Traditional French Broccoli Gratin Recipe

Traditional French Broccoli Gratin Recipe

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Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 40 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
440 Calories
25g Fat
39g Carbs
19g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 440
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 31%
Saturated Fat 13g 63%
Cholesterol 55mg 18%
Sodium 700mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 7g 23%
Protein 19g
Calcium 463mg 36%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Gratin using any kind of vegetable is always considered a classic of French cooking. To be a gratin it must be a baked dish but distinctively must have a light covering of cheese and or breadcrumbs. Which vegetable you use requires that it is robust enough to be baked, so root vegetables are one of the best to use. Using a green vegetable, the favored vegetable may be leaf spinach but broccoli also does a good job.

 This broccoli gratin recipe is a versatile side dish that fits in well with many menus. The smallest hint of sage is nearly undetectable hidden in the traditional cheese and broccoli, yet gives the dish a special complexity. Use good quality, fresh broccoli for the best flavors. 


  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 pounds broccoli (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cantal cheese (substitute cheddar)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 375 F and butter a large gratin dish.

  3. Sauté the onion in the olive oil for five minutes in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the onions and continue sautéing the mixture for 30 seconds. Add the salt, pepper, rubbed sage, and milk to the pan and stir constantly for 3 to 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.

  4. Stir broccoli and cheese into the sauce, bring the mixture to just a simmer, and then turn it out into the buttered gratin dish. Stir together the melted butter, bread crumbs, and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and sprinkle the ​bread crumbs over the gratin. Bake the broccoli gratin in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until it is hot and bubbly, and the bread crumbs have turned golden brown.

Recipe Variations

This dish is a simple and tasty way of serving healthy broccoli. there are, however, some delicious alternatives too. 

  • In addition to the broccoli, add lightly, steamed fresh spinach before baking. 
  • Mix in some curly kale and proceed with the recipe as above. 
  • Which cheese you use can totally alter this dish. Above Parmesan is used but why not ring the changes using a little grated Gruyere, or Emmenthal. Strong cheddar also makes a good, tasty topping. 
  • Mix a couple of tablespoons of lightly toasted breadcrumbs to the topping.