Oh la la. This is not your grandma’s broccoli cheese casserole.
Ever since Christopher Kimball challenged people to Google broccoli casserole, insisting they would be disappointed with what they found, I’ve been meaning to post a killer easy broccoli casserole. And dear readers, this is it.
An Easy Broccoli Casserole that Tastes Amazing
The ingredients? Broccoli of course, then bacon, flour, milk, cream, eggs, cheddar cheese, a little Dijon, salt, and lots of freshly cracked black pepper.
The tricks to this broccoli cheese casserole are to:
- Pre-cook the broccoli florets a bit so they cook up tender in the casserole.
- Use bacon because bacon makes everything taste better.
- Spice it up with black pepper. Just simple freshly cracked black pepper. Use as much as you can stand; it will make your broccoli cheese casserole sing.
Many thanks to the love of my culinary life, Dorie Greenspan, who provided the inspiration and basic structure for this broccoli cheese casserole recipe with a fabulous cauliflower gratin in her cookbook Around My French Table (hint, buy this book for yourself and all your friends, it’s stunning.)
Can’t Get Enough Broccoli and Cheese? Try These Recipes
- Broccoli Cheddar Mac and Cheese
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Broccoli and Cheddar Quesadillas
- Broccoli Cheddar Bites
Broccoli Cheddar Casserole Recipe
Prep your ingredients while you are heating the blanching water to save time.
Save your broccoli stems! You can use vegetable peeler to peel them, then slice and eat like celery.
- 2 pounds (900g) broccoli, stems removed (can use vegetable peeler to peel, then slice and eat like celery) and crowns cut into florets (about 8 cups of broccoli florets)
- 2 strips thick-cut bacon (about 2 ounces), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch wide strips
- 5 large eggs, beaten
- 1/3 cup (43g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream
- 1 cup (236 ml) whole milk
- 2 to 3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (1 to 2 teaspoons if using fine ground black pepper)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 8 ounces (225g) cheddar cheese, grated
1 Blanch the broccoli florets: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (1 Tbsp salt for 2 quarts of water). Add the broccoli florets and boil for 3-5 minutes or until just tender enough so that a fork can easily pierce the floret, but still firm. Strain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
2 Cook the bacon: While the water in step one is coming to a boil, cook the bacon pieces on medium heat in a frying pan until lightly browned, but not crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess fat. Set aside.
3 Make the egg mixture: Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Butter a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. In a bowl, whisk the eggs into the flour, then whisk in the cream and milk. Add the black pepper (more or less to taste), salt, and mustard. Mix in about a third of the cheese.
4 Assemble the casserole: Place the blanched broccoli florets in the casserole dish, sprinkling about a third of the cheese over the broccoli florets as you lay them down. Sprinkle the bacon pieces over the broccoli.
Pour the egg, cream, milk, cheese mixture over the broccoli, moving the broccoli pieces a bit so that the mixture gets into all the nooks and crannies. Sprinkle the casserole with the remaining cheese.
5 Bake for 25 to 40 minutes, or until set. Once the top has browned, you may want to tent with aluminum foil to keep from burning.
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