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This Cheesy Broccoli Casserole has tender broccoli smothered in a rich and creamy homemade cheddar cheese sauce. The cheesy, cracker crumb topping adds a crispy finish to this delicious side dish. 

black plate, gray baking dish, broccoli, cheese sauce, crushed cracker topping, large serving spoon

Comfort food is king and creamy casseroles like this one top this list! It goes perfectly with our Thanksgiving TurkeyEasy Baked Glazed Ham or even my dad’s Classic Meatloaf Recipe!

Cheesy Broccoli Casserole Recipe

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 also fairly certain that 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.

With Thanksgiving coming up, it’s a perfect time to be sharing casseroles and hearty side dishes 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!

Why We Love It

  • It’s cheesy – I use a made from scratch cheese sauce that is super easy and so tasty.
  • That crunchy cracker topping though – I am pretty much a sucker for a crispy, crunchy topping and the buttery ritz crackers crushed on top are so yummy.
  • Did I mention it’s so cheesy?

If you love cheese like my family, you should check out my Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, Cheese and Ranch Potatoes, Ham & Cheese Biscuits and the best Homemade Alfredo Sauce.

gray baking dish, broccoli casserole, serving spoon

How to Make Broccoli Casserole

This Broccoli Cheese Casserole couldn’t be easier to make! The cheese sauce is made with a simple roux, just like my Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese. I’ve been making this from-scratch cheese sauce since I was a kid – it’s one of the first things I learned how to cook and since then I’ve become a pro.

  1. Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for a few minutes to get the cooking process started. It will finish cooking in the oven.
  2. Make the creamy cheese sauce. The sauce is just a roux of flour, butter and milk (or half & half) and lots of shredded cheddar cheese.
  3. 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.
  4. Toss the broccoli with the cheese sauce, pour it in the baking dish, 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 sides. It will look and smell amazing and that’s how you’ll know it’s finished!
  5. If it’s not brown enough for you, flip on the broiler for a few minutes until it’s golden.
brocolli and cheese sauce, clear glass bowl, wooden spoon


Broccoli and cheese has a pretty strong flavor on it’s own, so I have found that a bunch of seasonings and spices aren’t necessary. I prefer the pure cheese flavor of the sauce. If you want, you can add a little garlic powder, nutmeg, dry mustard or paprika to the cheese sauce to kick it up a little and call it good. I included some of that in the recipe below.

Can I use Frozen Broccoli?

Absolutely! If you don’t have any fresh broccoli, you can use frozen. Let it thaw and drain any excess water out. You could also steam it in the bag and add it to the cheese sauce hot; it would cut down on the cooking time a little.

Can a Broccoli Cheese Casserole be Frozen?

Absolutely! Here are some tips for freezing your broccoli casserole.

  1. 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.
  2. Cover tightly. Wrap the cooled dish with plastic wrap, then tightly with foil. You could even slide the dish into a resealable freezer bag for an extra layer of protection.
  3. 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.
broccoli cheese casserole, black plate, gray baking dish

To Make This Broccoli Casserole Ahead:

If you want to make this casserole a day in advance you can definitely do that. There are two options that will work equally well.

  • Make and bake the casserole a day ahead. Cool, cover tightly with foil, and store in the fridge. Reheat, covered, at the recipe provided temperature until hot and bubbly.
  • Prepare the casserole and refrigerate until you are ready to bake. Bake at the recommended temperature and add 5-10 minutes.

How long will the casserole last in the fridge?

Store cooled casserole in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for about 3-4 days. You can reheat in the microwave at 50% power, stirring every 30-45 seconds.

Best cheeses to use in a casserole

Sharp cheddar is the king of cheeses when it comes to a good, creamy cheese sauce for broccoli casserole. However you could also use a milder cheese like Mozzarella, Monterey Jack or a sharper cheese like Fontina, Parmesan of Blue Cheese. It helps to know what cheese pair best with what flavors. Adding a little Parmesan is never a bad call.

broccoli with cheese sauce and cracker topping on a black plate

Everybody loves this delicious broccoli cheese casserole, and I bet your family will too!

Must Try Broccoli Recipes


Easy Cheesy Broccoli Casserole

4.82 from 38 votes
Cheesy Broccoli Casserole with tender broccoli, a homemade cheddar cheese sauce and finishes with a crispy, buttery cracker crumb topping.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 8 servings


  • 2 pounds broccoli florets roughly chopped (about 8 cups)
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 ¾ cups half & half
  • 8 ounces about 2 ¼ cups freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese (divided)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 sleeve butter crackers like Ritz, about 30
  • ¼ cup butter melted
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  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a medium sized rectangle baking dish (about 11×7) 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 ¼ cup for topping). Stir in salt and black pepper. Taste and add salt as desired.
  • Pour cheese sauce over the broccoli and gently stir to coat. Pour into the baking dish.
  • 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.
Keyword broccoli casserole, broccoli cheese casserole


Calories: 350kcalCarbohydrates: 15gProtein: 13gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 494mgPotassium: 544mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1770IUVitamin C: 126.9mgCalcium: 330mgIron: 1.5mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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4.82 from 38 votes (25 ratings without comment)

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  1. Julie Glover says:

    If I want to double the recipe in the same pan how long do I cook it for?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      The same amount of time should be fine. You just want the topping to be crispy.

  2. Aimee says:

    Can this be made with frozen broccoli?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      It should be completely thawed first and I probably wouldn’t bake it as long since the broccoli is usually fully cooked and soft when thawed. Should still be tasty though, enjoy!

  3. Terry says:

    So can I make this dish the night before? If so can I put the crackers, butter And cheese onto the day before also?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      You can make it the night before, but wait to add the topping until just before baking or it will get soggy.

  4. Shawn says:


    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Shawn! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. William Kelly says:

    My mother made this same casserole. I love it. She used melted butter and Velvetta cheese for the sauce. Happy Holidays!

    1. Kristin says:

      Love the feedback William! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Hello! Can I make this the night before Thanksgiving?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Jennifer, You can prepare it just shy of baking, and then bake it the day of. Baking it and reheating would probably work fine but it’s best when fresh.

  7. Andie6686 says:

    This has AMAZING flavor! My new holiday go to side dish, thank you!

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Andie! Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Fawn says:

    I have made this the last couple years for thanksgiving and I absolutely LOVE it! Had a heart attack when I couldn’t find the recipe yesterday and I finally put in the right keywords to have it come up! So excited to make it again!

  9. Pat says:

    I haven’t tried the recipe yet. I’ll be making it for Thanksgiving. I will give a rating after Thanksgiving. I was wondering if I can use crispy fried onion( like French’s) instead of the buttery crackers?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Sure you could use the onions. Looking forward to your review!

  10. Rose says:

    I’m going to make this! I’d rather make my own sauce than use can soup! This could easily be a full meal with chopped ham in it! I’ve tried similar recipes but this one fits my taste perfectly! Thanks for the recipe! : – )

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Rose! Thanks for stopping by.

  11. MONGO says:

    Can’t rate the recipe because I CAN’T GET TO IT THROUGH ALL YOUR GODDAMN ADS

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Wow, someone’s feisty today. Interesting that you could leave a comment which is how you rate the recipe, but you can’t rate the recipe because of the ads? Hmmmm.

    2. Rose says:

      Shame on you! Be patient!

    3. Dina says:

      SOMEBODY needs a hug

  12. Sagar Sahay says:

    The first time I messed it up as I was not following the instructions properly and was just experimenting and I was so disappointed. Today I followed each and every step and it turned out so well.

  13. Deborah says:

    Made this last night for dinner and it turned out perfect! Followed the recipe exactly and couldn’t be more pleased. Everyone loved this and will definitely go into our dinner rotation. Made your boneless, skinless thighs, baked to go with this. Thank you very much!

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Deborah! Awesome feedback! Thanks for stopping by.

    2. Theresa Hurtado says:

      Making this tonight! Tastes amazing even before baking. I was wondering if I could use buttery panko as that’s what I have on hand. Thanks

      1. Deborh says:

        I think that would work very well here, Theresa.

  14. Deborah says:

    I am going to make this this weekend for dinner. It looks so yum and I know everyone will love this!
    Thank you!

    1. Kristin says:

      You are so welcome Deborah! Let us know in the comments how well it turned out.

  15. Corinne says:

    Do you use salted or unsalted butter in this recipe?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Whatever you have on hand.

  16. Lynn says:

    Made this tonight for Thanksgiving and it was a hit. Super easy and delicious.

    1. Kristin says:

      Hi Lynn, Thank you so much for stopping by.

  17. Lori says:

    It says 1/2 teaspoon of paprika in the recipe and shows onion powder and no paprika in the video. Please clarify.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Unfortunately that was a mistake made by the company that produced the video. I apologize for the confusion.

  18. Dj says:

    Looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it

    1. Kristin says:

      Thank you Dj! Thanks for stopping by.

  19. Suzanne Wujceak says:

    What is 0.38 cup flour equal to?
    What is 0.38 tsp. Black pepper equal to?
    What is 0.75 tsp. Salt, etc. equal to?
    What is 2.63 cups half and half equal to?

    I don’t understand these measurements. Please help.
    Thank you.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Suzanne, I think you may have accidentally changed the serving size. In the recipe card, hover over the serving size and toggle the bar to 8 servings. That will give you better measurements.

  20. Deborah Nelkin says:

    I’m tripling the recipe for a crowd and making it a day ahead. What do you think I should reheat it time wise? Please answer me quickly, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Hi Deborah, I haven’t ever tripled the recipe so I’m not sure how long reheating will take. My best guess would be 20-25 minutes, but it also depends on if you’re putting in all in one large dish or separate dishes.

  21. Sivetta says:

    This recipe was good!

    1. Kristin says:

      So glad you enjoyed it Sivetta!

  22. April says:

    butter is in the recipe 2 times. Is that correct or a typo??

    1. Kristin says:

      The first quarter cup is for making the cheese sauce. The second mention is melted, and is for the butter cracker topping.

  23. zoe k says:

    Can i make it all up and then throw it in the fridge and then cook it?

    1. Gretchen says:

      What about cooking a little earlier (a couple hours max) and then re-heating? or would that wreck the sauce?

      1. Kristin says:

        I would worry about the sauce separating. This one is best served immediately.

    2. Kristin Maxwell says:

      You can, and I share this instructions in the post. However, this casserole is best when served immediately.

  24. Ds says:

    The third ingredient in the list is 1/4 butter.
    Not sure how much that is…
    Is this 1/4 cup of butter, 1/4 stick, etc…

    I’m going to hope it’s 1/4 cup and cross my fingers.

    1. Kristin says:

      Yes it’s 1/4 cup. I’ll edit that, thanks!

  25. Kristen says:

    Would this be able to be made in a crock pot? I want to make it for Thanksgiving, but I’m not sure if I will have the oven space!

    1. Kristin says:

      I have not tried this in a crockpot. I’m always nervous with cheese in a slow cooker and you definitely wouldn’t get the crisp topping.

      1. Marlys says:

        Do you know what the nutritional value is?

        1. Kristin says:

          Roughly 350 calories in a serving. There are about 8 servings in a pan.

  26. Derrell says:

    If you add cooked chicken and rice and more cheese this can be a real good recipe . I’m male and do a lot of cooking .

  27. Kelly says:

    It’s Awesome!!

  28. Ashlee says:

    Can I use frozen broccoli?

    1. Cyn says:

      Can I use frozen broccoli

      1. Kristin says:

        Frozen broccoli would add unnecessary liquid to this recipe. I would thaw it first, and let any liquid drain off.

  29. Jessica says:

    What size baking dish should I use? 9×13?

    1. Kristin says:

      More like 11×7. I updated the instructions to state that. Sorry for the confusion!

  30. Robin says:

    What kind of flour?

    1. Kristin says:

      All-purpose flour

      1. virginia says:

        can yoy use self rising flour?

        1. Kristin says:

          I haven’t ever used self rising flour for a roux, and I’m not sure it would work quite right because of the leavening agents.

  31. lindsay says:

    delicious!!!! we were looking for a broccoli casserole that doesn’t have mayo in the recipe and wow!! this is better than any casserole I’ve had with mayo before. thank God I was able to find this recipe for this thanksgiving, definitely a staple now.

    1. Kristin says:

      So glad you enjoyed this!

  32. NJ says:

    Can this be made the day ahead?

  33. erin says:

    Hi! i just wanted to let you know that I featured this recipe on my post about Thanksgiving Recipes (
    We broccoli casserole is one of my family’s favorite dishes- Thanks so much for posting this recipe!

  34. Martha Merza says:

    Have you ever made this with rice? I am looking for a good cheesy, broccoli rice casserole!

  35. Tarra says:

    The cheese sauce had a pasty texture.

    1. Kristin says:

      Sounds like the sauce broke because it was cooked for too long.

      1. Sabrina says:

        Was the cheese sauce by o be thick ?