Cheesy Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Gratin Recipe
Brussels sprouts may not immediately come to mind when you're planning special occasion side dishes. This is likely due to the reputation they have for being both bland and bitter, if not cooked properly. In many parts of the world they're traditional around the holidays and come in many shapes and forms. This recipe is a fabulous way to elevate them and turn them into a decadent side dish that everyone will love.
Helpful Tips for Making Cheesy Brussels Sprouts
- When making delicious to eat brussels sprouts, it begins with the sprouts themselves. Look for compact leaves and a bright green color. Yellowing or brown spots are signs they aren't fresh.
- Larger brussels sprouts tend to take on more of a cabbage flavor. Smaller, means they're apt to be less bitter when prepared properly.
- Trim the ends of the Brussel sprouts removing the woody end and pluck any yellowing leaves before cooking.
- You can also shred raw brussels sprouts to make a salad and dress with a vinaigrette much like you would a vinegar based slaw. In this instance, we're halving them and cooking them in chicken stock until tender then combining with the remaining ingredients to make the cheesy gratin.
Other Holiday Side Dish Recipes to Add to the Menu
- Maple Bacon Brussel Sprouts made in the oven.
- Streusel topped Sweet Potato Casserole.
- Easy Crockpot Cornbread Dressing.
- Homemade Green Bean Casserole.
- Easy No Knead Yeast Rolls.
- Roasted Carrots and Parsnips from Spend with Pennies.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Gratin
- 8 slices bacon
- 1 medium red onion finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 - 2 ½ lb Brussel sprouts trimmed and halved
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp fresh thyme plus additional for garnishing
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 ½ cup shredded Gruyere or white cheddar cheese
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375°. In a large 12 inch oven safe skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crispy, around 6-8 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Reserve 3 Tbsp drippings in pan, freeze or discard the rest. Drain bacon on a paper towel-lined plate, then chop.
- Return skillet to medium-high heat adding 2 Tbsp butter to bacon drippings. Add onion cooking for 2-3 minutes, then add garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
- To the pan add chicken stock, brussels sprouts salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and thyme. Lower heat to medium, then cook uncovered for 10-15minutes, stirring occasionally, until fork tender. (Chicken stock should evaporate.)
- Remove from heat and drizzle with heavy cream, then sprinkle evenly with Gruyere and bacon.
- In a small bowl, melt reserved 2 Tbsp butter. Toss with panko and Parmesan, sprinkle on top.
- Place into the oven and bake until cheese is bubbly around 15-20 minutes. Broil for 1-2 minutes to brown top further, if desired.
- Let stand 5 minutes, then serve garnished with additional thyme.