Broccoli and Cheese Casserole

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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.

Broccoli Casserole with a spoon inside

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!

Ingredients

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.

HAM It’s easy to add some flavor (and protein!) with chunks of ham. If you don’t have ham, use rotisserie chicken, or even Italian sausage.

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.

ingredients to make Broccoli Casserole

How to Make Broccoli Casserole

  1. Cook pasta until al dente, adding broccoli to the pasta water during the last 4 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Soften the onion in butter. Add broth, cream, cornstarch, & seasonings (per the recipe below) and cook until thickened.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in cheeses until creamy.
  4. Combine pasta/broccoli, ham, and sauce in a 9×13 casserole dish.
  5. Top with cheese and bake until bubbly.

process of adding ingredients to dish

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.

close up of Broccoli Casserole in a decorative casserole dish

Leftovers

  • Keep leftover broccoli casserole covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat individual servings in the microwave & refresh with salt & pepper.

Got Broccoli?!

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! 

close up of Broccoli Casserole in a decorative casserole dish
4.8 from 10 votes
Review Recipe

Broccoli and Cheese Casserole

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Creamy, cheesy, & loaded with broccoli & ham, this casserole is sure to be a hit at the dinner table!

Ingredients

  • 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

Follow Spend with Pennies on Pinterest

Instructions

  • 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.

Recipe Notes

Optional Topping
Combine 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese. Sprinkle over casserole before baking.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1.5cups, Calories: 442, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 26g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 95mg, Sodium: 1022mg, Potassium: 553mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 1487IU, Vitamin C: 113mg, Calcium: 406mg, Iron: 2mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword best Broccoli Casserole, Broccoli Casserole, Broccoli Casserole recipe, Broccoli Cheese casserole
Course Casserole, Dinner, Ham, Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine American
close up of Broccoli Casserole with writing
Broccoli Casserole cooked in a dish with writing
close up of Broccoli Casserole with a title
Broccoli Casserole in the dish and after cooking with a title
About the author

Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. This was easy to make, and looked like it would serve more than the listed 6 servings. I think the sauce would provide a nice base to work with for other recipes. This particular combination was a bit bland and neither of my kids liked it.3 stars

    1. Glad you enjoyed the sauce, Ami. You can definitely increase the spices to suit your preference.

  2. Wow, this was delicious with ham and we didn’t need to add ANY salt or pepper. Look forward to making again with the optional breadcrumb topping.5 stars