This Cheesy Casserole Will Make Anyone a Brussels Sprouts Fan

The combination of  has risen in popularity quite dramatically in recent years, and for good reason. Bacon makes the once villainized cabbage-like vegetable downright irresistible. With cream, cheese, and dijon mustard, this easy casserole is reminiscent of a classic . The lemony panko bread crumb topping adds a bright and crispy contrast most would consider a major upgrade. Bonus: To limit the amount of dishes, you can cook and caramelize the in an ovenproof skillet. ( is an excellent choice!) These sprouts make a wonderful

with and all the fixings, but you can make 'em any night of the week with a or .

How do you prepare Brussels sprouts?

Brussels sprouts are most commonly sold off the stalk, which means the ends that connect all the leaves are most likely browned and dried out. Trim off that part first. Next, inspect the outer leaves and pull off any bruised or discolored looking pieces. (This often happens naturally when you cut off the bottoms.) From there, the rest of how you prep will depend on the recipe. For this one, simply half the sprouts and you're ready to roll.

Do you need to blanch Brussels sprouts before baking them?

For this recipe, there's no need to blanch these sprouts. Before these go in the oven, they're cooked in a skillet to get them golden, caramelized, and slightly tender. They'll get totally tender when they're baked in the oven.

Should you soak Brussels sprouts before cooking them?

Some recipes call for soaking sprouts in water or salt water before cooking them to achieve a tender texture. But that's not necessary, especially here. You do, of course, want to make sure the Brussels sprouts are well cleaned before cooking with them, but you don't have to worry about soaking to tenderize them. Since the sprouts cook once on the stovetop and again in the oven, they'll get perfectly tender without the extra step of soaking.

What pairs well with Brussels sprouts?

As with most things, smoky bacon pairs well with Brussels sprouts' natural nutty, almost sweet flavor. Adding melty cheese—like cheddar, mozzarella, Gruyère, or Monterey Jack—is never a bad idea either.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Brussels sprouts can be trimmed and halved up to 2 days in advance. Though the leftovers are delicious, it's best to serve this casserole immediately. Luckily, once the vegetables are chopped and prepped, the rest comes together quickly.