Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli Casserole

Recipe Video Pin
40 minutes
6 servings

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Indulge in the creamy goodness of Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli Casserole with tender broccoli, melty cheddar cheese, and a winning flavorful twist!

Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli Casserole in a Mexican fiesta bowl with a handle and a blue and white patterned napkin.

Looking for a delicious and comforting side dish? Look no further! Cheesy Broccoli Casserole will satisfy your cravings!

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This easy-to-make recipe combines the freshness of broccoli with the creaminess of melted cheddar cheese. You can create a flavorful dish that will become a family favorite with a few simple steps.

Let’s dive in and explore the unique features and flavors of this mouthwatering classic broccoli casserole recipe, starting with that ‘flavorful twist!

The unique feature of this recipe comes from the addition of grated onion and a touch of paprika. The texture grated onion offers is reminiscent of Cracker Barrel Restaurants’ hash brown casserole but in a comforting cheese and broccoli casserole.

It also adds a subtle tang and depth of flavor, while the paprika infuses a hint of smokiness or spice, depending on your preference for hot, sweet, or smoked. These ingredients elevate the taste of this easy broccoli cheese casserole recipe, giving it that unique and delicious twist.

This easy comfort food recipe combines tender broccoli, melted cheddar cheese, and a flavorful twist that will leave you craving more. Perfect for weeknight dinners or potluck gatherings. If comfort food is on the menu, consider my Parmesan-crusted Mashed Potatoes, or my beefy Cottage Pie.

A head of broccoli on a butcher block with a knife and many small florets having been cut to make a broccoli and cheddar casserole.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

·         Standout Variation Options – One reason that sets this Cheesy Broccoli Casserole apart from other broccoli cheese casserole recipes is that while many stick to using the cream of mushroom soup as the creamy base, this recipe offers the unique alternative of using cream cheese for a broccoli casserole without soup.
·         Comforting Cheesy Goodness – The star of this recipe is undoubtedly the generous amount of sharp cheddar cheese. It melts into the casserole, enveloping the tender broccoli in a blanket of rich, cheesy goodness. Each bite offers a satisfying and comforting experience.
·         Flavorful Savory Twist – Adding grated onion and a touch of paprika brings a delightful twist to this classic dish. Depending on your preference, hot, sweet, or smoked, the paprika infuses a hint of smokiness or spice while the onion adds a subtle tang.


Ingredients That Go Into Cheddar and Broccoli Casserole

Overall, the ingredients for this recipe are generally easy to find and not seasonal. You should be able to locate them in your local grocery store quickly. Feel free to adapt and personalize the recipe with these substitutions and variations, allowing you to create a unique and delicious dish tailored to your liking.

An image with ingredients needed to make a broccoli casserole and substitutions for making broccoli casserole no soup.
  • Broccoli – For the best results, use fresh broccoli. However, if fresh is not unavailable can substitute with the same amount of frozen broccoli. Both options work equally well. Find broccoli in the produce section of your local grocery store.
  • Mayonnaise – Opt for regular mayonnaise for the classic flavor. You can find it in the condiment aisle of your grocery store. If you prefer a lighter option, low-fat mayonnaise is a suitable substitute.
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup – The recipe calls for a 10 ¾ ounce can of cream of mushroom soup. However, if you prefer, you can substitute it with 6 ounces of softened cream cheese. It’s a creamy alternative that adds a unique touch to the casserole.
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Use 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, which imparts a robust flavor. If sharp cheddar is not your preference, feel free to substitute it with any other shredded cheese variety you like. Look for shredded cheese in the dairy section of your grocery store.
  • Onion – Grate 4 tablespoons of onion using a box grater. This adds a pleasant tang and depth of flavor to the casserole.
  • Paprika – Choose sweet, smoked, or hot paprika according to your taste preference. Paprika can be found in the spices aisle of your grocery store.
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See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.


Substitutions and Variations

  • Cream Cheese – Use 6 ounces softened instead of cream of mushroom soup. This alternative adds a creamy and tangy element to the casserole and yields a delicious broccoli casserole without soup.
  • Shredded Mozzarella, Gruyère, Swiss – experiment with any of those above, or blend your favorite cheeses for a personalized flavor profile.
  • Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, Broccoli Rabe – substitute with any or a combination of various vegetables.
  • Panko Breadcrumbs, Crushed Potato Chips, Corn Flakes – get creative with your choice of crunchy topping and add a delightful texture to the casserole. I am partial to a broccoli casserole with corn flakes myself!
  • Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Italian Seasoning, Cayenne Pepper – use in conjunction with or in lieu of paprika to customize the taste according to your preferences.

Adding Chicken for A Main Dish Casserole

A fork digging into a cheddar broccoli casserole with chicken added to it for a unique broccoli and cheese recipe.

By adding chicken to the recipe, you’ll have a flavorful and satisfying one-dish meal that combines the creamy goodness of the casserole with the protein-rich chicken.

Follow the recipe instructions combining all ingredients. Add 2 cups of fully cooked chicken. Adding chicken will increase the volume of the casserole, so adjust the baking time slightly. Check for doneness by ensuring the top is golden and bubbling, and the casserole is heated. Let it cool slightly, then serve as a delicious main meal with a side salad or crusty bread.

A combination of panko and well-crushed corn flakes compliments this chicken cheddar broccoli casserole variation perfectly!

Buying Guide for Broccoli

When purchasing fresh broccoli, look for vibrant green florets with firm stalks. Avoid any florets that appear yellow or wilted.

The stalks should be sturdy and free from soft spots. If opting for frozen broccoli, ensure the package is sealed without any signs of freezer burn.

Examples of broccoli cheese recipes would include this cheesy cheddar broccoli casserole in a ceramic baking dish with a blue and white napkin beneath the dish.

How Long Does Cheddar Broccoli Casserole Last In the Fridge?

When properly stored in an airtight container, broccoli cheese casserole can last up to 3 days in the refrigerator. To prevent bacterial growth, refrigerate the casserole promptly after it has cooled down.

Make sure to cover the casserole dish tightly with plastic wrap or transfer it to an airtight container before placing it in the refrigerator. Remember to reheat the leftovers thoroughly before consuming them.

If you anticipate being unable to consume the casserole within three days, consider freezing it for more extended storage.

Step By Step Instructions

As far as broccoli cheese casseroles go, this one is fun and delicious to assemble.Once baked, the bake emerges from the oven with a golden, bubbly top and a tantalizing aroma that brings comfort and satisfaction to every bite.

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Tip: Cook and Drain the Broccoli!

Cooking the broccoli until it is tender but not overly soft is crucial. Additionally, drain the cooked broccoli well before adding it to the casserole.


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease an 8×10-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. From a large head of broccoli, trim florets to desired size. Aim for 5 cups of raw broccoli, florets, and stems.

2. Grate 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese from a large block. Alternatively, use any cheese that resonates with your eaters to include a combination of cheeses equal to 2 cups. Half will be mixed into the casserole, and the other will be used to top it.

3. Cook the broccoli in boiling water for about 3 minutes. The broccoli should be tender but not soft. Remove from the heat.

4. Drain the broccoli well. This cannot be emphasized enough. I drain in a sieve, then spread the broccoli on paper toweling to continue drawing out moisture.

5. While the broccoli drains and cools, peel and grate a small onion. You will need 4 tablespoons but feel like you can do more. I love the texture, so I always double the amount to 8 tablespoons.

6. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of mayonnaise, 2 beaten eggs, 1 (10 3/4-oz) can of mushroom soup, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, and the grated onion. Stir well to combine. See my notes in the recipe card if you prefer a broccoli casserole, no soup.

7. Taste for seasoning. Add salt, pepper, or other desired seasonings. Cayenne, garlic powder, and onion powder are good seasonings if you need anything.

8. Stir in the cooked and drained broccoli and mix well. Turn out into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the remaining cheddar and paprika. The paprika may be sweet, smoked, or hot.

9. Bake the casserole in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown on top. Optional: If you plan to add a crunchy topping, crush it into tiny bits, toss it with a tablespoon of melted butter, then scatter over the casserole for the final 10 minutes of the bake. Allow the hot dish to stand for 5 minutes before serving. The casserole will be very hot.

How To Serve This Easy Broccoli Casserole

  • Serve as a delicious side dish alongside roasted chicken, grilled steak, or baked fish. It pairs well with various protein-based mains, adding a creamy and flavorful element to the meal.
  • Bring to potluck gatherings or larger get-togethers. It can be prepared in advance, refrigerated, and then baked right before serving. The creamy, cheesy goodness will surely be a hit with friends and family.
  • A great brunch or lunch option! Serve it alongside a fresh salad or a bowl of soup for a satisfying and complete meal. It’s a versatile dish that can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
  • Customize and add additional ingredients like cooked bacon, diced ham, or sautéed mushrooms for extra flavor and texture. Experiment with different herbs and spices to further enhance the taste.
  • Consider garnishing the casserole with some chopped fresh parsley or chives before serving. This adds a pop of color and freshness to the dish, enhancing its overall presentation.

Bulk This Up to Feed A Crowd

A casserole dish filled with a hot noodle and rice and broccoli casserole.

Adding rice, vermicelli, or other short noodle to this casserole creates a heartier dish. Rice and noodles absorb the flavors of the creamy base and meld well with broccoli and cheese.

Cook the desired amount of rice or noodles according to the package instructions. After combining all ingredients, stir in the cooked starch and the broccoli. Evenly distribute the starch throughout the mixture. Place the mixture in a casserole dish and top with remaining cheese and paprika. Bake according to instructions in the recipe card, ensuring the casserole is cooked through and the cheese is melted and golden.

How To Store Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli Casserole

If you have leftovers, store the casserole in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in 350°F oven wrapped with foil or covered in microwave in 50-second intervals until heated.

To freeze, wrap the cooled casserole tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, which will keep well for up to 3 months. Thaw the frozen casserole in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Jenny’s Recipe Pro Tips

  • Cooking the broccoli until it is tender but not overly soft is crucial. Overcooking can lead to mushy broccoli that may affect the texture of the casserole.
  • Drain the cooked broccoli well before adding it to the casserole. Excess moisture can make the dish watery, so proper draining is essential for the recipe’s success.
  • To substitute cream cheese instead of cream of mushroom soup, whisk 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the broccoli cooking water into the softened cream cheese to achieve a smoother consistency.
  • For a crunchy topping, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and combine 1 cup of Ritz crackers (crumbled), Cheez-It crumbles, or cornflakes. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the casserole after 15 minutes of baking and continue baking for the remaining 10 minutes.

Recipe FAQs

Can I use frozen broccoli instead of fresh?

Absolutely! You can substitute frozen broccoli for the same amount of fresh broccoli. Just make sure to thaw, cook, and drain it well before adding it to the recipe.

Can I use a different type of cheese?

Yes, you can use any shredded cheese you prefer or have on hand. Feel free to experiment with different flavors and combinations.

Can I prepare the casserole ahead of time?

Yes, you can assemble the casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it. When ready to bake, follow the instructions and adjust the baking time.

A spoonful of broccoli casserole with corn flakes in a ceramic dinner bowl.

More Easy Cheesy Casserole Recipes You’ll Love

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After trying this recipe, I would love to hear your thoughts! Consider leaving a star rating in the recipe card located below or sharing your feedback in the comment section. Your reviews and comments are highly valued and appreciated.

Recipe

Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli Casserole

Jenny DeRemer
Indulge in the creamy goodness of Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli Casserole with tender broccoli, melty cheddar cheese, and a winning flavorful twist!
4.25 from 12 votes
Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 6 servings
Calories 497 kcal

Equipment

  • 8 x 10 casserole dish

Ingredients
 

  • 20 ounces broccoli cooked and drained well; may substitute frozen broccoli in same measure
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 large eggs beaten
  • 10 ¾ ounces cream of mushroom soup may substitute 6 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded; divided; may substitute any shredded cheese or combination of cheeses
  • 4 tablespoons onion grated fine on a box grater; more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika sweet, smoked, or hot
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • crushed corn flakes optional; 1 cup mixed with 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
  • plain panko optional; 1 cup mixed with 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
  • crushed potato chips optional; 1 cup mixed with 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
  • crushed Ritz crackers optional; 1 cup mixed with 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • crushed Cheez-It/Goldfish crackers optional; 1 cup mixed with 1 tablespoon melted butter

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease an 8 x 10-inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Use a tablespoon of softened, unsalted butter if preferred. Set aside.
  • Combine the mayonnaise, beaten eggs, cream of mushroom soup, half the grated cheddar, and grated onion in a large bowl. Stir well to combine. Taste for seasoning at this juncture; add salt, pepper, or other desired seasonings, and stir to combine. Add the broccoli and toss well to coat.
  • Scrape into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle top with paprika. Sprinkle the remaining half of the cheese. Optional: If using a crunchy topping such as Ritz cracker crumbles, potato chips, panko breadcrumbs, Cheez-It/Goldfish crumbles, or cornflakes, melt one tablespoon of butter and combine 1 cup of the desired topping to coat: sprinkle atop the casserole for the final 10 minutes of the bake. Bake 20-25 minutes at 400°F, uncovered. NOTE ** If substituting cream cheese for the cream of mushroom soup, whisk in 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of the broccoli cooking water to thin the cream cheese out.

Video

Notes

Store Leftovers: in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a 350°F oven wrapped with foil or in the microwave in 50-second intervals until heated through.
To Freeze: wrap the cooled casserole tightly with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the frozen casserole in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.

Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 497kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 16gFat: 44gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 18gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 899mgPotassium: 434mgFiber: 3gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1106IUVitamin C: 86mgCalcium: 327mgIron: 1mg
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10 Comments

  1. I just wrote a comment and didn’t mention which recipe I was referring to. It was the broccoli and cheese recipe from your gram where her note said Gloria’s recipe and you said you didn’t know who Gloria was.

    1. Patrice! Oh how I wonder if your mom was THE GLORIA! My grandparents never lived in Maine, however she and my grandfather spent summers in Kennebunkport as my mom, thier eldest, sailed aboard the Victory Chimes as a teenager over several years. My grandparents would have been in the late 40’s early 50’s at that point and attended Catholic mass. She would not have yet been a Red Hat, but that wouldn’t necessarily make any difference. If any of this sounds like it fits, with your mom starting in 1961-ish, we should chat! Jenny

      1. I guess the Gloria wasn’t my mother as she was raising me and my siblings in the 50s and 60s. It just struck me when you mentioned perhaps your gram may have met Miss Gloria from the Red Hats, or a church member as my mother was involved in both.

        1. Patrice, I believe it is such a small world now, especially given advanced travel and communication, that it’s entirely possible each of our paths has crossed before now; I mean, here we are discussing coastal Maine as it was in the 1960’s over a broccoli cheese casserole recipe…how is it either of us can NOT think we are somehow cut from the same mold?? I’m going to call you Cousin Patrice from this day forward! 🙂 Jenny

          1. Thank you for responding to my inquiry. I would have to be your older cousin as I will be 71 in a few days. My youngest son is hosting Easter dinner and wanted me to bring his gram’s broccoli and cheese casserole. I wasn’t sure where it was, so I started looking on the internet. None of the recipes were ringing a bell. Then I skipped down and found yours. It was like I was lead to it. I told my boys that their gram might be famous as she was mentioned on the internet. My mother passed away at 89 years old in 2015. It was fun to think she was the “Miss Gloria” you mentioned. Thank you for all the information.

          2. …Patrice; my Gram passed in 2016 at ago 92; so many coincidences! And you wouldn’t be that much my older cousin. I will be 53 this year. I firmly believe there is a reason for EVERY SINGLE CONNECTION we make. I’m glad today’s connection was with YOU! Kindred spirits? Who knows. Yanks? Yep 😉 !!!

  2. Very curious. My mother’s name was Gloria and she was a member of the Red Hat Society and also a member of the church. She lived in Augusta, Maine and later moved to the Waterville area. Did your gram live in Maine?

  3. We sure have enjoyed featuring your awesome post on Full Plate Thursday, 557! Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us and come back soon!
    Miz Helen