Broccoli lovers will adore this dish. Broccoli skeptics—we’re looking at you, kids—will be won over. There’s something about nuggets of tasty broccoli covered in cheese that makes eating your veggies a pleasure. We like this version because the cheese and breadcrumbs enhance, but don’t drown, the broccoli.
Gratin, or gratiné, is a French cooking term that refers to a crust of cheese and/or breadcrumbs on the top of a casserole. Most popular are potato gratins, seafood gratins, and broccoli gratins. Traditionally, the crust is broiled in the last stages of cooking. This recipe simply calls for baking, leading to a less crunchy top, but also makes one less step for the cook.
Classically, gratins are cooked in a gratin dish, typically shallow and oval, often with little handles on the ends. But Broccoli Gratin tastes just as yummy in a square or casserole dish, so use whatever you have. The stuff inside is the star!
It’s no surprise that broccoli gratin is such a popular dish. Broccoli and cheese taste like they were made for each other, and maybe they were. Broccoli is Italian, after all, and many broccoli recipes call for parmesan cheese. It took the Brits a few hundred years to discover the delights of broccoli, but when they did, they were all in. Maybe that’s how the broccoli/cheddar combo got started? Or maybe people just use broccoli as another excuse to eat cheese. In any case, they’ll get no argument from us when Broccoli Gratin is on the menu.
This recipe really is as easy as 1-2-3: Start the sauce while you steam the broccoli, top the broccoli with sauce and cheese, and bake.
When your gratin comes out of the oven, you’ll have a delicious side dish that will have everyone—including the kids—asking for seconds.Print
Broccoli and cheese is a favorite combo for good reason, and this recipe serves it up in classic style. Kids will be happy to eat their vegetables when they come ensconced in cheddar and sauce. Be prepared to make it again soon.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: Serves 4-6 1x
- Category: Sides & Sauces
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, plus more for the baking dish
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds broccoli (about 4 heads), cut into small florets (about 8 cups)
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar (about 4 ounces)
- 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Butter an 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking dish or an 8-cup gratin dish.
- Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the milk, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and nutmeg and bring to a boil while whisking constantly. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the white sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Season with pepper. Remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, bring about 1-inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan and set up a steamer on top. Put the broccoli in the steamer and season with salt. Cover, and steam until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
- Put the broccoli in the prepared dish, sprinkle with half of the cheese and pour on the sauce. Cover with the remaining cheese.
- Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Cover the gratin with the breadcrumbs. Bake until lightly browned and bubbly, about 20 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
Have you tried this recipe? It’s a delicious way to eat your veggies. Please tell us how it turned out for you.