Here is the recipe + tips for how to make the BEST broccoli cheddar casserole that even kids (or broccoli haters) are likely to devour!!
Thanksgiving is Almost Here……
In case you missed it, here are 10 Family Savvy Thanksgiving Recipes that are easy and delicious!! This broccoli casserole is not technically Thanksgiving; however, I am sharing it for those of you who might prefer it to a green bean casserole. This broccoli casserole will definitely be on my Thanksgiving table:-)
What makes this the BEST broccoli cheddar casserole?
The best ingredients make the best broccoli cheddar casserole. By using fresh broccoli, a cheesy soup, using sharp (hand grated) cheddar, and choosing the BEST crispy onions, you’ll have a next level broccoli dish that folks will love.
Broccoli Casserole is Perfect for the Holidays
For holiday parties and gatherings, broccoli casserole is always a hit. Even non-broccoli fans might be enticed by the cheesy, bread crumbed and onion topped broccoli. Give this one a try. I think it is hands down a winner!
Should I use frozen or fresh broccoli?
I prefer fresh broccoli, which I buy already chopped into florets. All the prep to be done before using fresh broccoli in this recipe is steaming it to tender before using. You can steam in an Instant Pot, or most easily in the microwave. 5-6 minutes is usually all it takes to get the broccoli tender.
You can use frozen for convenience and have good results with this broccoli casserole. The main thing to remember is to thaw the broccoli (in the fridge or microwave), and drain the liquid. If not, you will have soggy broccoli.
What is the best canned soup for broccoli casserole?
Most recipes that call for canned soup use Cream of Mushroom. This is fine (and actually very delicious). But I opt to use cheddar cheese soup for a few reasons. First, it is cheesy. Second, it appeals to those who hate mushrooms. Third, I am a huge fan of cheddar cheese soup. I use it in this French Onion Cheese Fondue and in this Secret Ingredient Mac & Cheese. Just be careful when looking for this soup that you get Cheddar Cheese (not Nacho Cheese) soup.
What onion rings are best for casseroles?
I LOVE these crispy onions. They are hands down the best I’ve ever found store bought. You can see what others think about these onions by reading over 350 nearly 5-star reviews here on amazon. Most grocery stores carry this brand. I always get the garlic pepper. They are so good, I tend to eat half the bag before adding to the dish. FYI…..I crumble my onion rings and sprinkle on top. You can leave them whole, but crumbling makes more to cover the dish completely.
Why add bread crumbs to broccoli casserole?
The bread crumbs + onion rings + parmesan (hard cheese) all work together to give this casserole a “gratin” texture and taste. My friend Marie, who is Italian and the BEST cook, told me that Italian cooks tend to use the gratin method for sides rather than adding tons of soups, etc…This broccoli dish is a compromise between a Southern casserole (one can of soup:-) and a gratin.
Can this broccoli casserole be made ahead?
The best version of the casserole IF you plan to make ahead is the one with fresh broccoli. You would not want to thaw frozen broccoli and then freeze it again. Fresh is fine to freeze. For making a day ahead, you can make with fresh or frozen.
What is the best casserole dish for making/freezing/baking?
If you make ahead, freeze, and bake in the same dish, you’ll need to buy cookware that is freezer to oven to table. The best I’ve found are this one by Le Creueset and this one by Emile Henry (the one in photo above).
If you make this yummy broccoli dish, please leave comments with your thoughts, suggestions, etc. I love hearing from readers!! As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Wishing you a joyful, blessed and savvy day!!!
- 1 can Campbell's Cheddar Cheese Soup
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp yellow mustard (or 1 tsp dry mustard)
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 bag (16 ounces) broccoli flowerets (see notes for frozen broccoli)
- 2 cups sharp shredded Cheddar cheese (see notes)
- 1 cup dry bread crumbs
- Fresh gourmet garlic pepper onions (see notes)
- 1/2 cup parmesan (fresh not canned)
- 2 TB butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Steam broccoli florets until crisp-tender (5-6 minutes).
- Stir soup, milk, mustard and 1 cup cheddar until smooth.
- Add broccoli to above mixture; stir until coated.
- Spread broccoli into casserole dish sprayed with cooking oil.
- Mix melted butter, bread crumbs, and parmesan in bowl.
- Sprinkle bread crumb/parmesan and onion rings on top.
- Bake for 15 minutes; add remaining 1 cup cheddar.
- Bake for 15 more minutes or until cheese melts and dish is bubbly.
For frozen broccoli, thaw a 16-oz bag in the fridge; drain before using.
Cheese: Best to hand grate your own sharp or extra sharp cheddar.
Parmesan~use freshly grated not green can.
Onion Rings-Fresh Gourmet garlic pepper are the BEST and only kind I use. They are delicious enough to eat out of the package.