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Cheesy broccoli casserole is one of my favorite broccoli recipes to make year round! It’s the perfect side dish that’s impressive enough to add to a holiday table, yet quick and easy enough to serve for a weeknight, party, or potluck. This easy broccoli cheese casserole recipe was actually inspired by my popular (and just as easy) 5-ingredient broccoli cheese soup. The ingredients are almost identical — it’s just (much) thicker, so it’s in casserole form.
I originally made this dish using my pressure cooker, but have since updated the recipe to include an option using the stovetop and oven, which doesn’t require any special equipment. Both versions of broccoli and cheese casserole are included below!
Why You’ll Love This Cheesy Broccoli Casserole Recipe
- Cheesy, creamy sauce
- Perfectly crisp-tender veggies
- Just 6 simple ingredients (plus salt and pepper)
- Ready in just 15 minutes
- Thick without any flour, thickeners, or cream of chicken soup needed
- Easy to make ahead and freeze
- Naturally gluten-free, low carb, and one of the easiest healthy side dishes
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for this broccoli cheese casserole recipe, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Unsalted Butter – Used for sauteing the garlic and adds flavor to the casserole. Cheddar cheese is fairly salty, so I prefer unsalted butter for this recipe. You can substitute olive oil if you like.
- Garlic – Fresh is best, but you can also use jarred minced garlic. If you don’t have either on hand, you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder; just add it at the same time of the cream cheese.
- Broth – I used store-bought reduced sodium, because otherwise the cheesy broccoli casserole turns out too salty. You can also make your own using my chicken broth recipe or use vegetable broth instead if you want to keep it vegetarian. Otherwise, bone broth also works great for extra nutrition.
- Broccoli Florets – Obviously you need broccoli for a broccoli cheese casserole recipe! Chop it into equal, bite-sized pieces, but not too small or they’ll break apart when stirring later. I used fresh broccoli florets, but you could also use frozen broccoli with the same cook time (it will cook up softer).
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper – A must for flavoring the veggies.
- Cream Cheese – Regular or low fat works. For easier blending, let the cream cheese soften to room temperature before using, but it’s okay if you forget. You’ll need 8 ounces of cream cheese, but if you don’t have enough, you could substitute half of that with 1/2 cup of mayonnaise.
- Cheddar Cheese – Shredded sharp cheddar cheese brings out the best flavors in this dish, but you can use any melting cheese you like. Monterey jack, parmesan, or mozzarella would make delicious substitutes.
How To Make Cheesy Broccoli Casserole
This section shows how to make broccoli cheese casserole, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Saute garlic. Melt butter in a large pot or dutch oven on the stovetop, or in a pressure cooker. Add minced garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Cook broccoli. Add chicken broth and broccoli florets. Stir. Cook until the broccoli is bright green and tender. (For the stovetop, bring the broth to a boil and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally. For the pressure cooker, cook under high pressure.)
- Melt cheeses. Stir in cubed cream cheese and shredded cheese. Mix until smooth.
- Bake. Transfer the broccoli cheese mixture to a baking dish (this one is the perfect size). Sprinkle more shredded cheese on top. Bake cheesy broccoli casserole in a preheated oven until melted.
This easy broccoli casserole recipe with cheddar cheese stands on its own as a hearty side dish (or even a main dish!), but you can always change up the flavors with these additions:
- Add Rice – Add 4 cups of cooked rice (or cauliflower rice) to the pot at the same time as cream cheese. You’ll want to double the amount of cream cheese and cheddar, and use a bigger casserole dish.
- Add Other Veggies – Change up this recipe for broccoli cheese casserole by adding cauliflower florets, asparagus, bell peppers, mushrooms, or green beans. Just replace some of the 8 cups of broccoli (as much as you want) with one of these other veggies. Or, try my broccoli cauliflower casserole instead.
- Add Protein – Diced ham, shredded chicken, or ground beef or sausage can transform cheesy broccoli casserole into a hearty main dish. Cook raw meats in the pot before adding garlic in the first step. You can also try my chicken broccoli casserole, chicken divan, or chicken bacon ranch casserole, which have similar flavors.
- Toppings – Besides extra cheddar, this dish would taste great with crumbled bacon (I use any leftover bacon in the oven for this!), green onions, or a drizzle of ranch dressing.
- Store: Keep leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Meal prep: Make the cheesy broccoli casserole ahead and cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. When you are ready to serve it, uncover and heat in the oven.
- Reheat: Warm portions in the microwave for about 1 minute, or the entire casserole in the oven for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F. Stir if any separation occurs.
- Freeze: Let the broccoli cheese casserole cool completely, then cover with plastic flush against the top (to prevent freezer burn), followed by foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, or reheat right from frozen.
What To Serve With Cheesy Broccoli Casserole
There are so many ways to serve broccoli and cheese casserole. I like to keep it simple with an easy protein:
- Beef – Try this dish with prime rib roast for a holiday dinner, or try a simple sirloin steak or air fryer steak for everyday meals.
- Seafood – This cheesy dish tastes great with air fryer shrimp or baked salmon, or for special occasions, lobster tails or halibut.
- Chicken – Crispy roasted chicken thighs, an irresistible garlic butter chicken recipe, or baked chicken leg quarters would add more comforting flavor alongside this casserole.
- Pork – Try skillet pork chops or Crock Pot pork tenderloin, or stir pulled pork right into the broccoli cheese casserole.
- Holiday Mains – Not only is this casserole great for a weeknight dinner, but it makes a fantastic side for Thanksgiving or Christmas mains such as my roasted turkey breast recipe or a whole turkey in a bag.
More Cheesy Casserole Recipes
Cheesy casseroles can turn the veggie-afraid into veggie believers! Try these other favorites:
Cheesy Broccoli Casserole (15 Minutes!)
This easy, cheesy broccoli casserole recipe takes just 15 minutes! Make it with 6 simple ingredients like broccoli, garlic, broth and cheddar.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).
Add the chicken broth right away once the garlic is done, to prevent burning it. Then, add the broccoli florets. Stir.
For the stovetop method: Increase heat to bring the broth to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 4-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the broccoli is bright green and tender.
For the Instant Pot method: Cover the Instant Pot with the lid and turn the dial to the Sealing position. Press the Steam button and select 1 minute. Press Start. The pressure cooker will come up to pressure (about 5 minutes) and then cook for 1 minute. Use the Quick Release right away to stop cooking. Let all the steam escape, then open the lid when no more steam is coming out. (The lid should twist open and release easily.) Broccoli will be bright green and tender.
Turn off heat. Gently stir in the cubed cream cheese and 2 cups (256 grams) shredded cheese, until smooth.
Transfer the broccoli mixture to a casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup (64 grams) shredded cheese on top.
Bake broccoli cheese casserole in the oven for about 5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
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Serving size: 1 cup
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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