Southern Broccoli Casserole: This simple recipe uses everyday ingredients and has an unbelievable flavor, using Cheez-It® crackers, shredded sharp cheddar, and cream of chicken soup!
Quick Overview: Only a few minutes to mix and pour in a casserole dish, and 30 minutes to bake, this creamy broccoli casserole is an easy side dish that’s perfect for the holidays or to serve with other easy dinner recipes!
Why you’ll love this recipe
Whether it’s for Thanksgiving or Christmas, you can almost imagine you’ll find a broccoli casserole at the table. (But in all honesty, you’ll probably want to make this all year long, and not just for the holidays!)
Inspired by our green bean casserole that has gone VIRAL on Pinterest year after year, I knew it was time to make a broccoli casserole that you’d love too.
With this recipe, you’ll not only love the creaminess but it uses cream of chicken soup instead of cream of mushroom and uses a Cheez-It® cracker topping instead of a Ritz cracker topping.
Talk about FLAVOR, and better than any other broccoli casserole we’ve ever had!
As you can see below, this recipe uses easy ingredients that you may even already have on hand. But if not, most grocery stores will have what you need to make this!
See the easy-to-read, full recipe card, for ingredients amounts and instructions, toward the bottom of this post!
- frozen broccoli (we bought the packaged, steamable broccoli to keep this easy and it did not dissapoint.)
- eggs, lightly beaten
- white onion
- can of cream of chicken soup (do not prepare)
- melted butter
- shredded sharp cheddar (we used the block and shredded it — way better than pre-shredded in our opinion!)
- Cheez-It® crackers
- salt and pepper
Broccoli Casserole with Cream of Chicken Soup?
Yes. I know it’s popular to use cream of mushroom but trust me on this one. It’s delicious with cream of chicken!
But what about broccoli casserole with Ritz?
I know it… Ritz crackers are good too. But hear me out. We already know that cheese is good in this casserole. Why not add more cheese with the crunch of the cracker that we all love!
Besides, if you have Ritz Crackers, you may want to save them to use in this Ritz Chicken Casserole!
- First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Next, pour frozen broccoli in to microwavable bowl. Microwave long enough (took about 3 minutes for us) to take the chill off and thaw.
(We did not steam the broccoli all of the way, since it will continue to cook in the oven and we didn’t want to overcook it.)
- NOTE: If any water, left from the condensation of the frozen broccoli settles in the bottom of the bowl, discard the water. If not the water can make the casserole “soupy”.
- Next, pour the broccoli, onion, cream of chicken soup, melted butter, eggs, salt and pepper, and mayonnaise in to a large mixing bowl.
- Mix together until evenly combined.
- Pour in one cup of the shredded sharp cheddar, saving the remainder to sprinkle on top in a step below. (NOTE: You can use pre-shredded cheese for ease but if you have time, shredding your own block cheddar will create a creamier casserole!)
- Stir to blend in the shredded cheddar.
- Pour broccoli casserole mixture in to a greased (we used cooking spray but you can use butter) 9×13 baking dish. Using a spatula, spread the mixture evenly in the dish, making it a level surface.
- Sprinkle the reamining cheese on top, evenly covering as much of the casserole as you can.
- Crush your Cheez-It® crackers. (We simply put them in a plastic ziptop bag, sealed it and mashed them with our hands.) You can mash them until small crumbs or crush “lightly” leaving some large crackers still intact for some fun crunch.
- Evenly spread crushed crackers all over the top of the casserole.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes or until casserole is cooked all the way through and bubbly.
How to Serve
Serve this southern broccoli casserole, warm, as a side dish to your favorite dinner.
Or, feel free to add chicken to this casserole and make it a one-pot meal.
Can broccoli casserole be made in advance?
It can. But please note that we have found if we want to make this in advance, we prefer assembling everything but the crackers, as they can sit in the refrigerator, and become “soft” or “stale” removing the delicious “crunch” factor from the casserole when cooked.
If making in advance: assemble everything in to the baking dish, EXCEPT the crackers, cover, and refrigerate until ready to bake. Just before baking, top casserole with crushed crackers and bake as normal.
If you have leftovers, this can be amazing the next day. Simply cover the broccoli casserole dish with plastic wrap, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.
If properly refrigerated, the casserole should be good to eat for 3-4 days after baking.
Absolutely! If freezing cooked leftovers, transfer to a freezer-safe dish when casserole has FULLY COOLED. Freeze for up to 6 months.
If freezing an entirely fully cooked casserole, for use later, it’s best to bake in a freezer-safe/oven-safe dish, so you do not have to transfer containers to freeze.
If freezing an uncooked casserole, assemble in a freezer-safe and oven-safe container, so the casserole can thaw in the refrigerator overnight before baking, and the dish can simply go in to oven once thawed, without transfering dishes.
- If you’re used to using/having Ritz crackers on top, that’s absolutely ok to use instead of Cheez-It® crackers. We’ve just found that we love the “cheesier” flavor the Cheez-It® crackers provide.
- Don’t want to shred your own cheese? No problem. You can use the pre-shredded. We just prefer the creaminess of the block cheese, when shredded. The pre-shredded cheese in the store can sometimes have a powdery “film” to prevent sticking and can sometimes dry-out the flavor. Honestly, when I bought the shredder attachment for my Kitchen-aid mixer to help me with this, it was a game changer!
- Cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken? Sure. That’s a traditional ingredient. However we LOVE the flavor of the cream of chicken more than the mushroom but you can use either one!
Want to try different flavors or ingredients in your broccoli casserole! Go for it!
You can switch up the flavor of cheese, Cheez-It® crackers, soup, type of broccoli (fresh instead of frozen), etc. Please note that some changes can vary the cook-time and may alter the results. So please keep that in mind and test!
If feeding a large crowd, placing your baked, southern broccoli casserole in to a slow cooker on “warm” may be an ideal situation. We’ve yet to test this but although it would remove the rectangular, “casserole” appearance, a serving could easily be scooped out of the slow cooker and on to a plate when time to eat. (If you’re short on oven-space and need a warming solution.)
If you loved this recipe, then you’ll also love the super popular Doritos casserole, creamy ranch chicken and tater tot dish, ham casserole, and the corn casserole recipe that we have with the holidays!
Southern Broccoli Casserole
- 6 cups frozen, steamable broccoli
- 1 10 ¾ ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 stick butter (unsalted) melted (if using salted, don't use as much salt below)
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (omit some if using salted butter)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 ½ cups sharp cheddar cheese shredded (shred your own if you can – see post for details)
- 1 ½ cups Cheez-It® crackers crushed
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- Remove frozen broccoli from packagin and place in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 3-4 minutes or until thawed. (Does not have to be fully steamed/cooked – it will continue to cook in oven.)NOTE: if water has gathered in bottom of bowl, from condensation of frozen broccoli, discard water as this could make your casserole "soupy".
- In large mixing bowl, mix together thawed broccoli, soup, mayo, butter, eggs, onion, salt, and pepper. Stir to evenly combine.
- Pour only one cup of the shredded cheese in to the broccoli casserole mixture, and stir to combine.
- Pour broccoli casserole mixture in to a greased 9×13 baking dish and spread evenlly using the back of a spoon or a ladle.
- Using the remainder of the shredded cheese, sprinkle on top of casserole, trying to sprinkle and cover the entire casserole.
- Next, sprinkle the crushed Cheez-It® crackers all over the top of the casserole, trying to cover it entirely.
- Place dish in oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until heated through and bubbly! Serve.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.