Deliciously cheesy keto broccoli casserole will convince even the most reluctant picky eaters that the green vegetable is, in fact, worth eating!
I dedicate this recipe to The Picky Eater. It's one of the only ways she'll agree to eat broccoli. Just like cheesy cauliflower casserole convinces her to eat cauliflower! There's something about cheesy casseroles. 🧀
Since she likes this keto broccoli casserole so much, I've been making it quite often. Any parent to picky eaters knows how we tend to repeatedly make those few recipes that they agree to eat. 🙄
A great way to make broccoli more palatable
Alas, not everyone in my household agrees that broccoli is yummy, which is why I created this casserole.
It's a very reliable way to serve broccoli to picky children, but it’s also loved by adults. I especially like how easy it is to make – it’s ready in just 30 minutes!
The ingredients you'll need
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty side dish (the exact measurements are included in the recipe card below):
Fresh broccoli: Frozen and defrosted broccoli works too, although fresh does taste better and it also has a better texture.
Mayonnaise: I prefer avocado oil-based mayonnaise, but any mayonnaise will work.
Dijon mustard: This traditional French mustard is creamier and less vinegary than yellow mustard.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Spices: Garlic powder and cayenne. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Grated cheddar: I like to use extra-sharp cheddar. I love its strong flavor.
How to make keto broccoli casserole
Making it is SO EASY. The detailed instructions are listed in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
You'll want to lightly pre-cook the broccoli before placing it in the baking dish. You can do this in the microwave.
Next, mix it with the cream sauce and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake for a few minutes until hot and bubbly.
If your baking dish is broiler-safe you can also broil this casserole instead of baking it, which is actually my preferred method. It gets the cheese browned fast, without overcooking the broccoli.
Can I use frozen broccoli?
You can use fresh or frozen broccoli in this recipe. So it's one of those side dishes that you can always whip up, even if you're out of fresh produce.
Having said that, this dish does taste significantly better if you use fresh broccoli. So whenever possible, that's what I use.
How to serve keto broccoli casserole
It's a versatile side dish that truly goes with anything. But since I bake it in a 400°F oven, I like to serve it with main dishes that I can cook in the same oven. So I often serve it with one of the following:
What about leftovers?
You can keep leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for about 3 days. Reheat them in a 250°F oven, or in the microwave on 50% power. I never tried freezing this dish, but I think that should work too.
Variation: pizza-flavored casserole
A nice variation on this recipe is to make it pizza-flavored. So you make it the same way, but you use 1 cup of no-sugar pizza sauce (such as Rao's) instead of the creamy sauce (there's no need to add water), and 1 cup of shredded mozzarella instead of the cheddar.
A serving of this version is ¼ casserole, and it has 145 calories, 8g fat, 321mg sodium, 9g carbs, 4g fiber, 3g sugar, and 11g protein.
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- Olive oil spray
- 1 lb. fresh small broccoli florets
- ½ cup avocado oil mayonnaise (or sour cream, or ¼ cup of each)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt (or ½ teaspoon fine sea salt)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup grated cheddar, divided
- 1 tablespoon water
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with olive oil.
- Place the broccoli florets in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add 2 tablespoons water. Cover and microwave on high until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in another large bowl, prepare the creamy sauce. Mix together the mayonnaise (or sour cream), Dijon mustard, kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and half of the grated cheddar cheese. Add a little water to thin out the mixture, about 1 tablespoon.
- Drain the broccoli well and add to the creamy sauce. Gently toss to coat.
- Transfer the coated broccoli to the prepared baking dish. Lightly spray the top with olive oil. Evenly sprinkle the remaining cheddar on top.
- Bake the broccoli casserole until golden brown and bubbly around the edges, 15-20 minutes. If your baking dish is broiler safe, you can simply broil the broccoli casserole in the middle of the oven until browned, 2-3 minutes. This is actually a better method because it ensures the broccoli doesn't become overcooked.