I'm one of those people who happen to really enjoy roasted Brussels sprouts, even without a lot of bells and whistles, which I imagine may be a little bit rare.
The Humble Brussels Sprout Becomes Simply Irresistible
I realize that not everyone is a huge fan of Brussels sprouts, as they aren't necessarily the most glamorous of vegetables... they bring their own sort of cabbage-y “aroma”, shall we say, to the party—I get it. 😉
But they're an amazing canvas, and when prepared right, with a good dash of love and care, they can truly be an absolutely scrumptious way to get even those picky eaters in your life to gain all those important vitamins and minerals that Brussels sprouts are packed with—like Vitamin C and K, plus folate, fiber and potassium.
When they're seasoned and roasted off, and then drizzled with a creamy parmesan sauce, a generous crumble of smoky and crisp bacon, and a lightly crunchy, golden topping of breadcrumbs, I simply swoon over them.
Who could possibly resist roasted brussels sprouts in a creamy parmesan sauce with bacon?
(I've actually reheated these and enjoyed them for breakfast the next day!) 😉
How to Cook Brussels Sprouts
Once any discolored outer leaves are pulled off these little green globes and the stem is trimmed back a touch (if needed), then cooking Brussels sprouts is quite simple.
You can either halve or quarter them, then blanch them for a few minutes in well-salted, simmering water with a liberal squeeze of lemon juice added (this helps retain their vibrant green color), and then drizzle with oil, salt and pepper to finish
Or, you can give them a bit of extra flavor by roasting them, which is my favorite method.
- Remove any discolored outer leaves and trim back the little stem on the bottom, if needed; then, cut the sprouts in half (or even quarters).
- Drizzle a generous amount of good quality olive oil over them, along with a couple of good pinches of salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning (dry Italian herbs), plus a liberal squeeze of lemon, and toss together.
- Turn out onto a prepared baking sheet, and roast for about 30-35 minutes, until slightly golden-brown along the edges.
And that's the basics!
All that's left for this Brussels sprouts recipe is to finish these babies off with the simple, rich and creamy parmesan sauce, that touch of bacon, and that final sprinkle of breadcrumbs, and bake a little longer just until the topping is golden.
These roasted Brussels sprouts are sure to quickly become a favorite veggie side fit for a weeknight meal or even a special holiday spread, no doubt about it!
Tips & Tidbits for Roasted Brussels Sprouts in Creamy Parmesan Sauce:
- Choose firm, fresh Brussel sprouts: Try to find firm, bright green, tightly-packed Brussel sprouts that are crisp—if they're older, they'll be a bit discolored, and slightly rubbery.
- Trim the stem and leaves: If the bottom stem is too long or gnarled up, just trim a tiny bit off, along with any discolored/dry outer leaves; then halve or quarter as needed.
- Prepare the recipe elements ahead: You can prepare the creamy parmesan sauce ahead of time, allow it to cool, and keep in the fridge until ready to use; you can also trim/prepare the Brussels sprouts and keep them in a covered container until ready to roast, as well as have the breadcrumbs ready, and the bacon cooked and crumbled.
- Leftover sauce: If you end up with some leftover creamy parmesan sauce, you can treat it like fondue! Just warm up the remaining portion, and dip bread/croutons in it, or even veggies, and serve with white wine.
Feast your eyes on these, or just jump to the recipe:
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Creamy Parmesan Sauce and Bacon
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Ingredients for the Brussels sprouts:
• 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
• Olive oil (2 tablespoons)
• Black pepper
• Lemon juice (about 1 tablespoon worth)
• 4 strips bacon, cooked til crisp and chopped (for garnish)
• 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (for garnish)
Creamy Parmesan Sauce: Ingredients:
• 1/2 ounce unsalted butter (1 tablespoon)
• 2 large garlic cloves, pressed through garlic press
• 1/2 ounce all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
• 1 cup whole milk
• 2/3 cups shredded parmesan cheese
• 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
• Pinch granulated onion
• Pinch granulated garlic
• Pinch paprika
• Pinch salt
• 2 teaspoons olive oil
-Preheat the oven to 400°, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
-Toss the Brussels sprouts with the oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the lemon juice, and roast until golden and tender, about 25-30 minutes.
-While Brussels sprouts roast, prepare your sauce: place a medium-size sauce pan over medium-low heat, and add in the butter and the garlic; once butter is melted and garlic is aromatic, sprinkle in the flour and whisk to blend to make a smooth paste, or “roux”, and cook that for about 30 seconds; add in the milk, whisking all the while to avoid lumps, and bring to a vigorous simmer, whisking occasionally; reduce the heat and allow the milk mixture to gently simmer for a few minutes to thicken up; off the heat, add the parmesan and whisk that in until smooth; check to see if additional salt is needed; set aside.
-Prepare breadcrumbs by combining the ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.
-To finish, turn your oven on to “broil”; add your roasted Brussels sprouts to a shallow, oven-safe baking dish in a single layer, and crumble over about half of your chopped bacon; drizzle the creamy parmesan sauce over top, then sprinkle over the panko breadcrumbs, and broil for several minutes until everything is golden-brown and crisp.
-Finish the dish by sprinkling over the rest of the bacon, as well as the thyme leaves, and serve.
Looking for another tasty Brussels sprout recipe? Take a peek at these Cider-Glazed Brussels Sprouts!