Broccoli cheese casserole is an easy cheesy side dish for Sunday supper or the holidays! Topped with buttery Ritz crackers and the best cheese sauce.
Cheesy side dishes, like this broccoli cheese casserole, make me really look forward to holiday dinners! We especially love it with our Easter meal right next to our spiral baked ham. If you love this dish, you will also love my cheesy mashed cauliflower, scalloped potatoes and creamy mac and cheese!
Why We Love This Recipe
Every main dish needs a good side dish recipe. For the holidays, many will go for a classic green bean casserole. I, however, prefer this broccoli cheese casserole. It is not only good for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but is one of my favorite Easter side dish recipes, too.
It doesn't need to be a holiday to serve this cheesy broccoli. We all need an easy side dish for any weeknight and this fits the bill!
Ingredients for this Broccoli Cheese Casserole Recipe
I like to focus on recipes with easy and accessible ingredients right from the grocery store or already in your pantry. Below is a list of what you need to make this broccoli cheese casserole recipe.
Here's what you need:
- Fresh broccoli (2 bunches) - You can choose to use frozen broccoli. If you do, grab a 32 oz. bag and partially steam first.
- Cream of chicken (1 can)
- Egg (1 large)
- Sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz. block)
- Mayonnaise (1/2 cup)
- Sour cream (1/2 cup)
- Ritz crackers (1 sleeve)
This recipe calls for salt and onion, but if you love garlic like I do, go ahead and stir in a half teaspoon of garlic powder. Or, add a half teaspoon of ground mustard for another flavor profile.
Click here for full recipe ingredients, instructions and a step-by-step video.
How to Make Broccoli Cheese Casserole
This side dish recipe is super easy! Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the step-by-step recipe and video on how to make broccoli cheese casserole. The general steps are as follows:
- Wash and cut broccoli florets. Cut the broccoli into florets and partially cook in the microwave.
- Mix ingredients. Combine all ingredients except crackers in a large bowl.
- Bake at 350°F. Spread in a baking dish and bake!
- Prepare the topping. Crush Ritz crackers, mix with butter and sprinkle over top of casserole.
- Bake again. Return to oven and bake an additional 10 minutes.
If you use frozen broccoli, it's even easier because you don't have to chop the florets. But, it's so simple to chop broccoli that I typically choose fresh broccoli.
- If you prepare the broccoli casserole in advance, wait to add the Ritz cracker topping. This is true for making the casserole the same day -- you wait to add the Ritz crackers until the last 10 minutes of baking. This will avoid over-browning.
- This broccoli cheese recipe calls for cream of chicken soup, but you can also use cream of mushroom if you prefer. I think the cream of chicken gives more flavor.
Broccoli Cheese Casserole Leftovers
Broccoli and cheese go well with mashed potatoes so you'll often find me mixing the two for leftovers! You can also plan another meal with the broccoli cheese leftovers by placing reheated cheesy broccoli over baked potatoes.
Your Questions Answered
Can I substitute frozen broccoli for fresh in a casserole?
You can use fresh or frozen broccoli in this broccoli cheese casserole recipe.
Do you cook frozen broccoli before putting in a casserole?
If using frozen broccoli, partially cook in the microwave for half the time given on the package instructions. (This is assuming you are using the steamable bags.) If you are using fresh broccoli, wash it and cut into florets (the "trees") and then steam in the microwave for 5 minutes before adding to the rest of the ingredients.
Can I make this ahead of time?
You can assemble the broccoli cheese casserole ahead of time and keep it in the fridge to bake the next day. I would encourage this so you can focus on other meal prep the day of your feast! Take it out of the fridge while oven preheats. You may need an extra 5 to 10 minutes to the baking time.
Storage and Make-ahead
Store: Store leftovers in a covered dish in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Reheat: Reheat portions in the microwave.
Make-ahead: You can assemble broccoli cheese casserole the day before serving. Place the ingredients in the pan, minus the cracker topping, cover and store in the fridge overnight. The next day, place in the oven while it's preheating and bake an additional 5 minutes before adding the cracker topping.
Freeze: You can freeze the broccoli and cheese casserole in a foil container tightly covered with plastic wrap. Allow to thaw overnight in the fridge before baking. Again, remove from fridge as oven preheats and allow an extra 5 to 10 minutes of baking time.
More Side Dish Recipes
Not quite in the cheesy broccoli mood? Try any of these other favorite side dish recipes!
- Classic Deviled Eggs
- Sweet Potato Casserole
- Easy Corn Casserole
- Crockpot Mac 'n Cheese
- Cornbread Dressing
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes
The recipe was originally published November 2019 and updated November 2021 with additional recipe tips.
Broccoli Cheese Casserole
- 2 bunches fresh broccoli (or 32 oz. frozen broccoli)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 large egg , lightly beaten
- 10.5 oz. cream of chicken soup
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese , shredded
- 1/2 small onion , chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
For Ritz cracker topping:
- 1 sleeve Ritz crackers , crushed
- 2 tablespoons butter , melted
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 9x13 casserole dish with nonstick spray.
- Wash and dry the fresh broccoli, cut into florets. Place into large microwavable bowl with water and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 5 minutes, let stand 2 minutes and drain. (If using frozen broccoli, steam for half the time given on the package directions, then drain.)
- In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients except the crackers and butter. Add the broccoli to the bowl and mix to coat. Transfer to prepared baking dish.
- Bake 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine Ritz crackers and melted butter in small bowl. Remove casserole from oven and sprinkle Ritz topping evenly over top. Return to oven for an additional 10 minutes.
- Store: Store leftovers in a covered dish in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Reheat: Reheat portions in the microwave.
- Make-ahead: You can assemble broccoli cheese casserole the day before serving. Place the ingredients in the pan, minus the cracker topping, cover and store in the fridge overnight. The next day, place in the oven while it's preheating and bake an additional 5 minutes before adding the cracker topping.
- Freeze: You can freeze the prepared broccoli casserole in a foil container tightly covered with plastic wrap. Allow to thaw overnight in the fridge before baking. Again, remove from fridge as oven preheats and allow an extra 5 to 10 minutes of baking time.
- Nutrition information is an estimate only.