This flavorful broccoli and cauliflower bake is made with a white sauce and topped with Parmesan cheese and buttery breadcrumbs. It is perfect for an everyday family meal—after all, it's a tasty way to get people to enjoy these nutritious vegetables—but it's also special enough for a holiday table or potluck.
This casserole recipe is also a great way to use up broccoli and cauliflower you bought as part of a raw vegetable tray but your guests didn't eat. You can include leftover baby carrots, as well, or any other hardy vegetables that won't wilt during the cooking process.
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound broccoli
- 1 pound cauliflower
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 to 5 tablespoons butter, divided
- 4 tablespoons flour
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 dash nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
- 1 to 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
Preheat the oven to 450 F.
In a large saucepan, bring the water and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a boil.
Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into equal bite-sized pieces. Trim away or peel the stems, if using, so they will cook at the same rate as the florets.
Add the broccoli and cauliflower to the water and cook just until crisp-tender, about 4 to 6 minutes. Drain the vegetables, reserving the cooking liquid. Place the drained vegetables into a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
Transfer the cooking liquid to the bowl. Add the milk and stir to combine.
In the saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
Blend in the flour, stirring until smooth and bubbly. This makes a roux for the sauce.
Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in milk and vegetable broth mixture.
Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth. Season to taste with the salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
Pour the sauce over the broccoli and cauliflower and stir gently to coat the vegetables with the sauce.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the saucepan.
Combine the melted butter with the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and paprika. Toss to blend ingredients, and sprinkle over the vegetables.
Bake the casserole in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until casserole is bubbly and the bread crumbs are lightly browned.
Remove the casserole from the oven and serve immediately.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator and enjoy them within three to four days. You can reheat leftovers in the microwave.
- If you need to keep the leftovers longer, freeze in a freezer container. Label the package with the contents and date. They are best used in two to three months.
- If you want a richer sauce, add some cheese to the white sauce or add cream instead of milk. You can also reduce the amount of the vegetable liquid used for the sauce and increase the amount of milk or cream to bring the measure up to 2 1/2 cups.
- For a cheddar and vegetable bake, add 1/2 cup or more of shredded cheddar cheese to the sauce before baking.