Sausage and Brussels Sprouts Casserole
This Sausage and Brussels Sprouts Casserole is far from boring! Perfectly cooked No Yolks® combined with sausage, thinly sliced Brussels sprouts and a rich lemon-y, garlick-y cream sauce, baked until hot and bubbly. Great for busy weeknights when you’re craving something comforting!
Casserole lovers, rejoice! This delicious Brussels sprouts casserole bake is now joining my collection, which includes my amazing Chicken Friccassee Casserole, Brazilian Creamy Rice Casserole, Turkey and Mashed Potatoes Casserole, and many more.
This post is sponsored by No Yolks®, but all opinions are my own
I know what you’re thinking!
“Casserole? Pffft! That is so… 1950?”
But hear me out. Yes, casseroles sometimes get a bad rap for being old-school or something you bring to a funeral. But this is not your Mama’s casserole, ohhh no!
We are talking an outrageously delicious, creamy, burn your mouth because you can’t wait to dig in, kind of casserole.
Not fancy, not pretentious, but oh so good and so comforting!
What is a Casserole?
There are so many casserole recipes out there, and they are so different from each other!
That got me thinking: what exactly is a casserole?
Well, by strict definition, a casserole is a dish that is baked in… a casserole dish! A deep dish, made of glass or ceramic, that can go directly from the oven to the table.
Baked dishes have existed for thousands of year, with several cultures having a popular variety. Cassoulet, Moussaka, Shepherd’s Pie, you name it!
But it wasn’t until the late 1800s, here in the United States, that the casserole became what we know today. A baked dish that consists of at least three main components: usually protein (like beef, chicken, pork or fish), one or more vegetables, and a starch (rice, pasta, potatoes).
Most of the time, there is also a crunchy or cheesy topping.
They get the reputation of being easy, cheap and made completely in one dish. But that’s not always the case!
Casseroles can also be indulgent, elaborate and require you to use a few dishes in order to cook all the elements.
So, yeah, they can go either way. There’s a time and place for every type of casserole! 😊
To make this Sausage and Brussels Sprouts Casserole, you will need:
- Egg Noodles – I am using No Yolks® Extra Broad from Walmart! (Find online here!)
- Sausage – Your choice of mild or hot! You can buy the sausages and remove the casings, or buy ground sausage.
- Brussels sprouts – Look for bright green Brussels sprouts, as the ones with yellowing leaves are older. The leaves should be tightly wrapped. Smaller sprouts are usually more tender and sweet than the large ones.
- Milk and Cream – For the creamy sauce!
- Flour – We’ll use the flour to make a roux, so the casserole can go in the oven without the sauce curdling.
- Garlic – Will add even more flavor to this delicious casserole.
- Parmesan – Preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano!
- Butter – For sautéing the sprouts and creating the roux base for the sauce.
- Olive Oil – We’ll use the oil to brown the sausage, sauté the sprouts and to make the breadcrumbs topping.
- Sage – Just a little, for another depth of flavor, as sage can be quite overpowering.
- Breadcrumbs – For the topping! I like using Panko breadcrumbs for a crunchier topping, but regular will work as well!
- Lemon – A little bit of lemon juice and zest brightens this indulgent dish.
- Salt and Pepper – Season every step of the way. Nobody likes bland food! 😊
- White wine – for deglazing the pan.
What I use in Casseroles
The perfect casserole is saucy, packed with delicious flavors and laced with al-dente egg noodles or pasta. Overcook your pasta and you’ll end up with a mush!
That’s why I love using No Yolks® for my casseroles. Made from egg whites, I find that they cook firmer than egg noodles made with the yolk.
And, in a dish like this, they look and taste like yolk-rich noodles, but with no cholesterol and also low in fat and sodium.
How to Make Sausage and Brussels Sprouts Casserole
I confess I got a little intimidated when No Yolks® challenged me to put an unexpected twist on a casserole. I, too, had the misconception that casseroles didn’t give us much room for creativity!
But then I thought: a casserole is actually THE ultimate creative dish. There are no limits to what you can do!
So I thought of one of my favorite combinations: sausage and Brussels sprouts, and decided that they would be the power couple of my casserole.
It consists of five elements: No Yolks® Extra Broad cooked a little short of al dente + sweet or hot sausage + almost caramelized Brussels sprouts + an indulgent creamy sauce + a crunchy topping.
Yes, you will need to cook everything before you bake. This is not a dump and bake recipe. But that’s what it takes to up your casserole game, my friend.
Recommended tools and equipment: Sauté pan, colander, 9X13 baking dish.
Here’s how I make this Sausage and Brussels Sprouts Casserole recipe. As always, you will find the printable (and more complete) version of the recipe at the end of this post!
Step 1: Cook the pasta.
- Cook No Yolks® Extra Broad for 9 minutes.
- Drain and reserve some of the cooking water.
Step 2: Brown the sausage and sauté the sprouts.
- Brown the sausage, breaking it apart into smaller pieces. Drain the excess fat and reserve.
- Sauté the sliced Brussels sprouts until beginning to caramelize. Don’t be afraid to let them “hang out” with the pan, so they can get caramelized – which will bring lots of flavor to this casserole!
- Stir in the garlic and 1 tablespoon of chopped sage.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Optional: Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup dry white wine. (I love using wine to scrape all those delicious browned bits from the bottom of the pan!)
Step 3: Make the sauce.
- Stir in the flour and let it cook for a minute to get rid of the raw flour taste.
- Slowly pour in the milk and heavy cream. Cook until thickened.
- Stir back in the sausage.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and grated parmesan.
- Combine with the pasta and reserved cooking liquid.
Step 4: Bake the casserole.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9X13 baking dish.
- Make the topping by mixing the breadcrumbs, remaining olive oil (or melted butter, if you prefer), remaining sage and remaining grated parmesan.
- Top the casserole with the crumb topping.
- Bake until golden brown!
- I highly recommend cooking the No Yolks® 1-2 minutes less than what the package calls for. The pasta will finish cooking in the oven and the results will be perfectly al dente!
- Wait at least 5 minutes before digging in! That will give the sauce some time to settle and cling to the No Yolks®, and you won’t be greeted by a pool of liquid when you finally cut into it.
- However, do eat the casserole while it’s still hot, al dente and saucy. It will get slightly drier and less al dente while it cools.
What to serve with Sausage and Brussels Sprouts Casserole?
This casserole is a great low-maintenance meal! When your family catches sight of it coming out of the oven, nobody will be asking for anything else but that bubbly beauty.
That being said, you can definitely serve it with a nice green salad or even a vegetable side dish.
I also recommend a crusty bread, bread rolls or garlic bread to soak up whatever deliciousness that ends up clinging to the plate!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can assemble the casserole (minus the topping), wait for it to cool and refrigerate until the next day. When ready to serve, add the topping and bake. You will want to bake it a little longer so it can get nice and hot!
I’m usually not a fan of freezing anything with dairy. However, since our sauce here is made with flour, it is stable enough to be frozen and thawed.
To freeze, prepare up without adding the topping. Let it cool and then wrap tightly with plastic AND foil, to prevent freezer burn.
Thaw overnight in the fridge, add the topping and bake!
Did you make this recipe? I love hearing from you! Please comment and leave a 5-star rating below. You can also take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #oliviascuisine.
Sausage and Brussels Sprouts Casserole
- 1 package (12 ounces) No Yolks® Extra Broad
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound mild or hot Italian sausage, casings removed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 10 ounces Brussels sprouts, outer layer removed and thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, divided
- ½ cup white wine, optional
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 ½ cups whole milk
- Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- Sauté Pan
- 9X13 baking dish
- Preheat oven to 400º degrees with a rack in the middle.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions, but 1-2 minutes less that what they call for so the pasta is almost al dente but not quite. Drain and reserve 1/3 cup of the cooking liquid.
- In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and brown the sausage, breaking the clumps apart with a wooden spoon, for about 5-8 minutes. Drain the excess fat and reserve on a plate.
- Return the pan to medium heat and add another tablespoon of olive oil plus the butter. When the butter has melted, add the sliced Brussels sprouts. Cook, stirring often but not too much, until the sprouts are beginning to caramelize, about 5-6 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and 1 tablespoon chopped sage.
- Optional: pour 1/2 cup white wine to deglaze the pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape all the brown bits that are stuck on the bottom.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the flour and stir to combine. Cook for a minute to get rid of the raw flour taste. Then, slowly add the heavy cream and milk. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 3-5 minutes.
- Turn the heat off, then stir back the reserved sausage, salt, pepper, the lemon juice and zest, and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese.
- Add the reserved pasta, along with the reserved cooking liquid. Stir until everything is well combined.
- Transfer to a 9×13 baking dish, sprayed with cooking spray.
- In a bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, remaining parmesan cheese, sage and olive oil. Scatter on the top of the casserole.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Let it rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.