Broccoli Cheese Casserole




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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 in a gratin dish on a wooden table

Yesterday was tax day for me, and between gathering everything together and fighting bumper to bumper traffic 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 in a gratin dish

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.

Broccoli Cheese Casserole in a dish with spoon

More delicious side dishes to try ~


READER RAVE ~

I made this and it was DELICIOUS!!! My variations were adding red onion and garlic (pardon my breath!) and even my husband who doesn’t like broccoli loved it. Thanks for the recipe!”  ~Sarah


Broccoli Cheese Casserole
Rate this recipe
516 ratings

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 1 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.

notes:

  • You can vary this recipe by the type of cheese you use.  There are so many varieties that would be delicious, from 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!

 

Don’t forget to pin this Broccoli Cheese Casserole!

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94 Comments

  • Reply
    sandra beesley
    June 5, 2019 at 10:57 am

    try a teaspoon of mustard in the white sauce makes an awful difference even if you dont like mustard

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 5, 2019 at 11:10 am

      Thanks for that tip!

  • Reply
    Recipe Roundup: Thanksgiving Side Dishes by Karyl's Kulinary Krusade
    March 2, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    […] Broccoli and Cheese Casserole by The View from the Great Island […]

  • Reply
    Julie
    January 27, 2019 at 8:30 am

    This looks amazing! Have you ever tried replacing the flour with either almond or coconut flour?

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 27, 2019 at 8:32 am

      I haven’t, but it’s worth a try!

    • Reply
      Debra P Hunter
      April 3, 2019 at 6:53 am

      Made this broccoli casserole recipe last night. Doubled it. family thought it was bland, so am wondering if you might be able to suggest a sauce that I could cover the leftovers with to spice up for dinner tonight.

      • Reply
        Sue
        April 3, 2019 at 7:00 am

        If you found it bland I would definitely try a sharper cheese next time Debra. You might also add a topping of cheese to the leftovers.

  • Reply
    Mary
    December 3, 2018 at 7:37 pm

    Can I make this ahead of time and cook it the next day?

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 3, 2018 at 7:38 pm

      I think that should be fine Mary. I would leave it out to come to room temperature, or close, before baking.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    December 3, 2018 at 7:05 am

    Can you add chicken breast, if so how would you do this

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 3, 2018 at 7:20 am

      I think I’d add cooked shredded or cubed chicken breast in with the rest of the ingredients before baking.

  • Reply
    Kathy
    November 25, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    I love Broccoli but my husband hates it. Do you think this recipe would work with Cauliflower? BTW< I will make this for myself, anyway!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 25, 2018 at 3:55 pm

      I think that would work perfectly Kathy, broccoli and cauliflower are so similar.

  • Reply
    Linda F.
    November 25, 2018 at 4:44 am

    Would it be okay if I leave the eggs out?

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 25, 2018 at 5:26 am

      I haven’t tried this without the eggs, Linda, but I assume you could leave them out.

  • Reply
    jackie hawes
    November 22, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    my friend just had gallbladder surgery, thanks for a simple receipt I can tweek for her!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 22, 2018 at 5:06 pm

      Hope she feels better Jackie <3

  • Reply
    Ramon S.
    November 21, 2018 at 4:55 am

    Does it matter if I used Salted or Unsalted Butter?

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 21, 2018 at 4:58 am

      You can use salted butter, just be sure to taste before seasoning with extra salt.

  • Reply
    Broccoli Cheese Casserole Recipe - HouseKeeperMag.com
    November 21, 2018 at 2:48 am

    […] This one is a really good, workhorse of a recipe, it pairs well with so many meals, and pleases just about everyone. Full article below. Broccoli Cheese Casserole Recipe […]

  • Reply
    Amber
    November 17, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    How big does the pan have to be and how long do I cook it for? Thanks

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 18, 2018 at 4:28 am

      You can use a standard 9-12 inch gratin dish Amber, and it cooks for about an hour.

  • Reply
    Sherry
    November 15, 2018 at 10:49 am

    I will try this today. Because I only have frozen broccoli (and the snow is piling up), I will use that. I’m sorry to have to do that to your lovely recipe.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 15, 2018 at 10:58 am

      Gosh the snow is starting to fall in lots of places, hope this keeps you cozy!

    • Reply
      Angel
      November 25, 2018 at 10:27 am

      Sherry, how did it turn out? Did you defrost and drain first?

  • Reply
    Karen
    November 12, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Could I cook this for half of the time at home and finish cooking at hostesses house?

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 12, 2018 at 11:48 am

      Might be a better idea to cook completely, then reheat in the oven covered with foil.

  • Reply
    Ann Lindquist
    October 23, 2018 at 8:11 am

    Can the broccoli cheese casserole be made the day ahead?

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 23, 2018 at 8:54 am

      Ii think that should be fine, Ann, but be sure to reheat it gently so the cheese sauce doesn’t ‘break’.

  • Reply
    Jenne
    October 18, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    Should it be covered with foil to go into the oven ?

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 18, 2018 at 8:55 pm

      It can go either way Jenne.

  • Reply
    Marie
    October 13, 2018 at 6:42 am

    Can I bake this and then reheat right before a party? ?

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 15, 2018 at 6:22 am

      I think you should be able to do that Marie. Maybe cover it in foil and heat in a moderate oven.

  • Reply
    Cheryl
    October 2, 2018 at 6:55 pm

    So glad to find this recipe with FRESH broccoli. My questions are, 1. Will the addition of eggs make it more of a souffle texture? 2. After baking this about an hr. will the broccoli still have some crunch to it? ( As opposed to mushy broccoli).

    Thank you

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 3, 2018 at 8:50 am

      Hey Cheryl ~ since I don’t whip the egg whites this doesn’t have a souffle-like texture, the eggs just make it richer. For firmer broccoli you might cut your florets a little larger, but fresh will always have a firmer texture than frozen, for sure!

  • Reply
    Sarah Kerr
    September 15, 2018 at 9:14 am

    I made this and it was DELICIOUS!!! My variations were adding red onion and garlic (pardon my breath!) and even my husband who doesn’t like broccoli loved it. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Carol
    September 6, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    I can actually brag I have been making this exact recipe for 18 years! Have used skim, and low fat milk all kinds of cheeses, added some mushrooms or some baby carrots. You can’t go wrong with it. Often made it a day ahead, taken to many potluck events. Frozen the leftovers. A real favourite in my life..

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 6, 2018 at 4:26 pm

      You’re an expert Carol. I love the idea of using mushrooms!

  • Reply
    Melissa Amari
    February 16, 2018 at 11:42 am

    Hi! Can’t wait to make this today! BUT I did buy broccoli floret frozen bags…do you think I can zap them in microwave like directed but take them out sooner than the time says. That way they can finish cooking in oven! What do you think??

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 16, 2018 at 11:48 am

      I think so, and be sure to drain any excess moisture.

      • Reply
        Melissa Amari
        February 16, 2018 at 12:00 pm

        Okay thanks!!

  • Reply
    Maureen
    December 24, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Thank you for this recipe. I was looking for one like my mother used to make. I don’t remember eggs in her recipe though. Can’t wait to try!

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 24, 2017 at 8:20 am

      I hope this lives up to your mother’s recipe Maureen ~ have a wonderful holiday!

  • Reply
    Lori S. Chofnas
    December 24, 2017 at 6:59 am

    Do you think I can put everything together, refrigerate over night and bake the next day?

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 24, 2017 at 7:05 am

      That should be fine, Lori. I think what I would do, if you can, is make the mixture without the broccoli, put it in a bowl in the fridge, and then steam and add the broccoli.the next day. Give the mixture a good stir, add the broccoli, then put it into your casserole and bake.

  • Reply
    Joyce
    December 21, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    I’m wondering if I could make this look Christmas-y by adding chopped red pepper to the broccoli. Do you think that would work?

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 21, 2017 at 5:23 pm

      I think that’s a nice idea!

  • Reply
    Allison
    November 22, 2017 at 9:11 am

    When doubling the recipe…what do you suggest for cook time?

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 22, 2017 at 9:16 am

      I would suggest using a large dish so that the casserole isn’t too deep, Allison. I would guess then it would take more or less the same amount of time, check it after an hour to see. You want it to be nice and hot in the center.

  • Reply
    Sue Flemke
    November 22, 2017 at 9:08 am

    I’m tripling this recipe for Thanksgiving tomorrow! So glad to find a hot broccoli dish with cheese and without canned soup! I’m sure my grandchildren will eat this up without any threats!! I plan on doubling the sauce, chopping the broccoli a bit more and using the mashed potatoes instead of flour (my sister-in-law has celiac disease). I’ll let you know how it goes! Thanks so much for this! I look forward to doing some more of your recipes!

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 22, 2017 at 9:14 am

      Thanks Sue, and I hope it goes over well for you ~ have a wonderful holiday with your family :)

  • Reply
    Kitty Ward
    November 19, 2017 at 9:58 am

    Thank you so much. I googled Broccoli Casserole and this was exactly what I was looking for. Have you ever made it ahead (like day before Thanksgiving)?

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 19, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Hi Kitty! I haven’t made this ahead, but I assume it would reheat ok, like a quiche would. I would cover it with foil and heat at about 300F until hot.

  • Reply
    Kat
    November 16, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    Hi! I need to double this recipe. Any tips on cooking time, techniques (1 vs 2 casserole dishes) etc. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Summer
    October 24, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Can I use something other than flour?

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 24, 2017 at 3:46 pm

      You might try a gluten free flour, or even a little bit of instant mashed potatoes!

    • Reply
      Amy
      March 29, 2018 at 3:37 pm

      I used white rice flour and it came out fantastic!

  • Reply
    Pat
    June 4, 2017 at 11:24 am

    I hate Land O’ Lakes ad in my Broccoli casserole!

    • Reply
      Sue
      June 4, 2017 at 11:33 am

      Sorry Pat ~ it’s the reality of food blogging, I need to earn my money somehow or I can’t continue to bring you yummy recipes :) I try my best to keep them bearable!

  • 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
      Sue
      November 11, 2017 at 8:10 am

      I’m so happy you liked it Jenny <3

  • 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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