Cacio e Pepe Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms

60 minutes

serves 4

I originally made this as a fun Christmas recipe, but I never ended up posting it because the holidays were crazy busy! I’m excited to share this now because it’s the perfect comfort dish, with the benefits of…well, vegetables. I used to be a cream of spinach gal, but now I’m a cacio e pepe Brussels sprouts and mushroom gal. Woohoo!

Real quick! A little info:

If you want to go straight to the ingredients and method, be my guest. But, before you do, I want you to understand why I included cornstarch in this recipe. Traditional cacio e pepe is a pasta dish which translates to “cheese and pepper.” The cheesy peppery sauce consists of 3 main ingredients: pasta water (AKA starchy water,) Pecorino Romano (a hard, salty Italian cheese) and crushed black peppercorns. Soooo how do you get starchy water with this veggie recipe?! Well, considering that we aren’t making pasta, I decided to use corn starch. If you can’t bear the idea of making sauce with corn starch water, you can make a small portion of pasta (using 1 cup of water) and save the noodles for another time.

And now, let me break the recipe down for you: sautéed shaved Brussels sprouts and cremini mushrooms coated in a cheesy peppery sauce. ENJOY.

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4 from 8 Reviews


Adjust Servings
3cups Brussels Sprouts
8 oz. cremini mushrooms
1 1/2tsp corn starch
1/2tsp Salt
1cup water
2cups Pecorino Romano
1/4cup crushed black peppercorns
Large sauce pan



Prep your ingredients. Grate the Pecorino Romano cheese, shred the Brussels sprouts and slice the mushrooms. Set aside 1 tsp of Pecorino and black pepper for topping at the end

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In a sauce pan, combine the salt and water (from ingredient list.) Heat on medium high heat until the water reaches a boil.

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In the meantime, season a skillet with olive oil on medium high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the vegetables to the pan. Sauté until the Brussels sprouts are bright green and the mushrooms are thoroughly brown and cooked through (5-7 minutes.) If the pan dries out while you are sautéing, add more olive oil so the vegetables don't burn. Remove the vegetables from the heat once they are cooked, and set them aside.

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Once the water starts to boil, add the corn starch and whisk until thoroughly combined. Lower the heat to medium and continue whisking for 2 minutes, until the water slightly thickens. Make sure there are no clumps and that all of the corn starch is dissolved (that's why it's important to keep whisking through this process!)

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Add the Pecorino Romano to the starchy water and whisk until a thick cheesy sauce begins to form. Make sure there are no clumps!

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With a large spoon, stir in the crushed fresh black peppercorns until thoroughly combined.

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Transfer the sauce onto the vegetables and stir, to make sure the vegetables are fully coated.

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Top with a sprinkle of Pecorino Romano and crushed black pepper. Serve immediately.

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  • Casey Niper

    this healthier version of cacio e pepe is so inventive and it does NOT disappoint! not at all hard to make and came out soooo yummy

  • Keanna

    Hi! I love this combination of Brussels & cheese. I added shallots to mine. However during the process I overcooked the water & cornstarch. So the cornstarch & water mixture turned into paste. I just added more water, but it was still too thick. Do you have any advice on what to do if this happens again?

  • Keanna

    I know exactly what happened why it was too thick. I used 1 1/2 cup of cornstarch instead of the tablespoon, of hutch explain it.

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  • Julit

    I’m giving a three because I followed the instructions to a T and the cornstarch did not whisk away and then my sauce turned into clumps and I ended up having a soggy mess of brussel sprouts and mushrooms. It had a decent flavor but I wasted a lot of money on all ingredients I’ll have to try it again because this just looks amazing and I was so excited to make it.

    • Skyler Bouchard

      Hi! I’m so sorry you had an issue making this recipe. Are you 100% sure you used the right amount of starch? Adding too much can cause clumps. I know you said you followed it to a T, so next time (if you want to try again!) try mixing the starch and water together off of the heat to create a slurry, then put it on the heat after the starch is dissolved. Always feel free to message me on Instagram if you need more help. I’m here to help in any way I can!!

      • Skyler Bouchard

        another thing you can do is gradually add it to the hot liquid. I will experiment with this to try to figure out how this happened and I will report back!

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