This healthy broccoli casserole is about to be your favorite way to eat your veggies. You won’t find any canned soup here – we’ll use easy swaps for a healthy broccoli casserole your whole family will love!
I’m pretty sure that if you love cheese, you especially love it on top of veggies. Any reluctant broccoli eater will go wild for this broccoli and cheese casserole. There’s something about perfectly roasted broccoli covered in cheese, and topped with crispy breadcrumbs that makes everyone smile. It’s one of my favorite broccoli recipes!
Many casseroles use cream soup, or they add milk which I think waters things down. We’re using a combo of mayonnaise and Greek yogurt to give this healthy vegetarian casserole a subtle tang plus a little hit of protein and fat to make sure it still feels decadent. Freshly shredded cheddar melts to perfection and the panko gets even better with butter added. Let’s cook!
Ingredients for Healthy Broccoli Casserole
Grab a few pantry staples and stir them together! You probably have everything on hand already and just need to add broccoli to your weekly shopping list.
- Broccoli: Broccoli is a veggie that most people like (sort of? right?), so it’s the perfect base for a delectable veggie side dish. And as everyone knows, broccoli is nutritious too, making it a great addition to dinner.
- Cheddar Cheese: We’ll mix shredded cheddar into the casserole to add major savory flavor and gooeyness.
- Mayo: This adds a quick tang and the fat necessary to soften up the broccoli.
- Greek Yogurt: Yogurt helps us add a touch of protein as well as letting the mayo go further.
- Dijon Mustard: This is a really fun flavor here that helps to make the casserole feel less heavy with a little zing! It might not seem like a teaspoon is enough to matter, but trust me on this one.
- Spices: To compliment the broccoli, throw in garlic powder, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and paprika.
- Panko Bread Crumbs: The perfect ending! Combined with butter and sprinkled on top, it creates a crispy crust.
Panko breadcrumbs are larger than regular old breadcrumbs. This added surface area soaks up the butter and crisps up so nicely in the oven. If you can’t find it then feel free to use any breadcrumbs you have, but it’s worth the search to get that added texture.
How to make Broccoli Casserole
Nothing too crazy here – just a few simple measurements and you’ll be on your way! With the long baking time, it’s perfect for getting in in the oven while you focus on the other elements of your meal.
Step 1: Prep
I like to steam the broccoli in the microwave first. This allows some of the crunch to cook off without it being overdone in the oven and risking the topping burning. Just a sprinkle of water and cover in a bowl with plastic wrap and you’re all set.
Step 2: Stir
Drain any excess water from steaming, then add the remaining ingredients in to the bowl. Make sure and use a large enough bowl so everything gets combined really well.
Then, spread into a greased casserole dish. I like to use a fairly shallow dish so it cooks through.
Step 3: Topping
You can melt butter in either the microwave or a small saucepan on the stove. Either way, simply stir in panko until it’s all coated in butter. Then spread evenly over the top of your prepared casserole.
Step 4: Bake
Bake until golden and bubbly! Isn’t everyone’s favorite part the crispy bits around the edges??
Cheesy Goodness: I recommend shredding your own cheese. Just one cup is needed, only 4 ounces, so it’s quick work on a box grater. Nothing beats the meltiness of freshly shredded cheese.
Steamy: Don’t skip steaming the broccoli! This step ensures it is cooked all the way through when your casserole is done.
Tomorrow’s Lunch: Leftovers are great! You can even enjoy it straight from the fridge. If reheating, the breadcrumbs might lose their crunch but not their flavor. (But for crispy leftovers, pop them in your air fryer).
Comforting Casserole Combos
This hearty side dish will stand up to some pretty strong flavors and textures.
- Seitan Steak is the perfect meaty main dish to stand up to the creamy, cheesy broccoli.
- Tofu Nuggets are a kid favorite that will tempt them to eat their greens, too. Why not take a bite of both dishes at once to help it go down?
- Potato Leek Soup is a great option because it doesn’t use the oven. I like to use various appliances simultaneously to make dinnertime a breeze.
- 1 lb broccoli florets cut into bite sizes, 453 g
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 114 g
- ¼ cup mayonnaise 60 g
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt 60 g
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp each salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs 60 g
- 2 Tbsp butter melted, 28 g
- Prep: Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). Set broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl and drizzle in a few tablespoons of water. Tightly cover with plastic wrap, then microwave for 3 minutes.
- Stir: Drain excess moisture from broccoli, then stir in cheese, mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, and spices. Transfer to a lightly greased casserole dish (medium size, about 7 x 10 inches).
- Topping: Stir together panko and melted butter. Sprinkle loosely on top.
- Bake: Bake until top is golden brown and casserole is bubbling, about 50 to 60 minutes.