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Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanksgiving Prep: Broccoli Casserole

My mom always makes broccoli casserole for Thanksgiving. This recipe definitely reminds me of her, so I end up making it myself almost every year. When I take a bite, I go back in time, back to a time when I didn’t do much on Thanksgiving morning except watch TV. Those were the days, eh?

I must warn you…not everyone loves this broccoli casserole. Kids especially. I remember not loving it all that much myself when I was younger, but it grew on me. I think the reason is that there is blue cheese in the sauce and, well, blue cheese isn’t always a universally loved flavor. In fact, I pretty much detest blue cheese in most things. I can’t help it.  But I do really like this casserole. I like the strong savory flavor of this dish in contrast with the more mellow, often sweet flavors on the Thanksgiving plate.

Thanksgiving Prep: Broccoli Casserole
From my mom Phyllis Wallin (don’t know where she got the recipe from!)
Recipe type: Side Dish, Vegetable
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 6 oz cream cheese
  • ¼-1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese (I do ¼ cup)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 14 ounce pkgs frozen broccoli – thawed and drained
  • ~15 Ritz crackers (half a sleeve or so), crushed
  1. In saucepan melt butter; blend in flour and cheeses (this part doesn’t always go that smoothly for me, but once I get the milk in there things melt and blend better). Add milk; cook and stir until mixture boils. Remove from heat and stir in broccoli.
  2. Place in casserole dish; top with cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 for 30 mins.


As you can see, I’m freezing the casserole for next week, so I’m keeping the crackers stored separately until it’s time to bake.


  1. I think this sounds so good! Quick question: Would using fresh broccoli change things much? Maybe just steam the broccoli before I mix it into the cheese sauce?

    • Jane Maynard

      yeah, I think that would probably be fine! in fact, you probably don’t even need to steam it first…frozen veggies aren’t cooked at all, right? or are they? I’ve never thought about that before! but considering the casserole cooks for 30 minutes, I think that’s long enough to cook fresh, raw broccoli through 🙂 if you do use fresh, let me know how it goes! I would just get around the same weight of florets as is in the frozen bags!

    • Jane Maynard

      after two great comments from others (look below), I would say you should blanch the broccoli first! 🙂

  2. To join in your discussion about fresh vs. frozen, above. I think that most frozen vegetables are blanched before freezing, so I would definitely blanch fresh broccoli florets before using them in this recipe. It’s so sad that broccoli isn’t in season here in Austin. I’ve got this bookmarked for our first cauliflower and brocolli CSA deliveries later this year!

  3. What a great way to serve broccoli, especially for those not so keen on eating it on its own.
    🙂 Mandy

  4. 4

    This recipe came from the Betty Crocker Cookbook given to me for a wedding gift (dare I say) in 1974! So whatever edition that would be. I would look but I’m not at home. I do know this page in this cookbook has lots of drips and drabs from much use over the last 36 years.

    I melt the butter and add the flour to make a roux, then add the cheeses. Maybe that will help in this first step (well if you do it my way it’s two steps.) One other secret – I usually make 1.5 times the sauce and even add a little extra cream cheese on top of that – I love that sauce!

    I would also at least blanch the fresh broccoli – I have a vague memory of using fresh broccoli many years ago. Be sure you cut it into ‘chopped’ size for easy bite size bites…

    • Jane Maynard

      yea! so glad you added all this good insight mom…thanks!! 🙂

    • Mawa

      I used my cookbook yesterday for broccoli casserole. The title really is, The Better Homes and Garden NEW Cook Book, sixth printing 1973, page 314. I also realized that page 42, where ‘my’ famous ‘butterhorns’ crescent roll recipe is found, has even more evidence of ingredients dripped on it over these many years. This cook book helped me through many meals over the years.

      When I was a little girl I used to look at my mom’s cookbooks and think ‘why are these cook books such a mess?’ It’s weird to look at mine now and see the same evidence of age and use. Not sure if the virtual cook books will ever ‘wear’ such evidence 🙂

    • Regina

      Yes, you are correct. This recipe is from the 1971 or 72 edition oh the BH&G Cook Book, which I received as a wedding gift. My daughter married in 2003 and asked for my copy, as the newer versions weren’t as good.

  5. I love that your mom comments on your blog! 🙂 Mine isn’t that brave yet, but maybe someday…

  6. I love the idea of combining broccoli with bleu cheese – what a delightful flavor pairing. Thanks for the idea.

    My family really loves broccolini – do you think that would work in this dish in place of the broccoli?

    Thanks so much!!

    • Jane Maynard

      I think that would probably work fine – based on the comments above, I would blanch it first, and I also would cut them up into bite-sized pieces. hope that’s helpful! 🙂

  7. 7

    “Broccoli casserole enriched with cheese, butter, and milk – delicious and EASY to make! “

  8. This is what I do with brussel sprouts and everybody eats them! I add crumbled feta in there, too…it’s really good.

    Mawa, thank you for the tips!

  9. 9

    Great, idea. I will make this for my vegetable this year. Had B. S. last year, Thanks.

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