Step by Step Instructions:
This Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Macaroni and Cheese makes a fabulous side dish for your next meal. Here’s what you’ll need: Milk, 3 cups of Brussels Sprouts (cleaned and cut in half), Large Elbow Macaroni (about 12 ounces), Salt and Pepper, Sharp Cheddar Cheese (about a cup), Gruyere Cheese (4 ounces), Cayenne Pepper, Ground Mustard, Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (don’t let the cannister fool you!), and Bacon (about 6 slices). Not pictured Olive Oil and Butter…they send their apologies.
Start off by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Add olive oil and salt and pepper to taste to a bowl of Brussels sprouts.
Toss until the sprouts are completely coated in the oil. Line a baking sheet and place the sprouts on the sheet cut-side down. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
While the sprouts roasted, I cooked my bacon. Can I just say how much I LOVE bacon cooked in the Nu-Wave oven?
I love my bacon nice and crispy so it’s easy to cut into bite-sized pieces.
It’s almost time to make the cheese sauce. I like to measure out my dry ingredients ahead of time so the butter doesn’t burn. Here is 3 tablespoons of flour along with a pinch of salt and pepper, and about 1/8 teaspoon each of ground mustard and cayenne pepper. If you like heat, you could up the cayenne here. (I think I will next time.)
About this time the Brussels sprouts were perfectly done. Just set them aside until you’re ready for them.
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
Over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium-sized saucepan.
Once the butter is melted, add the flour to the pan.
Whisk the flour for about a minute to cook the flour a bit.
Gradually add 2 cups of warm milk to the butter and flour mixture whisking constantly to prevent lumps.
As the sauce is heating (and be sure you stir regularly) grate the gruyere cheese.
Chop the six slices of bacon into bite-sized pieces.
Once the sauce starts to bubble you’re ready to add the cheese.
Add about a cup of shredded cheddar, 3 ounces of the Gruyere and about 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Taste and add more cheese if needed.
Whisk the cheese in until it is completely melted. I could stop here…but I won’t.
Add the cooked pasta to a large bowl and pour in the cheese sauce, along with the chopped bacon and Brussels sprouts. You can reserve some of the bacon for topping each serving after it’s baked.
Fold the ingredients in carefully to keep the sprouts in tact. It’ll be so creamy…again I could stop here, but I won’t.
Spray a baking dish well with cooking spray and pour the combined pasta mixture in the dish.
Top with remaining cheese and Panko bread crumbs. Bake until the mac and cheese is bubbling and the topping is starting to brown for about 20-30 minutes.
Serve immediately and top with remaining bacon. Enjoy! Happy Mac ‘n Cheesing!!
3 cups of Brussels Sprouts (cleaned, stem removed and halved)
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
6 slices of Bacon (cooked and chopped)
12 ounces of Large Elbow Macaroni (cooked according to package)
3 Tablespoons of Butter
3 Tablespoons of All-Purpose Flour
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon of Ground Mustard
1/8 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
2 cups of Milk (warm)
4 ounces of Gruyere Cheese, shredded
1 cup Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup of Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. While the oven preheats, toss the halved Brussels sprouts in olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread the sprouts on a lined cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until the brussels sprouts are starting to brown.
3. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
4. Begin the cheese sauce by melting 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Once melted add 3 tablespoons of flour, a pinch of salt and pepper, about 1/8 teaspoon each of cayenne pepper and ground mustard. Whisk the flour and butter together for about a minute.
5. Add 2 cups of warm milk (you can heat about 30-45 seconds in the microwave to warm it) gradually to the flour mixture and whisk constantly to prevent lumps.
6. Continue stirring the sauce frequently and once it begins to bubble add the gruyere, cheddar and Parmesan but be sure to reserve a small amount for topping. Whisk the cheese in and stir until combined.
7. In a large bowl fold together the cooked pasta, cheese sauce, roasted Brussels sprouts, and bacon pieces. You can also reserve some of the bacon for serving. Transfer to a large baking dish that has been coated in cooking spray and bake for 20-30 minutes until the dish is bubbly and starting to brown on top. Serve immediately and enoy!