Deliciously cheesy 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 pretty much the only way she’ll agree to eat broccoli. Just like cheesy cauliflower casserole convinces her to eat cauliflower! There’s something about cheesy casseroles. 😀
Alas, not everyone in my household agrees that broccoli is yummy, which is why I created this healthy keto broccoli 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 (exact measurements are included in the recipe card below):
- Fresh broccoli
- Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
- Spices: garlic powder and cayenne
- Grated cheddar
How do you make broccoli casserole?
Making it is SO EASY. The detailed instructions are 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.
- Sprinkle with cheese.
- Bake for a few minutes until hot and bubbly.
If your baking dish is broiler-safe you can also broil this broccoli casserole, 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.
Is this broccoli casserole healthy?
I think it’s very healthy! Broccoli is, of course, a highly nutritious vegetable. In the sauce, I use avocado oil mayonnaise, which is thought by some (but not all) experts to be healthier than mayonnaise made with vegetable oils.
If you wish, you can replace half the mayonnaise, or all of it, with sour cream.
It’s true that this is a high-fat dish. But unless you have a specific issue that requires you to minimize your consumption of saturated fat, for most healthy people, dietary fat (except for trans fats) is pretty much harmless. And some even say that full-fat dairy is beneficial.
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.
Pizza broccoli 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 1/4 casserole, and it has 145 calories, 8g fat, 321mg sodium, 9g carbs, 4g fiber, 3g sugar, and 11g protein.
- Olive oil spray
- 1 lb. fresh small broccoli florets
- ½ cup avocado oil mayonnaise (or sour cream, or 1/4 cup of each)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt)
- 1/4 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.