This broccoli casserole bake is not just “another” broccoli dish. This is tender broccoli baked in a creamy white sauce with yummy parmesan and garlic flavours – but made with no cream. This is how to get carnivores excited about eating tonnes of veggies!
I’m about as much of a carnivore as a girl can be. The sight of tender, fall apart ribs makes me weak in the knees. Cutting into a perfectly cooked medium rare steak makes me grin like a fool. A huge, juicy, fully loaded burger placed in front of me makes me rub my hands in glee. I generally do not have such enthusiastic responses to vegetables. (Potato aside. Because let’s face it. Potato is a food group in itself).
However, I would happily have this for dinner any night of the week. 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.
Vegetable heaven. ❤️ I mean honestly, check out this sauce…..such a happy moment, pouring this all over the broccoli…. And believe me, there is PLENTY of it. I made sure of that! (PS It’s lumpy because there’s sautéed onion in it 😉 )
And if that’s not enough, it has a gorgeous crunchy breadcrumb topping. Yummy. The crunchy topping is definitely my favourite part. So I am VERY generous with the breadcrumb topping. I use an entire cup! Also, I used homemade breadcrumbs which are even chunkier than panko breadcrumbs.
Given how saucy it is, and that the base of the sauce is a roux which is made with butter and flour, I was very pleasantly surprised to find that a main size serving is only 400 calories! It might not sound like this recipe will serve 4 as a main, but believe me, I am scoffing down a plate of this as I type this up and 1/4 is plenty because the sauce is quite rich. (And in case you had not figured it out yet, I have a rather….erm….robust appetite. 🙂 )
So this is Meat Free for Carnivores. Enjoy! 😉 – Nagi
- 1 very large broccoli 1.2lb / 600g, florets cut into small pieces and the stems roughly diced (Note 1)
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 6 tbsp plain flour
- 2 cups milk low or full fat - I used low fat
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth/stock or water + 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 - 1 cup panko breadcrumbs I used homemade breadcrumbs which are slightly chunkier
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese separated
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Place broccoli in a square baking dish. (Note 2)
Melt butter over medium low heat in a large saucepan. Add garlic and onion and sauté for 5 minutes until onion is translucent.
Add flour and mix into the onion butter mixture. Cook for 2 minutes. Make sure it doesn't brown.
Switch to a whisk. Add 1 cup of milk and whisk - it will thicken quite quickly. Then add the remaining cup of milk and the chicken broth / stock. Increase heat to medium. Whisk occasionally at the beginning and as it begins to thicken, whisk constantly so it doesn't stick to the base.
When the sauce is the consistency of very thick pouring cream (thick enough to thickly coat the back of a spoon), remove it off the heat.
Stir in most of the parmesan (reserve some for topping) and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Pour over the broccoli, then pat the broccoli down to press it into the sauce. Top with panko breadcrumbs (I like a lot of crunchy topping so I use 1 cup) and the remaining parmesan cheese.
Cover and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the cover and bake for a further 20 to 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown, the sauce is very thick and the broccoli is tender.
Remove and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
1. Cut the skin off the main thick stalk of the broccoli before dicing it (because it tends to be quite tough and stringy).
2. The baking dish I used is 25cm x 25cm (10 " x 10") .