Penne N’ Cheese with Brussels Sprouts

I’m going to be honest here. I’ve never actually had the famous American Mac N’ Cheese. Which isn’t really a weird thing since I’m Dutch and there’s lots of people here that have never had it nor heard of it.

But as someone who has been quite obsessed with the US and its traditional cooking for years, it’s something that I should have tried. At least that’s what I think. Or do any American readers have a different opinion on this?
Anyways, the dish just didn’t appeal to me. I’ve seen photos. There’s cheese and there’s a lot of it. A bit too much and a bit too yellowy for my taste.

Thus, being the innovative recipemaker that I desire to be, I have created my own little version of the classic! Mine uses a lot less cream and cheese (I cannot handle too much dairy), and also incorporates some vegetables! Great ones might I add, Brussels sprouts are one of my favourite veggies. Also, I used whole wheat penne which ofcourse changes the texture of the dish quite a bit.
Basically I just used the foundations of the traditional recipe and adapted it to my own preferences.

Might I say, I really like my preferences. The Pecorino adds the perfect hearty and salty flavour which goes so well with the softness of the penne and the bitterness of the sprouts. You could easily switch this dish up by adding pine nuts or bacon for example!

This will most definitely be one of my recurring dinners!

Penne N' Cheese with Brussels Sprouts

  • Servings: 4 individual portions
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 100 grams (1 cup) penne
  • 100 grams (1 cup) brussel sprouts
  • 1 tbsp fresh or dried thyme
  • 75 ml cream (1/3 cup) I used rice-based cream
  • 50 grams (1/2 cup) Pecorino cheese

Used kitchen appliances

  • Oven
  • Large pan
  • 4 small ramekins


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C or 392F. Half the sprouts.
  2. Fill the large pan with water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and sprouts. Leave to boil on a medium heat for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the pasta and sprouts. Transfer back to the pan, and add the thyme leaves and cream. Season to taste.
  4. Transfer the pasta to the ramekins. Grate over the Pecorino cheese.
  5. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Cristina says:

    This looks delicious! I am of the opinion that everyone needs to try American mac and cheese once (or as we call it in Canada, Kraft Dinner!). I think there’s a lot of nostalgia attached to it though, so yours probably tastes WAY better!


    1. basilandoil says:

      Thank you so much! Nostalgia and food are so strongly connected, aren’t they? I will definitely try the traditional Mac n Cheese soon and see if I can find it as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mmm that looks great! My husband loves brussel sprouts. I’ll have to make this for him!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. basilandoil says:

      Thanks! I’d love to know if you liked it!


  3. Stef says:

    As Brussels sprouts are by far my favourite veggies I am glad I can add yet another incredbily delicious and astonishingly easy recipe to the list!

    Liked by 1 person

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