Monday, November 9, 2009

Broccoli and Cheese Casserole

A classic holiday casserole made with broccoli and cheese, and a few bonus veggies, topped with buttery crackers.
A classic holiday casserole made with broccoli and cheese, and a few bonus veggies, topped with buttery crackers.

Broccoli and Cheese Casserole

Ahhhh.... broccoli and cheese casserole! Another one of those dishes that for us lovers of broccoli, is expected to grace the tables of several major holidays and usually does.

Lots of ways to make this - one of the most classic and well known versions back in the day, involved a little roll of garlic cheese. And then suddenly, without any warning whatsoever, Kraft just discontinued the garlic cheese roll, without even giving an acceptable substitute! I really don't understand why they don't bring it back. Folks would be thrilled!

If you are one of the cooks that misses using the old garlic cheese roll in your holiday dishes like this one, then be sure to check out this post about a substitute. I've never used the rolls myself, but I understand your frustration. How dare they just discontinue a product so central to so many holiday meals, with no warning or substitute, just like that!

That aside, we've all made our own adaptations.

As always, full recipe text with measurements and instructions, as well as a printable document, are a little bit further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past the step-by-step pictures below.

Let's start off with a little bacon for flavoring, because yes, it makes everything better if you ask me. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 9 inch or 2-quart baking dish. You can certainly double this dish for a 9 x 13 inch casserole as well.

Cook broccoli and California mix according to half the time of package directions, drain and set aside. Get your other veggies chopped up and ready.

Add butter to the bacon and drippings and sauté the onion and celery until tender, about 5-6 minutes. 

Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

My broccoli cheese casserole is a bit different (imagine that!). Oh it certainly uses the quintessential gooey, creamy southern béchamel (that's Campbell's Condensed Cream of Mushroom soup for those of y'all with a more sophisticated palate) that most recipes use now, but typically mayonnaise is the other major sauce ingredient, and sometimes a mix of mayo with sour cream.

I decided to pair up that southern béchamel with our southern mornay sauce (also known as Campbell's Condensed Cheddar Cheese soup) instead. What can I say? I may be bit of a rebel.

Add the Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and egg.

Stir until well combined.

Add the vegetables.

Gently toss.

Add the cheese. I'm using this Colby Jack blend today, but cheddar is fine, or use whatever you have.

Gently toss.

Smash up 12 Ritz crackers, about 1/2 a pack.

Traditionally this casserole is topped with a buttery Ritz cracker crumb mixture, but there are a multitude of other great toppings - panko, bread crumbs, French fried onions and even stuffing mix. Use what you like! Mix the cracker crumbs with melted butter. 

Sprinkle evenly all over the top.

Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes (remember all ovens vary) or until casserole is bubbly, heated through and the topping is lightly browned.

A classic holiday casserole made with broccoli and cheese, and a few bonus veggies, topped with buttery crackers.
Dig in!

Looking for Broccoli and Rice Casserole with Cheese instead? Yep, got one of those too y'all!

Unable to view the printable above on your device? Tap/click here.
Posted by on November 9, 2009

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