This recipe reminds me a lot of a casserole that I used to eat as a child. I believe that the dish I had as a child was made with broccoli soup, so this version is a bit different and has nice big pieces of broccoli throughout the casserole. It’s super cheesy and filling though. If you want to get your kids to eat their broccoli, this is one way to do it.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 9-10 ounces (about 3 cups) chopped broccoli florets
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 8 ounces (about 2 packed cups) grated Cheddar cheese
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • cup slivered almonds

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Butter or lightly grease a large -quart baking dish. (If you use a standard 8 × 8-inch baking dish, you might have some casserole left over, as an 8 × 8-inch dish will hold roughly 2 quarts. It will work even if you don’t have the exact size I used.)
  3. In a medium pot, bring water to a simmer and salt it with about a tablespoon of kosher salt. Once simmering, add broccoli florets and cook for 60 seconds. Drain florets and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. They should be slightly crunchy still. Set broccoli florets aside for later. I like my broccoli to be in big chunks, but you can also dice into smaller bites.
  4. In a medium pot, combine cream, milk, and stock over medium-low heat and warm the mixture until it’s steaming, but not simmering. Keep it warm over low heat until needed.
  5. In a second, larger pot, add oil over medium heat followed by diced onion and garlic. Cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add cayenne (if you’re using it), red pepper flakes, and a Pinch of salt and pepper to the pot. Stir to combine.
  6. Add flour to the pot and use a whisk to stir the flour into the oil, forming a roux. Cook the roux until it is a light tan color, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  7. Slowly ladle in the warm cream mixture. Whisk constantly as you add the hot liquid to the roux base. It should thicken immediately. Continue to add liquid to the pot until it is all combined. Whisk well and bring to a slight simmer. The mixture should be the consistency of thin gravy. If it is very thin, simmer for a minute or two to thicken it.
  8. Add grated cheese and stir until cheese is melted.
  9. Stir in broccoli and rice. Taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Add casserole mixture to prepared baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes.
  11. Add slivered almonds to the top of the dish and bake for another 15 minutes.
  12. Remove casserole and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
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