Rating: 4.5 stars
14 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
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  • 1 star values: 0

The lightened-up luscious sauce elevates this easy broccoli casserole over standard broccoli and cheese side dishes.

EatingWell.com, November 2016; updated December 2022


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

40 mins
1 hr 5 mins

Is Broccoli and Cheese Casserole Nutrient Dense?

Broccoli is nutritious and has several health benefits. Broccoli is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and vitamin A. High in antioxidants and nutrients, 1 cup of raw broccoli provides 30 calories, 2 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein. Broccoli is steamed until tender before baking. Steaming helps retain the nutritional content and results in broccoli that is brighter in color than other methods like boiling.

Can I Substitute Frozen Broccoli for Fresh Broccoli in a Casserole?

Yes, you can. Frozen broccoli is blanched before it's frozen, which means it's already partially cooked. To use frozen broccoli, thaw it completely and drain well before adding it to the baking dish in Step 3.

How Do You Thicken Broccoli Casserole?

The broccoli casserole is thickened with roux, which is a mixture of flour, butter and extra-virgin olive oil in this recipe. This mixture is cooked with onion and garlic, then chicken broth is added and it's cooked for about 3 minutes until thickened. Cream cheese and shredded Colby Jack cheese is stirred in, which thickens into a creamy cheese sauce for the casserole.

Additional reporting by Jan Valdez


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

  • Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake until dry and crispy, about 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, bring 1 to 2 inches of water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Steam broccoli until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Chop coarsely and spread evenly in the prepared baking dish.

  • Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon butter and the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook for 1 minute. While stirring, slowly pour in chicken broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in cream cheese, Worcestershire, pepper and salt, cook, stirring, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Pour the cheese sauce over the broccoli.

  • Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Combine the melted butter and the breadcrumbs in a medium bowl. Spread evenly over the broccoli mixture. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

  • Bake until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.


9-by-13-inch baking dish, food processor, large pot, steamer basket

To make ahead

Prepare through Step 5 and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature while the oven preheats.

Nutrition Facts

3/4 cup
225 calories; protein 10.9g; carbohydrates 13.1g; dietary fiber 3.2g; sugars 2.1g; fat 15.1g; saturated fat 7.8g; cholesterol 24.9mg; vitamin a iu 2623.1IU; vitamin c 72.9mg; folate 76.3mcg; calcium 214.7mg; iron 1.4mg; magnesium 33.7mg; potassium 411.5mg; sodium 330.9mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

1 1/2 fat, 1 1/2 fat, 1/2 starch, 1/2 high-fat protein