Are you a fan of brussels sprouts? If not, I’m about to change your mind with this fabulous creamy, gooey brussels sprouts mac and cheese.
Because let’s be honest, everything’s better when it involves mac and cheese.
When I was growing up I ate a lot of Kraft Mac and Cheese. Specifically the spiral white cheddar mac and cheese with lots of black pepper and peas. It was kinda my jam. These days, I’m much more into cooking nutritious meals at home that Tony and I both enjoy.
Tony’s not a huge brussels sprouts fan, but when I was crashing my cart around at the grocery store, I found beautiful brussels sprouts on sale and decided to throw them in and force him to try them out. The real question was how could I make sure he actually enjoyed them?
CHEESE IS THE ANSWER.
I decided I would make a vegetarian one pan brussels sprouts mac and cheese with a lightened up creamy cheese sauce.
What makes this brussels sprouts mac and cheese lighter?
You’re probably wondering how this is lightened up mac and cheese and here’s the answer: less butter, less cheese, dairy free milk and LOTS of brussels instead of a ton of pasta.
Instead of making a butter heavy sauce, I made a slurry of sorts, which helps the mac and cheese stay creamy and coat every bit of brussels and noodle. I was in love and guess what? So was Tony. He went back for seconds. And then thirds. And then he legitimately polished off the entire pan (with my help, of course.)
Suggestions for this brussels sprouts mac and cheese:
- Feel free to add in any of the following: 1-2 cups diced cooked chicken breast, 1/2 cup chopped bacon, 1 can tuna or 1 cup white beans. The possibilities are endless.
- Switch up the cheese you use for a fun alternative. gouda, gruyere, sharp cheddar, manchego, parmesan, monterey jack.
- Switch up the veggies. I suggest peas or steamed or sauteed broccoli and carrots.
I know you’re going to love this cheesy easy brussels sprouts mac and cheese. The best part is that it’s made in one pan so you don’t have to get a bunch of dishes dirty.
More mac and cheese recipes:
More brussels sprouts recipes:
If you make this recipe, please be sure to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It makes a difference and I love hearing from you! You can also show me your creations by tagging #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram.
Brussels Sprouts Mac and Cheese
- For the pasta:
- 8 ounces (2 cups) gemelli pasta* (or any pasta of choice)
- For the brussels sprouts:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, halved and any outer yellow leaves removed
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- For the cheddar cheese sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
- ¼ cup whole wheat pastry flour* (or regular flour or all purpose GF flour)
- 1 3/4 cups unsweetened almond or cashew milk (can also use regular milk)
- 6 oz sharp cheddar cheese (about 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese)**
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
- For topping:
- 2 oz cheddar cheese (about ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese)
- Parsley, for garnishing
First boil the noodles until al dente, according to the directions on the package. Once done cooking, drain and set aside.
While the noodles are boiling, cook the brussels sprouts: In a large oven safe skillet or pot, add in olive oil. Once hot, add in brussels sprouts and sprinkle garlic powder on top, then season with salt and pepper. Stir frequently and cook until brussels begin to turn slightly golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Once nice and golden, transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
In the same skillet or pot, make a slurry: add butter and garlic. Once butter is melted, whisk in the flour and cook for 30 seconds until a paste forms. Slowly add in cashew/almondmilk (or regular milk), whisking away any lumps. Increase heat and bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes stirring every so often, until the sauce thickens up similar to a gravy.
Next add in 6 ounce cheese and stir until cheese is completely melted. Finally, fold in cooked noodles and brussels sprouts. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if it needs it. Top with additional 2 ounces shredded cheddar. At this point you can either serve the mac and cheese and just fold in the extra cheddar you just added, or remove from heat and place under the oven broiler for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly golden. Serves 6. Top with a little freshly ground black pepper, and parsley if you’d like.
To make gluten free: Feel free to use a gluten free pasta. My favorite is Banza.