Hearty Broccoli Casserole Recipe You’ll Love

broccoli casserole

Growing up, my dad would regale me with tales of his restaurant line-cooking days in his 20s. There were stories of working busy brunch shifts, making batch after batch of Hollandaise sauce, getting scars on his thumb from shucking clams, and watching the head chef add banana liqueur to the fish of the day (don’t try this at home!). I loved hearing about his restaurant days and having him teach me knife skills and other classical cooking techniques.

But when it came time for him to cook our family dinners, he wasn’t making fancy flambés or elaborate three-course breakfasts. He kept it super simple and made comforting dishes I still crave today. Among them, there’s one that I think about (and crave) the most—and occasionally make when I’m feeling particularly homesick. It’s a comforting casserole that’s unlike anything else we grew up eating, yet so good.

I grew up in New Jersey, not the Midwest, so casseroles were not really in our vocabulary or dinner rotation. Yet, he’d make a broccoli casserole that is now my definition of comfort food. Since it was my favorite, my dad would make this when it was just him and me (my mom and sister were allergic to the breadcrumbs). And while it’s technically a side, I’d usually ignore all the other food on my plate and just stick to the broccoli.

It could not be simpler to make. His “recipe” is not so much a recipe as it is an approximation of ingredients—measure with your heart! Rather than the broccoli casseroles that start with a can of soup, or include rice, chicken, or intricate cheese sauces, this one is just five ingredients and done in under 30 minutes. Broccoli, softened cream cheese, and breadcrumbs are the basic foundations of the dish, and everything else is optional to elevate it even more. Creamy, cheesy, and crunchy, it’s endlessly comforting. The combination of broccoli and cheese is just an instant winner, and the buttery breadcrumbs make everything better. These days, when I riff on this recipe, I add sautéed garlic and onions to the broccoli or a little Parmesan or Pecorino to the breadcrumbs. My dad swears a pinch of nutmeg is necessary, so I always add that too. Serve it alongside chicken or pasta, or make the whole casserole for yourself (my fave) on days when you need something that tastes like a warm hug.

Key Takeaways:

  • Hearty broccoli casserole is a comforting dish that is simple yet delicious.
  • Unlike other broccoli casseroles, this recipe uses only five ingredients and can be made in under 30 minutes.
  • Add sautéed garlic, onions, and Parmesan or Pecorino cheese to elevate the flavors.
  • Serve the casserole alongside chicken or pasta, or enjoy it as a main dish.
  • Enjoy the creamy, cheesy, and crunchy combination of flavors in this comforting broccoli casserole.

The Best Southern Broccoli Casserole Recipe

This has got to be the best Southern broccoli casserole recipe ever! It’s the perfect side dish—creamy, cheesy, and oh-so-easy! And yes, it’s topped with crunchy, buttery Ritz crackers!

Cousins, I have been craving a good, old-fashioned broccoli casserole. You know… the Southern one. In this post, we’re making super creamy, cheesy broccoli casserole, Southern style. Although it’s completely homemade, this is an easy side dish that will never disappoint. And I will practically hold your hand throughout this entire recipe, so don’t be scared! Buckle up, fam, cause we’re going to cook this easy broccoli casserole recipe together.

Now, if you’re craving a comforting side dish (is that a thing?! LOL!), this is the recipe for you. It’s a Southern favorite, with its crunchy topping of butter crackers, the creamy cheese sauce, and, of course, the tender broccoli.

However, there are a few things this broccoli casserole ISN’T…

  • It’s NOT the kind of broccoli casserole made with canned soup. No cream of mushroom here, Cousins! I mean, if you dig it, that’s fine, but this ain’t it!
  • It’s NOT the kind of broccoli casserole with rice. I love an easy broccoli rice casserole, but we’re keepin’ the extra carbs out of this one.
  • It’s NOT the kind of broccoli casserole with chicken. Can you add it? Sure can! Y’all can follow my recipe for cheesy broccoli chicken and rice here, which is all of the above… but it doesn’t rival THIS cheesy goodness. 😉

Cousins, this is a meatless broccoli cheese casserole that’s far from super healthy, but it IS a comfort food recipe that should be enjoyed occasionally. You know, like during holidays, family gatherings, or for Sunday supper—those sorts of events? It’s the perfect side dish for those fancy dinners. It even works as a main dish if you’re trying to work more meatless meals into your diet.


Ingredients Quantity
Broccoli florets 4 cups
Milk 1 cup
Cheddar cheese, shredded 1 ½ cups
Cream cheese, softened 4 oz
Mayonnaise ½ cup
Ritz crackers, crushed 1 cup
Butter, melted ½ cup

Easy broccoli casserole recipe:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly grease a baking dish.
  2. Steam the broccoli florets until tender but still firm. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the milk, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and mayonnaise over medium heat. Stir until the cheeses have melted and the sauce is smooth.
  4. Place the steamed broccoli in the prepared baking dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the broccoli, making sure it is evenly coated.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the Ritz crackers and melted butter. Sprinkle the mixture over the broccoli and cheese sauce.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbly and the top is golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Classic Broccoli, Cheese, and Rice Casserole Recipe

This classic broccoli, cheese, and rice casserole, also known as “Yum Yum Broccoli Casserole,” is a nostalgic 1980’s side dish. Get ready to relive the days of cheese wiz, my friend! Have you ever had nostalgia when it comes to a food dish? I sure do – I still remember dropping my ESPRIT bag off on the chair and scooting my chair up to the family table to eat mom’s grilled chicken and special Cheese Broccoli and Rice Casserole back in the 1980’s. It had a bit of crunch from the water chestnuts and just the perfect combination of rice and cheese! In fact, you can still buy a similar broccoli cheese and rice dish that is TV dinner style from Stouffer’s!

This side dish is the perfect addition to pretty much any meal – check out our Main Dish recipes or Field Meals Recipe Book to spark some inspiration! You can also use this dish as an excuse to tell your family stories of how great our generation was 😉 Now let’s jump into the meal – I hope you enjoy this classic recipe! Buy an extra cheese wiz can, and you can snack on crackers and cheese wiz while you make this 🙂 It makes a nice big pan! This easy side dish is perfect for toting along to family gatherings or out to the field for the crew! The leftovers, if you have any, are extra delicious! I can’t say that for many side dishes, but this one is good!

It seems like every single recipe for this delicious casserole comes with a list of new ingredients! Click on another blog, and there is a whole different list of ingredients. Here’s what we deem to be the best in your Yum Yum Broccoli Casserole: Cream of Mushroom Soup, Mushrooms, Onions, Celery, Water Chestnuts, Broccoli, Margarine, Cheese Wiz, Minute Rice. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into a greased 9×13 casserole dish. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 degrees F.


What are the key ingredients in a broccoli casserole?

The key ingredients in a broccoli casserole are broccoli, cream cheese, breadcrumbs, and optional additions like garlic, onions, and Parmesan cheese.

Is the Southern broccoli casserole recipe made with canned soup?

No, the Southern broccoli casserole recipe does not use canned soup. It is a homemade recipe with a creamy cheese sauce.

Does the classic broccoli, cheese, and rice casserole recipe contain cheese wiz?

Yes, the classic broccoli, cheese, and rice casserole recipe includes cheese wiz to give it a nostalgic 1980s flavor.

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Written by lyndas

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