This 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)
- 1½ cups chicken broth/stock (or water + ½ tsp salt)
- ½ - 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.
2. The baking dish I used is 25cm x 25cm (10 " x 10") .
Nutrition for 8 servings as a side.