Broccoli and Cheese Casserole with Crunchy Topping
Old-school broccoli and cheese casserole is not bad. But with an update, it can be great.
Why This Recipe Works
In developing a recipe for broccoli and cheese casserole, we wanted to make a crowd-pleasing side dish that was ultracreamy and cheesy yet let the broccoli flavor shine. Microwaving fresh broccoli florets before assembling the casserole assured evenly tender broccoli. For a creamy sauce with bold cheese flavor, we built a flour-thickened sauce and folded in extra-sharp cheddar cheese. To ensure that the extra-sharp cheddar didn’t separate, we added a bit of American cheese to the sauce. American cheese contains stabilizers that kept the sauce silky and creamy even when it was exposed to high heat. Garlic, shallot, and dry mustard gave the sauce depth, and a crispy topping of buttery, Parmesan-enhanced bread crumbs provided contrasting crunch.