Cheesy Broccoli Au Gratin Recipe
This delicious, cheesy Broccoli Au Gratin recipe combines tender broccoli florets tossed in a creamy cheese sauce, then topped with a crunchy breadcrumb and Parmesan topping! This cheesy broccoli casserole makes a great holiday side dish or an easy side for chicken, pork chops, or steak!
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This cheesy broccoli au gratin is the perfect comfort food side dish! This baked dish uses fresh broccoli coated in a creamy, cheesy sauce. Baked until golden brown, you’ll get a slight crunch from the breadcrumb and Parmesan topping!
I love switching up the toppings, too–you can use Ritz crackers, cheese crackers, or even french-fried onions!
This broccoli casserole recipe does not use cream of chicken soup (condensed soup). Instead, you make a super simple béchamel sauce–I PROMISE it’s super easy and tastes SO much better than using canned soup!
Need a super quick broccoli side dish? Try my perfect air fryer broccoli recipe! If you need more holiday sides try:
- Crack Green Beans
- Canned Cranberry Sauce That Tastes Homemade!
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Potatoes
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
- Great broccoli side dish for your holiday table!
- Can be made up to 2 days in advance and baked when you’re ready!
- A great way to get everyone to eat their veggies!
- Creamy, cheesy goodness — use your favorite cheeses!
You’ll need the following ingredients to make this delicious broccoli gratin recipe:
Milk: Whole milk or half and half works best! Avoid skim or low-fat milk.
Broccoli: Fresh broccoli works best!
Breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs or plain, dry breadcrumbs both work for the crunchy topping. You can also use crushed Ritz crackers, cheese crackers, or french-fried onions for the topping!
HOW TO MAKE BROCCOLI AU GRATIN: STEP BY STEP
Here are some quick, step-by-step instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the printable recipe card below!
Step 1: Cook onion and garlic until softened. Add butter. Melt butter, then stir in flour and cook for one minute, stirring.
Step 2: Slowly whisk in chicken stock and milk. Whisk until the sauce thickens. You will know when it’s thick enough when the sauce coats the back of a spoon.
Step 3: Stir in cheese and dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 4: Add broccoli florets and stir until the broccoli is coated with the cheese sauce.
Step 5: Transfer the broccoli mixture to a 9×13-inch baking pan. Sprinkle on breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil (or use a covered dish) and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15-20 minutes until bubbly and breadcrumbs start to turn golden brown.
- The entire broccoli head can be used, including the stem! Cut off the dry end of the stem, then chop the stem into smaller pieces. Add to the sauce along with the broccoli florets
- You’ll know the sauce is thick enough once it coats the back of a spoon without dripping off.
⭐️ CONFIDENCE TIP ⭐️
“Bechamel sauce” is just code for “delicious creamy cheese sauce!” You’ll be shocked at how easy it is to make this fancy-sounding sauce!
STORAGE & REHEATING
- Storage: Store leftovers tightly covered with foil on in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Reheating: Reheat individual portions in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until heated through.
- Freezing: I avoid freezing dairy-heavy dishes like this. They just don’t hold up well in the freezer. The better option is to make the dish ahead of time and bake it off when you’re ready to enjoy it (make ahead instructions in the recipe card).
Here are a few substitutions you can make:
- Crunchy Topping: Ritz Crackers, cheese crackers, and french fried onions are all perfect, crunchy toppings!
- Cheese: Honestly, you can’t go wrong with cheese choices for this dish! Use your favorites or a combination of all of your faves! Sharp white cheddar, mozzarella, and Monterey Jack cheese are some great cheeses that melt well. I love the nuttiness from Parmesan cheese for the topping, but feel free to use whatever you like!
- Milk: Whole milk works best, but you can also use half and half or heavy cream if you want a thicker, richer cheese sauce. I don’t recommend using skim or low-fat milk.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What cheese goes best with broccoli?
For the sauce, use a cheese (or cheeses!) that melt well. White sharp cheddar cheese goes perfectly with broccoli! Some other delicious options to try are: mozzarella, fontina, Monterey Jack, provolone, Colby jack, and smoked gouda!Can you freeze broccoli au gratin?
I always avoid freezing dairy-heavy casseroles like this broccoli casserole. They just don’t hold up well in the freezer, Also, broccoli is very water-heavy, so the casserole will get mushy when defrosted. Instead of freezing, see the make-ahead instructions below!Can you make this ahead of time?
YES!! Prepare the dish according to Steps 1-4 in the recipe card below. Cover tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate the casserole 1-2 days in advance. When you are ready to bake, allow the dish to come to room temperature for 20-30 minutes. Then, add the breadcrumb topping and Parmesan cheese and bake as directed.What does this broccoli casserole go well with?
This broccoli recipe is fantastic for holiday gatherings like Thanksgiving or Christmas! You can make it 1-2 days ahead, then bake it when you are ready to eat!
This dish also makes a tasty side dish for pork chops, chicken, and steak!
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TOOLS FOR THIS RECIPE
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Large Pot: This one is pretty AND functional!
Casserole Dish: In use these white ones all the time!
Whisk: For making your sauce nice and smooth!
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Cheesy Broccoli Au Gratin Recipe
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced the best garlic chopper!
- 3 tbsp butter salted or unsalted
- 4 tbsp flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheese See Note 1. Sharp white cheddar, mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheese all work well!
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 lb. fresh broccoli florets about 2 medium heads of broccoli
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs Ritz crackers, cheese crackers (like Cheese Its) or french fried onions are also perfect!
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved or use your favorite cheese!
- Prep: Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×13 (or similar) casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Begin the Sauce: In a large pan or skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring until softened (about 2-3 minutes). To the same pan, add butter and stir until melted. Sprinkle flour into the pan and stir until well-combined. Cook for one minute stirring continuously.
- Add Liquid: Pour in the chicken broth and milk a little at a time, whisking well between each addition. Continue whisking until all of the broth and milk have been added and the sauce thickens. You will know when the sauce is thick enough when it coats the back of a wooden spoon.
- Add Cheese & Broccoli: Add the grated cheese and Dijon mustard and stir until well combined. Season salt and pepper to taste. Then, stir in the broccoli florets, tossing to coat with the creamy sauce!
- Bake: Transfer broccoli mixture to your prepared 9×13 inch baking dish. Evenly sprinkle breadcrumbs (or Ritz crackers/cheese crackers/fried onions) and Parmesan cheese over the top of the broccoli. COVER with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15-20 minutes until bubbly. Optional: For a super crunchy topping, broil for 2-3 minutes.
- Note 1: I HIGHLY recommend grating your own cheese, fresh off the block vs. using bagged, pre shredded cheese. Freshly grated cheese melts soooo much better into the cheese sauce!
- Cheese Options
- Honestly, you can go wrong with cheese choices for this dish! Use your favorites or a combination of all of your faves! Sharp white cheddar, mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheese are some great cheeses that melt well. I love the “nuttiness” from Parmesan cheese for the topping, but feel free to use whatever you like!
- Make Ahead Instructions
- Assemble the casserole as outlined in steps 1-4 above. Cover tightly with foil and place in the fridge for up to 2 days before baking. When you are ready to bake, bring casserole to room temperature for 20-30 minutes before placing in the oven and baking per the recipe!