat, cook pancetta until fat has rendered and it is crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a small bowl, reserving as much fat as possible in the pan.
  • Add the butter and melt. Add the shallots and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes.
  • 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 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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