Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Baked Brussels Sprout Mac and Cheese


Ah mac & cheese... You're so comforting and warm and soft, yet crunchy crisp on the outside. Could you get any better? Why yes, yes, you could! With the addition of some roasted Brussels sprouts. 
Are you with me here, or have I lost you? Brussels sprouts have made a comeback in a serious way. The once hated healthy fall/winter vegetable is now a family favorite. They are definitely high on my girls' favorite veggie list. Is your family the same way? If not, maybe this kid-friendly recipe will change thier minds. Just last week when my girlfriends and I had a rare mommys' dinner out at Lucky's we asked our server, "do you have the... Brussels sprouts tonight? We didn't see it on the menu..." She nodded affirmatively and we all sighed in relief. True story. Brussels sprouts can be that good. 
 
Pieces of fresh mozzarella turn into gooey goodness while part low-fat cheese and a base of 2% Greek yogurt keep the calories in check, boost the protein, and make it easy to make gluten free. 

Pop quiz:
Q: Is mozzarella vegetarian?
A: Not necessarily. Rennet, which comes from unweaned calves stomach linings, is used to curdle the milk, and the baby cow must be killed to obtain the rennet. Lovely, lovely (I'm doing a squeamish face wiggly dance right now). Luckily you can buy vegetarian cheeses at many stores.  Here's a great list of vegetarian cheeses

Whenever you see little hands reaching into the picture it's a good sign. Our whole family loved this recipe and it was just as delicious the next day for lunch. The best part? It's a one-dish complete meal easy enough for any night of the week, but would also be fantastic on a Thanksgiving table. 

Baked Brussels Sprout Mac and Cheese
printer friendly recipe 

Serves 6-8

3 cups (or 1 stalk) Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pound favorite short pasta (whole wheat, high protein, gluten-free, etc. are fine!)
2 tablespoons Earth Balance or butter, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
6 oz. 2% plain Greek yogurt
1 cup 2% milk
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used a combination of cheeses in my fridge - Gouda, Cheddar, etc.)
4 oz. fresh mozzarella in water, drained and cut into 1/2" pieces
pinch of salt and freshly cracked pepper
1/24 cup panko breadcrumbs (gluten free breadcrumbs if you like)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Remove Brussels sprouts from the stalk and cut in half lengthwise. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast until fork tender, about 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions until al dente. Drain. Place the pot used for cooking the pasta over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon Earth Balance or butter until melted, and then add the garlic. Saute one minute. Add the yogurt, milk, 3 1/2 cups of the shredded cheese, mozzarella cheese,  salt and pepper to taste, cooked pasta, and roasted Brussels sprouts. Stir to combine. Transfer to a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup cheese and breadcrumbs over the top. Dot with remaining tablespoon of Earth Balance or butter. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees until bubbly and slightly browned on the top.




56 comments:

  1. This looks so delicious and a great way to eat brussels sprouts. I literally just wrote about bulking up your meals with vegetables and one of my examples was adding broccoli to mac and cheese. Brussels sprouts sounds even better though, I've got to try it!!

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    1. Thanks! I'm a big fan of veggie bulking too!

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  2. Yum! I am a brussell sprout lover, I usually bulk up my meals with spinach or roasted butternut squash I will have to try this :) Thanks for sharing.

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  3. i'm that weird person who has always loved brussels sprouts, and this is only going to make that love even stronger! so so so good!

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    1. me too, Heather! They're sooooo good.

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  4. super clever! Just tweeted and pinned it

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    1. Thanks Alison! I appreciate that!

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  5. This sounds delicious, can't wait to try it! Pinned.

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  6. Most rennet used commercially is vegetarian and some cheeses don't use rennet at all. You can also make your own mozz: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2012/07/making-fresh-mozzarella/

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    1. Thanks. I usually have vegetarian readers yelling at me when I post veg recipes using mozz ;)

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    2. I also think it's great to be aware of what is in the things we assume are pure. For example, gelatin = cow hooves or the cornbread mix I just looked at that listed "animal lard" as one of the first ingredients.

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    3. Anonymous6:43 AM

      The average vegetarian who cares to that level of specificity will also know that there are vegetarian work-arounds for a lot of ingredients. For example, instead of gelatin, they can use agar-agar or pectin, depending upon what they end result is to be. :)

      A lot of traditional foods that are based out of omnivore diets are going to include animal products that we didn't think of because that's what was traditionally used. We're currently living in a society where there are large parts of animals that are "unused" and "gross" to the average American, so a lot of food goes to waste quickly. It's an unfortunate consequence of being further away from an agrarian lifestyle.

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  7. I'm a brussels sprouts lover and am addicted to making hash with it. YUM. I made mac and cheese last night and it had a million calories in it. I love this healthy version. You always amaze me.

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  8. I love brussels sprouts! They're one of our favorite vegetable!

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  9. I made a similar recipe a few months ago and shredded the sprouts. It was so yummy and of course proud that the boys actually ate it too!!!

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  10. I have a love affair with sprouts and never thought to do a mac and cheese with them. Very clever and yummy!

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  11. Love this! I think I could even get my husband to eat brussels sprouts this way!

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  12. This sounds like a healthy fall dish and I love the use of the yogurt in there too!

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  13. Since I was a child, my mom's mac n' cheese has been my favorite, most requested dish of hers, but yours looks so gooey and good, I'm ready to convert:)

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  14. That looks so good! I'm completely horrified by the information about rennet though...I never realized that!! Would Greek yogurt use rennet too? Hmmm :(

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  15. Why didn't I think of this?? I am going to make it this week, love mac and cheese and looooove Brussels sprouts!

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  16. totally agree - brussels sprouts are having a moment! How clever to add to mac & cheese?!

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  17. Woe, Brussels sprouts...this is kinda iffy at our home. I wish my kids are like yours - able to appreciate the cabbage-y taste and scent of this misunderstood vegetable. I mean, I don't mind it..I quite enjoy them :) Bet it's delicious in mac 'n cheese!

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  18. Brussels sprouts in mac and cheese?? How creative!! I would have never thought to put this combination together!!

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  19. Another great combination of flavors. This one goes on the "to-make" list! Thank you, Marina.

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  20. Anonymous7:10 AM

    When do you add the Brussels sprouts to the dish?

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    1. I added that to the recipe. Sorry, forgot to add that part :) They get mixed in with the cooked pasta and cheesy mixture.

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  21. wow, these look so good ! I absolutely love brussel sprouts, they usually baked with a bechamel sauce in France, then topped with cheese (of course).
    I'm definitely trying your recipe :)

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  22. I just fell for brussel sprouts recently, this mac & cheese looks so delish!

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  23. You are a girl after my own heart. Mac n Cheese, Brussel Sprouts? YUM!!!! I love love love brussel sprouts and never would have thought to combine with mac and cheese. I can't wait to try this.

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  24. We just had this for dinner tonight and it was amazing! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. My husband is a big cheese fan and we both love Brussels sprouts. It's so nice to finally have a mac & cheese recipe that is not so heavy. Next time I might try this with cauliflower.

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  25. What an incredible combination of foods! This will be made very soon in my kitchen!!!

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  26. Yum!! We seriously love brussels sprouts in our house too. I never liked them as a kid, but now I can't get enough of them. And of course mac and cheese is a favorite. I can't believe I haven't put them together like this before. Awesome!

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  27. I made this last night & it was possibly the most delicious meal I've ever made. THANK YOU! I also have tons of leftovers, so I'll be eating it for awhile. :)

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    1. Oh my goodness! That is quite a compliment. Thank you :)

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  28. My husband and I love brussels sprouts and my kids love mac n cheese...a perfect combination for the family! I will definitely try your recipe. Thank you! www.mamainheels.com

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  29. Made this last night - so DELICIOUS!!!

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  30. Anonymous9:59 AM

    I am going to try this recipe tonight-it looks so yummy! Thank you. One question-could I make it in advance, up to the point of baking it in the oven? Then refrigerate for a few hours until ready to bake?

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    1. Yes, I usually make things like this hours in advance too. Enjoy!

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  31. Yum! I can't wait to try this recipe.

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  32. Can this recipe be frozen? I am so excited to try it.

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    1. I haven't tried it with this one, but it should freeze well!

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  33. Love this recipe! Will be linking back to this in my upcoming post :)

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  34. Made this for dinner last night. It was a HIT.

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  35. Hi! Just FYI, your bread crumb measurement says 1/24. Is that supposed to be 1/2 or 1/4? Thanks! :-)

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    1. oops! Sorry about the typo! I think it was 1/4... but either way will be fine! Just wing it ;)

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  36. I am making this right now and my kitchen smells incredible! I cannot wait for it to be done so my family can chow down.

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  37. I'm enjoying a bowl of this right now, it was so easy to make and just so delicious. I have never ever cooked with fresh brussels sprouts. My mother always bought the frozen kind, let me tell you I will never buy the frozen kind again! Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful recipe!

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    1. Hi Valerie! So happy to hear you liked the recipe! I agree - fresh B-Sprouts are SOOOO much better than frozen!

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  38. What? I can't even...I'm making this right now!

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  39. Anonymous5:42 PM

    Just eating my first attempt at this recipe and it is fantastic. It smelled so good while it was cooking that my husband kept coming in the kitchen to see if it was ready. He said it was the best macaroni and cheese he's ever had - even with the brussel sprouts :)

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    1. Oh this is fantastic! Thanks so much for the positive feedback! :)

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  40. This is amazing!! I made it for dinner tonight and it was so good and I'm so full!! Everyone loved it. I had never thought about using yogurt to thicken my cheese sauce, I'll do it this way from now on.

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  41. I added a dash of truffle oil before baking it...SO YUMMY! (For those that like truffle)

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