I was recently looking for a fun side dish to take to my Family Thanksgiving, and tried this out. It was a big hit! While it’s not traditionally a holiday dish, it goes great with Turkey!
The picture I took really doesn’t do this recipe justice. I didn’t take very good pic (because I’m an amateur home cook and not a photographer), but this dish turned out very tasty! It’s good reheated, or even cold (but I’m weird and like cold leftovers).
You will need:
- 24 ounces of fresh broccoli florets, chopped into bite-sized pieces, and big stem pieces removed
- 3 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or even better, Garlic-infused olive oil (such as the one from Trader Joe’s)
- Pink Sea Salt and Black Pepper, to taste (if unsure, go with a tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of pepper)
- 4 TBSP chicken stock
- 8 TBSP Heavy whipping cream
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2.5 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup for sauce, 1.5 cups for topping)
- 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces of full-fat cream cheese
- OPTIONAL: 6 ounces of cubed ham-steak
- OPTIONAL: 2 ounces of shredded aged gouda
- Roast the broccoli: Preheat oven to 400 F. Put all chopped broccoli florets into an 8.5″x13″ casserole (or similar) dish. Pour the oil on top, and stir in. Then add in salt and pepper and stir. Roast for 15 minutes.
- While the broccoli is roasting, make the cheese sauce. In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock and cream over medium-low heat. Stir frequently until warm (but not boiling). Stir in garlic, then slowly start to add in the 1 cup of cheddar and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, stirring frequently. Then stir in cream cheese. Once fully combined, reduce heat to very low and stir once a minute until ready to use in next steps.
- Remove the broccoli from the oven. Stir in the optional ham (if you want), then stir in the cheese sauce. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and add the other 1.5 cups of cheddar cheese (and optional aged Gouda). Return to the oven and bake another 5 minutes until melted (or broil a few minutes to get a crisper cheese topping).
Since I was bringing this dish to a family Thanksgiving, I wanted to do as much ahead of time as possible. In step 3, I only baked the broccoli with cheese sauce for 5 minutes just so everything settled together. I then let cool completely, added the cheddar on top, covered, and put in the fridge overnight. The next day when I got to the gathering, I put the dish in a 170 F oven for 2 hours to warm it up. This ended up being perfect at serving time, and melted the cheese on top just nicely.
If this is a side dish, I recommend not including the ham, since this is already quite dense with all of the cheese. However, if you want this to be a full meal instead of a side dish, then I recommend including the ham. You can adjust the amount of ham too, based on preference.