Before we dive into this recipe, take a second to cue up Return of the Mack. Okay, now we’re good. We’ve already shown you how to make smoked gouda mac in your microwave, adorably miniature mac and cheese muffins, and now it’s time to make a more green take on this comfort food classic. After all, when is it not time for a return of the mac… and cheese?

Ingredients (makes 8-10 servings)

– 1 pound pasta

– 20 brussels sprouts (5 reserved)

– 2 cups heavy cream

– 8 tbsp unsalted butter (1 stick)

– 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

– 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella (1/2 cup reserved)

– 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar

– 1 tbsp salt

– 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella

– 1 tbsp olive oil

– 1 bunch basil

– 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

You could easily substitute asparagus or broccoli for brussels sprouts in this recipe, but it’s brussels sprouts week here at Brit HQ. Also of note, this is not necessarily a “healthy” recipe, but it’s a great way to make your favorite mac and cheese a little more nutritious.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Boil a pot of salted water and cook up your pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, chop up and sauté 15-20 brussels sprouts. Once both the pasta and sprouts are cooked, combine in a glass baking dish.

Now it’s time to make your béchamel-inspired sauce. In a medium saucepan, melt your butter over medium heat. Add in the flour and whisk constantly until the mixture turns light brown and is fully combined. Slowly pour in the milk and keep whisking. Add in 1 cup of shredded mozzarella and a 1/2 cup of cheddar. Keep whisking until everything is well-mixed.

Pour over pasta and brussels sprouts. Add in fresh mozzarella. This is already looking yummy.

Next, we’ve gotta add the crunch! Dice up your remaining brussels sprouts and sauté on high in olive oil. Add in chopped basil and bread crumbs and cook until everything is fairly crispy.

This mix would also be great for stuffed mushrooms!

Top your pasta and sprouts with your basil and brussels crunchy topping. Add a 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella on top of the crunch. Bake for 25 minutes.

While our mac was baking, we whipped up a super green salad. Our ingredients: arugula, jicama, celery, scallions, queso fresco, and avocado. We dressed it with olive oil, lemon juice, and a touch of salt and pepper.

Take your mac out of the oven and inhale the cheesy aroma.

Serve, and enjoy!

What’s your go-to mac and cheese recipe? Share it with us in the comments below.