This Creamy Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts Casserole makes a beautiful, craveable side dish for the holiday table! It’s an easy veggie casserole with crisp-tender cauliflower and brussels sprouts in a creamy cheese sauce!
AN EASY VEGGIE CASSEROLE FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER
Maybe part of what makes the holidays so special is that so much comfort food comes together all in one place! Mashed potatoes, macaroni, sweet potato casserole, ham, prime rib… all kinds of rich and nourishing foods are brought together for a true feast!
And, for me, no feast is complete without some really good vegetable side dishes: HE-LLO my Garlicky Cheesy Cauliflower Broccoli BAKE! 😋
As readers of my blog know, I love veggies, and I love preparing them in ways that are easy, wholesome, and above all, delicious! This simple veggie casserole checks all of my boxes and then some.
VEGGIE CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS
Everything you’ll see here is a simple, wholesome ingredient. I love that, don’t you? And by using cornstarch and gluten-free Panko, we’re creating a dish that’s gluten-free, as well! For those of you who might prefer using wheat to corn, it’s totally fine to use all-purpose flour instead of cornstarch!
- Fresh Cauliflower: Look for a large head of cauliflower that’s firm and unblemished. Cut it into small florets.
- Fresh Brussels Sprouts: You’ll need about a pound of brussel sprouts, quartered.
- Butter: Salted or unsalted is fine; this is for making the cheese sauce.
- Cornstarch: For thickening the sauce, cornstarch is an easy, gluten-free alternative to flour.
- Milk and Cream: You’ll need a cup of each. You can also use two cups of half and half, or one cup of milk and one cup of half and half.
- Shredded Swiss Cheese: You can also use mozzarella, cheddar, or any other shredded cheeses you enjoy for this veggie casserole.
- Shredded Parmesan Cheese: Just a third of a cup of shredded Parmesan adds needed salt and umami flavor to the sauce.
- Italian Seasoning: Use your favorite dried Italian seasoning, or any other dried herbs you prefer.
- Salt & Pepper
- Garlic Powder: Dried garlic powder adds a punch of intense flavor.
- Panko: To make this dish gluten-free, I like to use the pork rind Panko crumbs.
HOW TO MAKE THIS CAULIFLOWER & BRUSSELS SPROUTS CASSEROLE
Have you ever made a casserole with a from-scratch sauce before? If not, don’t be afraid! It’s super easy and practically foolproof! All you have to do is prepare the main ingredients (in this case, by blanching the veggies for a few minutes in boiling water).
Then, make the sauce: cook the cornstarch in a little butter, whisk in the liquids a little at a time, and then finish with cheese and seasonings. So easy! Then you just assemble the veggie casserole, bake it and enjoy!
- Prep Oven, Baking Dish & Vegetables: Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Generously spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking oil and set aside. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan or pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and brussel sprouts to the boiling water; cover and cook over high heat for 5 minutes, or until the veggies are crisp-tender. Drain and set aside.
- Make Sauce: In a large skillet, melt two tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Whisk in the cornstarch and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Next, slowly pour in the milk and cream, continuously whisking. Bring to a boil and continue to whisk for 3 to 4 minutes, or until mixture is thickened; remove from the heat and stir in the cheeses and seasonings.
- Assemble Casserole: Transfer the cooked veggies to the baking dish. Pour the sauce over the veggies; gently stir to combine. Sprinkle the top with pork rind panko crumbs, and spray olive oil cooking spray over the crumbs.
- Bake: Bake the casserole, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and mixture is bubbling on the sides. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before garnishing with parsley and serving.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Just by following the recipe as written, this veggie casserole should turn out amazing! But I also have a few tips and ideas here that can take it up another notch, if you’d like to read further. Happy cooking!
- Try Roasting: If you have the time, you can roast the vegetables instead of blanching them. Roasting causes the veggies to caramelize, developing intense flavors.
- Substitute Veggies: I used cauliflower and brussels sprouts, but this dish would also be great with broccoli, parsnips, carrots, and other cold-weather veggies. Just cook until crisp-tender and proceed with the recipe.
- Non-Dairy Milks: Some of my readers can handle the hard cheeses, but not necessarily milk and cream. If you’d like to substitute, almond milk and cashew milk work very well in cheesy, creamy sauces like this.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH THIS CASSEROLE?
This versatile side dish is a great addition to any dinner! But if you’re making it for the holidays, I recommend pairing it with one of these festive and delicious recipes.
- Ham: I love serving cheesy casseroles with ham, especially my Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Glazed Ham. The flavors work perfectly together!
- Baked Tilapia: This Garlic Butter Oven Baked Tilapia is a healthy and easy main course that also goes really well with cheesy brussels sprouts and cauliflower!
- Holiday Sides: Round out your menu with a trio of great sides! This cheesy casserole plus spicy Roasted Cajun Butter Carrots and a delicious dish of Mashed Sweet Potatoes will make your tastebuds happy!
HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT LEFTOVERS
Follow these instructions if you have leftovers to make sure they stay nice and fresh. This casserole can be stored for up to 3 months!
- To refrigerate, store leftover veggie casserole in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.
- To freeze, place single-servings in freezer bags, pressing out as much air as possible before freezing. This casserole should keep for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, thaw the casserole in the refrigerator (if frozen). Bake at 350˚F until heated through.
More Cheesy Vegetable Casseroles
Tools Used in this Recipe
CREAMY CAULIFLOWER AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS CASSEROLE
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, quartered
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream, (may substitute half-and-half)
- ¾ cup shredded swiss cheese, (mozzarella, cheddar, and other shredded cheeses may be substituted)
- ⅓ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning, or any other dried herbs of choice
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup pork rind panko crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375˚F. Generously spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking oil and set aside.
- In a large sauté pan or pot bring 5 to 6 cups of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and brussel sprouts to the boiling water; cover and cook over high heat for 5 minutes, or until veggies are crisp tender. The larger the veggies, the longer it will take to cook. Drain the vegetables in a colander and set aside.
- In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons butter set over medium heat. Whisk in the cornstarch; cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Slowly pour in the milk, then the heavy cream; continuously whisk until smooth. Increase heat and bring mixture to a boil; continue to whisk for 3 to 4 minutes, or until mixture is thickened.
- Remove from heat and stir in swiss cheese and parmesan cheese. Season sauce with Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder; continue to stir with the whisk until all is well combined. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly.
- Transfer prepared veggies to the baking dish. Pour the sauce over the veggies; gently stir to combine. Sprinkle the top with pork rind panko crumbs. Spray olive oil cooking spray over the crumbs.
- Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until top is golden brown and mixture is bubbling on the sides. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve.
- For those following a Weight Watchers Plan, use Half & Half, Low Fat Milk, Low Fat Cheeses, and Regular Panko Crumbs.
- WW SMARTPOINTS CALCULATED WITH: Half & Half, Low Fat Milk, Low Fat Cheeses, and Regular Panko Crumbs.