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 didn’t used to be a huge brussels sprouts fan until I started cooking them in the most interesting of ways (think italian shredded brussels salads, perfectly grilled with lots of garlic and more!). And when you can’t think of anything else to do with brussels, well you know… CHEESE IS THE ANSWER.
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I decided I would make a vegetarian one pan brussels sprouts mac and cheese with a lightened up creamy cheese sauce. HOT DIGGITY DOG scoop me up some of this creamy, hot noodle fest right now.
What makes this brussels sprouts mac and cheese a little healthier?
You’re probably wondering how this is a lightened up, healthier mac and cheese and here’s the answer:
- Less butter
- Less cheese
- Dairy free milk if ya want
- 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 sprouts and noodles. 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.)
What you’ll need to make brussels sprouts mac and cheese
This brussels sprouts mac and cheese recipe couldn’t be simpler, but it’s packed with incredible, cheesy flavor. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:
- Pasta: feel free to use any pasta you’d like, even gluten free! I used a gemelli pasta shape in this recipe, but my other favs include cavatappi, large shells and large elbow noodles.
- For the brussels sprouts: you’ll just need a little olive oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper to perfectly cook the brussels.
- For the cheese sauce: this delicious cheddar cheese sauce is made with butter (or ghee), flour, milk of choice, sharp cheddar cheese (v important that it be sharp), garlic, salt & pepper.
- For topping: you’ll want to reserve some of that cheddar cheese for topping, too, and I love finishing off the dish with fresh parsley or hot sauce!
Customize your mac and cheese
Have fun changing up the mix-ins in this creamy brussels sprouts mac and cheese to truly make it your own!
- Add a boost of protein. Feel free to add in any of the following: 1-2 cups diced cooked chicken breast, 1/2 cup chopped bacon, 1 can drained tuna (OMG WOW) or 1 cup white beans. The possibilities are endless.
- Switch up the cheese. I do recommend sticking with at least half of the cheddar for flavor, but you can feel free to sub the other half with a fun alternative like gouda, gruyere, manchego, parmesan, monterey jack or a spicy cheddar!
- Swap your veggies. I suggest peas or steamed or sauteed broccoli and carrots.
How to make brussels sprouts mac and cheese in one pan
That’s right, this brussels sprouts mac and cheese is made in one pan (and a pot)! Say hello to a delicious dinner with minimal clean up. Here’s how to do it:
- Cook your noodles. Simply boil the noodles until al dente according to the directions on the package. Drain them & set them aside.
- Cook your brussels. Add the oil, brussels sprouts & seasonings to a oven safe skillet or pot and cook until the brussels sprouts turn a nice golden color. Set aside.
- Make your cheese sauce. In the same pot melt the butter, add the garlic and whisk in the flour. Slowly add in the milk and whisk away any lumps, then bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer for a few minutes until it’s nice and thick. Lastly, fold in the cheese until it’s melted!
- Add your mix-ins. You’ll then add the noodles, brussels sprouts and any proteins you’d like into the cheese sauce. Taste everything and add some extra salt & pepper as needed.
- Cheese it up. The key to delicious homemade mac and cheese: add some more cheese on top and put the whole pan under the oven broiler for a couple minutes until it’s nice and bubbly. SO GOOD.
Storing & reheating tips
- To store: place any leftover brussels sprouts mac and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
- To reheat: feel free to reheat in a bowl in the microwave until heated through. You may want to add a splash of additional milk for extra moisture. Alternatively, you can place your portion of mac and cheese in an oven safe dish, mix in a tablespoon or so more of milk, cover it with foil and heat it in the oven for 20 minutes or so at 350 degrees F.
More delicious brussels sprouts recipes
- Italian Chopped Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Kung Pao Chickpea & Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry
- Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Tony’s Melt-In-Your-Mouth Grilled Brussels Sprouts
- Spicy Maple Dijon Grilled Brussels Sprouts
Check out all of our delicious brussels sprouts recipes here!
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I hope you love this brussels sprouts mac and cheese! If you make it, be sure to leave a comment & a rating so I know how you liked it. You can also show me your creations by tagging #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram.
Brussels Sprouts Mac and Cheese
Delicious one pan brussels sprouts mac and cheese made with a lightened up cheese sauce for the perfect 30-minute dinner! This easy brussels sprouts mac and cheese recipe is great for kiddos and the perfect way to get your veggies in.
- For the pasta:
- 8 ounces gemelli pasta* (or any pasta of choice)
- For the brussels sprouts:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
- 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
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ¼ cup all purpose flour (whole wheat or all purpose GF flour will also work)
- 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)**
- 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 and place over medium high heat. 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, golden and tender, 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 a few minutes, stirring every so often. Next add in 6 ounce of cheese and stir until cheese is completely melted. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Finally, fold in cooked noodles and cooked brussels sprouts to the cheese sauce. Taste again and add additional salt and pepper, if necessary. 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 brown. 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.
To store: Place any leftover brussels sprouts mac and cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. I wouldn't recommend freezing this recipe as the texture and taste might not come out the way you want it to when defrosted.
To reheat: Feel free to reheat in a bowl in the microwave until heated through. You may want to add a splash of additional milk for extra moisture. If you're reheating in the oven, simply place your portion of mac and cheese in an oven safe dish, mix in a tablespoon or so more of milk, cover it with foil and heat it for 20 minutes or so at 350 degrees F.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
You have too many amazing things I can make!!! I was going to make your Puerto Rican inspired chickpea and rice tonight but NOW THIS! Im going to have to start eating 2 dinners lol
This one is a must too! So delicious. Lunch and dinner covered!
Yummmm. What size skillet is yours? Trying to decide if I need to halve the recipe to fit it in mine. 🙂
I use a 9inch skillet 🙂
Looks delicious! I love both brussels and mac and cheese!!!! http://www.themilestraveled.com
Oh this looks delicious! I really want to make this, I just need to make some time this weekend for this recipe, thank you!
Hope you love it!!
I saw this and immediately made it. I must say, it’s a terrific base recipe. I would like to find a way to really punch up the flavor (I used a medium cheddar but maybe a sharp or a blend would be great). I also sauteed smoked sausage and folded it in at the end. Love the texture and creaminess (used whole milk).
Delicious! This one’s perfect for customizing. Glad you liked it!
This was delicious! I also added cauliflower.
Perfect! Love that idea.
Love this !!! Make it for dinner tonight . For leftovers, should they be reheated or is cold okay??
I would reheat the leftovers 🙂
Would dairy free cheese work for this or you wouldn’t recommend?
Made this tonight for the Super Bowl and it was excellent! Added a little bit of kale and cayenne pepper. Thanks!
Hi Erica! It would work, but i don’t love the taste of dairy free cheese. I would suggest using my cashew cheese sauce instead and folding it in: https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/how-to-make-vegan-cashew-cheese-sauce/ so good!
In your directions, it says to add garlic in with the butter, and then again with the cheese. I’m confused, insight would be appreciated! So far it looks delicious though!!
Updated! Sorry for any confusion 🙂
I love how quick this recipe is! Between roasting the sprouts, grating the cheese, and making the roux, the whole recipe only took me 30 minutes. I folded in a can of tuna at the end with the Brussels Sprouts for a bit of extra protein. This is great for weeknights!
Yes! The perfect weeknight dinner. Love the addition of tuna – you’ll have to give this one a try next 🙂
Absolutely delish! I love being able to have my favorite food with a healthier mix
Yes! Love that. The extra veggies are the best!
Certainly a keeper. It was my first time to make mac and cheese and this certainly did not disappoint!
So happy to hear that!
I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out so bad… my whole family agreed. We threw it away and had something else for dinner. Very disappointed!
Sorry to hear that, Sydney! I wish I could troubleshoot for you but I’m not sure where you could’ve gone wrong with a regular mac and cheese + brussels sprouts.
This recipe was a pretty quick and easy dinner option- not to mention tasty! I added in chicken as well as some peppers that needed to be used up. Whenever I try to make cheese sauces, they usual all don’t turn out that great- but this one ended up creamy and delicious! This will for sure be added to the dinner rotation.
Perfect! So glad you enjoyed!
We really liked this! Cheese and brussels sprouts go so well together. I packed in more protein by using red lentil pasta and then used a mix of sharp cheddar and gouda. in case anyone’s wondering, olive oil works in place of the butter too. Great recipe!
Perfect! So glad you liked this one!
Had all ingredients on hand so made tonight – it is delicious! I added sautéed onions, cooked chopped chicken and breadcrumbs. Thank you!
Perfect! Such a great dinner.
Made this tonight for my fiancé and I–It was great! I made with gluten free flour and chickpea pasta and 2% milk. I definitely added more than the recommended Brussels just because I bought a huge bag at the store—they are hidden well in the pasta for those who don’t love veggies (like my fiancé) so it was a great way to sneak tons of veggies in! I also added chicken that I cubed and stir-fried with garlic powder, salt and pepper. It was protein and veggie packed and felt hearty enough for a comfort meal. Thanks for sharing this!
Perfect! Great idea to add a boost of protein. Glad you both enjoyed!
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the Brussel sprout Mac and cheese. Very easy to make.
So happy to hear that!
Yum. Would definitely make again. Easy enough and reheats really well with a little splash of extra milk.
Absolutely! Glad you enjoyed 🙂
This is my go-to Mac & cheese recipe. It is super easy and always turns out delicious! Even if I don’t have brussel sprouts, it is an easy base to adapt to whatever addins you have.
So happy to hear that! And yes, it’s perfect for customizing with your fav veggies.
I think one of the best things about your recipes is that they are so adaptable! I made this with Banza shells, pepper jack & sharp cheddar, a bag of steam in bag broccoli, and half soy milk half 2% milk as thats what I had. I topped with the extra cheese and some breadcrumbs before throwing it in the oven. SO delicious!!
Absolutely! Sounds delicious 🙂
I made this last week and it was a hit with my son and my In Laws. My Brussel Sprouts were huge so I cut them in quarters and cooked them longer. I still should have cooked them longer, but they were still delicious. The sauce was super creamy and decadent. Definitely will make again!
Perfect! So glad everyone enjoyed 🙂
I threw in some ground turkey and sundried tomatoes, too. SOOO GOOD. And I don’t even like brussel sprouts, thanks for helping me sneak them in! The cheese sauce is really amazing and so easy to make, This is now going to be my go-to Mac & Cheese recipe!
That sounds delicious! Glad you enjoyed 🙂
I made this tonight (twice) and think there needs to be a bit more instruction for the every day cook. My first attempt at this, the sauce was so lumpy and flour-y. Even though I whisked vigorously, lumps remained. It tasted like straight flour and had to be thrown out. After some internet research, I realized the flour needs to be add very very slowly and only a little bit at a time. In my second attempt, I only added about tablespoon of flour, instead of the 1/4 cup like the recipe states. I also found the recipe a bit bland. Overall, I would make again with (1) less flour (2) flour added slowly (2) more flavor and spices.
I’m so sorry you had an issue with this! 1/4 cup of flour is pretty standard in roux/slurries, but yes, you could add a little at a time, sorry if that wasn’t clear — we will update! Make sure you use sharp cheddar cheese too (one from the block) to give it more flavor and don’t be afraid to add your own spices or additional salt and pepper as needed.
This looks so good!
I was just wondering if the flour is absolutely necessary, and if so if I could use oat flour?
This recipe does require flour so that the cheese sauce thickens up. I haven’t tested it with oat flour, but I would think so! I’m not sure it will have the best flavor though. You can use a regular, 1:1 gluten free flour as noted in the recipe, too!
One of our favs, too!
OMG so delicious. I made this for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and anniversary. It’s that good. It puts boxed mac and cheese to shame.
Love that! Glad it’s a hit!
One of my favorites that I return to again and again! I credit Monique’s recipe with teaching me how to make the perfect stovetop Mac and cheese. The recipe is incredibly easy and is always a crowd pleaser.
I don’t want basic Mac and cheese ever again. If you like Brussel sprouts and Mac and cheese, do yourself a favor and make this delicious medley!
If I could rate this 10 stars I would! This Mac and cheese was AMAZING. You could eat the cheese sauce with just a spoon – it’s that good! Will make again for sure.
This was super great for my family! We love brussel sprouts but it was a fun alternative to how we eat them. We added some crushed cashews because that’s the protein my son likes lately! It was a fun addition!
WOW! Such an easy weeknight dinner. I cut up some spinach and added that in with the Brussel sprouts. Then in another bowl tossed 1 tsp olive oil with some panko and added that on top before broiling it for 2 min. Yummmmy!
That sounds AMAZING! So happy to hear you loved it, Jessica! Thanks for leaving a review 🙂
This was really delicious! I always love to put veggies to any dish to boost the nutrition and the brussel sprouts added a nice texture and flavor to the dish. The addition of garlic to the sauce gave it that extra flavor punch that I loved. My husband thought sautéed mushrooms would be good to add so I might try it the next time I make it.
Great recipe! We had some extra heavy cream so we did half heavy cream and half oat milk and it turned out great! Also we broiled it with Panko crumbs and parmesan for a nice crust and it turned out fantastic
YUM! This sounds amazing, so glad you all enjoyed this recipe!