Brussels sprouts grilled cheese? Yup! This Brussels Sprouts and Cranberry Relish Grilled Cheese is the perfect solution to Thanksgiving leftovers. But it's also incredibly easy to make from scratch for whenever the craving hits!
(This recipe for brussels sprouts grilled cheese was originally published in November 2012, but has been updated with new photos and content in 2018).
Who's sick of Thanksgiving food yet?? Not me!! For the first time in my life, I didn't actually have Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day. Chris and I went out for Italian food last night and had a nice, super quiet dinner together.
BUT we are celebrating with my family on Sunday, at which point I'm sure I'll eat more than my fair share of turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce. And then? I'll make leftover turkey dinner sandwiches (my favorite!).
And then? I'll make this Brussels Sprouts and Cranberry Relish Grilled Cheese. Because you know the brussels sprouts are the last side to go.
While many people still aren't crazy about them, brussels sprouts have definitely jumped on the trend train in recent years. Not as much as pumpkin (I don't see there being brussels sprouts beers or coffees any time soon… though I could be quite wrong!), but still, tons of people are going wild over them.
I got sucked in a few years back and now there's no turning back. Now I'm doing all sorts of crazy things like putting them in grilled cheese. I know. But I promise, it's good! Really, really good.
How to Make a Brussels Sprouts and Cranberry Relish Grilled Cheese
This grilled cheese sandwich is the perfect thing to make with your Thanksgiving dinner leftovers. You easily can use your leftover cranberry sauce and brussels sprouts in the recipe, but I also know you might crave this when you don't have any leftovers (I know I do!).
So, I'm also giving you the directions for making it totally from scratch. Thanksgiving leftovers only last so long, but brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce are in style all season long. And grilled cheese? That's appropriate any hour of any day of the year!
I opted to use mozzarella cheese in this grilled cheese because I wanted something on the mild side that wouldn't wash out the flavor of the sprouts.
The brussels sprouts are simply roasted with some salt and pepper and the cranberry relish is a simple cranberry sauce made with onions, garlic, and ginger. But like I said, the cranberry sauce you served at Thanksgiving dinner will work perfectly fine. And if there's a little extra jazz mixed in with those Thanksgiving brussels sprouts, that's totally fine, too.
If you're making this Thanksgiving grilled cheese from scratch, you'll want to start by making the cranberry relish, which is a simple quick small-batch cranberry sauce made with onion, ginger, and garlic.
While the cranberry relish is cooking and cooling, you can roast the brussels sprouts.
And then get layering all the ingredients on your bread. The cranberry relish goes on both sides and then the brussels sprouts top one of the slices and fresh mozzarella cheese the other.
To be fair, it makes more sense to place the cheese over the brussels sprouts so you can close the sandwich easier, without having ingredients falling out all over the place.
Once the bread slices are together, let the Thanksgiving leftovers grilled cheese sandwiches cook on your griddle or pan until the bread gets browned and the cheese gets melty.
Then you're ready to slice and serve! And suddenly, you'll see Thanksgiving leftovers in a whole new light. Same with brussels sprouts, in general.
If you're not a fan of brussels sprouts, you may be thinking what I did here is an insult to grilled cheese across the world. I'm pretty sure that's what Chris thought. He was so excited when I told him I was making grilled cheese and then totally let down when I told him I was packing it full of brussels sprouts. Sorry, honey!
But guess what? He ate the entire thing. And admitted he loved it. I'm telling you, roasted brussels sprouts are the way to go!
If you have a true brussels sprouts hater, you can add bacon. My work here is done.
I'd really love to gather up all the brussels sprouts haters in the world and make them eat a bowl of roasted brussels sprouts or a brussels sprouts grilled cheese. And then see what they have to say.
They'd have to come in with an open mind and agree to give me their honest feelings.
But let's not discount the cranberry relish on this brussels sprouts grilled cheese sandwich. I love super sweet and tart cranberry sauce, but this one had more of a savory bite from the onions and garlic, along with a nice spicy bite from the ginger.
I can see this relish being a delicious addition to all kinds of fall appetizers and sides.
Everything just worked so well together in this sandwich... The way the best things in life do. I truly believe that Thanksgiving leftovers make some of the most delicious meals!
And now I have a new favorite grilled cheese that allows me to get some of my greens in, too.
And get that happy Thanksgiving feeling just a little bit longer. I hope you all had the most wonderful Thanksgiving and are gearing up for a fun holiday season!
Would you love brussels sprouts in a grilled cheese or is that a big no-no to you?
If you're looking for more ways to enjoy delicious brussels sprouts, check out my recipes for Beer Battered Fried Brussels Sprouts or Brussels Sprouts Bacon Caesar Salad. I can't wait to make these Spicy Pork Brussels Bowls from SkinnyTaste!
Brussels Sprouts and Cranberry Relish Grilled Cheese
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- ¼ cup diced onion
- ½ Tbsp minced ginger
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 8 brussels sprouts, stems cut off and halved
- Salt and pepper
- 2 slices good bread
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 6 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
- Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, ginger, and garlic and cook until onion and garlic are softened and fragrant.
- Add cranberries, sugar, and water to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, continuing to stir. Berries will start bursting and mixture will get thick. Remove from heat and spoon relish into a bowl to cool.
- While cranberry relish is cooking, prepare brussels sprouts. In a medium bowl, combine brussels sprouts with remaining 1 T olive oil and salt and pepper. Lay brussels sprouts out cut side down on a foil-covered baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes, until nice and crispy.
- Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread and place on a griddle or skillet over medium-low heat, butter-side down.
- Spread a thin layer of cranberry relish on top of each slice of bread. On top of two slices, layer roasted brussels sprouts and then add mozzarella cheese. Put bread slices together and grill on each side for a couple minutes until the bread is browned and the cheese is melty.
- Slice sandwich in half and enjoy!
- If you are using Thanksgiving leftovers for this grilled cheese, skip to step 5 and use your already made cranberry sauce and brussels sprouts.
This is so creative! I love brussels sprouts so I'd definitely try it!
Jenn's Food Journey says
Ok, I'm not a huge fan of Brussels sprouts, but dang, girl, this looks GOOOOOD!!! I would not turn it down, that is for sure! YUM!
sarah k @ the pajama chef says
this is so inventive! funny thing is, in my family i love brussels sprouts & my mom is the one who can't stand 'em. 🙂
I can't wait to try this! I discovered I actually liked brussels sprouts last year and have been searching for new ways to cook them. With my overwhelming love of grilled cheeses, this is totally happening!
uhhh... YUM. I LOVE Brussels sprouts. I must try them in grilled sandwich form!
Gia Grossman says
Oh yum!! I didn't like brussels sprouts when I was a kid but I've since changed my outlook on 'em. This looks perfect!
Colleen @ Culinary Colleen says
I am obsessed with brussels sprouts...must try this idea!
Michelle Collins says
I LOVE Brussels sprouts. But smothered in cheese?! This could be the best invention ever.
Lauren @ Healthy Food For Living says
Love this idea! I would definitely put roasted Brussels into a grilled cheese sandwich... and the cranberry relish is the perfect addition.
This is the best idea! How can you not love Brussels sprouts in between cheesey bread? I think I need to make this!!!
Looks absolutely delicious! I just love any sandwich that has cranberries and cheese 🙂
This grilled cheese looks awesome! I'd definitely do this. I have always loved brussels sprouts, but my siblings didn't, and when my parents would make them, my siblings would roll them in ketchup to hide the taste. Ketchup! They were ruining perfectly good brussels sprouts! Luckily, a couple of my siblings actually love them now.
Wow. I would have NEVER thought of putting brussel sprouts in a sandwich. This sounds great!
Culinary Cory says
What an interesting combo of ingredients for a sandwich. I will have to give this a whirl soon.
Erica @ In and Around Town says
Would have never thought to add brussel sprouts to grilled cheese, but what a great idea!
yup, this sounds awesome. i'd even do it with cranberry sauce, if i had any leftover 😉 YUM!
Learning to love brussel sprouts - will try this soon - yum!