Cooking With Confidence
Economical, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

Broccoli Parmesan Gratin

by Nick

This is an updated post from the Macheesmo Archives!

I’ve never at all had a problem eating vegetables. In fact, I usually crave them. That said, I do have a few friends (Hi Scott) that absolutely will not touch vegetables. Especially green ones that rhyme with Choccoli.

For those people that do not under any circumstances eat vegetables, let me introduce you to something: The Broccoli Gratin.

I don’t understand how anyone could not like this dish. It is cheesy and delicious! If a broccoli-hater were forced to eat this blind-folded, I imagine they might say: “Oh wow. That tastes like pure cheesy Heaven!” And then they would open their eyes and see all that green and probably pretend they don’t like it, but secretly sneak some into their backpack.

Serves 6 as a side
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Broccoli Gratin


  • 1 bunch broccoli (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 Cup whole milk
  • 1/2 Cup heavy cream
  • 1 Cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (I wanted to beef this up a bit so I used 3/4 cup Parm and 3/4 cup Gruyere.)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 Cup bread crumbs
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


1) Chop off broccoli florets. Peel stems with a veggie peeler or knife and cut stems into 1/2-inch sections.

2) Mix up all ingredients except broccoli, bread crumbs, and oil in a bowl.

3) In some lightly salted boiling water, blanch the broccoli for 4-5 minutes until it's tender. Then drain and move the pieces to a 8x8 baking dish.

4) Pour cheese sauce over broccoli.

5) Stir bread crumbs and oil together and top casserole with it.

6) Season with salt and pepper and bake at 350 degrees F. For 30-35 minutes. Then broil on high for 3 minutes to brown the bread crumbs.

7) Let cool for five minutes before digging in.

From Gourmet 2009.

We are going to use both the florets of the broccoli and the stems. Be sure to peel the stems with a veggie peeler or knife and then cut the stems into 1/2 inch sections.

Choppin' BROCCOLI. Choppin' Broccoley. Choppin. Chop. Huh.

Choppin’ BROCCOLI. Choppin’ Broccolai…

If the above caption is lost on you, this video is what you want to watch.

I think this video is actually impossible to watch and not laugh at. I’ve tried around 100 times. Impossible.

To prep the broccoli for the casserole, blanch it for about 3 minutes in salted, simmering water. It should be bright green and still have a slight crunch to it. If it’s completely tender and soggy, you screwed up.


Ok. Back to the recipe. Mix up all of your other ingredients except the broccoli, bread crumbs and oil in a bowl.

Kind of a mess...

Kind of a mess…

Once your broccoli pieces are blanched, move them to a 8×8 (or similar sized) casserole dish.

Action shot.

Action shot.

Then pour your cheese sauce over the broccoli. It’s that simple! Just try to make sure the sauce and cheese is evenly distributed.

That's the Parm on top.

That’s the Parm on top.

Then in a separate bowl, toss your bread crumbs in your olive oil and then coat the dish with that mixture. Also sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.



Bake this bad boy at 350 for 30-35 minutes and then broil it on high for about 2 minutes. You’ll end up with something lovely like this.

Pretty thing.

Pretty thing.

Be sure to let this cool for 5 minutes before ripping into it. You need to give the custard time to set just a bit. I served this with some toasted bread and it was very good. You could also serve it with a side of rice or just a salad. It’s a hearty side item for sure.



So if you happen to know, or be, a broccoliphobe, put this on the menu sometime. It is about as un-broccoli as broccoli can get.

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6 comments on “Broccoli Parmesan Gratin

  1. Haha, old school Dana Carvey. He does a longer version of that in one of his stand up specials. The gratin looks good, too. :)

  2. Hi Nick,

    Quick, simple and easy, my kind of dish.

    Good clear photography and very appealing.

    Pity, can't see the video, as it is blocked for the Aussies !!!

    A little variation, I would do

    I would avoid precooking the broccoli, as I like it crunchy.

  3. I absolutely love stuff like this, which is why I'm the way I am now… and eating more healthfully. Wonder if I could lighten it up w/ nonfat milk & ff half&half. Probably not… it just wouldn't have that same effect! Looks great though- will save for more indulgent times :)

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