Tender broccoli is steamed then smothered in a creamy cheddar and Parmesan cheese sauce and topped with buttery Ritz crackers.
Sometimes holiday dinner calls for broccoli instead of green beans.
I’ve made the traditional green bean casserole for many years.
But this holiday season my sister-in-law asked if I would contribute a different green vegetable to the meal.
Plain boiled broccoli can be pretty boring on it’s own. I paired it with a creamy cheese sauce and crumbled buttery Ritz crackers and it was a hit on the holiday table.
Can broccoli casserole be made ahead of time?
Take one more thing off your to-do list this holiday.
This recipe can be made ahead of time and is easy to reheat before meal time.
How to make broccoli casserole
My broccoli casserole recipe includes an easy homemade roux using flour and butter rather than canned soup.
It’s healthier with less sodium and it tastes better made from scratch.
I steamed fresh broccoli for about four minutes then blanched it in cold water. It’s perfectly cooked this way.
Another option is roasting the broccoli for more intense flavor for about 20 minutes in a 350° oven.
I combined Parmesan and cheddar cheeses for the sauce, but any type of cheese can be substituted including gruyere, Swiss or pepper jack.
This casserole can be made gluten-free. Just omit the cracker topping. Otherwise, any buttery cracker or bread crumb topping will do.
My favorite is Ritz. It adds a nice crunch to every bite.
Cheesy Broccoli Casserole with Ritz Cracker Topping
- 3 medium heads of broccoli, cut into florets
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cup fresh shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Steam or boil the broccoli florets for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water.
- Using a medium size pot, sauté the onions in the butter for 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour and cook until the flour is absorbed and the mixture resembled a paste.
- Slowly adding the milk and whisk to combine. Continue stirring until the mixture becomes smooth and the lumps have disappeared, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the burner and stir in the cheeses until the mixture is melted and creamy.
- Place the cooked broccoli into the bottom of a greased casserole pan. Pour the cheese mixture over the broccoli smoothing into the corners.
- Sprinkle the crushed Ritz crackers over the casserole and bake for 15 minutes or until bubbly and hot.