A made-from-scratch Broccoli Casserole with tender broccoli baked in a creamy cheese sauce. Also known as Broccoli Gratin, this is arguably the ultimate way to consume tons and tons of broccoli!
Creamy Broccoli Casserole
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 cheesy parmesan and garlic flavours – made from scratch without canned soup (the thought never crossed my mind, but apparently there are many recipes that do this!).
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 – minus 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
- 600g / 1.2 lb broccoli florets , small to medium (2 large heads, Note 1)
- 60g / 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 4 garlic cloves , minced
- 6 tbsp plain flour
- 2 cups milk , preferably warm (full or low fat)
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth/stock , preferably warm
- 1.5 cups cheddar cheese, freshly grated (Note 2)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 20g / 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.
* Sauce consistency: The Sauce thins slightly once baked due to liquid leached 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….