Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Broccoli Cheese Casserole
Broccoli Cheese Casserole made lighter and healthier, entirely from scratch, no cans or artificial ingredients! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Broccoli Cheese Casserole is a classic side dish that gets a bad rap because generations of moms have resorted to canned soup, frozen broccoli, and mayo.  This version is closer to a French gratin, with everything (easily!) made from scratch.

Broccoli Cheese Casserole is a classic side dish that gets a bad rap because generations of moms have resorted to canned soup, frozen broccoli, and mayo. This version is closer to a French gratin, with everything (easily!) made from scratch.

Yesterday was tax day for me, and between gathering everything together and fighting bumper to bumper traffic to Santa Monica to meet with our accountant, the day got away from me.  So today’s post will be brief, but I wanted to share with you this classic broccoli cheese casserole I made the other night because everyone loved it — even the leftovers were fantastic.  We’ve had a run of chilly weather so I ditched the salad and made this super cozy side dish to go with our chicken.  I hardly ever do casseroles, I didn’t grow up with them, my mom just wasn’t a casserole type, so for me, this is kind of exotic and special.  And broccoli/cheese is a combo that has  a real cache, it’s warm and inviting, and I think it must press some primitive comfort button in our brains.  I highly recommend this if you need a break from frozen peas.

Creamy Broccoli Cheese Casserole

This recipe doesn’t include canned soup or mayo, and there’s no bland rice or watery frozen broccoli to muck it up, so if you grew up with that kind of casserole, trust me and give this one a try.   It starts with a pound of barely steamed broccoli, a homemade white sauce, a good dose of good cheese, a couple of eggs help bind it together, and finally my secret ingredient, a grating of fresh nutmeg.  It’s a really good, workhorse of a recipe, it pairs well with so many meals, and pleases just about everyone.

Recipe adapted from An Italian in My Kitchen

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Yield: serves 6

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 pound broccoli florets
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 2 cups whole or low fat milk
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheese (I used an Italian cheese blend)
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 1 tsp salt
  • lots of fresh cracked black pepper
  • a good grating of fresh nutmeg (about 1/8 ~ 1/4 tsp, to taste)

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 325F
  2. Lightly butter a casserole dish.
  3. Chop the broccoli, including the tender stems, into bite sized pieces. Put in a glass bowl, add a tiny splash of water, and microwave for 2 minutes. Remove and drain really well.
  4. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the flour, stir for about a minute. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking or stirring continuously, until it thickens and just comes to a simmer. Remove from heat.
  5. Let it cool for a minute, and then stir in the cheese, then the eggs, and seasonings. (When I add the beaten eggs I stir or whisk briskly so they don't scramble) Fold in the broccoli and turn into the casserole. Bake for about an hour, or until browned and bubbly. You can run it under the broiler for the last minute or two to brown it, if you like.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/broccoli-cheese-casserole/

notes:

  • You can vary this recipe by the type of cheese you use.  There are so many varieties that would be delicious, from pricey Gruyere, to smoked mozzarella, to a great sharp cheddar.  Experiment, or mix them.
  • Don’t over cook the broccoli to begin with, it just needs a quick zap to take the raw edge off.  It will cook further in the oven, and the casserole is best when there’s a little bite left in it.
  • Want broccoli in a skinnier form?  Try my Skinny Broccoli Salad!

 

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

 

don’t forget to pin it!

Broccoli Cheese Casserole is the ultimate comfort! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

more comfort food…

Brussles Sprout Carbonara is a fabulous healthy 30 minute meal! ~ theviewfromgreatisland.comBrussels Sprout Carbonara

34 Comments

  • Reply
    Vicki Brown
    April 29, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    Made this tonight, it’s now going to be a must have at family dinners!
    Thank you.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 30, 2017 at 7:13 am

      I’m so glad!

  • Reply
    Janet
    January 24, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Needing a broccoli cheese recipe to make a day ahead. Will this work if made in advance?

    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 24, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      I haven’t made this ahead, Janet, but I assume it would reheat if you covered it with foil and let it warm slowly in the oven.

  • Reply
    Colleen
    December 22, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Can you tell me how much nutmeg to use. Does it need to be fresh?

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 22, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      I just updated that to suggest 1/8 to 1/4 tsp, depending on how much you like nutmeg. It doesn’t have to be fresh, but freshly grated nutmeg is amazing, I highly recommend you give it a try sometime :)

      • Reply
        Colleen
        December 24, 2016 at 5:44 am

        Thank you! Also, can this be made ahead of time and put in fridge and bake the next day?

  • Reply
    Kat
    December 21, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Looks delicious! How many does this serve?

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 21, 2016 at 8:12 am

      It serves about 6, Kat.

  • Reply
    Jenny
    December 19, 2016 at 7:00 am

    I made your recipe yesterday loved it.

  • Reply
    Lucia Hasbun
    November 21, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    I was wondering if it’s 2 cups or 8 ozs. Not sure which measurement to use for the cheese. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 21, 2016 at 2:40 pm

      I included both because some people buy the pre-shredded cheese in packages, and an 8 ounce package equals about 2 cups.

  • Reply
    Pattie @ Olla-Podrida
    April 5, 2016 at 10:40 am

    This looks heavenly! I love broccoli anything, so will be trying it as soon as possible.

  • Reply
    Adina
    April 5, 2016 at 1:55 am

    It looks totally delicious and so easy to make, I really don’t understand why anyone would need to use canned soup and other weird stuff to cook the casserole. Broccoli in the form of a cheesy casserole is one of the few ways I found to get my kids to eat broccoli, so I have to try this soon. :)

  • Reply
    Susan
    April 3, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Comfort food at its finest, Sue. Add a little chicken, sherry and lemon juice and you’d have a very cool remake of Chicken Divan! Now I’m hungry :)

  • Reply
    lynn @ the actor's diet
    April 2, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    God I love broccoli and cheese! This is so stunning.

  • Reply
    Foodiewife
    April 2, 2016 at 10:26 am

    I didn’t grow up with casseroles, either, since my mom was as German as can be. I have to admit that I love them, but they are dangerous if I don’t hold my cravings in check. I think this casserole sounds delicious,and kudos for making your own cream soup. I just posted a potato casserole where I make my own cream soup blend. It’s easy. Pinning this one!

  • Reply
    Jennifer Farley
    April 2, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Broccoli and cheese is one of my favorite combinations!

  • Reply
    Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers
    April 2, 2016 at 6:39 am

    A perfect way to enjoy broccoli and I agree about the nutmeg! Pinned!

  • Reply
    Sara
    April 1, 2016 at 11:20 pm

    I probably make brocoli 4-5 times a week because it’s the one vegetable that the kids will actually eat, I love the idea of dressing it up in this casserole!

  • Reply
    2 sisters recipes
    April 1, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    This sounds really good! In fact, I haven’t made a broccoli casserole in a long time and it’s time to make one ! Thanks for a simple recipe.

  • Reply
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    April 1, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Sue, I can taste it right now — the real flavors that don’t even stand a chance in the canned-soup version! I don’t like to come across like a food snob, but I’m ever so grateful my mother was not one of those who threw stuff together with a can of soup and called it a casserole.

  • Reply
    Peter Block
    April 1, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    I love this combination and do not make this often enough. Looks delicious and cheesy.

  • Reply
    Susan
    April 1, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    Looks wonderful … I think I might add sauteed (SP?) mushrooms to the mix too. What a great and easy supper!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ The Charming Detroiter
    April 1, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    This looks so tasty – I’m always looking for new side dish recipes. I’m excited to try it! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Jessica
    April 1, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Totally looks amazing! I might just have to make this recipe over the weekend. I have a bunch of broccoli to use up; this would be perfect!

  • Reply
    Laura | Tutti Dolci)
    April 1, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    I happen to like broccoli so this is my kind of comfort food – love that perfectly golden top!

  • Reply
    Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners
    April 1, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    I love casseroles, Sue, and I’m on a mission to re-do all of my Mom’s unhealthy but ever so tasty versions. This is fabulous and I can’t wait to try it. I love the fresh nutmeg you’ve added!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 1, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      Nutmeg rocks :)

  • Reply
    Catherine
    April 1, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Dear Sue, I love that you took this recipe back home and made it without any canned or loaded with salt and preservatives. It looks wonderful and it sounds absolutely delicious. xo, Catherine

  • Reply
    Oriana @Mommyhood's Diary
    April 1, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    This look delicious! I am all about homemade all-the-things!! Bookmarking to try later and pinning.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert
    April 1, 2016 at 11:54 am

    You would not believe how many times I’ve made the mayo version of this casserole. My family would disown me if it wasn’t on our Christmas table! Thank you so much for this homemade version. I am no longer interested in the canned soup recipes so this is printed and ready for our next holiday dinner! Thank you and good luck on your taxes – I think I’m almost done!

  • Reply
    Chris Scheuer
    April 1, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Yum, looks amazing and would be wonderful with just about any entree. Thanks for reinventing this old standby Sue!

  • Reply
    sippitysup
    April 1, 2016 at 9:51 am

    What a wonderful makeover! Though (canned soup and all) I never gave broccoli casserole bad rap, in fact, I still hold a secret crush on it. GREG

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