Cheesy Brussels Sprouts Gratin

by on September 23, 2012

If I were to confess some of my guilty pleasures in life, then these brussels sprouts photographs would convey much of what I’m already about to say. Warm melted cheese, gooey-salty-decadent-calorie-laden cheese on top of perfectly fresh and healthy vegetables should be illegal. I think of this often when a gorgeous bowl of green veggies gaze back at me with fresh, vibrant eyes. Instead of reaching for the steamer and ideas of a raw salad, I reach for the rind of parmesan cheese, cream and block of butter.

Over 98.6572% of the time I prepare my vegetables very simply in a light saute or raw, crunchy salad. This is how I appreciate my vegetables the most and sums up the way I ate as a vegetarian for almost twenty years. But when the air begins to crisp up to cooler embrace, I sense that Fall is near. That’s when I’m guilty of killing my vegetables in a casserole pool of cheese and cream.

Thankfully I don’t eat my vegetables like this every day, but when I do, I really appreciate every bite of dreamy, rich decadence. And then I always try to remember that there’s vegetable hidden somewhere in all this cheesy mess.

Sometimes a girl needs a few bites of gratin pleasure and I’m always willing to treat myself to a dish like this. Unfortunately, now comes my second confession: I could eat this whole casserole dish of brussels sprouts gratin all by myself. This is not a good thing.

Portion control has always been one of my struggles when it comes to food. With each amazing bite comes the desire to eat ten more bites. My mind is always thinking it could eat more and my stomach is always too slow at catching up to know that it’s full. It’s not until I’ve devoured two huge helpings that I realize my sense of control never existed.

Knowing when to stop eating is something I’m still lacking at. Aside from the fact that I do love cooking, eating and everything associated with food, my will power is incredibly weak for portions. Yes, I’ve tried all the talk about eating slower, only eating small portions, walking away, using smaller dishes…..whatever. My mind tells me that if the food is delicious, eat another plate before it goes to waste.

Balance is something I’ve always been thoughtful of and with all the travel we’ve been on, I realize that I’ve ignored the gym more than I should. Perhaps it’s the lack of fitness and exercise that makes eating two portions of food laden with guilt. I’m putting exercise back on my priority list before the holiday season feasting begins.

What’s your strategy for portion control? If it has anything to do with yoga, I don’t need to hear it because I’ve tried that too.

My goal for the next few months is to get back on cardio track again so that I can enjoy more of these warm, cheesy casseroles. This Brussels sprouts gratin is one of my favorite Brussels sprouts dishes for the fall because there’s comfort in every bite. Guaranteed this will be at on our Thanksgiving menu because it’s so simple, wonderful and a pleasure to eat.

-diane

Update: Click here for complete list of delicious Brussels Sprouts Recipes.

More Brussels Sprouts Recipes :
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Bacon
Shaved Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Bacon

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sriracha and Mint
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sriracha and Mint
Braised Brussels Sprouts in Bacon and Shallots
Braised Brussels Sprouts in Bacon and Shallots
Baked Brussels Sprouts w/Parmesan Cheese – Haters to Lovers
Baked Brussels Sprouts w/Parmesan Cheese – Haters to Lovers
Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Balsamic Vinegar
Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Balsamic Vinegar

Brussels Sprouts Gratin Recipe

Yield: Serves 4

Total Time: 1 hour

Sizes of Brussels sprouts can vary dramatically from small to extra large. This quantity difference can affect the results of this recipe. So I've used a weight measurement for ensure consistency with my results. And of course, add more cheese if you like!

Ingredients:

  • about 1.5 pounds of Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1.5 cups milk
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • black pepper to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350

  1. Clean, trim stems of Brussels sprouts. Cut in half and keep all of loose leaves. Fill medium stock pot half way with water, bring to boil. Add Brussels sprouts , stirring in hot water and blanch quickly for about 2 minutes or until they turn bright green. Immediate drain. Do not cook Brussels sprouts and make them soft!
  2. In large pan melt butter, then add flour and quickly stir with whisk to combine and remove clumps. Turn off heat.
  3. Add milk, salt, cheese, mayo and black pepper. Stir until cheese is melted.
  4. Add Brussels sprouts and combine with cheese mixture. Pour into baking dish and bake for about 30-45 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are tender.
  5. For extra cheese crust, sprinkle cheese on about 10 minutes before Brussels sprouts are finished.
Recipe Source: WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Averie @ Averie Cooks September 23, 2012 at 10:37 pm

I love Brussels sprouts and I love my veggies just very simple, clean, raw or lightly steamed most of the time but I’m with you, as the fall comes and the cooler airs comes, a warm veggie casserole all cheesed up just HITS the spot. This looks fab!

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2 j3nn September 23, 2012 at 11:35 pm

I love Brussels sprouts on their own, but I think I’d probably get a little giddy with cheese all over them. Definitely a must-try at least once in your lifetime. :)

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3 Alex September 24, 2012 at 2:08 am

Brussel sprouts AND cheese? Yum! :D This “Sprouts’n’cheese” dish sounds great!

Portion control? I tried serving food in smaller dishes but without any good results. But I’m awful at it when I love what I’m cooking…

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4 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar September 24, 2012 at 3:33 am

These look heavenly! Awesome side!

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5 Laura September 24, 2012 at 6:12 am

I have portion control issues, that’s why I am 30 pounds heavier that I was in my 30s. I have gotten pretty good at putting less stuff on my plate, or selective small plates when I eat at home. Also, things with lots of fat don’t appeal to me anymore, so that is easy to control. I recently saw a video of a 95 year old woman who does a daily exercise routine she created. I got so inspired and I started moving my body more, gentle movements, not something that will cause me to lose weight, but it is a beginning.

I hear you sister, I wish I could help more.

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6 @ohsweetbasil September 24, 2012 at 7:23 am

Gratin anything and I’m in!

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7 Kevin (Closet Cooking) September 24, 2012 at 7:29 am

What a great way to enjoy some brussels sprouts!

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8 Melissa aka Foodvixen September 24, 2012 at 7:32 am

Thanks for sharing this recipe and the links for the other brussel sprout recipes. I’m getting to work the kitchen right now, Brussel sprouts braised in bacon and shallots? My goodness, I’m drooling! Brussel sprouts are one of my fave veggies!

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9 JulieD September 24, 2012 at 7:35 am

Ooh I know Curtis would love this!! He adores brussel sprouts and I just know I haven’t made them right enough for me to like this…this looks perfect! :)

As for portion control, sometimes I just can’t help myself sometimes but most of the time I do control my portions. When I’m at home and we go out to eat, I usually only eat half of my plate and take home the rest for lunch or another dinner. But when I travel…all bets are off! Haha

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10 Cynthia A. September 24, 2012 at 7:40 am

My Grammy’s neighbor put locks on her fridge and pantry at night – not for portion control, but because she had 12 children (and if she didn’t she would wake up to an empty larder).

You make an excellent point that if a dish is delicious it doesn’t matter how small the plate is when you help yourself to seconds. Maybe I need to charge myself whenever I take seconds and see if that inspires me to eat less.

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11 @edibleASH September 24, 2012 at 7:47 am

Cannot wait to find brussel sprouts!

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12 TheKitchenWitch September 24, 2012 at 8:18 am

I love a good gratin–and I have been known to add a salad and consider it a meal. Then I don’t feel so guilty eating it :) I normally am not a brussels sprouts person, but cover it in creamy, cheesy goodness? Count me in!

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13 cindy September 24, 2012 at 8:23 am

I l-o-v-e brussel sprouts…and cheese…and I totally get that portion control issue. I have an “I-want-to-eat-the-whole-damn-thing” problem, making a plate and then immediately putting the food away helps sometimes…or a really hot cup of tea immediately after eating. It’s still a struggle, but making the effort is better than feeling the guilt, most days. Also, it’s nice to know I’m not in it alone, ha!

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14 Jillymo September 24, 2012 at 8:25 am

I really don’t think this is a recipe worth beating yourself up over. Before I read the ingredients I was expecting a stick of butter, a cup of cream, a couple different cheese, etc. I’m not sure how many you feed with this but a cpl tablespoons of butter, a little mayo & a cup of grated parmesan split between even a couple of people is not terrible. And yes 1.5 pounds of brussel spouts!

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15 White on Rice Couple September 24, 2012 at 8:27 am

Jillymo- I adore your rationale. Thank you.

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16 Christina September 24, 2012 at 8:32 am

I just don’t understand how people don’t like brussel sprouts! I think for kids it’s a pre-req but as an adult you have to love them. They’re just so dang tasty!

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17 @ziziadventures September 24, 2012 at 8:46 am

Yum & gulp!

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18 @A_lamericaine September 24, 2012 at 8:59 am

Making this tonight now, thanks for the recipe!

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19 @GreenteaDesign September 24, 2012 at 9:01 am

Do you believe that everything tastes better with cheese? I do.

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20 Colette @ JFF! September 24, 2012 at 9:01 am

If you have to eat brussels sprouts, this is the way to do it!

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21 Karen September 24, 2012 at 10:30 am

Portion control is easy. If you are cooking for two people, cook two portions of each item. Four ounces of meat, two ounces of pasta, eight ounces of brussels sprouts. If you don’t have extra, you won’t be tempted to eat too much. My mother-in-law is always amazed that I can cook just the right amount of food for two people. She is still cooking as though she had a house full of kids!

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22 Jaynie @Junabug September 24, 2012 at 10:46 am

I think I will eat brussels sprouts now! Eating on a small plate works best for me for portion control.

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23 Kalyn September 24, 2012 at 11:36 am

Drooling here!

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24 Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies September 24, 2012 at 1:26 pm

I’ve been trying to convince my family of the flavorful merits of brussels sprouts, to no avail, I’m sorry to say. I did finally convince them to eat broccoli by dousing it in cheese, so I don’t see why it wouldn’t work with brussels sprouts! I’m such a sucker for a gratin! This looks gorgeous!

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25 Kankana September 24, 2012 at 4:58 pm

That’s the thing about this season. It makes one crave for cheese creamy yummy goodness like this gratin :)

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26 @IntFineFoodFest September 24, 2012 at 9:45 pm

We do like a good sprout – could do with cabbage for local option

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27 Tiffany September 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm

YAY! My husband has been asking for brussel sprouts, but I would rather eat wood. HOWEVER, this makes me think I can finally give in to his request ;)

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28 White on Rice Couple September 25, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Tiffany- Thank you for letting us know. Fingers crossed, this will be the recipe to cross you over!

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29 Julia September 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm

I love brussel sprouts and can almost eat them as plain as they get, but my husband is more picky. This looks like a good recipe that will be liked by those who normally don’t like brussel sprouts.

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30 davis ann September 26, 2012 at 5:42 am

portion control? don’t take the serving dish to the table. and have really comfy chairs at said table… then laziness helps.

for once.

haha i totallly feel ya. i’m not even kidding that that^ is my plan.

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31 Katie @ Oh Shine On September 26, 2012 at 5:56 am

This casserole — should I even call it that or a messy pot of cheesy goodness? — looks absolutely incredible!

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32 Ashley Bee September 27, 2012 at 7:12 am

I loooove brussels sprouts–but I always do the same thing: roast ‘em, toss with EVVO and truffle oil, sprinkle with ground pepper and sea salt. This is a great new way to eat them!

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33 Kerry | Yum and Yummer September 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I could eat Brussels sprouts every day. And if you add cheese, I would also eat them any night. So now I’m never going to stop eating Brussels sprouts. Thank you for that.

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34 Alyssa Murphy October 3, 2012 at 3:32 pm

This is an amazing sounding recipe! I am so looking forward to serving this to my husband and hopefully converting his taste buds when it comes to brussel sprouts. As for portion control I use a small plate, make only enough for the people I am serving, and measure out a serving. When I make a meal to have leftovers or to freeze it I immediately transfer it to the freezer or the fridge, out of sight out of mind after all!

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35 Kim October 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm

This recipes sounds sinfully delicious! I agree that cooler weather just makes me crave comfort food. Our family loves brussel sprouts so I can’t wait to give this recipe a try! Thanks for sharing.

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36 Donna Minick October 3, 2012 at 4:07 pm

I, like you, have a problem with portion control when the food is rich and dreamy as your brussel sprouts recipe appears to be. You won’t like my solution, but I’ve found that when I drink wine with my meal, I lose all control over portions. However with iced tea or ice water, I maintain my self control (a little).

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37 Christine October 13, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Call me dense or recipe challenged, but what does this mean “Cut in half and keep all of loose leaves that.”? That what? Thank you for the clarification. I bought a stalk of sprouts at TJ’s and can’t wait to make this.

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38 White on Rice Couple October 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Christine- hi, the extra word at the end is a typo. We’ve corrected the sentence.

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39 Cheese with Noodles October 22, 2012 at 12:55 am

Yummy, what’s not to like about this?! As much as I like creamy, cheesy recipes, my veggies usually just get steamed or sauteed because I love them on their own. My own blog is rather lacking in the veggie recipe department simply because I usually just steam them or put them in a salad and ya don’t need a recipe for that! Anyway, I will definitely need to try this. Looks like it would be perfect for a holiday dinner.

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40 Laura|My Little Gourmet October 31, 2012 at 10:36 am

Well, I just recently made my son his first brussels sprouts (used your roasted sprout recipe) and he devoured them. I was so happy because I absolutely love brussels sprouts. I’m thinking with these cheesy sprouts he’ll be asking for thirds!!

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41 Emma November 4, 2012 at 6:49 am

I love brussel sprouts! This is something I have to try!! By the way, your fotos are fabulous!
/Emma

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42 Lindsey November 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm

I am always looking for new brussel sprouts recipes and this one looks absolutely delicious! I cannot wait to make it!

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43 Bettina November 25, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Can you use frozen brussell sprouts or should they be fresh?

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44 White on Rice Couple November 28, 2013 at 6:45 pm

We’ve only made it with fresh brussels sprouts. I would think it would come out fine with frozen, but don’t know for sure. Good luck.

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45 Rita January 22, 2014 at 6:40 am

Finally getting around to trying out my food pins, and I made this with my Christmas dinner (yes I’m behind). This was really good and I will make this again. My mother and I really enjoyed them. We normally like brussel sprouts to begin with, but this cheesey concoction just perfected them. Thanks for a great recipe!!

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46 Danny July 11, 2014 at 10:09 am

Fantastic recipe! We did this and finished cooking it in our wood fired pizza oven, heaven.

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