Think of this broccoli casserole recipe as a cousin of another beloved comfort food: broccoli-cheddar soup. As a side dish, it’s the perfect addition to any potluck, dinner party, or all-out Thanksgiving spread (move over green bean casserole); though we won’t tell if you serve it up as a weeknight main dish instead. The cream of mushroom soup creates a rich base, while sharp cheddar cheese, lemon zest, garlic powder, lots of black pepper, and a touch of cayenne add flavor and intrigue to the creamy sauce. In addition to fresh broccoli florets, we slice up the delicious broccoli stems too, so nothing goes to waste—don’t be tempted to swap it out for frozen broccoli, which could turn to mush in the oven. Instead of breadcrumbs or Panko, we swear by Ritz crackers for the crispy, crunchy topping, but any good buttery cracker will do. All told, it’s bound to be a favorite among picky eaters who may otherwise avoid their veggies.
While most casserole recipes are typically baked in a casserole dish, this one calls for an ovenproof lidded skillet so you can sauté the onions, steam the broccoli (no need to blanch!), and bake off the casserole all in one pan. If you don’t have an ovenproof skillet, use any large, lidded skillet to cook the onions in melted butter and steam the broccoli, then toss the broccoli with the mushroom soup mixture and transfer to a baking dish before topping with the shredded cheese and crushed cracker crumbs.
Trying to map out your holiday menu? You can bake this casserole a few hours ahead of time and then reheat it at 350° to warm through and re-crisp the topping, about 10 minutes. For more easy recipes, check out these Thanksgiving vegetable side ideas. And if you’re looking for more broccoli recipes, we’ve got those, too.