A made-from-scratch Broccoli Casserole with tender broccoli baked in a creamy parmesan garlic cheese sauce. Arguably the ultimate way to consume tons and tons of broccoli!
I’m about as much of a carnivore as a girl can be. And yet, even I would happily have this Broccoli Casserole for dinner any night of the week. Not even just as a side. As the main. It’s that good.
I mean, this isn’t just another boring broccoli dish. THIS is broccoli baked with thick, creamy sauce that’s loaded with parmesan and garlic flavours.
Broccoli heaven. Well, let’s be completely honest here. This broccoli recipe is all about that cheese sauce. So I make sure there’s plenty of it!!!
MAC AND CHEESE – IN BROCCOLI FORM
If you love my Baked Mac and Cheese, then you’re going to love this Broccoli Casserole. Because that’s basically what this recipe is. Mac and Cheese – minute the Mac, plus broccoli.
The same cheesy sauce. And that same gorgeous buttery, crunchy breadcrumb topping. In my world, Broccoli Casserole doesn’t happen without a crunchy topping!
BROCCOLI GRATIN / BROCCOLI BAKE / BROCCOLI CASSEROLE…
Truthfully, I am not really sure what to call this recipe. I guess it’s basically Cauliflower Cheese… in broccoli form. I wanted to sound all Frenchy fancy and call it Broccoli au Gratin. Then I wondered whether I should just bluntly call it a Broccoli Bake. Very Aussie – I think.
After flopping back and forth, I settled on the most neutral name I could think of – Broccoli Casserole.
But actually, never mind what I think. What do you think this should be called? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll change the recipe name if necessary!! – Nagi
PS This is how I have this as a meal – with hunks of crusty bread on the side for dunking / piling / wiping bowl clean. YUM.
WATCH HOW TO MAKE IT
Creamy Broccoli Casserole
RECIPE VIDEO ABOVE. This is like the broccoli version of Mac and Cheese! Tender broccoli smothered in a creamy garlic-parmesan cheese sauce. It’s nice and saucy, rather than being stodgy and so thick you can cut into it like cake, so there’s extra cheese sauce to spoon over once served.
- 600 g / 1.2 lb broccoli florets (, small to medium (Note 1))
- 60 g / 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 garlic cloves (, minced)
- 6 tbsp / 55g plain flour
- 2 cups / 500 ml milk (, preferably warm (full or low fat))
- 1 1/2 cups / 375 ml chicken broth/stock (, preferably warm)
- 1.5 cups / 150g freshly grated cheddar cheese ((Note 2))
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 20 g / 1.5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Mix Topping ingredients in a bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute until it smells incredible.
- Add flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- While whisking, slowly pour in half the milk. Once fully incorporated, whisk in the remaining milk plus the chicken broth.
- Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, whisking every now and then and more towards the end, until the sauce thickens so that it coats the back of a wooden spoon and when you draw your finger across it, the path stays (see video).
- Turn off heat, add cheeses, stir in (don’t worry if it doesn’t melt fully). Then do a taste test and add a bit of salt if required.
- Add broccoli and stir well to coat.
- Pour into a casserole dish, pat down to fill. Sprinkle over Topping, cover with foil then bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove foil and bake for a further 20 minutes until the topping is deep golden and the broccoli is tender.
- Stand for 5 minutes before serving.
1. You’ll need around 1 kg / 2 lb of broccoli with stalks to get 600 g of florets. It’s around 8 cups (imagine piling them into a pack and squishing in). Cut / break florets the same size to ensure even cooking, around 4-5cm / 1.5 – 2″ long with the thickest part of the stem no wider than 1cm/ 2/5″, otherwise it might not cook through properly.
2. Or tasty, gruyere, monterey jack, pepper jack or other melting cheese of choice other than mozzarella. IMPORTANT: Use freshly grated. Store bought grated has anti caking agents and give the sauce a slight powdery feel.
* Sauce consistency: The Sauce thins slightly once baked due to liquid leeched by the broccoli. So make the consistency of the sauce in the pot slightly thicker than what you want the end result to be.
* The broccoli in this casserole is cooked to tender. If you are partial to tender crisp broccoli, then steam the broccoli first until it is just under tender crisp, steam dry to remove excess water from florets. Cook the cheese sauce slightly longer so it is quite thick, stir through broccoli etc, then bake UNCOVERED for just 20 – 25 minutes until top is golden.
* This will serve 5 to 6 generously, or 8 to 10 as part of a larger menu.
4. Nutrition per serving, assuming 6 servings. It’s a generous serving for a side – a heaped cup.
Originally published May 2015, post updated with new words, new photos and recipe video added. Recipe slightly tidied up but is fundamentally the same recipe, but here is the old recipe just in case it’s what you’re after.
LIFE OF DOZER
There’s a Dozer buried under there somewhere….