This Broccoli Casserole is the perfect comforting side dish. Tender broccoli is tossed in a creamy cheese sauce, topped with crushed cheese crackers, and baked until melty and crispy.
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Can we all just agree that broccoli and cheese are the perfect combination? I mean, Broccoli is delicious in Mac and Cheese, in Chicken Broccoli Alfredo, or just drenched in Homemade Cheese Sauce.
Well, this Broccoli Casserole is one of my favorite ways to enjoy broccoli and cheese. This side dish is the ultimate comfort food. It’s rich, creamy, loaded with flavor, and so versatile.
Bonus: you can make it with fresh or frozen broccoli and it takes just 10 minutes to prep!
- Broccoli: I prefer to use just florets because I prefer the texture. If you want to use the stems as well, feel free.
- Butter: I use salted butter. If you use unsalted, you may want to add more salt yourself.
- Aromatics: we’re creating a flavor base with diced onion and minced garlic.
- Seasonings: a simple blend of Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper is all the Broccoli Casserole needs for delicious flavor.
- All-Purpose Flour: helps thicken the cheese sauce.
- Milk: use any kind of milk you have on hand. The higher the fat content, the richer the flavor.
- Cheese: I love the flavor that shredded cheddar adds, but feel free to use other types of cheese.
- Crackers: we’re topping our casserole off with crushed cheese crackers.
How to Make Broccoli Cheese Casserole
This simple side dish takes a quick 10 minutes to prep!
- Cook the broccoli: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add in the broccoli. Cook until tender and drain well. Add the broccoli to a lightly greased baking dish.
- Sauté the aromatics and seasonings: In a skillet, melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, then stir in garlic and seasonings. Cook for another minute.
- Make the cheese sauce: Add the flour into the onion and garlic mixture and stir until no white remains. Pour in the milk, cook until thickened, then add in 2 cups of cheese.
- Assemble the casserole: Pour the cheese sauce over the broccoli in the baking dish, then top it off with ½ cup of cheese and crushed crackers. Bake the casserole at 400ºF until hot and bubbly, then serve and enjoy.
Broccoli Casserole FAQs
Broccoli casserole is broccoli tossed in a simple cheese sauce, layered into a casserole dish, topped with crushed crackers and baked until steamy and crispy on top. It’s the ultimate comfort food!
Yes! But just for a couple of minutes. Par-boiling the broccoli in salted water gives it a little bit of extra flavor and starts the cooking process so it gets perfectly crisp-tender in the oven. If you don’t pre-cook it, you may end up with crunchy broccoli.
Totally! No need to thaw first or cook. Just mix and bake. The only thing that changes is the cook time. Bake the casserole for 40-60 minutes instead of 20 to make sure it heats all the way through.
This Broccoli Casserole is super easy to prep ahead of time! Simply assemble the casserole as instructed but leave off the cracker topping. Instead, cover the casserole and store it in the fridge for 1-2 days or wrap it tightly and store it for 3 months in the freezer. When you’re ready to serve, thaw in the fridge if frozen, add the topping, then bake as directed. Add time as needed to make sure it’s heated all the way through!
Baked Broccoli Casserole will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. To reheat, warm in the oven or in single servings in the microwave until heated through.
- Swap the topping. Feel free to swap the crushed cheese crackers out for Ritz crackers, club crackers, breadcrumbs, or even potato chips.
- Add other veggies. Add frozen mixed veggies or any pre-cooked veggie you like to bulk your casserole up a bit.
- Make it a meal. This Broccoli Casserole makes an excellent side dish, but you can totally make it into more a meal by adding cooked shredded chicken or turkey, cooked rice or quinoa,
Broccoli Casserole is a super versatile side dish, so pair it with any of your favorite entrees!
I love it next to Grilled Chicken Thighs, Sheet Pan Mini Meatloaf and Roasted Potatoes, Baked Pork Chops, Buttered Noodles, you name it.
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- 1½ lbs fresh broccoli florets (about 4 medium heads)
- 3 tablespoons salted butter
- ½ medium onion (finely diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2½ cups milk
- 2½ cups shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
- 1 cup crushed cheese crackers (about 60 grams)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the broccoli. Cook for 2-3 minutes (less if you like more texture, more if you like them softer).
- Drain broccoli well (you may want to lay them on paper towel to absorb some moisture) and add to a lightly greased 9×13" baking dish.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Make the cheese sauce:
- In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat.
- Add onion and cook until translucent.
- Stir in garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute.
- Add flour and stir until no white remains.
- Whisk in milk until smooth. Continue cooking and whisking until thickened, about 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in 2 cups cheese and pour over broccoli in pan. Stir to coat.
- Top with remaining ½ cup shredded cheese and crushed cheese crackers.
- Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve.
- To make ahead: you can prep this recipe up to the point of baking, cover and refrigerate up to 4 days before baking. Keep in mind that heating a cold casserole will take slightly longer in the oven.
- You can use any kind of milk you like or even cream — a higher fat dairy will have a richer flavor, but all work great.
- You can swap the cheddar cheese for any kind you like, or a variety!
- You can swap the crushed crackers for Panko bread crumbs if you prefer.
- You can use frozen broccoli — simply ensure it is not stuck together, then stir together with the sauce and bake as usual.
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