This Broccoli Cheese Casserole is a cheesy, delicious side dish! Made from scratch with a decadent creamy sauce and buttery crunchy top, this fresh, family favorite recipe is the BEST! Perfect for holidays and family suppers!

Broccoli Cheese Casserole with cheesy, buttery and crunchy topping in a white casserole dish -

So simple to prepare, my Broccoli Cheese Casserole is made from scratch and is an updated version of that old favorite from my childhood that included cans of cream soup. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, I wanted to remake the recipe to make it fresher and even more delicious! I made my own creamy, cheesy sauce for my Broccoli Cheese Casserole and have never looked back. The result is a fresh, creamy, cheesy and decadent side dish with a buttery, crunchy topping that is the BEST Broccoli Cheese Casserole I’ve ever tasted!

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Large casserole dish of Broccoli Cheese Casserole from

I think once you try this made from scratch recipe for this iconic casserole, it will become your favorite version too.

This Broccoli Cheese Casserole works well as a side dish for so many delicious menus. From Thanksgiving, Christmas, family reunions, to Sunday suppers, this casserole is one of those comforting dishes everyone loves.

Make for a Crowd or Small Family

And while this makes a large dish with enough for 12 servings, you can easily divide some of the uncooked dish and freeze some of it for later.

For example, it’s perfect to make for Thanksgiving if cooking for a smaller group and save some of the dish to cook for Christmas.

Or if you want to make for a family supper for a small family, you can divide it up and freeze some for later.

I’ve included those instructions and tips to follow.

Broccoli Cheese Casserole in white dish with handles -

How to Make Broccoli Cheese Casserole

To make this casserole, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Heads of Broccoli
  • Butter
  • All-purpose Flour
  • Whole Milk or Heavy Cream
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper or White Pepper
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Buttery Crackers

First, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9  inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Add the fresh broccoli florets to a large heavy-bottomed stockpot of boiling water and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the cooked broccoli from the water and set aside.

Then melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Whisk in flour until it’s well-combined. Then whisk in milk, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and 1 cup of Monterrey Jack cheese. Reduce heat to simmer and continue to whisk until the sauce simmers slightly around the edges and has thickened slightly. Then stir in the sour cream.

Arrange the broccoli in a casserole dish. Then pour the cream sauce over the broccoli. Next, top with cheddar cheese and crushed buttery crackers.

Bake uncovered until bubbling for 35 to 40 minutes. Then serve warm and enjoy!

This is great served with Turkey Breast, Roasted Turkey or Baked Chicken Breasts and more!

Make Ahead Broccoli Casserole

This recipe easily fills a 13×9 casserole dish for company or a large family meal. But if you’d like to make it on a smaller scale for serving fewer people, I recommend dividing it into two smaller casserole dishes and freezing one while preparing the other. In other words, just half it so that you have one to enjoy now and one to enjoy later.

Or you can make the entire recipe ahead to save time later.

In addition to freezing the dish, you can prepare the casserole without baking up to one week in advance and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This is a great make ahead time saver I love to do for large gatherings and holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.

Either way you decide to make ahead or freeze it for later, just wait to top the dish with cheddar cheese and crushed buttery crackers. Add these two items when ready to bake. This helps to make sure that amazing cheesy and crunchy buttery topping perfect even if you made ahead.

How to Freeze

To freeze some of the casserole, I recommend dividing the uncooked casserole into freezer safe container(s), making sure it’s wrapped well or has an airtight cover. It can store for up to 3 months in the freezer. Hold the cheese and cracker topping and wait to add until just right before you plan to bake it.

To serve, thaw in refrigerator in overnight the day before you plan to serve it, add the cheese and cracker topping and bake as directed. Serve this delicious casserole warm and enjoy!

Corner of casserole dish full of Broccoli Cheese Casserole -

Other Favorite Casseroles and Side Dishes

Green Bean Casserole

Hashbrown Casserole

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Skillet Mac and Cheese

Sweet Potato Casserole

Here’s my Broccoli Cheese Casserole recipe. I think you’ll love it.

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

This Broccoli Cheese Casserole is a cheesy, delicious side dish! Fresh recipe is made from scratch with a decadent creamy sauce and buttery crunchy top! Perfect for holidays, family get togethers and Sunday suppers!
4.97 from 33 votes

Review Recipe

Print Recipe

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings: 12
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch


  • 3 heads broccoli cut into florets (about 8 cups)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk or heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black or white pepper
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup grated Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups crushed buttery crackers


  • Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray a 13 x 9 – inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Add broccoli florets to a large heavy-bottomed stockpot of boiling water. Cook for 3-5 minutes and then drain broccoli from the water. Set aside.
  • Melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Whisk in flour until well-combined, then whisk in milk, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and 1 cup of Monterrey Jack cheese. Reduce heat to simmer and continue to whisk until sauce simmers slightly around the edges and has thickened slightly. Stir in sour cream.
  • Arrange broccoli in casserole dish and then pour cream sauce over broccoli. Top with cheddar cheese and crushed crackers.
  • Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes.
  • Serve warm.
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Robyn xo

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Robyn Stone

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135 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Broccoli cheese casserole is always so good. It is one of my favorite sides and sometimes I even serve it as a main! Your looks so good! Love all the cheese and that ritz cracker topping!

  2. Yum! I bet your homemade version is so much better. I didn’t grow up eating this but have had it plenty at group gatherings. It’s such comfort food and would be great as a side dish with roast chicken or turkey!

  3. I made this for Christmas for a large crowd without doing a test run. As I was making the sauce it seemed to thicken far more than it should, making me wonder if the amount of flour called for in the recipe was a typo. It was too late to thin it so I just went with it and baked it for my company.
    To my surprise this dish came out perfect and delicious!! I have steered clear of the recipes with cream of mushroom soup (that they all seem to have) for a fresh version and this one fits the bill. I would highly recommend it !!

  4. I wish you could e-mail me this recipe. I do not belong to Facebook,Twitter and am unable to print it and I think this one is a keeper.

  5. I’ll try it for Thanksgiving but think I’ll top it with those french fried onions and cheese instead of the crackers.

    1. Yes, it works fine to do that, Kathy! Just cover it tightly and refrigerate and then bake. It may take an extra few minutes of baking time since it is starting colder in the oven.

  6. would frozen broccoli florets work in this recipe ?

    Please advise as I would like to prepare this on the weekend.

    Thanks Meryl Hogh

    1. Hi Meryl,
      Yes, they should work fine in this recipe! I would recommend thawing them and being sure to remove any excess water by draining them and patting them with paper towels. I hope you enjoy it!!!

      1. I think you are so wonderful responding to your readers questions and comments!!! keep up the good work..delicious recipes..thank you…new subscriber Jan

  7. I’d like to make this recipe, however since I am having 20-24 people over, I am looking for recipes I can freeze ahead of time. Can I make this today, and then freeze it for 3 days, and then thaw it out and cook for Thanksgiving?

  8. Robyn – so glad you took the time to replace cans of condensed soup with real ingredients! I will be making your recipe for Thanksgiving dinner this year. Keep up the good work!

  9. How much broccoli should I buy if I get the frozen kind? Also, if it’s fresh, how much should it weigh? I plan to make this for Thanksgiving and need to shop ahead. This looks so much better than the soup variety. Thanks.

  10. Since I’m asking questions about this casserole, here’s another one. Can I make it, without cooking it, leave it in the fridge for a couple of days and bake it the day I’m going to serve it? Thanks again.

  11. I want to make this for Thanksgiving dinner and would like to have the measurement in pounds or cups for the brocolli? Thanks and love your recipes. Beth Ann

  12. I’d like to add rice to this, but that will change the liquid portion somewhat, throwing off the ratios. How much rice do you think I could comfortably add without changing the liquid portion? Or how do you recommend changing the liquids to allow for about 2-3 cups of already cooked rice?

    1. Hi! If you’d like to add cooked rice to the casserole, I would recommend backing down the portion to about 1 – 1 1/2 cups and adding about half that amount of liquid as chicken or vegetable stock. You may need to adjust the baking time a bit to make sure that the casserole doesn’t overcook.

  13. Thank you so much for this recipe! My Grandmother used to make a broccoli and cheese casserole every Thanksgiving, and no matter what would NEVER give the recipe out. Only time she ever did, she omitted ingredients on purpose just so nobodies would come out as good as hers (you know how Italian grandmothers are lol) I’ve missed my spit fire grandmother and miss her traditions and this recipe was almost exact to hers. I made it for this past Thanksgiving and brought people to tears bc it just reminded all of us so much of her. I’ve been asked top make it again for Christmas and just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for posting it on here, it’s not only amazing but has kept a family tradition alive for us!

    1. Oh Kendyl,
      I’m so glad that this broccoli cheese casserole was so loved by your family! What a wonderful memory of your Grandmother! I love how foods bring back those special memories of loved ones – especially throughout the holidays! Merry Christmas!

  14. I was thinking of adding chicken to this and making a modified Chicken Divan. Would I need to change the amount of sauce if I were to add a pound of chicken?

  15. Thanks for this fabulous recipe! I’ve made it so many times. My grandmother use to make a similar one but with canned cream of mushroom soup which has Monosodium Glutamate in it. I tried to recreate her casserole by making cream of mushroom soup from scratch first. It was good, but took too long and thought that there must be an easier way. Your recipe does the trick, and it is so versatile too. Sometimes I add mushrooms, different kinds of cheeses, sometimes onion and garlic. It always turns out so well, and reminds me of Grandma at the same time. Thanks so much!

    1. I’m so glad you are enjoying it, Debbie! I love those heirloom recipes that remind me of my family and all those warm, comforting meals, but I certainly love giving them a little update, too! 🙂

  16. Like I do with my tuna noodle casserole, if you don’t have buttery crackers, just melt some butter in a pan and add crushed saltines. I like the richer flavor, they brown up nice, and add something extra.

    1. Hi Betty,
      I use either milk or heavy cream in this recipe depending on what I have on hand. The heavy cream definitely makes it much richer and creamy and the milk makes it a bit more loose than the heavy cream.

  17. Made this with pepper jack cheese, cheddar and a pinch of cardamon – came out great, everyone raved about it. Also French fried onions on top. Spectacular!

  18. I’ve made this dish multiple times, sometimes using half cauliflower, if I don’t have enough broccoli and it’s always a BIG hit. The man, makes a personal request for this dish, as I just looked up the recipe- at this very moment, to make it for tonight’s dinner! Thank you!

  19. I just made and baked this recipe. It literally just came out of the oven. I haven’t even taken a bite of it but I know it is going to be amazing. I tasted some of the sauce once it had been all whisked together!!! Ok, I waited a bit and then took a bite. And then another!!!! Soooo yummy!!!! I have a feeling my family is going to love it too!! Thanks!!

  20. Hallelujah! Finally a casserole with no canned stuff, no mayo, no eggs, no rice. Just cheesy goodness and broccoli. Thank you!

      1. HI Robyn,

        This recipe sounds delicious. Have you made it ahead of time (like the day before)? What adjustments would I need to make, if any?

  21. I’m signed up to make my family’s traditional version of this casserole, which uses a certain block cheese product. I’ve threatened to do my own, being a fairly accomplished cook, and met with resistance. I might just spring this on them anyway lol, its sounds so good.

  22. Just making this ahead for christmas dinner and just from tasting the sauce I know this will be great. I had to thin my sauce a little with milk because it got way too thick — maybe because I used rice flour (we have 2 people with Celiacs in the family). Anyway, thanks for the recipe. I was never crazy about using soup in recipes and searched for broccoli casserole without soup and I’m so glad I chose your recipe from the several that came up.

  23. This recipe is perfect. Thanks for the upgrade! The Monterey and Cheddar cheeses are perfect together. My family loves this instead of steamed broccoli.

      1. Absolutely! It holds well in the refrigerator and then just reheat at 350º F until it reaches 165º F internally, about 30 minutes.

  24. Help!!
    Love this recipe but need to know if it can be made Tuesday for Thanksgiving dinner. No room in the freezer!

    Thanks for the quick response

  25. This is 1 of my favs for Thanksgiving. Instead of regular bread crumbs I crush slices of leftover garlic bread and use that for the topping. Never fails to be the first empty bowl on the table,

  26. In a few days our church is feeding homeless teens and young adults. We are doing a potato bar type of thing and I thought broccoli with cheese sauce would be a good topping. Is this something that can be made a head of time and would maybe be good to scoop on top of a potato along with chili and our other choices? Or do you thing it’s too thick. I’m trying to do something where I can get it ready ahead of time and not wait have a last minute rush out the door type of thing occur.

    1. Hi Jan,
      I’ve not used this as a potato topping before so I can’t say how that tastes, but it is very delicious casserole.
      You can make it ahead of time if you want to freeze, you’ll just want to omit the cheese and cracker topping if you plan to freeze until right before you plan to bake it.
      I want to mention a couple of additional ideas that could help you with options:
      Hot Pimento Cheese Dip, Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip are both delicious hot dips.
      I hope this helps. Best of luck to your church for this dinner – what a blessing to so many! xo

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