Creamy Brussels Sprouts Gratin ♥ Recipe

Creamy Brussels Sprouts Gratin, first roasted, then braised in cream or half 'n' half with an optional panko-parmesan topping.
Today's simple Brussels sprouts recipe idea: A simple gratin of fresh Brussels sprouts, first roasted, then braised in cream, then if you like, finished until crisp under the broiler. When I first shared this recipe in 2008, it was one of the richest dishes on the entire site – and worth every calorie. But over time, I've adapted the recipe, simplifying its preparation, reducing its calories, making it Weight Watchers friendly – and with no loss in satisfaction. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Vegetarian. And 100% Delicious.

~recipe & photo updated 2014~
~more recently updated recipes~

2008: Oh. My. MY. What heat and cream don't do for "baby cabbages" aka Brussels sprouts. In fact, this might be my new most-favorite way to cook Brussels sprouts, simple and decadent both at once. The sprouts are elevated to a whole new experience, perfect for special occasions. And they couldn't be easier to make, so for anyone who has room for the calories, this is a great recipe for everyday, too.

2014: Turns out, six years later and this remains my favorite way to cook Brussels sprouts during cold weather. I have switched to half & half and skip the topping. (The purpose of a topping is usually to "finish" the appearance of an otherwise unattractive dish or to provide a "texture" contrast. Neither are needed here.) And I"ll say it again, Oh. My. MY. What heat and cream don't do for Brussels sprouts. We make them for dinner quite often and for this mid-afternoon batch for pictures, two of us may or may not have eaten an entire two pounds worth!

COMPLIMENTS!
"YUM! ... It turned out fabulous ... !" ~ seashell
"... it was delish." ~ dvinokur
" ... this recipe ... has become one of my favorites." ~ Shannon

CREAMY BRUSSELS SPROUTS GRATIN

Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes
Serves 8

BRUSSELS SPROUTS
2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, stem ends sliced off, outer layer of leaves removed, sprouts halved lengthwise through the core
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted in the microwave in 10-second increments
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup heavy cream or half & half

TOPPING, OPTIONAL
1/2 cup panko
1/4 ounce fresh Parmesan, grated
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

BRUSSELS SPROUTS Heat the oven to 425F. Toss the Brussels sprouts with the butter, salt and pepper. Arrange in a shallow baking dish just large enough for a generous single layer. The sprouts do shrink while roasting so some overlap is good.

Roast for about 35 minutes (stirring well after 15, 25 and 35 minutes) until the sprouts are very nearly cooked through and brown in spots. Pour the cream over top and return to the oven for 5 - 10 minutes (stirring after 5 and 10 minutes) until the cream thickens, coats the Brussels sprouts and darkens slightly.

TOPPING Remove Brussels sprouts from oven, turn on the broiler. Mix topping ingredients and spread evenly over top. Place under broiler for 5 - 10 minutes until topping turns crisp and golden.

MAKE-AHEAD TIPS
DAY BEFORE Mix and refrigerate the topping ingredients.
MORNING OF Prep the Brussels sprouts, toss with butter, salt and pepper.
BEFORE DINNER Roast and finish.

ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
(2008) CHOOSING BRUSSELS SPROUTS I don't recommend using frozen Brussels sprouts for this recipe. Choose Brussels sprouts of any size for this recipe but do make sure that all the Brussels sprouts are roughly equivalent in size. In addition, smaller Brussels sprouts will cook somewhat faster. If what you find are large, you might consider quartering rather than halving.
(2008) WATCHING CARBS? COUNTING CALORIES? If you or your Thanksgiving guests are watching carbs, skip the topping. It's largely a superfluous finish, though does offer some small texture contrast too. To reduce the calories, switch to half 'n' half (half cream, half milk) but I don't recommend using fat-free half 'n' half, as it doesn't have thickening properties. One reader even uses whole milk!
(2008) FORGIVING By accident, I learned that these Brussels sprouts are very forgiving. They were already cooked when I popped them into the oven to reheat for a few minutes. Instead, they were in the oven for nearly an hour and emerged looking completely burned and inedible. Instead, the cream had just turned very dark, the Brussels sprouts had turned into soft bites of amazing flavor.
(2014) AL DENTE vs WELL, THIS Brussels sprouts are the darling of chefs these days but to my taste, there's a tendency to undercook them, leaving them nearly raw at worst and barely cooked at best. There is a place for this. But there is also a place for cooking Brussels sprouts until they are dark and soft and dreamy. This would be the time.
FAITHFUL READERS 2008: Are you afraid that A Veggie Venture has become butter-cream-n-cheese blog? No doubt, after the special recipes I'm posting for Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving vegetables are rich! But don't worry, A Veggie Venture will soon return to its usual vegetable recipes, fast, low-calorie and easy to put on the table. After testing all these Thanksgiving recipes? I have to!



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MORE THANKSGIVING RECIPE IDEAS for BRUSSELS SPROUTS
~ Brussels Sprouts with Apricot Glaze ~
~ Brussels Sprouts with Maple Walnut Vinaigrette ~
~ Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Garlic ~

~ more Brussels Sprouts recipes ~
~ Thanksgiving Vegetable Recipes ~

~ Bodacious Brussels Sprouts ~
~ Marinated Brussels Sprouts ~
~ more Brussels sprouts recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

Here at A Veggie Venture, vegetables are the real stars of the Thanksgiving table. So watch for new Thanksgiving recipes all November long, new additions to my collection of Thanksgiving vegetable recipes. Whether it's 2006's famous World's Best Green Bean Casserole or 2007's favorite Cauliflower Cream or a brand-new recipe which catches your fancy, this year, move vegetables to your center stage.
© Copyright 2008 & 2014

10 comments:

I love, love, love sprouts and this looks fantastic.

Can I ask, how large is a serving size? I see the nutrition info and WW points but would like to know how much I can eat! :)

Thanks for the great recipes, I enjoy your site and use the recipies weekly!

-Sara

Sara - Thanks, and good question.

On A Veggie Venture, I use the same assumptions for each and ever recipe. First, you'll see how many servings (or some times, how much volume the recipe produces, stated in cups) at the start of the recipe, along with the time requirements.

Second, unless stated otherwise, I assume that a pound of vegetables will serve four. Since this recipe uses 2 pounds of Brussels sprouts, the entire recipe serves 8.

Does this help?

I love the simplicity of this dish. I think even non-sprout fans might be surprised by the taste! I think this recipe will find it's way onto my Thanksgiving table - even if I have to eat it all myself.

I love Brussel sprouts! That recipe sounds scrumptious! Yummy!

Cheers,

Rosa

Alanna my husband really enjoys brussels sprouts and I'm always trying for the ultimate way to do them. I must give this a try for him. Really these look lovely!

I need olive oil :)

lyn2007 at att dot com.

YUM! I made this dish last night, with slight variations based on what I did not have on hand:

I didn't have 2 lbs brussels sprouts so made up the difference with fresh mushrooms (sauteed first)

I didn't have heavy cream so used 1/2 & 1/2

I didn't have parmesan so used very sharp cheddar

I didn't have panko so used fine sourdough crumbs

I didn't have enough butter, so used a combo of butter and olive oil

It turned out fabulous just the same!

I'll definitely make this again. Maybe next time I can follow the recipe as is . . .

seashell

I test ran this dish last night and it was delish. I don't think I've eaten brussel sprouts before this. And you're right it is very forgiving to people who keep very loose track of time! Too bad the fish I made wasn't quite as forgiving.

I know that this recipe is not exactly a spring-time dish, but it has become one of my favorites. The combination of cream (I actually use whole milk) and the saltiness from the parmesan - mmmmmmmm! It's 9:30 at night and suddenly I'm hungry for brussels sprouts! I just blogged about it and again mentioned your giveaway. I so appreciate your blog and have yet to try a recipe of yours that I didn't like. Keep up the great work!

Shannon
http://bellalunacrafts.blogspot.com/2009/04/yummy-veggies.html

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna