Brussels Sprout, 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! With a golden brown crust and creamy sauce, this is a healthy spin on comfort food that is perfect for Sunday night dinner or a special occasion. This gratin is an easy side dish that is Whole30, Paleo, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Specific Carbohydrate Diet and can easily be made Keto and Vegan too!
I was never a fan of brussels sprouts growing up, but have since developed a love for them (when they are cooked properly and not steamed or boiled). While roasting brussel sprouts 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. Unlike most brussels sprout au gratin recipes which are loaded with heavy cream, parmesan cheese or gruyère cheese and a rich creamy cheese sauce or béchamel sauce, this brussels sprout au gratin recipe is Paleo, Keto and Whole30! 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 gratin makes the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving or Christmas feast, or is 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 brussel sprout gratin.
WHY YOU WILL 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. Its a real crowd pleaser
- This has become a family favorite thanksgiving side dish I make every year.
- No one will ever guess it’s Paleo & Dairy Free! This tasty recipe 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 I recommend using fresh brussels sprouts rather than frozen and try to ensure that 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! The Bacon bits add a wonderful saltiness to the dish
- Cashews: Raw cashews are the base for the cream mixture. 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 in a prepared baking dish until tender and slightly charred in the ends.
- Sauté the onion, bacon and kale: Sauté the garlic, onion and bacon for a few minutes on medium-high heat 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 the drained cashews, almond milk, mustard, lemon juice, nutmeg, nutritional yeast and black pepper in a blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth. If the blender is struggling to blend, add a splash more liquid. Taste the cream sauce and adjust the flavours as needed
- Combine everything together: Pour the sauce over the brussels sprouts and kale, crispy bacon and 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 (15 additional minutes)
- Serve and enjoy!
CAN THIS PALEO BRUSSELS SPROUT 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.
WHAT ABOUT LEFTOVERS?
Leftover brussels sprout gratin can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
HOW CAN I MAKE THIS GRAIN VEGAN OR KETO?
- Vegan: To make this comforting side dish 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 Sprouts, 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 cut into small pieces
- 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
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 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.