Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Gratin

Ahh, Brussels sprouts. They’re a vegetable and they’re green, which means they’re one of the things that I ran from (kicking and screaming, mind you) for most of my life. I’ve made baby steps toward my acceptance of green vegetables; I’m proud of the fact that I can now eat broccoli without a massive layer of processed yellow cheese on top. Score! Brussels sprouts, though? It’s been a longer, harder road. What I’ve found, however, is that if it’s creamy, crunchy and involves bacon, I’ll most likely eat it. I saw this recipe in The Wall Street Journal waaaaay back in January and saved it with Thanksgiving in mind. I’ve used the last few Thanksgivings to experiment with different ways of preparing Brussels sprouts so that I’ll actually eat them. I haven’t loved everything; however, the Brussels sprout slaw I made two years ago was a winner, and this recipe has definitely been my favorite thus far.

Aren’t Brussels sprouts are so cute?! Tiny little green cabbages… I’m really trying to embrace them! Roasting them with bacon, then tossing them with cream and a bread crumb and Parmesan topping seems to be helping my efforts ;-)

I think part of the vegetable problem as a kid growing up during the 80’s is that back then, most vegetables were simply boiled, which left them overcooked, limp and pretty darn gross. Experimenting the last few years, I’ve found that roasting vegetables ups the flavor quotient tremendously. They become slightly caramelized and crisp, which brings out a lot more flavor.

These Brussels sprouts are roasted with bacon for half of their cooking time, then tossed in cream, covered in a bread crumb and Parmesan topping and baked until the cream is bubbling and the top is golden brown. The combination of textures and flavors makes this a fantastic vegetable dish and perfect for Thanksgiving, when even the pickiest of eaters is likely to try something golden and creamy (totally talking about myself here).

Creamy gratins are definitely a better alternative to fake cheese sauce, and are one more baby step to enjoying naked green vegetables. I just may get there some day ;-)

One year ago: Sweet Potato Gratin with Gruyère
Two years ago: Classic Bread Stuffing Recipe
Three years ago: Cheddar and Chiles Bread

Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Gratin

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

A creamy Brussels sprouts gratin, complete with bacon and a crunchy bread crumb topping.

Ingredients:

For the Brussels Sprouts:
2 pounds Brussels sprouts
6 ounces bacon, cut into ¼-inch dice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¾ teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream

For the Topping:
1 cup plain bread crumbs
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and adjust oven rack to high position. Remove the outer leaf layers of the Brussels sprouts, slice off the stem ends, and then halve them lengthwise.

2. In a medium bowl, toss together the Brussels sprouts, bacon, melted butter, salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.

3. Meanwhile, toss together all of the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl; set aside.

4. Remove the pan from the oven and pour the cream over top of the Brussels sprouts; use a spoon to toss together, ensuring all of the sprouts are coated in cream. Arrange them again in a single layer in the pan. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the top of the Brussels sprouts. Return to the oven for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the cream is bubbling and the topping is golden brown. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

(Recipe adapted from The Wall Street Journal)

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37 Responses to “Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Gratin”

  1. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on November 19, 2012 at 2:21 am

    I always hated Brussels sprouts as a kid because my mom usually boiled or steamed them- yuck! They are so good roasted though, and I’m sure bacon and cream can’t hurt ;D

    Reply

  2. Coleen's Recips on November 19, 2012 at 3:01 am

    My mother was born in England so we grew up eating brussel sprouts and yes, they were boiled and gross. However, I’ve rediscovered them in the last couple of years and the fresh ones, quartered and sauted in a little bacon drippings it’s the cats meow!! I’m very anxious to try your recipe, thank you for sharing it!!

    Reply

  3. Connie the Cookie Monster on November 19, 2012 at 3:44 am

    how do u make brussel sprouts look so good?!

    Reply

  4. Amy Driscoll on November 19, 2012 at 5:44 am

    This looks yummy. Of course it is, bacon makes everything just that much better. Here is my favorite Brussels sprout recipe…yep, has bacon. This one even has my “green-vegetable-hating” husband going back for seconds and requesting I make it. http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Company-Brussels-Sprouts

    Reply

  5. little kitchie on November 19, 2012 at 6:22 am

    looks and sounds absolutely amazing! i’m the weirdo kid who always loved brussels sprouts growing up, but now that i know how to actually cook them well, and have recipes like this around, they are one of my absolute favorites! thanks for sharing this!

    Reply

  6. Blog is the New Black on November 19, 2012 at 6:35 am

    One of my favorite side dishes!

    Reply

  7. amanda @ fake ginger on November 19, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Oooh, I love this! If I was cooking TGiving, this would definitely be on my menu! Looks delicious!

    Reply

  8. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on November 19, 2012 at 9:16 am

    What a wonderful spin to Brussels Sprouts! I’m betting with bacon my Husband would eat it!!

    Reply

  9. Anita at Hungry Couple on November 19, 2012 at 9:23 am

    I actually do like Brussels sprouts but am always looking for new ways to prepare them. I like the idea of the breadcrumbs on top!

    Reply

  10. Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) on November 19, 2012 at 9:25 am

    I’m a fairly new Brussels Sprouts convert but this looks too good not to try! Yum =)

    Reply

  11. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough on November 19, 2012 at 9:50 am

    Wowza. This is everything I love in one dish. YUM!

    Reply

  12. Linda on November 19, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I must be one of the few who likes brussel sprouts. I live in the middle of no where and have never seen a fresh one. Will be leaving after Thanksgiving and hope to find some fresh ones. Have only eaten frozen ones.

    Reply

  13. Tracey on November 19, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I posted brussels sprouts today too! I adore this gratin, I think it would win over most sprout-haters :) Bacon is pretty much a requirement when you’re talking brussels sprouts!

    Reply

  14. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet on November 19, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Brussels sprouts were one of my favorite veggies when I was little. Now my kids enjoy it too! Love this grating idea – definitely should appear on Thanksgiving table!

    Reply

  15. Penney on November 19, 2012 at 10:24 am

    This is my favorite way to prepare brussels sprouts.  They are ridiculously addictive prepared this way. (Yes, Brussels sprouts)

    8 ounces bacon, diced
    1/2 pound shallots, thinly sliced
    2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    4 teaspoons sugar
    1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and each half sliced into quarters
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter as needed
    Kosher salt and pepper
    Fry the diced bacon until crispy, remove to paper towels to drain.  Remove all but 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from pan, but save the excess – that stuff is liquid gold.  
    Sauté shallots in bacon fat until browned, then add the salt, vinegar and sugar.  Continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until shallots are nicely glazed.  Remove from skillet.
    Add a tablespoon each of unsalted butter and reserved bacon fat.  Sauté the sliced Brussels sprouts until tender crisp.  Add glazed shallots, bacon and salt and pepper to taste.  

    Reply

  16. Susan Sunde on November 19, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Have you tried using panko (sp?) crumbs?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 20th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      Hi Susan, I have used them many times, and you could definitely substitute them here for the plain bread crumbs if you’d like.

      Reply

  17. Heather on November 19, 2012 at 11:33 am

    I love Brussel sprouts! I slice them thin and stir fry them in a little olive oil, then when they are crispy, I put a splash of balsamic vinegar on them and lots of brown sugar. Yum! I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks.

    Reply

  18. Fran@fransfavs.com on November 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Oh, these look absolutely scrumptious–putting them on my must-make list! In the meantime, expand your Brussels sprouts horizon with this fabulously delicious breakfast dish–my husband and I made it twice in one week! http://www.fransfavs.com/2012/10/poached-eggs-with-creamy-brussels-sprouts-and-bacon/

    Reply

  19. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on November 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    I just discovered a love for brussels sprouts! I love them roasted and crispy. This looks amazing…

    Reply

  20. Karen (Back Road Journal) on November 19, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    My husband was just like you and has only started eating and liking brussels sprouts for the last couple of years. I know he will really love this recipe.

    Reply

  21. Kevin (Closet Cooking) on November 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    A great way to enjoy some brussels sprouts!

    Reply

  22. Genn on November 19, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    yuuum! I love brussels sprouts! this looks fantastic!

    Reply

  23. Laura Dembowski on November 19, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I love Brussels sprouts! They are my favorite vegetable. They are for sure great in slaw and also roasted witg balsamic vinegar or curry powder.

    Reply

  24. Jen on November 20, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Do you have any suggestions if you wanted to do this with frozen brussel sprouts? I was thinking you could let them thaw and then bake them longer???

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 20th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

      Hi Jen, I’ve never used frozen Brussels sprouts but I would imagine you could thaw them (and make sure you drain and dry them), then proceed with the recipe.

      Reply

      • Jen on November 20th, 2012 at 2:17 pm

        Thanks so much! I have some in my freezer and this recipe LOOKS AMAZING! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing

        Reply

  25. Sophie on November 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Brussel sprouts remind me so much of Christmas! Along with Christmas cake which I have already begun making! I shared the recipe on my blog bakingblondebites.com! Please check it out!

    Reply

  26. Vicki Pieranunzi on November 22, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Just had these for Thanksgiving dinner made by the Brown Eyed Baker herself! They are absolutely delicious. I will be making these pretty often as brussel sprouts are a regular here anyway.

    Reply

  27. Chris S on November 23, 2012 at 8:50 am

    These were a great addition to our Thanksgiving feast!

    Reply

  28. Mandy on November 24, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I was convinced Brussel sprouts were totally gross and stinky for years because I only had them boiled, until I tried preparing them different ways (hello, pancetta and balsamic vinegar!) I made the brussel sprouts according to this recipe, and they were a huge hit! I’ll definitely make these again.

    Reply

  29. Elizabeth on December 2, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    I made these last night, they were AWESOME. This website never fails me, thank you.

    Reply

  30. Deborah N on December 25, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Stumbled across your recipe above and made them to eat with Christmas dinner today – YUMMY! Thank you! :)

    Reply

  31. Indian Restaurant in Panama on June 20, 2013 at 5:56 am

    Just too yummy!! my wife just made these Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Gratin and i just loved it… :)

    Reply

  32. kristin on November 23, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    dumbest question ever but…do you cook the bacon before you add to the brussell sprouts?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 24th, 2013 at 1:09 pm

      Hi Kristin, Not stupid! You don’t cook the bacon ahead of time; it is roasted along with the Brussels sprouts.

      Reply

  33. Kathleen on November 5, 2014 at 7:55 am

    I am a fan of brussels sprouts and make them a million different ways! This was a new version for me and I made it in my wood fired oven. It created the most wonderful toasty, seared sprouts for the first portion of the recipe. I used some pumpkin bread crumbs in the topping and it added a wonderful flavor to the dish. I happened to have an abundance of pumpkin rolls on hand, but you could also use the pumpkin croutons from Trader Joe’s to make bread crumbs for the topping. A nice touch for the holiday. Thanks for the recipe! I will be posting it on my blog!

    Reply

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