Broccoli and Cheese Casserole is a family favorite meal filled with pasta, ham (or chicken), and of course broccoli in a rich cheesy sauce!
The sauce is extra easy to make from scratch (no roux required) and full of flavor for a quick weeknight meal.
The Best Broccoli Casserole
My family absolutely LOVES broccoli rice casserole but I have to say we love this pasta version just as much! It’s filled with all of the things we love best, but it’s versatile enough for mix-ins and substitutions!
BROCCOLI This recipe is full of fresh crisp broccoli of course! Frozen broccoli florets will work too. Add in some asparagus if you’d like.
PASTA We used penne in this casserole because we love how it holds the cheesy sauce but any medium-sized pasta can be used.
SAUCE This is an extra easy sauce made with broth and light cream. Sharp cheddar and Parmesan make this casserole so cheesy. Sub in your favorite cheeses but make sure at least one of them has a big bold flavor.
How to Make Broccoli Casserole
- Cook pasta until al dente, adding broccoli to the pasta water during the last 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Soften the onion in butter. Add broth, cream, cornstarch, & seasonings (per the recipe below) and cook until thickened.
- Remove from heat and stir in cheeses until creamy.
- Combine pasta/broccoli, ham, and sauce in a 9×13 casserole dish.
- Top with cheese and bake until bubbly.
To Make Ahead
Broccoli casserole can be assembled ahead, covered, and kept in the refrigerator up to 24 hours before baking. Add about 10 minutes to the cook time because the casserole will be cold.
How To Freeze Broccoli Casserole
Broccoli casserole can be frozen before or after baking with these simple tips!
- Before assembling the casserole, cover the bottom of the casserole dish with aluminum foil that overlaps by 6” on both sides.
- Prepare the casserole raw or bake it. Cool completely and fold the aluminum foil over the casserole.
- Once frozen, lift the casserole out and wrap in plastic wrap with the date labeled on the outside. This allows you to use the casserole dish for other purposes.
- Whether baked or unbaked, broccoli casserole will stay good for about 3 months.
- Keep leftover broccoli casserole covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Reheat individual servings in the microwave & refresh with salt & pepper.
- Quick Broccoli Pasta
- Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry
- Potato Broccoli Soup
- Chicken Broccoli Casserole
- Beef and Broccoli
- 20 Minute Broccoli Cheese Soup
Did you try this Broccoli & Cheese Casserole? Be sure to let us know how you liked it by leaving a rating and a comment below!
Broccoli and Cheese Casserole
- 2 cups medium pasta uncooked
- 8 cups broccoli chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup light cream
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- 2 cups diced ham or cooked chicken, optional
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded, divided
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese shredded
- salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta. Cook until al dente adding broccoli for the last 4 minutes of cook time. Drain very well and set aside.
- While pasta is boiling, cook onion and garlic in butter over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Combine broth, cream, cornstarch, and basil. Add to the onions in the saucepan and mix well. Bring to a simmer over medium heat while whisking until it comes to a boil and thickens.
- Once thickened, remove from the heat and stir in ham, 1 ½ cups of cheddar cheese, and parmesan cheese until melted. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
- Combine the pasta, broccoli, and ham and spread into the prepared casserole dish. Top with remaining ½ cup cheddar cheese and bake 20 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)