Broccoli Au Gratin is a delicious comforting vegetarian casserole with layers of tender broccoli, creamy cheese sauce and crunchy bread crumbs. It is really easy to make & a great for lunch or dinner.
Broccoli Gratin is also a wonderful meatless casserole option for family dinners, Thanksgiving or Christmas. Even kids who hate broccoli, won’t be able to resist it as it looks so tempting. The broccoli au gratin recipe shared here is :
- Kids Friendly
- Simple & quick to make
- Absolutely delicious!!
The term gratin or au gratin is a french word used for baked dishes with crispy browned cheese or bread crumbs crust on top. If you are confused between a gratin & casserole, then in simpler words it can be said that gratin is a type of casserole dish.
To make this recipe, we begin by first steaming or boiling the broccoli so that it is just cooked with slight bite. Be careful as overcooking at this step can make the broccoli mushy and it may disintegrate later on while baking.
Then we proceed to make a smooth velvety bechamel (or white sauce) which is poured over this steamed broccoli along with grated cheese & butter toasted bread crumbs. This is finally baked in oven till the sauce is bubbling and crust become light brown in colour.
What to serve with Broccoli Gratin?
Broccoli Au Gratin Ingredients:
Broccoli: Choose fresh, bright green broccoli for best flavour and texture in the dish.
Flour: Flour is used for thickening the sauce. I have used whole wheat flour as I wanted to make this dish healthy-ish. You can also use plain flour (all purpose flour) or gluten free flour.
Butter: The flour is roasted in butter to make the roux which is then mixed with milk. Though butter tastes best in white sauce (or béchamel sauce), but you can use half butter and half olive oil too.
Milk: Both whole milk or skimmed milk work fine in this recipe. For adding richness to the dish, you can prefer whole milk or to cut down calories you can use skimmed milk. Instead of regular milk you can also use almond or soy milk.
Cheese: Broccoli tastes best with cheddar cheese. However, If you don’t have cheddar, you can use mozzarella or parmesan cheese.
Seasoning: The white sauce in gratin is seasoned with crushed black pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning (mixed dried herbs like basil oregano thyme) and pinch of nutmeg. You can also use white pepper instaed of black.
Bread Crumbs: Bread Crumbs are added to get crunchy texture in gratin. I have used regular bread crumbs but to make it gluten free or keto friendly you can use ‘keto suitable bread crumbs’.
Can I use frozen broccoli?
Yes, you can use frozen broccoli also. Just thaw it before using and squeeze all the water from it to avoid the gratin from turning watery. Dry them on a kitchen towel to get rid of excess moisture.
1. Broccoli Cauliflower Gratin: You can use half the quantity of broccoli and half cauliflower or make the entire dish with cauliflower to make ‘cauliflower gratin’.
2. Vegetable Au Gratin: You can also make this recipe with mixed vegetables like onions, carrots, broccoli, french beans, potatoes, cauliflower or peas etc. The
Hope you would like this easy recipe for broccoli gratin. If you are looking for more such vegetarian casserole recipes, then do checkout Meatless Cottage Pie (Shepherd’s Pie) recipe.
More broccoli recipes:
- Broccoli Florets- 4 to 5 cups (~350 gms or 12 oz.)
- Butter (unsalted)- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp (divided)
- Whole wheat flour / All purpose flour- 3 tbsp
- Milk- 2 cups (room temp.)
- Salt- 1/2 tsp (to taste)
- Ground Black pepper-1/2 tsp (to taste)
- Grated Nutmeg- 1/8 tsp
- Garlic Powder- 1/4 tsp
- Italian seasoning- 1/2 tsp
- Grated Cheddar Cheese-2/3 cup
- Bread Crumbs- 1/4 cup
Wash and clean the broccoli florets thoroughly. Boil water in a deep pan and add these florets to it. Boil for 3 to 4 minutes till the broccoli is vibrant green in colour.
Check with fork, the florets should be slightly tender (Do not overcook). Instead of boiling, you can also steam it in vegetable steamer. Transfer the broccoli on a sieve to drip out all the water & escape the steam. By the time broccoli is cooling down, set the oven for preheating on 180°C (350°F) & proceed to next step.
Heat 2 tbsp butter in a pan and add flour to it. Roast the flour on low flame till it slightly changes colour (this mixture is called roux). You can use half butter half olive oil also.
Add room temperature milk to this roux while continuously whisking to avoid any lumps. Cook on medium flame till the milk starts to bubble. Keep cooking while whisking for 2-3 minutes till sauce begins to thicken up. Add salt, garlic powder, nutmeg, black pepper & Italian seasoning.
Mix well & taste once to adjust salt or seasoning as per your taste. (Tip: One of the ways to check about the readiness of the sauce is ‘spoon test‘. When the sauce begins to coat the spoon, it is a sign that sauce is ready.)
Switch off the flame. Add half of the grated or shredded cheese to this sauce and mix gently. The cheese will melt in the residual heat of pan. Keep this cheese sauce aside.
Heat 1 tsp butter in a pan. Add bread crumbs to it. Toast for 2-3 minutes till they become slightly golden in colour. Keep these toasted bread crumbs aside.
Arrange the broccoli florets in a 8″x6″ inches baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over them. Add remaining grated cheese and bread crumbs on top.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (356°F) for 15-20 minutes till the sauce is bubbling and top becomes golden brown in colour.
(Tip: To get nice brown crust on top, you can increase the temp to 200°C (or broil) in last 2-3 minutes.)
Delicious creamy Broccoli Gratin is ready. Serve it hot with garlic bread or tomato soup!!
How to store leftovers?
You can easily store leftover broccoli gratin in an airtight container in fridge for 2-3 days. Reheat it in a microwave safe container for 50-60 seconds before serving.
Pin for later:
(Note: The post was originally published on 24 Nov, 2017 & has been updated with fresh images & tips.)
If you try this broccoli au gratin recipe & share pics on social media, then don’t forget to tag on Facebook, Instagram or use #kuchpakrahahai.