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Brussels Sprouts Casserole: A Comforting Twist on a Classic Dish

Brussels sprouts casserole has emerged as a beloved side dish that effortlessly bridges the comfort of a hearty bake with the nutritional benefits of green vegetables. I’ve found that its popularity peaks around the holidays, but it’s a dish that’s versatile enough to be enjoyed year-round.

The key to a delicious Brussels sprouts casserole lies in balancing the distinct taste of the sprouts with complementary flavors and textures, such as crispy breadcrumbs, creamy cheese sauce, or savory bacon bits.

My approach to this dish is to focus on creating layers of flavor and texture. I start by ensuring the Brussels sprouts are cooked just right, aiming for a tender bite that still offers a bit of resistance, to avoid them turning mushy. Then, I like to add a rich, creamy element to the dish, which could be a béchamel sauce or a blend of cheeses like Gruyère or cheddar. For a final touch, a sprinkle of panko bread crumbs or crumbled bacon can add a satisfying crunch that contrasts wonderfully with the creaminess underneath.

Through the process, I’ve discovered a variety of recipes and techniques that can cater to an array of tastes, whether it’s a desire for a lighter dish using less cream or cheese, or, conversely, making it extra indulgent for those special occasions. Adjusting the ingredient ratios can easily make the casserole fit into any meal plan, making Brussels sprouts casserole a customizable and surefire addition to any table.

Ingredients You’ll Need

When I make a Brussels Sprouts Casserole, I like to gather all my ingredients beforehand. Here’s what you’ll usually need:

Vegetables:

  • Brussels sprouts: My star ingredient, often quartered for even cooking.
  • Onions: They add a lovely sweetness when sautéed.

Creamy Sauce:

  • Butter: I use it for the roux, which thickens my sauce.
  • Flour: Just a little to help thicken the sauce.
  • Milk: The liquid base for the roux; whole milk is my go-to for richness.
  • Cheese: A good melting variety like cheddar or Gruyère adds creaminess.

Seasonings:

  • Salt & Pepper: Essential for enhancing flavors.
  • Garlic Powder: For that extra aromatic kick.

Additional Flavors:

  • Bacon: It gives my casserole a lovely smoky taste.
  • Olive Oil: I use a bit for roasting or sautéing the sprouts.

Toppings (optional):

  • Breadcrumbs: For a delightful crunchy topping.
  • Extra Cheese: Because a little more cheese only makes things better.

Here’s how I organize the ingredients:

CategoryIngredientNotes
VegetablesBrussels sprouts, OnionsFresh is best
Creamy SauceButter, Flour, Milk, CheeseUse unsalted butter, all-purpose flour, and freshly grated cheese
SeasoningsSalt, Pepper, Garlic PowderAdjust to taste
Additional FlavorsBacon, Olive OilCan omit bacon for a vegetarian option
ToppingsBreadcrumbs, Extra CheeseOptional but recommended

My advice? Always taste as you go and adjust seasonings to your preference. The beauty of a casserole is in the layers of flavor and texture, so make each layer count!

How To Make Brussels Sprouts Casserole

When I make my favorite Brussels Sprouts Casserole, I start with the essential prep work. Trust me, getting your ingredients ready first makes the process smoother.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Brussels Sprouts: Cleaned and halved
  • Cheese: Gruyere and mozzarella, freshly shredded
  • Cream: For that lush sauce
  • Panko Breadcrumbs: For the crispy topping

Firstly, I preheat the oven to a cozy 375°F (190°C) – the perfect temperature for casseroles to come together. Then, I lightly grease a casserole dish with olive oil or butter, depending on my mood.

For the sprouts, boiling is a quick way to tenderize them. I boil mine for about 7-8 minutes. Here’s how I execute the rest:

  1. Prepare Brussels Sprouts: Boil the halved sprouts until tender, then drain.
  2. Assemble the Layers: Place the sprouts in the baking dish, sprinkle a generous amount of cheese, and pour in the cream that’s just enough to cover.
  3. Crispy Topping: Combine Panko with melted butter, then scatter it over the top. It’ll give a satisfying crunch to every bite.

Everything then bakes for around 25 minutes or until it bubbles with golden glory.

Remember: Don’t skimp on the seasoning. Salt and pepper are your friends. And if you’re up for it, a pinch of nutmeg can add a welcome warmth.

I enjoy pairing this with a roasted chicken or integrating it into my Thanksgiving spread, but it’s versatile enough for any occasion. Enjoy making and indulging in this comforting casserole!

Tips For The Best Brussels Sprouts Casserole

When I make Brussels sprouts casserole, one key thing is to choose the freshest Brussels sprouts possible. Look for bright green heads that are firm to the touch. It’s these little details that can make or break a dish.

Here’s how I ensure my casserole stands out:

  • Trim and Halve: I always trim the ends and remove any blemished outer leaves. Cutting them in half ensures they cook evenly.
  • Proper Seasoning: I don’t hold back on seasoning. Aside from salt and pepper, I like adding a pinch of garlic powder for an extra kick.

I can’t stress enough the importance of a good cheese selection. I go for a mix of sharp cheddar and creamy Gruyère — they melt beautifully and add a luxurious texture.

  • Cheese Choices:
    • Sharp Cheddar: Bold flavor
    • Gruyère: Melts well

Don’t forget the topping. I use homemade bread crumbs mixed with a little melted butter for that perfect golden crust. If I’m feeling indulgent, a sprinkle of crispy bacon bits makes for an irresistible finish.

  • Topping Ideas:
    • Bread Crumbs: For crunch
    • Bacon Bits: For savory depth

And here’s a little secret: right before the casserole is done, I broil it for 2-3 minutes to get that mouthwatering, bubbly top. Just keep a close eye on it — nobody likes a burned casserole!

Remember, it’s the little tweaks that elevate a simple Brussels sprouts casserole into a dish people rave about for days. Happy cooking!

What To Serve With Brussels Sprouts Casserole

When I cook my favorite Brussels Sprouts Casserole, I like to balance the meal with side dishes that complement its rich and savory flavors. Here are some of my go-to options:

  • Proteins:

    • Roasted turkey or chicken. These classic choices pair splendidly with the casserole by offering a light contrast to its creamy texture.
    • Grilled steak. A simple seasoning of salt and pepper on steak brings a robust flavor that stands up to the hearty casserole.
  • Starches:

    • Mashed potatoes. Their smooth, creamy nature works well alongside the textures of the casserole.
    • Wild rice. The nutty flavor of wild rice can add a delightful complexity to your meal.
  • Vegetables:

    • Glazed carrots. Offering a sweet counterpoint, glazed carrots add color and a touch of sweetness to the plate.
    • Green beans. These can be quickly blanched or sautéed with a bit of garlic for a crisp, healthy addition.
  • Breads:

    • A crusty baguette. Great for sopping up any sauce or cheesy goodness from the casserole.
    • Dinner rolls. Warm, soft rolls are always a crowd-pleaser, especially when brushed with some garlic butter.
  • Salads:

    • A simple mixed greens salad. The freshness of the salad cuts through the richness of the casserole beautifully.
    • Caesar salad. The creamy dressing and crisp lettuce add a refreshing contrast.

These are just a few ideas, but the key is to think about balancing flavors and textures to round out your meal. Enjoy your cooking!

How To Store, Freeze & Reheat Brussels Sprout Casserole

Storing in the Refrigerator

To ensure my Brussels sprout casserole stays fresh, I always keep it refrigerated in an airtight container. This method maintains the casserole’s flavor and texture for up to 3-4 days. Here’s what I do:

  • Let the casserole cool to room temperature before storing to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Transfer to an airtight container.
  • Label the container with the date to track freshness.

Freezing the Casserole

If I need to keep the casserole for an extended period, freezing is a great option. I make sure it’s properly prepared to withstand the freezing process:

  1. Cool the casserole completely.
  2. Wrap the dish tightly with both plastic wrap and aluminum foil, or transfer to a freezer-safe container.
  3. Label with the freezing date, and keep frozen for up to 2 months.

To thaw, I place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours before I plan to reheat it.

Reheating

When it’s time to enjoy my casserole again, I reheat it to capture that just-baked taste:

  • Oven: Preheat to 350°F. Remove all wrapping, cover with foil to prevent drying out, and bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • Microwave: For smaller portions, I use the microwave. Heat on high for 2 minutes, then in 30-second intervals until heated through.

I find the best way to store Brussels sprouts ensures their freshness before I make my casserole, and identical principles apply to storing the casserole after it’s been prepared.

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CEO at Happy Muncher | benjamin@happymuncher.com | Website | + posts

Hi, I'm Benjamin. I love cooking, long walks, and my girlfriend! Here you’ll find simple and delicious recipes that you can make in 30 minutes or less.