Broccoli has a lot of great stuff going for it. It’s low in calories and sugars, it’s high in fiber, and it has a ton of other healthy nutrients for you. Also, it tastes great — to many people, anyway. Sadly, this powerhouse of a healthy veggie isn’t a favorite of all folks, with kids in particular tending to turn up their noses at the deep green florets. How to serve a veggie everyone should eat but that not everyone loves? Easy answer: casserole.
And while "you can make a broccoli casserole recipe with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce, a roasted red pepper sauce" or with many other toppings, says chef and food writer Maren Epstein of Eating Works, a classic "creamy, cheesy casserole" is all but guaranteed to get bite after bite of broccoli down the hatch of even a picky eater. "This casserole is a classic American comfort food that would go well with other traditional American fare like roasted chicken and roasted corn," she says, and as "you can use regular or vegan cheese for this dish," it can suit people of all types of dietary preference.
The fact that making a broccoli casserole requires all of ten minutes of hands-on prep will suit the chef pulling double duty as mom or dad.
Gather your ingredients for this broccoli casserole recipe
With the exception of the can of soup, you likely have everything needed to make this broccoli casserole recipe on hand already. And once you see how well it goes over, you’ll probably start keeping a few cans of the soup in the pantry.
To make this broccoli casserole, you’ll need one can of cream of mushroom soup, a half cup almond milk or regular milk, two teaspoons of mustard, a bag of frozen thawed broccoli florets (or the fresh stuff lightly steamed), one and a half cups of shredded cheddar cheese (vegan cheese works here), one egg, eight ounces of Ritz-style crackers that you’ll crush up, and two tablespoons of melted butter.
"Butter-based crackers are really typical of a broccoli casserole," says Epstein, "but you could use breadcrumbs instead if need be." That said, spring for the Ritz to do it right.
Prepare the broccoli and wet ingredients for this broccoli casserole recipe
To get started on this recipe, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, as you’ll be using it for this broccoli casserole recipe within minutes. In a small casserole dish, microwave the frozen broccoli until it’s completely cooked through, or simply place the steamed broccoli in an oven-safe dish. Add the mushroom soup, milk, mustard, cheese, and egg to the broccoli in the bowl.
Now, stir everything well to combine. (And note that you can combine the wet ingredients ahead of time then add that mix and the cheese to the broccoli bowl if you prefer.)
Crush the crackers then layer them on your broccoli casserole recipe
Place the crackers in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin or your hands to crush them well. You don’t want any large chunks left over here. Now, melt your butter in the microwave. Once you’ve done that, mix the melted butter and the cracker crumbs together, making sure the crumbs get covered in that melted butter. Massage the crackers until they are evenly coated in the butter, and then spread the crackers onto the top of the casserole in an even layer.
Bake the broccoli casserole recipe
Put the broccoli casserole recipe into that 350-degree oven and bake the dish on the middle rack for between 30 and 40 minutes, or until the cracker crust turns golden and the casserole is bubbling. You can add a little bit of cheese atop the crumbs for some added flavor and a unique consistency.
Let the dish sit for at least a few minutes once you pull it out of the oven so it can settle and cool, but serve it good and hot for best taste. "You can save this casserole in the fridge for up to four days and freeze it for up to three months," Epstein says, but it really is "best right out of the oven."