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Treat yourself to a single serving Broccoli Casserole! This easy, comforting recipe is made with fresh or frozen broccoli and plenty of cheese. It’s perfect for satisfying your cheesy cravings at home.

In this article, you will find everything you need to make the best broccoli casserole. Included is our recipe for a single serving broccoli casserole, as well as ingredient substitutions, expert tips, frequently asked questions, serving suggestions, and recipe variations.

Savor your Broccoli Casserole alongside a crisp Cucumber Salad, warm French bread, fluffy Butter Swim Biscuits, or a tender Turkey Cutlet.

Why You’ll Love This Broccoli Casserole Recipe

This Broccoli Cheese Casserole recipe stands out for several reasons:

  • Simplicity: It streamlines the traditional casserole process while keeping the beloved, comforting flavors intact.
  • It’s made with real, wholesome ingredients and doesn’t rely on canned cream soup as many traditional broccoli casserole recipes do. We make our cheesy broccoli casserole without canned soup and instead, we create a rich homemade sauce that adds a delicious flavor and an extra-creamy texture.
  • Perfectly Portioned: This recipe is designed for one, eliminating any concern over wasted leftovers.
  • Portion Control: Not just for solo diners, it’s also an excellent way to enjoy a favorite comfort food while keeping portions in check.

If you’ve been on the lookout for a cozy, comforting dish that’s perfectly portioned for one, look no further than this single-serving Broccoli Casserole. This dish marries the earthy goodness of broccoli with the creamy richness of cheese, baked to perfection in a small casserole dish.

a mini broccoli cheese casserole in a red baking dish next to a head of fresh broccoli.

What Is A Broccoli Casserole?

A broccoli casserole is a robust baked dish known for its creamy richness. It stars broccoli as its main ingredient, harmoniously blended with a delightful cream-based sauce and cheese. Baked until it bubbles and turns golden, this casserole is a sight for sore eyes. In our version, we use breadcrumbs for a crispy topping, but crushed crackers are a popular alternative, both offering a delightful textural contrast to the creamy base.

Ingredients

broccoli casserole ingredients on a kitchen counter.
  • Broccoli: Fresh or frozen broccoli can be used in this recipe. If using frozen, be sure to thaw and drain well before using. If you’ve got extra broccoli leftover from this recipe, consider using it to make a Broccoli Salad, Beef and Broccoli, or Chicken Divan.
  • Butter: A small amount of salted butter is used to cook the onions and garlic.
  • Onions and garlic: Chopped onions and garlic add layers of flavor and depth to this casserole recipe. They create a flavor base that can elevate a casserole from bland to delicious.
  • Chicken broth: I prefer using low-sodium chicken broth to control the salt content of the dish. If you use regular chicken broth, you might want to reduce the amount of salt you add. I recommend tasting the finished sauce and adding extra salt if needed. Use leftover chicken broth in a Hashbrown Casserole, Smothered Pork Chops, or Chicken Marsala.
  • Heavy cream: I recommend using heavy cream (double cream) or heavy whipping cream. Both of these ingredients are essentially the same – they both have over 36% milk fat, and the name often depends on the brand. When heavy cream simmers on the stove, some of the water in the cream evaporates causing the solids in the dairy to concentrate which thickens the sauce. I do not recommend using milk because the sauce will not thicken as it should. We use heavy cream in many of our single serving and small batch recipes. You might like to consider using any leftover cream in Tuscan Chicken, Creamy Tomato Soup, or Banana Pudding.
  • Sour cream: You can use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream for a healthier option. If you’ve got extra sour cream, consider using it in Mexican Street Corn Salad, Loaded Deviled Eggs, or a Mini Devil’s Food Cake.
  • Cheese: I recommend using sharp Cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese, but feel free to swap it for your favorite cheese if you prefer. I recommend shredding your own cheese rather than purchasing bagged pre-shredded cheese. The cheese will melt better when freshly shredded. Pre-shredded cheese contains preservatives that help to keep the shreds of cheese from clumping in the bag. This means that the cheese doesn’t melt as well.
  • Breadcrumbs: Melted butter mixed with Panko breadcrumbs and shredded cheddar cheese are used for the cheesy broccoli casserole topping. It gives it the perfect crunch! Use extra breadcrumbs in Chicken Nuggets, Squash Casserole, or Crab Cakes.

This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why I used them. For the full recipe please scroll down to the recipe box at the bottom of the post.

Recipe Variations

A broccoli casserole is a flexible dish and you can easily adjust it to match your taste preferences. Here are some variations you might consider:

  1. Add More Vegetables: Consider adding other vegetables to the mix. Mushrooms, bell peppers, or even cauliflower could add some nice variety.
  2. Protein Boost: You could add a protein to make it more substantial. Cooked chicken, ham, or even tofu can be mixed in with the broccoli.
  3. Change the Cheese: Try different types of cheese for a new flavor profile. You could use Gruyere, mozzarella, or even a bit of blue cheese for a bolder flavor.
  4. Spice It Up: If you like a little heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the cheese sauce or sprinkle them on top before baking.
  5. Change the Crunch: Swap out breadcrumbs for crushed crackers, French fried onions, or even sliced almonds for a different kind of crunch on top.
  6. Add Grains: Stir in some cooked quinoa, rice, or even small pasta like orzo to the cheese and broccoli mixture to make the casserole even heartier.

Remember, cooking should be a fun and creative process. Feel free to experiment with these variations and see which you prefer!

How To Make A Broccoli Casserole

These step-by-step photos and instructions are here to help you visualize how to make a single serving broccoli cheese casserole. See the recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190° C).
  2. Blanch the broccoli: Place the broccoli florets in a medium-sized pot of boiling water and cook for 2 minutes or just until tender-crisp. Drain well and set aside.
a small bowl of blanched broccoli.
  1. Make the broccoli casserole sauce: Melt butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently for 30 seconds.
chopped onions and garlic in a skillet on the stove.
  1. Pour in the chicken broth, increase the heat to medium-high, stir, and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add the heavy cream and bring the mixture back up to a simmer, stirring frequently. Continue to simmer and stir for an additional 2 to 3 minutes to thicken the sauce slightly.
a homemade broccoli casserole sauce simmering in a skillet.
  1. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sour cream. Next, stir in the Monterey Jack cheese and gently fold in the broccoli.
casserole sauce with broccoli added and  simmering in a skillet.
  1. Transfer the broccoli and sauce to a lightly buttered 5×5 inch baking dish and place the dish on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any possible spills.
a small broccoli casserole on a baking sheet.
  1. Make the topping: In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the melted butter, breadcrumbs, and shredded Cheddar cheese.
Panko breadcrumbs, melted butter and shredded cheddar cheese in a small bowl.
  1. Bake: Sprinkle the topping evenly over the casserole and bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and the topping is golden.
an unbaked small broccoli cheese casserole on a baking sheet.
  1. Remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. As the casserole rests, the sauce thickens even more.
a mini broccoli casserole in a red baking dish next to a blue napkin.
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Expert Tips

  • Read through the entire recipe and the Ingredient Notes section of the post and gather your ingredients. This small broccoli casserole comes together quickly so it’s a good idea to have everything ready before beginning.
  • Blanching broccoli: Blanch your broccoli florets before incorporating them into the cheese sauce. This ensures they’re tender and evenly cooked.
  • Cheese choice: Opt for freshly grated cheese over pre-shredded varieties for a smoother, creamier consistency in your sauce. Pre-shredded cheese often contains anti-caking agents that can result in a grainier texture.
  • Preventing sogginess: If you’re using frozen broccoli, ensure it’s thoroughly defrosted and well-drained to prevent excess moisture from making your casserole soggy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size baking dish is best to use?

The success of this recipe depends on the size of the baking dish you use. I use a 5×5 inch baking dish with a base area of 25 square inches. The dishes we use in our recipes can be found on our Store page.

Can I make a small broccoli casserole in a ramekin?

Yes. We have also tested this recipe in a 10-ounce ramekin with success.

a mini broccoli cheese casserole in a ramekin

Can I double this broccoli casserole recipe?

Absolutely! If you’d like to double the recipe, simply double the ingredient amounts and use either two 5×5-inch baking dishes, one 6.5-inch square baking dish, or one 6×8-inch baking dish. These dishes can be found on our Store page.

Can I use frozen broccoli in a broccoli casserole?

Yes, just be sure to thaw and drain it well to avoid excess moisture.

Can I make broccoli cheese casserole in advance?

Yes, you can prepare the casserole and refrigerate it up to 24 hours in advance. Before baking, allow the casserole to sit on the counter and come to room temperature for about 30 minutes.

How To Store Broccoli Casserole

  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave.
  • To freeze the cooked casserole, wrap the casserole in plastic wrap and then a layer of foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw in the refrigerator and reheat in the microwave.

Ways To Use Leftover Ingredients

If you have any ingredients leftover from this recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder or you might like to consider using them in any of these single serving and small batch recipes:

For more information on the cooking and baking dishes I use in our “recipes for one”, please visit our FAQ page.

For examples of the dishes used at One Dish Kitchen, please visit our Store page.

If you’ve tried this small batch broccoli cheese casserole or any recipe on One Dish Kitchen please let me know how you liked it by rating the recipe and telling me about it in the comment section below.

Also, if you take a picture please tag us on Instagram (@onedishkitchen) we’d love to see it!


Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Broccoli Casserole For One

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Treat yourself to a single serving Broccoli Casserole! This easy, comforting recipe is made with fresh or frozen broccoli and plenty of cheese. It's perfect for satisfying your cheesy cravings at home.

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 ½ tablespoons salted butter , divided
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Panko breadcrumbs
  • cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Place the broccoli florets in a medium-sized pot of boiling water and cook for 2 minutes or just until tender-crisp. Drain well and set aside.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently for 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the chicken broth, increase the heat to medium-high, stir, and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the heavy cream and bring the mixture back up to a simmer, stirring frequently. Continue to simmer and stir for an additional 2 to 3 minutes to thicken the sauce slightly.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sour cream. Next, stir in the Monterey Jack cheese and gently fold in the broccoli.
  • Transfer the broccoli and sauce to a lightly buttered 5×5 inch baking dish and place the dish on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any possible spills.
  • Melt the remaining ½ tablespoon of butter and pour into a medium-sized bowl. Stir in the breadcrumbs and shredded Cheddar cheese.
  • Sprinkle the breadcrumb topping evenly over the casserole and bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and the topping is golden.
  • Remove the casserole from the oven and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. As the casserole rests, the sauce thickens even more.

Notes

Expert Tips
  • Read through the entire recipe and the Ingredient Notes section of the post and gather your ingredients. This small broccoli casserole comes together quickly so it’s a good idea to have everything ready before beginning.
  • Blanching Broccoli: Blanch your broccoli florets before incorporating them into the cheese sauce. This ensures they’re tender and evenly cooked.
  • Cheese Choice: Opt for freshly grated cheese over pre-shredded varieties for a smoother, creamier consistency in your sauce. Pre-shredded cheese often contains anti-caking agents that can result in a grainier texture.
  • Preventing Sogginess: If you’re using frozen broccoli, ensure it’s thoroughly defrosted and well-drained to prevent excess moisture from making your casserole soggy.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 769kcal, Carbohydrates: 27g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 65g, Saturated Fat: 39g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 17g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 187mg, Sodium: 774mg, Potassium: 635mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 2356IU, Vitamin C: 86mg, Calcium: 453mg, Iron: 3mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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6 Comments

    1. Hi Anne, as mentioned in the FAQs, when doubling the recipe use either two 5×5-inch baking dishes, one 6.5-inch square baking dish, or one 6×8-inch baking dish.

  1. I made this for the first time last night. I substituted smoked gouda for the Monterey jack cheese. Delicious! The single serving is probably enough for two meals for me, but it was so good, I had eaten over half before I started to even think of stopping.
    I’ll definitely be making this again.
    Thank you for your single serving recipes.

  2. Just made this, and I give it a 5 for flavor and texture. Nice cheesiness, loved the crunch from the panko. I had a piece of leftover cooked chicken; cubed it and threw it in for a little more substance and extra protein. Cubed ham would have been good too.
    ~~
    I have a couple of quibbles with the recipe. We apparently have different definitions of “prep time”. To me, that includes boiling the water for blanching, chopping the onion and garlic, grating the cheeses, trimming the florets, buttering the baking dish, etc. I’ve been cooking for about 70 years so I know about organizing, but my prep time, as I define it, was 38 minutes.
    Another problem: the ingredients include 1 1/2 T butter, but you use it twice (to saute the onion and to mix in the topping) without specifying amounts. I winged it and it was fine, but a more timid cook might stumble over the omission.
    And a suggestion: I selected a small broccoli crown, but still have a lot left unused. And since I used pieces of the florets, what is left is largely the stems and branches. They are not as attractive, but every bit as tasty. The broccoli is not highly visible in this dish; next time I will dice the blanched stem parts and save the (also blanched) prettier florets to add to a salad or another dish.
    Thanks for all the great recipes!

    1. Hi Nancy, thank you for your feedback. I’m so happy you enjoyed the casserole. For our recipe testers and myself, it took us 10 minutes to prep – that was boiling water, blanching for 2 minutes, shredding cheese, chopping broccoli, etc. We understand that times for prep can vary in other households. As for the butter, thank you for catching that we did not provide specific amounts for both steps in the recipe. We have updated the recipe to include this information.