Versatile Broccoli Casserole

One of my family’s favorite comfort foods is a steamy plate of cheesy, broccoli casserole. Of course, the version I grew up eating was made with Cheese Whiz (seriously). As an adult, I adapted it into a main course by adding cut up chunks of sausage. Then, as a Real Foodie, I adapted it further by creating my own easy cheese sauce. Lately, as a low-carber, I’ve been adapting it even further by cutting out the rice and using grated cauliflower.

I’m going to let you guys in on how to make it — with any meat or no meat, rice or cauliflower. After all, it’s the cheesy broccoli part that truly makes the dish. AND, I’m going to let you in on how to make it in a single skillet, no hot oven necessary.

Versatile Broccoli Casserole

The Players

The How-To

1. In a large (12-in), deep skillet, melt 2 tbsp. of butter and add the broccoli, onions, and optional cauliflower (if not using rice). Cook over medium heat, occasionally stirring, until veggies are tender. Add cooked meat (if using meat) and cooked rice (if using rice).

2. Scoot the cooked vegetable medley off to the edges of the skillet, creating a well in the middle, just over the burner. Reduce heat to medium low. Melt 2 more tbsp of butter in the well, then quickly stir in flour to make a hot roux. When the roux is mixed & bubbly, pour in cold milk and continue stirring, raising heat to medium.  As the mixture thickens, begin stirring the vegetables into the sauce.

3. Evenly distribute the cheese over the whole skillet, and continue stirring the contents. Once cheese is melted, remove the casserole from heat. Stir in sour cream, and add salt & pepper to taste.

4. Enjoy!


  1. says

    “Versatile Broccoli Casserole” — I like that name. “Versatile” and “casserole” are two words that belong together.

    My recipe for a casserole is just to combine any odd ingredients that I have in my refrigerator or pantry. I eat a lot of those dishes, and they vary a lot, depending on what I have handy.
    .-= Jim Purdy´s last blog post …If you register your site for free at =-.

  2. Daphne Blumenthal says

    Looks great. I’ve always wondered when a recipe calls for a little bit of flour – can the flour be replaced by something like arrowroot or kudzu?

    • says

      Daphne —

      Great question. My first instinct is to say yes, because I use arrowroot powder for just such a purpose when I make queso (Creamy Mexican Cheese Dip). Anyhow, it seems like it may not work as a roux (because a roux really ought to be fat + flour), but that you could use the technique I outlined in that recipe to create the base for the cheese dip to also create a base for this cheesy sauce.

  3. Kelsey Byron says

    Oh my–you had me at “one skillet!” This looks wonderful. Thank you for sharing it. On another note: have you been to the new CP farmers’ market just south of you? It is amazing. I am so impressed!

    • says

      Jenn — Two kinds. The first is one I make from raw cream. It’s so easy you’ll kick yourself: basically you just let it set out on the counter (covered) until it turns into sour cream. (Takes about 2 days). You can facilitate the process and give the good bacteria a great head start by adding a tablespoon or two of real cultured buttermilk into the mix. The second is store-bought brands, and I basically buy whatever’s available that’s organic & contains live cultures. So, at my nearest grocery store, that amounts to Horizon brand’s full-fat version.

  4. Karen C. says

    This looks so awesome! Do you mean italian sausage or breakfast sausage or other? Link or bulk?

  5. Virginia says

    Yeehaw, this looks yummy! Funny, I just saw a recipe for cheesy spinach casserole (and Evernoted it), but this looks even better. Mouth watering. :)

  6. LeahM says

    Made this a few weeks ago with broccoli from my CSA box, raw milk cheddar and chopped Tasso ham from the local farmer’s market and it was oh-so-tasty! Seems like a great basic recipe in which you could substitute a number of veggies for the broccoli or the rice, such as the cauliflower mentioned above, as well as cabbage, chard or spinach, also. Maybe even turnips too? Because anything is better with cheese!!

  7. says

    This looks so wonderful! I’m a big fan of broccoli, so this is perfect. My skillet probably isn’t big enough, but I can take the veggies out while I make the sauce and then add everything back in.

  8. Jeanette says

    I made a version of this dish tonite. I had to make do with supplies on hand, like a frozen broccoli medley instead of fresh broccoli. Sauteed some chicken in butter, then browned some onion after I removed the chicken; added some fresh cubed zucchini that I needed to use up. I used a cheese medley called Mexican blend and since I did not have any sour cream on hand I used kefir. It was glorious! This will definitely be one of my go-to one dish meals.

    • KristenM says

      Now THAT’S what I’m talking about. It’s versatile! Once you get the basic idea down, it’s so easy to just create, create, create with whatever you’ve got on hand or crave.

  9. Sierra says

    Just made this and it was AMAZING! I did have a slight problem getting the broccoli tender enough but I’m pretty sure that was operator failure 😛 Can’t wait to have it for leftovers tomorrow!

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