This broccoli casserole is tender broccoli florets coated in a homemade cheese sauce, then finished off with a buttery cracker topping. An easy make-ahead dish that’s perfect for an everyday dinner or a holiday meal.
My family loves broccoli, I often find myself making roasted parmesan broccoli, broccoli with cheese sauce, and this simple, yet satisfying casserole. If you’ve got a broccoli fan in your house, this recipe is a must try!
There’s nothing better than a hot cheesy casserole, especially on a cold day. Casseroles are comforting, hearty and quick to assemble. I make this broccoli casserole on a regular basis, it’s one of my all time favorite ways to eat broccoli.
How do you make broccoli casserole?
This recipe starts with fresh broccoli florets, which are lightly cooked, then tossed in a homemade cheddar cheese sauce. The broccoli and cheese mixture goes into a baking dish and is topped with crushed crackers and shredded cheese. The end result is a crunchy and creamy casserole that’s totally irresistible!
How do you blanch broccoli?
This recipe called for blanched broccoli as the base of the casserole. Blanched broccoli is simply broccoli that’s been quickly boiled, then goes into a bath of cold water to stop the cooking process. You’ll need to cook your broccoli for 2-3 minutes until bright green, then transfer the broccoli to a bowl of ice water. After the broccoli is cool, drain the water and pat the broccoli dry with a paper towel.
Tips for broccoli casserole
- This casserole works best with fresh broccoli that’s been lightly cooked. Frozen broccoli will do in a pinch, but you need to make sure it’s thawed and dried before it goes into the recipe or you could end up with a watery casserole.
- You can toss the broccoli in the cheese sauce, place it in a casserole dish, then store the covered dish in the fridge for up to 1 day before you plan to bake it. Prior to baking, add your crushed cracker and shredded cheese topping.
- You can really use any cheese you like in this casserole. I typically use a sharp cheddar cheese, but other great options are fontina, Monterey Jack or provolone cheese.
Broccoli Casserole Variations
I typically serve this broccoli casserole as a side dish, but you can add an assortment of other ingredients to turn it into more of a main course offering.
- Grains: Use 3 cups of broccoli and 3 cups of cooked grains such as rice, quinoa or farro.
- Protein: Use 3 cups of broccoli and 3 cups of cooked chicken or ground beef.
- Bacon: Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cooked crumbled bacon over the finished dish.
- Potatoes: Use 3 cups of broccoli and 3 cups of cubed cooked potatoes.
This broccoli casserole is everything you’d want in a side dish – it’s the best way to get your kids to eat their veggies! Serve this casserole at your next gatherings and watch the rave reviews pour in.
More side dish recipes
- 6 cups broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup onion finely diced
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk I use whole milk
- 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided use
- 2 ounces cream cheese cut into small cubes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup crushed crackers such as Ritz
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- cooking spray
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 2-3 minutes or until bright green.
- Transfer the broccoli to a bowl of ice water. Let cool, then drain the water and pat the broccoli dry.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Add the flour to the pot and stir to coat the onions; cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk the milk into the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4-5 minutes or until sauce has thickened (coats the back of a spoon).
- Add the cream cheese, 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese and the salt, pepper, smoked paprika and garlic to the sauce. Stir until smooth.
- Place the broccoli in a large bowl. Pour the sauce over the top and toss to coat evenly.
- Pour the broccoli mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese over the top, along with the crushed crackers.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.