Creamy Brussels Sprouts
These creamy brussels sprouts with bacon are an easy, one pot side dish that pair beautifully with any holiday or company meal. They are a creamy, cheesy, garlic lovers dream and will have even sworn Brussels sprouts haters licking their plates – plus this recipe is gluten free, low carb and keto! These creamy Brussels sprouts are drenched in a creamy, cheesy, garlic herb sauce topped with Gruyere, mozzarella, and crispy bacon then baked to bubbly perfection. This recipe can be assembled ahead of time then baked when ready for the ultimate stress-free, crowd pleasing dinner or holiday side.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 15minutes
Cook Time
15minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 servings 15minutes
Cook Time
15minutes
Creamy Brussels Sprouts
Ingredients
  • 6strips thick cut bacon
  • 2tablespoons unsalted buttersoftened or melted
  • 2pounds medium-small Brussels sproutsends trimmed, cut in half
  • 4-5cloves garlicminced
  • 1 1/2cups heavy cream
  • 3/4cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2tsp EACH dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, onion powder
  • 1/4tsp EACH salt, pepper
  • 3/4cup (6 oz) freshly shredded Gruyere cheesedivided
  • 2/3cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Heat a large deep oven-proof skillet (3.5 qt.) or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bacon strips and cook until crispy. While the bacon is cooking, whisk chicken broth, cornstarch and all seasonings (parsley through pepper) together in a pourable measuring cup or bowl; set aside.
  3. Transfer cooked bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside to crumble when cool enough to handle. Drain all but 2 tablespoons bacon grease from the pan.
  4. Increase heat to medium-high. Add trimmed and halved brussels sprouts to the pan and stir to coat evenly in the bacon grease, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Carefully add 1/4 cup water to the pan (if you have the patience, flip as many sprouts as will fit cut side down in the pan), cover, and cook 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, stir the Brussels sprouts and add an additional 2 TBS water, cover, and cook an additional 1 minute.
  5. Uncover and add 2 tablespoons softened butter to the pan followed by garlic; sauté 2 minutes.
  6. Add heavy cream and chicken broth with seasonings and simmer 2-3 minutes, until the sauce is thickened and sprouts are almost to desired tenderness (they’ll cook slightly more in the oven). Stir in half of the bacon and 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese. Top with remaining 1/4 cup Gruyere cheese and mozzarella cheese.
  7. Transfer to the oven and bake at 375 for 3 minutes, until cheese is melted. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Notes

COOKING TIPS

This Brussels sprouts recipe is very simple but you need to pay attention to a few key tips such as using fresh, medium-small Brussels sprouts and softened butter or your creamy Brussels sprouts can and up bitter with burnt garlic. Here’s the keys to success:

  • Set yourself up for success and use the freshest Brussels sprouts possible. Brussels sprouts can last up to a week in the fridge but they should be used within three days for the best flavor. The fresher the Brussels sprouts, the sweeter they will be. Over time, the Brussels sprouts taste gets stronger and less sweet, which means you’re bordering on bitter or sour Brussels sprouts even when cooked properly.
  • Use medium-small Brussels sprouts.  Meaning, you don’t want super tiny Brussels sprouts but average Brussels sprouts that lean towards the smaller side. Smaller sprouts tend to be sweeter-tasting, while larger sprouts are more cabbage-like and can taste more bitter. 
  • Don’t purchase pre-bagged Brussels sprouts. These pre-packaged bags are handy but you will end up with a mishmash of Brussels sprout sizes. It is best to hand-pick your Brussels sprouts.
  • Use uniform size Brussels sprouts. To that end, choose Brussel sprouts that are all the same size to ensure they all cook at the same rate. If you have some small and some large sprouts, quarter the extra-large sprouts.
  • Use softened butter. We don’t want to have to wait for the butter to melt once added to the pan or you risk overcooked Brussel sprouts and burnt garlic. Burnt garlic will ruin your entire dish.
  • Use freshly grated mozzarella. Pre-grated cheeses use anti-clumping chemicals which prevents them from melting as well. Freshly grated mozzarella will melt beautifully.
  • Use a large enough pan. Use a large pan to cook the Brussels sprouts so they have enough surface area to slightly caramelize. If your large pan isn’t oven safe, simply transfer the sprouts and sauce to a 9×13 pan when ready to top with cheese.
  • Don’t burn bacon. Your bacon drippings should be golden and not black. If your drippings are burnt, your entire dish will taste burnt. If you have any burnt specks, clean them out before proceeding with the recipe.
  • Steam larger Brussels sprouts longer. If your Brussels sprouts are more medium size, steam them for an additional 2-3 minutes for a total of 4-5 minutes steaming instead of 3.
  • Don’t overcook Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts can be tricky to cook; cook them for too long, they will turn mushy and smelly and lose their bright green color. However, if properly cooked, these vegetables will have a bright green color, a pleasant smell and flavor.  It is best to steam the Brussels sprouts so they are a little golden on the edges but not overly caramelized because they will continue to cook in the oven.

How to Make AHEAD 

You will love that this recipe can be made ahead of time, so it’s an easy bake and eat side for the holidays without any of the prep!  To make ahead, completely assemble the casserole up to the point of baking.  Cover with foil and refrigerate.  When ready to serve, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F until warm and bubbly around the edges, about 15 minutes.

How to store and reheat 

  • Storage: Let the creamy Brussels sprouts cool to room temperature.  Cover or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 3 to 5 days.
  • Freezing: I do not recommend freezing this recipe as the Brussels sprouts will become mushy and the sauce and cheese will become a funny texture.
  • To reheat in the oven:  Let the pan sit on the counter for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (glass or ceramic dishes can crack if transferred straight from the refrigerator to the oven). This will also help the casserole reheat more evenly.  Cover and bake for 10 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
  • To reheat in the microwave:  Transfer a serving to a microwave safe plate and microwave for 60 seconds then at 20 intervals until warm through.