Broccoli Cheese Casserole
Broccoli Cheese Casserole is the best with tender broccoli baked with bread in cheddar cheese sauce with mayo, horseradish, and two cheddar cheeses. This broccoli casserole with cheese can be assembled a day ahead for easier preparation and makes a perfect side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
- 6 oz crusty, day old baguette cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 lb broccoli florets
- ½ (~1 cup) large white onion diced
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 pinches fresh cracked pepper
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- ½ tsp prepared horseradish
- 1 tsp whole-grain mustard
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided
- 1 cup shredded Vermont white sharp cheddar cheese
- garnish: fresh basil leaves rolled up and sliced very thin
Prepare the casserole
Heat oven to 350°F.
Put the cubed bread in the oven to lightly toast for 5-10 minutes.
In a 13x9 bake dish, toss together the broccoli, bread cubes, and onion.
Make the cheese sauce
To a medium saucepan, add the butter and flour. Heat over medium-high, stirring until smooth, to make a roux. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook, stirring constantly, until milk starts to steam. Remove from the heat.
Whisk in the Dijon, salt, pepper, horseradish, whole-grain mustard, and mayonnaise. Add half (2 cups) of the cheese, stirring until the cheese is mostly melted (see Notes).
Final assembly and baking
Pour the cheese sauce over the broccoli casserole. Top with the remaining 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese and the 1 cup Vermont white cheddar cheese.
Cover casserole tightly with foil and bake at 350°F for 50 minutes or until broccoli is tender with a sharp knife inserted (see Notes).
Remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes. Serve topped with basil.
Note that once added to the sauce, the cheese does not have to melt completely smooth. It is preferable to leave it a bit less than completely melted than risk over thickening the sauce. If it refuses to melt (i.e. if the sauce has cooled too much), the sauce can be put back on the heat to give it a nudge.
The texture of the broccoli with depend on whether fresh or frozen is used. If fresh, broccoli will retain more texture (i.e. crunch). If previously frozen, broccoli will be a bit softer. Both variations are delicious.
This recipe can be fully assembled and refrigerated a day in advance. I recommend allowing the casserole to sit out for an hour to come to room temperature prior to baking.
Calories: 554kcal (28%) | Carbohydrates: 31g (10%) | Protein: 26g (52%) | Fat: 38g (58%) | Saturated Fat: 18g (113%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 103mg (34%) | Sodium: 810mg (35%) | Potassium: 377mg (11%) | Fiber: 3g (13%) | Sugar: 7g (8%) | Vitamin C: 5mg (6%) | Calcium: 1880mg (188%)
Calorie count is purely an estimate calculated using an online application to serve as a guide and not to be taken as accurate nutritional information. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
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