11/17/21

Broccoli & Cheese Casserole

A better recipe for this classic casserole with fresh broccoli, velvety cheese sauce and a buttery crushed cracker topping that brings it all together. Perfect for potlucks and holiday dinners!

I absolutely LOVE broccoli. If it’s offered in a restaurant (it always is) I order it as a side if given the option when we’re out to eat. Even though it’s probably frozen, under-seasoned and/or overcooked, I still like it.

For me, broccoli is kinda like pizza… even when it’s bad, it’s good.

I tell you all that because it will surprise you, like it surprised me, that I’ve never made a broccoli casserole!

Broccoli & Cheese Casserole! A better recipe for this classic casserole with fresh broccoli, velvety cheese sauce and a buttery crushed cracker topping that brings it all together. Perfect for potlucks and holiday dinners!

It hit me like a truck the other day. I saw a recipe online that looked delicious with tons of cheese and crushed Ritz crackers so I clicked over to the recipe and was dumbfounded by the ingredients. I thought, Oh, that is not how you make it.

And then I realized I didn’t know what I was talking about because I’ve never even made it before! Lord, middle age is rough y’all… your brain just checks out and takes a stroll sometimes.

So I got to thinking about how I would make it. The most common ingredients listed in the recipes I saw included a surprisingly small amount of broccoli, cream of mushroom soup, 2 eggs and a cup of mayonnaise. 

Broccoli & Cheese Casserole! A better recipe for this classic casserole with fresh broccoli, velvety cheese sauce and a buttery crushed cracker topping that brings it all together. Perfect for potlucks and holiday dinners!

Y’all know I ain’t got nothing against mayo. I keep Duke’s stocked like I do rice and coffee – it’s on the essentials list. But my goodness a whole cup of mayo AND 2 eggs seemed crazy to me. Especially with such a small amount of broccoli.

I did some thinking about how I wanted to make my own version, rounded up the ingredients, grabbed my note pad and pen and went to work.

The FIRST thing I knew I wanted to do was use FRESH broccoli and use A LOT of it. And I didn’t want it to be cooked to death. I mean, the broccoli is the star of the show, right?

Broccoli & Cheese Casserole! A better recipe for this classic casserole with fresh broccoli, velvety cheese sauce and a buttery crushed cracker topping that brings it all together. Perfect for potlucks and holiday dinners!

Since I wanted a very cheesy, velvety sauce (like you’d expect to be served on top of broccoli), I decided to use Campbell’s Cheddar Cheese Soup which is just another Cream of Something soup called by another name. If you can’t find it, you could use Cream of Broccoli or Broccoli Cheddar soup.

I was totally NOT going to use mayo because I imagine a lot of y’all might have the same reaction to it that I did but when I got my sauce the way I wanted it, I was worried there wouldn’t be enough to coat the broccoli and I wanted things to be a skosh on the saucy side (not set up). I thought about using sour cream but went with the mayo (just a 1/2 cup) because of that little nip of zip.

I DID want to use the crushed butter cracker, though! I knew they would be fabulous with the soft broccoli and creamy cheesy sauce (and they totally were!). Here’s everything I decided to use:

Broccoli & Cheese Casserole! A better recipe for this classic casserole with fresh broccoli, velvety cheese sauce and a buttery crushed cracker topping that brings it all together. Perfect for potlucks and holiday dinners!

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE BROCCOLI & CHEESE CASSEROLE:

  • Fresh broccoli florets (2 pounds!)
  • Diced onion
  • Canned cheddar cheese soup 
  • Milk & mayo
  • Salt & spices
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Butter crackers 

Broccoli & Cheese Casserole! A better recipe for this classic casserole with fresh broccoli, velvety cheese sauce and a buttery crushed cracker topping that brings it all together. Perfect for potlucks and holiday dinners!

So, here’s my very own version of Broccoli & Cheese Casserole!! I absolutely LOVED it. Actually, I ate so much of it yesterday and last night at supper, I was afraid my tummy was going to gripe at me later (it didn’t thankfully!).

The broccoli still tastes and feels like broccoli (not some unidentifiable green mush), the sauce is velvety smooth and cheesy and the crackers bring it all together! I will 100% be making this regularly now! 

Broccoli & Cheese Casserole! A better recipe for this classic casserole with fresh broccoli, velvety cheese sauce and a buttery crushed cracker topping that brings it all together. Perfect for potlucks and holiday dinners!
broccoli, casserole, cheese, cheddar, creamy, ritz, crackers, cracker crumbs, mayo, mayonnaise, with no cream of mushroom, best, better, southern, vintage, old school, recipe, potluck, side dish, thanksgiving, christmas, how to
side dish, potluck, casserole
american
Yield: 8-10 Servings
Author: Mandy Rivers | South Your Mouth
Broccoli & Cheese Casserole

Broccoli & Cheese Casserole

A better recipe for this classic casserole with fresh broccoli, velvety cheese sauce and a buttery crushed cracker topping that brings it all together. Perfect for potlucks and holiday dinners!
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 40 MinTotal time: 50 Min

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 10-oz can condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 sleeve butter crackers (such as Ritz)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. While water is heating, cut any long stems off broccoli then cut florets into bite-sized pieces (leaving smaller florets whole). Once water has reached a full, rolling boil add broccoli then cook for 4 minutes.
  3. Drain broccoli then gently rinse with cold water. Drain very well.
  4. Combine onion, soup (do not prepare first), milk, mayo, spices and salt in a large mixing bowl then whisk until smooth. Stir in HALF of shredded cheese.
  5. Fold drained broccoli into mixture until well combined. Pour mixture into a greased 2-quart baking dish then top with remaining cheese.
  6. Crush crackers then toss with melted butter. Sprinkle buttered cracker crumbs over cheese.
  7. Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly around the edges.

Notes:

You will need about 10 cups of bite-size broccoli floret pieces.

If you’d like to use frozen broccoli, use 3 packages (10 or 12 oz) steam-in-the-bag broccoli florets. Thaw and drain very well before using (no need to cook first).

You can use cream of mushroom, cream of broccoli, broccoli cheese or whichever condensed soup you prefer instead of the cheddar cheese soup if you’d like.

Substitute sour cream for mayo if desired but add a little extra salt.

8 ounces of cheese yields about 2 packed cups of shredded cheese.

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2 comments:

  1. Love your comment about even if it's bad, it's good. I love broccoli but it has to be cooked to death. Not fond of crunchy veggies. Made this and it was sooooo good! Even if I did make mush out of the broccoli!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This sounds wonderful. Am going to try it for TD. Sounds like such a welcome change from the old, tried and true, broccoli mush and cheese sauce!!

    ReplyDelete

Hi there! While I’m not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven’t been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments.

I can tell you now 1) I have no idea if you can substitute Minute Rice or brown rice in my recipes because I’ve never used them and 2) If I know how to convert a recipe to a Crock Pot version, I will make a note about it (otherwise, I don’t know).

And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y’all! - Mandy