Broccoli Cheddar Gratin – Broccoli and cheddar cheese are a classic match-up that we all seem to love, in any form. As a little girl, broccoli with a cheddar cheese sauce was the only way I would consider eating it. I soon grew to love broccoli in any form and it remains one of my favorite vegetables. I’m sure you’re familiar with the classic broccoli casserole, this recipe takes it to another level with a homemade cheese sauce and a panko breadcrumb topping.
The filling can be made in advance, then covered and chilled then add the crumb topping just before baking. I topped this with panko breadcrumbs which are a favorite of mine. If you prefer, you can use crushed cheddar crackers, Ritz crackers, fresh breadcrumbs or even crushed french fried onions. I’ve made this so often, I’ve used each of those at one time or another. Cooking is often about improvising with the ingredients you have on hand, right?
One tip I’d like to give to you is you’ll get the best results if you use fresh broccoli florets and slightly under-cook them. They will finish cooking in the oven and maintain a more pleasing texture. If the broccoli cheddar combination is a favorite of yours too, you may also like my Broccoli Cheese Cornbread, Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole or Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup.
- 8 cups steamed broccoli florets [ Around 2 lb]
- 8 Tbsp butter, divided
- 1 small sweet onion, diced
- ⅓ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- black pepper to taste
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- ⅔ cup panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ tsp garlic salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 7 x 11 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Steam the broccoli, slightly under cooking. Cool.
- To prepare the sauce, In a medium saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Saute the minced onion in the butter for 2 minutes just until translucent.
- Sprinkle the flour over the butter. Add the dry mustard , garlic salt and black pepper. Stir until it the flour is absorbed by the butter. Cook stirring constantly for 1 minute.
- Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly over medium-high heat. When the sauce begins to boil, lower the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add 2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, reserving 1 cup for the top. Stir until the cheese has blended with the sauce.
- Add the steamed broccoli and using a large spatula, gently mix until combined. Pour into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese on top.
- Melt the remaining 2 Tbsp melted butter and mix with ⅔ panko breadcrumbs, ¼ grated Parmesan cheese and ¼ tsp garlic salt. Sprinkle on top.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and bubbly. Serve immediately.