Cheesy Brussels Sprouts Casserole

Oh. my. goodness.  This dish.  I have been so excited to share it with y’all.  Perfectly tender roasted Brussels sprouts enveloped in a rich, cheesy sauce, and topped with crisp panko bread crumbs–the personification of comfort food, if I do say so myself.

For me, it’s even more.  I didn’t realize it until I took my first blissful bite, but this casserole is the greener and, dare I say, more flavorful cousin of the beloved British cauliflower cheese.  That first blissful bite took me straight to London, my favorite city in the whole world.  I’ve got a dear friend who lives there and she has been so generous to host me four times over the last five years.  The last couple of times we’ve done a classic Sunday roast and this past time that included cauliflower cheese.

I don’t think I could ever get enough of London with its life, humor, art, theatre, architecture, museums, and history.

British Parliament

And the incredible choice of restaurants?  Unparalleled.  Want something quick and easy?  Grab a toasty at the nearest Pret and keep on walking to your next stop.  International food from every country and culture ranging from street food to five star?  You bet.  In a pub kind of mood? (and who isn’t?)  You won’t have to look too far.

RIP Masons Arms

Even better than being in London and experiencing every bit of it I can take in ?  All the drinks, decadent meals, shows, ridiculous Christmas movies (you know the kind), laughs, and epic Friendsgivings with my friend.  Seventeen people from five or six different countries in one flat is, hands down, the best way to spend Thanksgiving.

I’m already counting down to my next visit to my friend and to London.  Until then, cheesy Brussels sprouts casserole on cold, drizzly Dallas nights it is.

Perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts are enveloped in a rich, garlicky cheese sauce and topped with crisp panko bread crumbs.  If you’re looking for winter comfort food, look no further.

 

Cheesy Brussels Sprouts Casserole

very slightly adapted from A Couple Cooks

 

Ingredients:

2 TBSP olive oil

2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, off the stem

2 large shallots

4 garlic cloves

1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, divided

freshly-ground black pepper

2 TBSP unsalted butter

2 TBSP all-purpose flour

1 1/4 c. whole or 2% milk

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. mustard powder

1 c. (about 4 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar cheese

1/2 c. Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan cheese, with an extra pinch salt)

1/2 c. plain panko (or breadcrumbs)

1/4 tsp. paprika

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
  2. Slice off the tough ends of the Brussels sprouts and cut them into quarters, discarding any discolored outer leaves (cut any very large sprouts into sixths). Thinly slice the shallot and mince the garlic.
  3. In a large oven-proof skillet or cast iron pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the shallots and sauté 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.   Add the garlic and sauté 30 seconds more.
  4.  Add the Brussels sprouts, 1 tsp. salt, and fresh ground black pepper.  Sauté on medium high heat for 3 minutes.  Add ¼ c. water and continue cooking until tender and starting to brown, another 6 to 7 minutes.  Remove from the heat.
  5. While the sprouts cook, make the cheese sauce by heating the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  When the butter is melted, stir in the flour.  Heat for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly, to cook out the taste of the flour.
  6. As soon as it starts to turn light brown, reduce the heat to low and add the milk very slowly, whisking constantly until the mixture is completely smooth before adding more.  Add the remaining salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and mustard powder and continue cooking on low heat about 2 minutes, whisking frequently.  Gradually add the cheese, stirring until fully melted and the sauce is smooth.
  7. Stir the cheese sauce into the cooked Brussels sprouts.  Sprinkle with panko and paprika, then bake 20 minutes until golden brown.  Serve warm and, for full effect, with a cold British ale.

yield: 4 main course servings

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