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Creamy Broccoli Bake

This Creamy Broccoli Bake is a bubbly cheesy, cream-filled casserole with bacon and broccoli.

creamy broccoli bake upclose

Cooking for me is a way to enhance life. The actual act of cooking itself is a great way to wind down from a stressful day and get lost in the doing. The work of my hands, with a glass of wine and some music, liven the room up. The meal itself is an act. Yet, no matter what we are having the table is set, and a candle is lit. It creates a nice atmosphere around the table that helps set the tone for a nice meal.

Now not every meal is three courses nor do they need to be in order to be satisfying or an enjoyable experience for that matter. A nice home-cooked meal is never about the amount of work one has to go through in the kitchen.

This Creamy Broccoli Bake is a great example of that. A meal far from complicated and one that has everything you need in one pan. This casserole is simple to make using just a few ingredients.

Why I Love This Recipe

I love the fact that this Creamy Broccoli Bake can be made in basically one pan and you can have an entire meal ready to go in under 30 minutes. As much as I love to cook, there are those days when I am just needing something quick or I just don’t feel like doing a several-course style meal. This casserole is satisfying, flavorful, and filling just as it is.

Although you can of course serve this as a hearty side dish. It pairs nicely with steak or even grilled chicken. I find this dish to be versatile and simple to make so for me it is a great casserole to have up your sleeve. So to speak.

What You’ll Need to Make It

Two large bundles of fresh broccoli (about 1 lb of broccoli)

1 -12 oz package of good quality bacon

2 tbs of flour

3 cups of milk

2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

2 cloves of garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Cut up bacon into bite-sized pieces, in a skillet and cook until crisp. Drain off about half the grease, leaving to help make a rue. In a separate pot, steam broccoli crowns until cooked evenly but be careful not to overcook set aside.

bacon cooking in a skillet

Add the flour to the bacon pan and coat the bacon and any grease in the pan with the flour. Slowly add the milk a 1/2 cup at a time.

pouring cream into a pan with bacon

Whisk on low heat to help thicken the milk. Salt and pepper the thickened milk mixture as needed. Then add the garlic and half the cheese.

a woman pouring broccoli into a skillet with cream

Allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes and add the cooked broccoli to the pan.

stirring broccoli into a pan with cream and bacon

Stir to coat all the florets well. Then remove from heat and top with remaining cheese.

a pan of creamy broccoli bake under a broiler

Pop under the broiler until golden and bubbling.

creamy broccoli bake in a skillet

Cooking Tips

  • Be sure to drain off about half the grease and allow some to remain, the fat will be used to make a rue with flour to help thicken the milk.
  • It is important to add the milk slowly. Adding too fast will result in a runny sauce. Add 1/2 cup at a time, allowing it to simmer until thickened, then add another 1/2 cup.
  • Steam broccoli until it is just done. Be careful not to overcook otherwise the casserole will come out soggy. Broccoli should be bright green and crisp when added to the skillet.
  • I like to use fresh broccoli for this recipe however you can use frozen.

Serving Suggestions

  • This Creamy Broccoli Bake is a hearty one-pan meal however here are some suggestions on what pairs well with this casserole.
  • A mixed green salad pairs nicely alongside Creamy Broccoli Bake.
  • Serving a loaf of rustic bread in the center of the table with butter would be a nice addition. If wanting to do homemade bread, be sure to try this No Knead Artisan Loaf for a simple delicious loaf that is easy to throw together.
  • This would make a nice side dish to a steakhouse-style meal at home. Try slicing up some steak to pair with this casserole. Check out this recipe for Sirloin Steak with Herb Butter.

How To Pick Out The Best Broccoli

When selecting broccoli pay attention to the color. The florets should be dark green and tightly closed. The stalks should be thin and the overall head should be firm to the touch. Thicker stalks can be woody and are a sign of age. Avoid any heads that have yellowing or discoloration as this is an indication of age.

Best Way To Cut Broccoli

Begin by washing the broccoli thoroughly. Cut off the florets where the stalk meets. Slice into the florets separating them from each other and cutting them into smaller florets. To square, the stalk, slice off the tough outer layer of the stalk then remove the ends. Cut the stalk into 1/4 inch pieces.

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Yield: 6 servings

Creamy Broccoli Bake

creamy broccoli bake in a skillet

A creamy casserole-style dish made with broccoli, bacon, and a white cream sauce then topped with cheese.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • Two large bundles of fresh broccoli (about 1 lb of broccoli)
  • 1 -12 oz package of bacon
  • 2 tbsp of flour
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cloves of garlic

Instructions

  1. Cut up bacon into bite-sized pieces, in a skillet and cook until crisp. Drain off about half the excess grease from the bacon. You will use the remaining grease to make a rue.
  2. In a separate pot, steam broccoli crowns until cooked evenly but be careful not to overcook. Set aside.
  3. Add the flour to the bacon pan and whisk into the grease until blended, then slowly add milk a 1/2 cup at a time while whisking over low heat.
  4. Add the garlic and half the cheese.
  5. Add the broccoli to the pot and stir to coat all the florets.
  6. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Top with remaining cheese and pop under the broiler under medium heat until cheese is browned slightly.
  8. Allow it to cool before serving.

Notes

  • Be sure to drain off about half the grease and allow some to remain, the fat will be used to make a rue with flour to help thicken the milk.
  • It is important to add the milk slowly. Adding too fast will result in a runny sauce. Add 1/2 cup at a time, allowing it to simmer until thickened, then add another 1/2 cup.
  • Steam broccoli until it is just done. Be careful not to overcook otherwise the casserole will come out soggy. Broccoli should be bright green and crisp when added to the skillet.
  • I like to use fresh broccoli for this recipe however you can use frozen.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 467Total Fat: 31gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 95mgSodium: 1267mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 33g

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