This Cheesy Broccoli Casserole has tender broccoli smothered in a rich and creamy cheddar cheese sauce, topped with crushed butter crackers. This is one Thanksgiving side dish that is sure to please them all!
When I was a kid, smothered in cheese sauce is literally the only way I would eat broccoli. I’m pretty sure that what actually ended up in my mouth was way more cheese than broccoli. I’m pretty sure if the words broccoli casserole ever crossed my mother’s lips, I’d run from the table. My kids aren’t fans of cooked broccoli either, and I realized that I had never showed them my mom’s method to get me to eat it.
This is a repost from 2016
With Thanksgiving coming up, it’s a perfect time to be sharing casseroles and hearty sides like this one. My Broccoli Cheese Casserole is full of cheesy goodness with a crispy crunchy topping that people go nuts for. I have to refrain myself from picking off that yummy topping while I’m waiting for the rest of dinner to be ready!
How Do You Make Broccoli Casserole?
This Broccoli Cheese Casserole couldn’t be easier to make. The broccoli is blanched in boiling water for a few minutes to get the cooking process started, then smothered in a creamy cheese sauce. The sauce is just a roux of flour, butter and milk (or half & half) and cheddar cheese. Finally the topping is just crushed up butter crackers (like Ritz) and melted butter with a little more shredded cheddar thrown in for good measure. Because you can’t have too much cheese in a broccoli casserole.
Toss the broccoli with the cheese sauce, top it with the crushed crackers and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. The top will get nice and golden and the cheese sauce will be bubbling up on the side and it will look and smell amazing. That’s how you know it’s finished!
PRO TIP: Broccoli has a pretty strong flavor on it’s own, so a bunch of seasonings and spices aren’t necessary. Add a little garlic powder or paprika to the cheese sauce to kick it up a little and call it good.
Can a Broccoli Cheese Casserole be Frozen?
Absolutely! Here are some tips for freezing your broccoli casserole.
- Bake the casserole and let it cool completely. Putting a warm casserole in the freezer will encourage condensation to form inside the dish resulting in a soggy and inedible mess when thawing.
- Cover tightly. Wrap the cooled dish with plastic wrap, then tightly with foil. You could even slide the dish into a freezer zip-top bag for an extra layer of protection.
- To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight. Bake the thawed, uncovered broccoli casserole in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until it’s hot in the center. If it needs longer and starts to get too brown on top, cover it with foil and continue baking.
Everybody loves this delicious broccoli casserole, and I bet your family will too!
Here are some more broccoli recipes we love:
- 5 Minute Parmesan Ranch Broccoli
- Lightened Up Broccoli Salad
- Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Soup
- 15 Minute Broccoli Tortellini Alfredo
And how about some more cheese side dishes:
See how to make a Broccoli and Cheese Casserole:
Easy Cheesy Broccoli Casserole
Yield 6 -8 servings
- 2 ½ pounds broccoli florets, roughly chopped (7-8 cups)
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ butter
- 1 3/4 cups half & half
- 8 ounces (about 2 1/4 cups) freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese (divided)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 sleeve butter crackers (like Ritz)
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a medium sized rectangle baking dish (about 11x7) with cooking spray and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add broccoli and boil for 3-4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour, garlic powder and paprika and cook for several minutes until golden. Add half & half and bring to a simmer until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheese (reserve 1/4 cup for topping). Stir in salt and black pepper. Taste and add salt as desired.
- Arrange broccoli in the baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over the broccoli and gently stir to coat.
- In a small bowl, combine crushed crackers with melted butter and stir in the remaining cheese. Sprinkle cracker mixture evenly over the casserole.
- Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and topping is browned. If topping isn't browned enough, place under the broiler for a few minutes.
- Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
- To freeze, bake and cool casserole completely, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and foil. Thaw in the refrigerator, then bake as directed in step 6.
Hi! I’m Kristin, the creative mind behind Yellow Bliss Road where you will be inspired by tons of easy to follow recipes, lots of free printables, and a little sprinkling of life thrown in for good measure.