This Broccoli Cheese Casserole is total comfort food thanks to the melty cheese and crunchy buttery cracker topping. This broccoli casserole with Ritz crackers is made with fresh broccoli, but it’s still super quick and easy to get in the oven.
The one vegetable that my entire family eats without a single complaint is broccoli.
Actually, that’s not totally true – we just converted my teenage daughter into a salad-eater. Not a salad-lover, but at least she’ll eat it without complaints these days. I’ll take that as a win.
Anyway, broccoli is the ‘safe’ veggie in my house. I know that I can serve it up in just about any form and it will get eaten by the whole family. Every mom needs a vegetable like that, right? 🙂
I usually just steam the broccoli and we eat it with a little salt (I hear that’s weird, but somehow my kids like it!), but every now and then I like to mix things up. This broccoli cheese casserole is always a hit, thanks to the melty cheese and Ritz cracker topping. Who can resist??
I love that we can use our cream of chicken substitute to make this more of a homemade broccoli casserole or we can keep it super simple and use a can of cream of chicken soup.
Fresh Broccoli or Frozen Broccoli?
For this recipe I really like to use fresh broccoli, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use frozen. With fresh broccoli you’ll get a nice tender crisp texture and with frozen it’ll be a lot softer.
It all really comes down to your preference for taste and texture and how easy you want to make this recipe.
If you’re using frozen broccoli, thaw and drain well before adding to the casserole.
What We Love About THIS BROCCOLI CHEESE CASSEROLE:
- Cheesy: Broccoli and cheese is such a great combination so we’ve loaded this cheesy casserole with lots and lots of sharp cheddar that bakes up into a creamy sauce!
- Ease: Like most casserole recipes this one is pretty simple to prepare which makes it great for weeknight dinners or holiday gatherings!
- Topping: The crunchy Ritz Cracker topping really takes this casserole to the next level!
Broccoli – We use fresh broccoli whenever possible and highly recommend it for the best taste and texture.
Sour Cream – The sour cream combines with the cheese and cream of chicken to create a nice, thick cheese sauce that coats the broccoli nicely. Greek yogurt will work here as well.
Cheese – Cheddar is a classic, but feel free to use what you’ve got in the fridge.
Topping – We make this broccoli cheese casserole with Ritz crackers that we’ve finely crushed. Drizzle a little butter over it all before baking and *chef’s kiss*
What Readers are Saying!
“Great recipe! It was my first time baking the Broccoli Cheese Casserole for dinner and it turned out great! My sister and I enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing!” – Christine
How To Make Broccoli Casserole With Ritz Crackers:
Steam: Toss the broccoli florets into a large microwave-safe bowl and add 1/4 cup of water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave for 5 minutes.
Let set for 2 minutes before carefully removing the covering and draining the liquid. This gets the broccoli steamed a bit so that it cooks perfectly in the oven. Plus, the hot broccoli helps everything mix together easier.
You can steam the broccoli on the stove if you prefer, but we’re just keeping it simple today.
Mix: Add in the sour cream and your cream soup – either chicken or mushroom. Stir in the cheddar, salt, and pepper as well.
Topping: Add the broccoli cheese casserole mixture to a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle with some crushed butter crackers, such as Ritz. Drizzle a little melted butter over the top and then you’re ready to bake!
Bake: This broccoli & cheese casserole bakes uncovered in about 30-40 minutes, depending on how soft you like your broccoli. We like a bit of crispness, so we pull this dish at the 30 minute mark, but if you like really soft veggies, keep on baking until it’s where you want it.
Make Ahead Instructions:
This is a great casserole dish to prepare ahead of time for baking when you’re ready! Just follow all the instructions up to step 5 and then refrigerate the casserole until it is ready to bake.
You’ll want to wait until just before baking to add the Ritz cracker and butter topping or it’ll lose the crisp texture in the fridge. You can refrigerate the unbaked casserole for 1-2 days ahead of time!
Freezer Instructions for Broccoli and Cheese Casserole:
This recipe freezes beautifully!
Prepare the broccoli casserole as directed up to step 5. Cover tightly with foil and place in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When ready to bake, thaw in the fridge overnight and top with the crackers and butter before baking as directed.
Karly’s Tips & Tricks
- Mix it up a bit by swapping the Ritz crackers for Cheez-It’s!
- Add chicken to the dish along with an extra spoonful of sour cream to make this a full meal!
- Don’t steam the broccoli for too long, unless you like mushy vegetables. Keep in mind it will still be baking in the oven.
- If you start with frozen broccoli, be sure to thaw it and drain it well or your casserole will be a bit watery.
- Make this a cauliflower and broccoli casserole by swapping half the broccoli for cauliflower florets!
How I Got My Kids To Like Broccoli:
I’m a big believer that the key to getting kids to eat their veggies is to just keep offering them.
We have a 3 bite rule in our house and it’s worked well for us. 1 bite to test, 1 bite to get used to the texture/flavor, 1 bite to be sure how they feel about it.
My kids don’t love every veggie they try, but they ALWAYS try new foods without complaint (it took a while to get there) and they’ve learned so much about what they do/don’t like.
For example, my daughter loves cauliflower with cheese, thinks it’s fine as rice, but hates it roasted. She actually gets excited to try new foods these days and see what new recipes she’ll enjoy. You should have seen her little face when she discovered how much she loved my cauliflower mac and cheese the first time I made it.
Like most casseroles this one will store pretty well in the refrigerator! It should last at least 3 to 4 days. The cracker topping may not be as crunchy after reheating.
Yes you could! But I’d suggest checking out this air fryer broccoli and cheese casserole recipe which is about the same but uses cream cheese instead of soup!
Sure! Broccoli and cheddar is a classic but you can use other varieties of cheese too, or mix them up. Some grated Parmesan would go well with the Ritz Cracker topping!
MORE FAVORITE BROCCOLI RECIPES!
- Chicken and Rice: One skillet and packed with veggies!
- Penne Alfredo: Bacon, broccoli, pasta, and Alfredo – it doesn’t get yummier than this!
- Keto Broccoli Casserole: The low carb version of broccoli cheese casserole!
- Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup: Our go-to soup on busy nights!
- Crockpot Broccoli Cheese Soup: This classic recipe is perfectly creamy and cheesy!
Broccoli Casserole Recipe:
Broccoli Cheese Casserole
- 32 ounces fresh broccoli florets
- 10 ounces cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 cups shredded cheddar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
- 1 1/2 cups crushed Ritz crackers more or less, to taste
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
- Add the broccoli to a large microwave safe bowl along with ¼ cup of water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave for 5 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 2 minutes.
- Carefully remove the plastic wrap and drain the liquid.
- Add the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, cheddar, salt, and pepper to the bowl with the broccoli and stir well to combine.
- Pour broccoli mixture into prepared baking dish.
- Top with the cracker crumbs and drizzle with the melted butter.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until broccoli is as tender as you’d like and cheese is fully melted.
- Serve immediately.
Tips & Notes:
This recipe was originally published in 2019. It was updated with new photos in 2023. Original photos below.