Broccoli Cheese Casserole

updated Sep 8, 2023
Broccoli Cheese Casserole Recipe

This classic broccoli casserole, made with canned cream of mushroom soup and Ritz crackers, is bound to be a family favorite.

Serves6

Prep20 minutes

Cook35 minutes to 45 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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Close up view of broccoli and cheese casserole in a white square casserole dish with a spoon resting in the bottom right corner.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe ; Food Stylist: Ben Weiner

Some recipes stand the test of time, and a lot of those just happen to be ones that have been passed down from generation to generation. Broccoli casserole is a great example. It isn’t a TikTok sensation or a new trendy cooking technique, it’s just good old-fashioned food that you want to eat time and again.

My mom has, not one, but three different broccoli casserole recipes. Her favorite recipe is similar to this one, the cream of mushroom soup-based version we all know and love. (As for the other two, one includes a jar of Cheez Whiz while the other uses Bisquick). No matter which broccoli casserole she made, each and every one paired down-home comfort food with easy prep. Plus, they got me and my sister to enjoy eating broccoli. 

You can make broccoli casserole for any meal. While it’s always a fantastic side dish alongside dinner, it’s also sure to be popular at a potluck, and is a dish that dresses up just fine for a holiday meal.

Key Ingredients in Broccoli Cheese Casserole 

  • Broccoli: I call for fresh broccoli, but you can use frozen broccoli instead. To do this, fully defrost the broccoli and drain any excess liquid. I recommend using two 10-ounce boxes of frozen broccoli.
  • Cream of mushroom soup: I grew up in the Midwest and if there is one thing Midwesterners know, it’s that a casserole isn’t a casserole without a can of Campbell’s soup. So, while broccoli might be the “main ingredient,” creamy soup is the key.
  • Ritz crackers: Adds flavor, body, and texture to the broccoli casserole.
  • Unsalted butter: Tossing the crunchy Ritz crackers with melted butter makes them extra buttery and golden-brown. 

Tips for Making the Best Broccoli Cheese Casserole

  • Steam your broccoli. I call for steaming fresh broccoli rather than boiling it, so the broccoli doesn’t water down the casserole. 
  • Cook the broccoli just until it is bright green and crisp tender. The tip of a sharp paring knife should just go through the stem of the cooked floret with ease. The broccoli will continue to cook in the oven, so don’t overdo it here.  

How to Make Broccoli Cheese Casserole Ahead of Time

Steam the broccoli up to a few days in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Then assemble the dish when you’re ready. Or, you can blanch the broccoli and mix it together with the rest of the ingredients for the casserole, cover the dish, and refrigerate it overnight. Wait to put the buttery cracker topping on until you’re ready to bake it so that it doesn’t get soggy.

Broccoli Cheese Casserole Recipe

This classic broccoli casserole, made with canned cream of mushroom soup and Ritz crackers, is bound to be a family favorite.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes to 45 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray

  • 1 1/2 pounds

    broccoli crowns (2 medium)

  • 8 ounces

    sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1/2

    small yellow onion

  • 1

    (10-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, preferably Campbell’s

  • 3/4 cup

    mayonnaise

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 38

    Ritz crackers (4 ounces)

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a 2-quart baking dish (such as an 8 or 9-inch square that’s at least 2 inches high) with cooking spray.

  2. Fill a large pot with about 1 inch water and fit with a steamer basket. (The water level should be below the bottom of the steamer basket.) Cover and bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, trim the cut end from 1 1/2 pounds broccoli crowns. Cut the broccoli into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 8 cups).

  3. Arrange the florets in an even layer in the steamer basket. Cover and steam until crisp-tender and bright green, 4 to 6 minutes.

  4. Remove the steamer basket from the pot and place in the sink or over a large bowl. Let drain and cool slightly, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, grate 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese on the large holes of a box grater (about 2 cups). Grate 1/2 small yellow onion on the large holes of a box grater into a large bowl (about 1/2 cup). Add 1 (10-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup, 3/4 cup mayonnaise, and 2 large eggs, and whisk until combined.

  5. Transfer the broccoli to a cutting board and coarsely chop into bite-sized pieces. Add the broccoli and half of the cheese to the soup mixture and stir until combined.

  6. Transfer the broccoli mixture into the baking dish and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

  7. Place 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high just until melted, about 30 seconds. Crumble 38 Ritz crackers (4 ounces) with your hands into bite-sized pieces into the bowl and toss to coat in the butter. Sprinkle evenly over the casserole.

  8. Bake until the top is golden brown and the casserole is slightly firm but still creamy in the center, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Substitutions: 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen and thawed broccoli can be used instead of fresh broccoli. Make sure broccoli is drained of any excess liquid. The final casserole will have a thinner consistency.

Make ahead: The broccoli can be steamed and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

Alternatively, make this dish up to 24 hours in advance: Prepare the broccoli filling and spread into the baking dish. Cover and refrigerate. Hold off on making the cracker topping until ready to bake. Let the casserole sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before baking. Uncover and sprinkle with the cracker topping, then bake per recipe instructions.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.