Take your brussels sprouts to a whole new level with this rich and cheesy brussels sprouts gratin with salty pancetta.
I don’t know about you, but if I see “Cheesy” in the title of anything, I click on it.
I loooooveee cheese. Way more than it loves me because I get bloated when I eat too much. However, for the Holidays, isn’t being bloated a right of passage?
Having mentioned that, this year I will not put on 10 lbs like I do each year for the Holidays because I am following Keto (ok, last year I put on 60lbs from pregnancy but let’s not talk about that right now). The point is, it’s ok to overeat and feel bloated sometimes, as long as it’s not an everyday routine.
Let’s get back on track here. Ok, cheese is good, cheese is great, but combine it with heavy cream, brussels sprouts, and pancetta? That my friend is heavenly.
At first, I was skeptical because come on, Au Gratin is meant to be for potatoes, and maybe eggplant. Brussels sprouts are usually made two ways in my house, fried with bacon or shredded in a salad. I wanted to do something different with the mini cabbages this year for my Christmas party, so I decided to give this recipe a whirl.
Happy, happy, happy. That is how I felt when I took the first bite. The sprouts soaked up all the creamy goodness of the cheese and cream, and the salty pancetta was enough to break down all the richness. Not to mention, the walnut, thyme and red pepper gremolata that goes on top of this casserole give the dish an added crunch with a bit of heat.
As always, Bon Appetit nailed it. I wish I could take credit for some of these fantastic recipes, but most of the recipes I have chosen for my dinner party are pretty Keto-friendly already, and I don’t have to change anything. I love developing my recipes, but for my dinner party, I’m a Bon Appetit snob, and I don’t see that changing for a while.
If there are a few things that I would change or do differently for this dish, it would be the following.
- Fry the sprouts on the stove top in a large enough skillet that all of the sprouts get crispy and caramelized. When I roasted it in the baking dish, not all of them got the caramelization love.
- I would double the amount of pancetta I used, or find pancetta I can cube myself. My store only had pre-cubed tiny pieces of it, and I wanted to get more pancetta in the bites.
- Reduce the garlic, as always; I can’t control my garlic input. Ok, the main issue is that for some reason, I get enormous cloves of garlic and count it as one so three large garlic cloves will overpower the dish
- Add more dijon mustard. I barely tasted it with the heavy cream.
- I like spice so I would add more crushed red pepper flakes. If you are making this for a party, you should find out if your guest like spicy foods before you start pouring in the red pepper.
It’s best to bake this and let it sit for 20 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken before serving. Enjoy!
- 8 ounces pancetta
- 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved, quartered if large
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons thyme leaves, divided
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 ounces Gruyère, grated (about ⅔ cup)
- 2 ounces Parmesan, crumbled (about 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 475°.
- Spread pancetta on a rimmed baking sheet and roast, tossing once halfway through, until lightly browned for about 5 minutes.
- Transfer pancetta to a large bowl; reserve baking sheet.
- Add Brussels sprouts, shallots, garlic, butter, black pepper, and 1 tbsp thyme to bowl with pancetta and toss to coat.
- Scrape Brussels sprouts mixture into a 13×9″ baking dish.
- Roast gratin on bottom rack until tops of Brussels are browned, 15–20 minutes.
- Carefully toss to expose green Brussels below, then continue to roast until tops of Brussels are browned, 15–20 minutes more.
- Whisk cream and mustard in a large glass measuring cup.
- Arrange walnuts on the reserved baking sheet with pancetta drippings.
- Remove gratin from oven, carefully pour in cream mixture, and sprinkle cheese over.
- Reduce oven temperature to 375°. Return gratin to bottom rack, then place sheet with walnuts on the top rack.
- Roast, tossing nuts halfway through, until nuts are browned on both sides, 8–10 minutes, and cream is thick, vigorously bubbling, and browned around the edges, 15–20 minutes.
- Let gratin cool 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop walnuts and transfer to a medium bowl.
- Add red pepper and remaining 1 Tbsp. thyme and toss to combine.
- Top gratin with the walnut mixture before serving.
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 394
- Fat: 38g
- Carbohydrates: 6g
- Fiber: 2g
Want to see the rest of my Keto Christmas Recipes? You can find them HERE.
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