Bacon Brussels Sprouts Mac + Cheese

File this post under NOT part of my healthy spring challenge! Flavors of bacon and smoky gouda, tangy Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar, caramelized until falling apart Brussels sprouts, and hearty whole wheat pasta come together for the perfect union, Bacon and Brussels Sprouts Macaroni and Cheese. Because, well, it’s still cold out, and comfort food never goes out of style!

Brussels sprouts

Last night I had an AIWF Board meeting so I spent some of my working/job hunting time cooking dinner so that it would be ready at 9:00 when I got home.

First up were the Brussels sprouts, which I tossed in olive oil and roasted at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. They ended up looking a little burnt, but the flavors were more caramelized than burnt, and the centers were so soft and gooey.

roasted Brussels sprouts

I set the Brussels sprouts aside to cool while I grated the cheese, about four ounces of Kerrygold Reserve and three ounces smoked gouda.

Kerrygold Cheddar

smoked gouda

You’ll notice that the gouda is reduced fat. That was a mistake; I would never buy reduced fat cheese on purpose!

After grating the cheese, I cooked up four slices of turkey bacon. This is from Trader Joe’s, and it is pretty amazing, especially with a fried egg and cheese on an English muffin. Nom.

turkey bacon

While all of this was going on, I was boiling half a bag of whole wheat rotelle pasta.

whole wheat pasta

I chopped up the bacon and Brussels sprouts.

Brussels sprouts

And then I started on my sauce. As with the Guinness beef stew, I started with a roux of butter and flour, then added several cups of skim milk. See, there are some healthy aspects to the recipe!

To the milk and roux I added the cheese and then the cooked pasta, stirring in the bacon and Brussels sprouts last. The mix, as you can see here, was a little milky still, so I grated a bit more smoked gouda and stirred it in.

bacon Brussels sprouts macaroni and cheese

I let it simmer for a little longer, and then ate a bowl for lunch with a side of beets and kale. I originally planned on topping this with buttered bread crumbs and baking it, but I opted not to at the end. There’s probably enough cheese and butter in this baby. Smile 

Happy Wednesday! I decided yesterday that my birthday weekend is starting tomorrow with the 60 degree weather predicted. Bring it!

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Tags: bacon, brussels sprouts, cooking, dinner, easy, Food, macaroni and cheese, recipe, whole wheat pasta

  1. Elizabeth’s avatar

    This sounds insanely good. I’m trying to think if I’ve ever seen brussels sprouts in mac and cheese before. I need to make this. I also love your note about the reduced fat cheese :P


  2. Emily @ A Cambridge Story’s avatar

    oooh! you had me at the title. And, hey with the turkey bacon, brussels and skim milk, it can be justified as pseduo-healthy(ish), right?!!


  3. Evan Thomas’s avatar

    This dish sounds like heaven; everything good is in there.


  4. J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog)’s avatar

    Oh my gawd! That looks fabulous!! My husband would eat around the Brussels, but I am crazy about them. Yum!


  5. Justin’s avatar

    Have you ever been able to find whole-wheat shells? Leah REALLY likes mac & cheese made with shells, but unfortunately, that shape never made the jump to whole wheat.


  6. MelissaNibbles’s avatar

    I keep seeing this Kerry Gold everywhere. This recipe sounds sensational. I like any mac & cheese. Bring on the birthday!


  7. Megan’s avatar

    I’m glad you explained the reduced fat cheese mixup. I was beginning to think less of you. :) I love brussels sprouts and mac and cheese but don’t think I’ve ever put them together. Must try! Happy beginning of your birthday weekend!


  8. Michelle’s avatar

    I love everything about this dish. Everything.

    Happy birthday weekend! Woohoo!


  9. Erin @ Big Girl Feats’s avatar

    Ohhhhh delicious. Your birthday is St. Patty’s Day!? I feel like that’s really appropriate :)


  10. Renee’s avatar

    This looks so yummy. I like the idea of baking and chopping the sprouts and mixing them into something to introduce them into our household…


    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      And when you roast them for that long, they get pretty melted, almost like they aren’t there at all! :)


    2. Jason Phelps’s avatar

      At first I thought “what in the world is Megan thinking”, but then I realized these things would all work together.

      Love the Kerry Gold cheese!



    3. Jolene (’s avatar

      This sounds very satisfying and delicious! I have most of the ingredients on hand too!


    4. alicia’s avatar

      Heck yes – yum.

      Eh, whatever if its not the healthiest – you put a vegetable in there – I think its A-OK.


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