Broccoli Casserole (From Scratch!)

Broccoli Casserole (From Scratch!) on @browneyedbaker ::

When I was growing up, we had Sunday Dinner at my grandma’s every single week. It wasn’t something that was put on the schedule. It didn’t require a phone call. It just was. Every Sunday, my grandma would cook a spread of pasta, meats, potatoes, vegetables, salad, and more. Our family (both immediate and extended) would show up around lunchtime, usually moseying in after church, and sit down to eat. We wouldn’t just eat dinner (which is what Italian families call lunch), we would spend the entire day there. Sometimes we’d play cards or games, or watch football, or complain that my uncle was watching golf… and sometimes we’d just sit around the table and BS.

Every Sunday. No exceptions.

My great aunt (my grandma’s sister) lived on the other side of the duplex that my grandparents lived in, and she often made a broccoli casserole on Sundays. I never had the recipe, but I know it was made with some cream of mushroom soup, I think frozen broccoli, and a Ritz cracker topping. It definitely fell into the category of comfort food, much like the scalloped potatoes that often graced the table that my cousin and I would hoard, right on through adulthood. We always devoured the broccoli casserole, and recently I was thinking about it, and wanted to recreate it, but with homemade, from-scratch adjustments.

Broccoli Casserole (From Scratch!) on @browneyedbaker ::

I’ve long thought that this casserole would be a fabulous addition to a Thanksgiving spread, and finally sat down this year to put some thought into recreating a homemade version. This revamped version uses fresh broccoli, chopped mushrooms, an easy homemade white sauce, some cheddar cheese, and because I cannot quit Ritz crackers, I kept that same buttery cracker topping. The result was amazing, and brought back so many fun Sunday afternoon memories.

Broccoli Casserole (From Scratch!) on @browneyedbaker ::

Sunday dinner is something I really miss and totally took for granted when I was younger; making dishes like this makes me feel closer to my grandma, who I miss tremendously. I’m so thankful that she fostered an environment that enabled us to make so many wonderful memories growing up.

Broccoli Casserole (From Scratch!) on @browneyedbaker ::

Two years ago: Turkey Pot Pie

Homemade Broccoli Casserole

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

An old family favorite is re-made with fresh ingredients.


3 pound broccoli florets, cut into bite-size pieces
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
8 ounces white button mushrooms, finely chopped
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided

For the Topping
30 Ritz crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish; set aside.

2. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the broccoli and boil for 3 to 5 minutes, until still firm, but tender enough that a fork can pierce through. Drain the broccoli in a colander and rinse with cold water.

3. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter, then add the onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release liquid and it has all evaporated, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

4. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter, then add the flour and stir until the mixture is lightly browned and has a nutty aroma, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly begin to add the milk, whisking constantly until all of the milk has been added. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture begins to thicken. Add one-third of the shredded cheese and stir until completely melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the reserved onions and mushrooms, then stir in the salt and pepper.

5. Place the broccoli in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with another one-third of the shredded cheese. Pour the sauce over the broccoli, then sprinkle with the remaining third of the shredded cheese. In a small bowl, combine the Ritz cracker crumbs and melted butter until all of the crumbs are moistened. Sprinkle evenly over the top of the casserole.

6. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling, 15 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


60 Responses to “Broccoli Casserole (From Scratch!)”

  1. Olivia at ohmy Olivia on November 25, 2013 at 12:29 am

    This sounds so tasty! I love proper home cooked meals xo


  2. Ashley on November 25, 2013 at 12:58 am

    This looks delicious! I love reading stories about your grandma and her cooking. My grandma was my biggest influence when it comes to cooking and I miss mine a ton also.


  3. Katie Clark on November 25, 2013 at 1:12 am

    This looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing! My 2 year old loves broccoli but only if it’s IN something πŸ™‚


  4. Averie @ Averie Cooks on November 25, 2013 at 1:59 am

    I love it when you share stories about your family. Yesterday I was studying the recipe for those walnut filled cookies that you said were your grandmas’ recipe – was seriously contemplating making them and I loved reading the post, too. And this casserole, brought into the modern day (but there’s nothing wrong with some cream of mushroom soup – my mom and grandma used a ton of it!) and with fresh ingredients.

    And thanks for not quitting the Ritz πŸ™‚


  5. Beastie on November 25, 2013 at 3:31 am

    Hey, it’s a great idea for Advent time, as we try to keep the fringe – means no meat at that time.

    Thanks for sharing.


  6. Priya on November 25, 2013 at 4:44 am

    Hi Michelle, at what point do you add the mushrooms…. apologies if I’ve missed something!

    And, thanks for your wonderful, wonderful recipes… it’s a delight to see a new one every single day and keep adding to my repository and kitchen trials!


    • Michelle on November 25th, 2013 at 8:32 am

      Hi Priya, It’s in step #3, you add the onions and mushrooms.


      • natalie on November 28th, 2013 at 8:03 pm

        the emailed version skips when to add the mushroom mixture…:S I ended up pouring them on top of the sauce before the crackers and just mixing up a bit- still tastes delicious πŸ™‚


  7. Taylor @ FoodFaithFitness on November 25, 2013 at 6:38 am

    Oh my goodness, yes please! Broccoli…cheese…butter…ritz?! Those are the 4 words to my heart! I love how simple and tasty this dish sounds πŸ™‚


  8. Lori on November 25, 2013 at 6:45 am

    I am also making a broccoli casserole for the big day. It is my cousin’s recipe and uses the canned cream of mushroom soup. I just bought a batch of fresh mushrooms yesterday to make my homemade version. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe…I am going to follow yours instead. Looks delish as always.


  9. Joshua Hampton on November 25, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Thanks for sharing this story. It certainly made me feel nostalgic. And the broccoli casserole recipe is wonderful – I hope to create my own family memories with this dish.


  10. Melinda on November 25, 2013 at 7:39 am

    I grew up in Pittsburgh and we went to my grandparents’ house every Sunday after church just as you did. Such great memories. Broccoli casserole was a staple on our holiday tables when I was growing up too…although we put a can of crunchy onions on top instead of Ritz. Have a great first Thanksgiving in your new home hosting your family and starting traditions of your own with your CCC!


  11. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on November 25, 2013 at 8:05 am

    I’ve never had broccoli casserole! I know I’d love it though – yum!!


  12. Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron on November 25, 2013 at 8:09 am

    I have never tried a broccoli casserole-only done green beans. But I like broccoli better than green beans so I’m going to give this a try for Thanksgiving. Yum!


  13. ljchicago on November 25, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Thank you for this! My husband loves my mom’s broccoli-rice casserole but I never make it due to the nature of who-knows-what is in a cream soup.


  14. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on November 25, 2013 at 8:52 am

    Oh my gosh, does your casserole sound good!!!! This is such a great side dish and I bet the kids love it!!!


  15. Carrian on November 25, 2013 at 9:07 am

    This looks delicious! I definitely want to give this a try!


  16. annabelle on November 25, 2013 at 9:56 am

    This recipe is a must try. your story made me remember my own family sunday lunches at my grandmas, we would arrive around eat and just stay and talk, or watch tv, the cousins would all play around. I miss my grandma so much and I miss our sundayΒ΄s lunch.


  17. Tye on November 25, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I love broccoli casserole but how could I add some long grain rice to the dish?


    • Michelle on November 25th, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Hi Tye, I haven’t played around with adding rice to this; you might be able to par-boil the rice and let it finish cooking in the casserole, but you would need more liquid/sauce, since the rice would absorb some of it.


  18. Linda on November 25, 2013 at 10:27 am

    This is my first time to see a broccoli casserole. Think people in Texas tend to eat broccoli and rice. Have not made one in years. Your recipe looks great but the men in my family will not eat broccoli.


  19. Shelby on November 25, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Just what I was looking for! Thanks! Oh, Happy Thanksgiving-it’s finally here.
    Good luck with your spread- take pictures.


  20. Brenda @ SweetSimpleStuff on November 25, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Thank for sharing a “scratch” recipe for this dish. I use mushroom soup once in a while … sure is nice to have options!


  21. Kris Anne on November 25, 2013 at 11:45 am

    This is great! It reminds me of my Grandma also! We always had this at Thanksgiving, but with canned cream of mushroom soup, and frozen broccoli. Ours had rice in it also. Thanks for re-creating this as a from-scratch recipe, and thanks for keeping it topped with Ritz! I will re-post after I make it!


  22. Hari Chandana on November 25, 2013 at 11:47 am

    Sounds delicious.. thanks for sharing πŸ™‚


  23. missmlt on November 25, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Is this something that I could make ahead the day before and then just add the Ritz topping before I bake on the day of?


    • Michelle on November 25th, 2013 at 11:28 pm

      Yes, definitely!


  24. Flavia on November 25, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    I think one of the best things about food blogging is reading everyone’s memories and family stories. There are many recipes I make that remind me of members of my family and family gatherings. I’ve been looking for a homemade Broccoli Casserole for a long time and now I’ve found it! Thanks for sharing such a special family recipe with us.


  25. Mimi @ Culinary Couture on November 25, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    This looks unbelievably good. I love the addition of Ritz crackers!


  26. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent on November 25, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Thanks for sharing! What a great childhood to spend so much time with your grandmother πŸ™‚


  27. Tieghan on November 25, 2013 at 10:37 pm

    I love reading your family stories. It really make a great recipe even better when it comes with a story! This casserole looks so good and I LOVE that is is from scratch!


  28. Sarah on November 25, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Made this tonight alongside a roast….my whole family loved it! Chopped the mushrooms and onion in the Cuisanart so they would go undetected by my picky kids. It worked! Thanks for such a terrific side dish recipe…this one is definitely a keeper!


  29. Chloe on November 26, 2013 at 7:15 am

    OMG Yum!!! I am deffo going to make this, it has made me hungry just looking at it x


  30. Beth on November 26, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Looks yummy! Especially the crispy topping! I’m such a fan of anything broccoli so will definitely give this a go!


  31. Steph in Lex on November 26, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    I have the one grandmother in the world who cannot cook–seriously, almost anything she makes is bland at best and nasty at worst. But broccoli casserole, I believe with some rice thrown in there, was the one thing she could consistently make that I actually enjoyed eating! I love your recipes that to me are so classically Midwestern. πŸ™‚


  32. Kelly on November 27, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Can this be made the day ahead minus adding the Ritz before baking? Then day of just add the Ritz & bake? Thoughts?


    • Michelle on November 27th, 2013 at 11:33 pm

      Hi Kelly, Yes, I think that would be just fine. Enjoy!


  33. Phil on November 27, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I’m making this for our Thanksgiving meal get together! It just sounds right and so I’m sure it will be (as long as follow directions well, lol)! Thanks for the story about your family. What a wonderful memory you have!


  34. Traci on November 27, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    <3 your site! Also awesome that you actually write your recipe in true recipe form. I get confused when bloggers put it under the picture. Thanks for sharing.


  35. Kevin @ Closet Cooking on December 3, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    What a tasty broccoli casserole!


  36. victoria on December 11, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    hi there – I make a similar broccoli casserole but wanted to know if you could freeze it? I need to make it a week in advance.


    • Michelle on December 12th, 2013 at 10:19 am

      Hi Victoria, I’m not sure how it would freeze, with the cream in the recipe. I would probably try to make it the day before and refrigerate it.


  37. Maritza on December 12, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    We’re not big on mushrooms. Is there something you can suggest to substitute the mushrooms? Thanks. πŸ™‚


    • Michelle on December 12th, 2013 at 7:20 pm

      Hi Maritza, I used them to mimic the cream of mushroom soup my aunt used to use; you can simply omit them.


  38. Peter T in Sydney on December 20, 2013 at 3:01 am

    Thanks for this recipe . . . So many recipes from the US seem to rely on assembling collections of processed “ingredients” ; your ‘from scratch’ version is
    a great improvement! (And it allows us to make more of our own mistakes!)


  39. Deb on December 21, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Can we substitute some of the butter with olive oil?


    • Michelle on December 22nd, 2013 at 3:38 pm

      Hi Deb, Sure, I don’t see why not.


  40. Megan on December 21, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Can you substitute skim milk in this recipe? or perhaps a mix of skim and fat free half and half? this recipe looks fantastic, just needs to be “healthified” for my relatives. Thank you!


    • Michelle on December 22nd, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      Hi Megan, The sauce will not thicken up very much with skim milk. I would recommend using 2% milk if you want to do something other than whole milk and still want the sauce to come out correctly.


  41. Ryan on May 28, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    This looks delicious! I’m on a bit of a Greek yogurt kick lately, how do you think it would be if I subbed some of the milk for Greek yogurt? I’m thinking even if I add it with the mushrooms and onions, it may curdle too much in the oven… any thoughts?


    • Michelle on May 30th, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Ryan, Unfortunately, you can’t. The milk is used to make the sauce; it thickens along with the flour. Subbing yogurt here would not have the same effect.


  42. Shaylee Ann on October 24, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    So, I love this recipe! After trying it once, my husband decided that it needed to be a bit more substantial so we added rice! I posted my tweaked version on my blog, giving the original credit to you, of course! I would love for you to stop by and check it out if you get a chance. πŸ™‚

    Thank you for sharing! I look forward to trying more recipes from your site!


  43. Amanda on December 24, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Am planning to make this for Christmas dinner and am wondering if it would fit in a 2-quart baking dish versus a 9 x 13. What do you think? Thanks!


    • Michelle on December 24th, 2014 at 4:26 pm

      Hi Amanda, There is too much filling to fit into a 2-quart casserole dish.


      • Amanda on December 26th, 2014 at 9:27 am

        Made it in a 9×13, and it was a huge hit! Definite family favorite and will be making again. Thanks so much!


  44. mary on April 7, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Hi I’m wondering I you could add in some cooked chicken and rice?. Or do you think it would throw the flavors off?


    • Michelle on April 8th, 2015 at 10:37 am

      Hi Mary, I think it would be okay, just be aware that the rice may absorb some of the sauce.


  45. Diane W. on July 15, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    I made this last night and was disappointed. My cheese sauce didn’t seep into the broccoli layer below and just kind of sat, layered, on top. Then a layer of water was underneath the broccoli (even though it was par-cooked per the recipe). Next time I try this, I will mix the cooked broccoli with the cheese sauce before putting into the pan. Hopefully that will eliminate the separated layers.


    • Alicia on October 30th, 2015 at 2:04 pm

      I’m curious if you used pre-shredded cheese or did you grate it yourself? Pre-shredded cheese has an anti-caking agent that can inhibit melting.


  46. Patty on December 28, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Massive fail. Taste was just OK but the sauce really thinned out and wasn’t attractive. I’m a pretty good cook so wasn’t expecting this. I wouldn’t make it again.


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