Brussels Sprouts, Bacon & Kale Gratin
This deliciously creamy Brussels Sprouts, Kale & Bacon Gratin is a great winter side dish that tastes like it’s packed with cream and cheese but is actually dairy free! This gratin is Whole30, Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Specific Carbohydrate Diet and can easily be made Keto and Vegan too!
I am always looking for fun new ways to prepare brussels sprouts, which are a vegetable I admittedly only developed a liking for in recent years. While roasting them in the oven with balsamic and bacon has always been my go to method of preparation, I wanted to create a dish that was better for preparing in advance.
This brussels sprouts gratin is so deliciously creamy, once it came out of the oven I couldn’t stop myself from eating it. The brussels sprouts, kale and bacon are all coated in a cashew based dairy free sauce and then baked in the oven until bubbly hot. This is the perfect addition to a Thanksgiving or Christmas feast, or even something you could make for dinner and then enjoy as leftovers over a few days. I think you guys are going to absolutely love this Whole30 gratin.
Why you are going to love this Brussels Sprouts & Bacon Gratin?
- It’s so creamy! The sauce is rich and so creamy, you would swear it was made with cheese and cream!
- A great way to serve brussels sprouts: While I love roasted brussels sprouts, covering them in a “cheesy” sauce is a delicious way to switch things up, and is sure to win over fussy brussels sprouts eaters.
- The perfect side dish for a big family meal: You can prep this a day or two in advance and just pop it in the oven before serving for minimum day of fuss.
- No one will ever guess it’s Paleo & Dairy Free! This gratin is Whole30, Paleo, Grain and Dairy Free, but there is absolutely no reason to tell anyone because they will never know!
What’s in this Whole30 Brussels Sprouts Gratin?
- Brussels Sprouts: The star of this dish! When prepping the sprouts for this recipe try to ensure they are all about the same size. I like to cut them into quarters but half will also work if they are slightly smaller in size.
- Kale: I used curly kale but Tuscan kale would also work, just be sure to shred the kale finely so that it isn’t tough or chewy. Don’t like kale, use spinach instead!
- Bacon: In my opinion bacon makes everything taste better. You can use pancetta instead or alternatively leave it out altogether!
- Cashews: Raw cashews are the base for the creamy sauce. Soak them in hot water for 10 minutes to help them soften before blending them in the sauce.
- Almond Milk: Any milk or milk substitute would work in the sauce including coconut milk or cashew milk.
- Nutritional Yeast: Adds a nice cheesy flavour to the sauce. If you don’t have it, you can leave it out, or add a handful of grated parmesan if you aren’t following a dairy free diet.
- Dijon Mustard: I find adding a spoonful of dijon mustard to the sauce adds a nice depth of flavour. Alternatively you could use mustard powder to create a similar flavour.
How do you make this Whole30 Gratin:
- Cook the brussels sprouts: drizzle the brussels sprouts in olive oil and roast them in the oven until tender and slightly charred in the ends.
- Sauté the onion, bacon and kale: Sauté the garlic, onion and bacon for a few minutes before adding in the shredded kale. It should take another 5 minutes of cooking for the kale to wilt and soften in texture.
- Make the sauce: combine all of the sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until completely smooth. If the blender is struggling to blend, add a splash more liquid.
- Combine everything together: Pour the sauce over the brussels sprouts and kale, bacon, onion mixture and stir until everything is well combined.
- Bake it in the oven: Because the veggies are already cooked, you just want to bake the gratin until it’s hot and bubbly and the top is golden in colour.
- Serve and enjoy!
Can this paleo brussels sprouts gratin be made in advance?
Yes definitely! You can prepare everything up to the end of step 6 up to 3 days in advance. You can even store it in the baking dish in the fridge, and before serving simply bake it in the oven for 15 minutes until the gratin is golden and bubbly.
How can I make this gratin Vegan or Keto?
- Vegan: To make this recipe vegan just skip the bacon, the gratin will still be delicious. I would recommend adding 1/2 teaspoon more salt to make up for the saltiness of the bacon.
- Keto: To reduce the net carbs in this gratin I would recommend using macadamia nuts in place of cashews and only using 1/2 an onion.
Other Thanksgiving/Christmas side dishes to serve with this Paleo Brussels Sprouts Gratin:
- The BEST Cauliflower Mash
- Caramelized Leek, Fennel & Onion Gratin
- Sheet Pan Roasted Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts & Bacon
- Hasselback Butternut Squash
- 3-Ingredient Paleo Cranberry Sauce
Here are a few more brussels sprouts recipes that you might enjoy:
- Brussels Sprouts & Bacon Hash
- Brussels Sprouts Chips
- Brussels Sprout, Apple & Walnut Slaw
- Asian Brussels Sprouts
- Honey Mustard Glazed Bacon Wrapped Brussels Sprouts
- Sheet Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash, Bacon & Red Onion
If you make this recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Brussels Sprout, Kale & Bacon Gratin
- 1 pound brussels sprouts trimmed and halved (quarter if large)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 small onion (or 1 large) finely diced
- 5 ounces bacon
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 cups shredded curly kale
- 3/4 cup cashews soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
- 3/4 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 400ºFahrenheit (200º Celsius)
- Prep the brussels sprouts by trimming off the stem and removing any dirty outer leaves. Cut the brussels sprouts in half or quarters depending on their size. Try to ensure that all of the brussels sprout pieces are approximately the same size. Place them on a baking tray/baking dish, drizzle with 1 tbsp oil bake for 20-25 minutes until tender.
- In a cast iron skillet (or oven proof skillet) add the bacon and cook on medium high heat for 5 minutes until it begins to cook through. Depending on how much oil there is in the pan from the bacon, you may need to add 1/2 tbsp olive oil before adding in the diced onion and garlic, sprinkling with salt and leaving to cook for 4 minutes until the onions begin to soften.
- Finally add in the shredded kale, lower the heat to medium and cook for 6 more minutes until the kale has wilted and is no longer crunchy
- While the kale is cooking make the creamy sauce. In a high speed blender or nutribullet container combine the drained cashews, almond milk, mustard, lemon juice, nutmeg and nutritional yeast and blend until smooth.
- Once the brussels sprouts are tender, remove them from the oven and add them to the skillet with the sauteed kale and onions. Pour in the cashew sauce, give everything a stir to ensure its well coated.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven to make for 15 minutes until the top is golden and the gratin is gently bubbling and heated through.