Comfort food should be cheesy, creamy, or both. This side dish casserole recipe gives you the gooey cheese, the creamy sauce, and then takes it a step further with the buttery crumbs on top.
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Table of Contents
❤️ Why you'll love it
- An irresistible vegetable side dish that tastes like comfort food
- Easy recipe steps—use fresh or frozen broccoli florets
- A great addition to the dinner table both during the holiday season and on random, busy weeknights
Easy broccoli casserole with Ritz crackers is a great way to get the whole family excited to eat some veggies—but the best part? Even the pickiest eaters can't resist broccoli when it's smothered in buttery, cheesy goodness, flavored with tangy Ranch, and sprinkled with a crunchy Ritz cracker topping—I promise, everyone will love it!
Have lots of summer squash? Try this easy squash casserole recipe with sour cream next - it's one of our favorites!
This is an overview of the ingredients. You'll find the full measurements and instructions in the green recipe card (printable) at the bottom of the page.
This is an overview of the instructions. Full instructions are in the green recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- In a large bowl, toss together the broccoli and pimentos.
- Melt the cream cheese and whisk in the milk and Ranch seasoning.
- Stir in the sharp cheddar cheese.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the broccoli and stir to coat.
- Spoon the mixture into a greased baking dish.
- Stir together the Ritz cracker crumbs and melted butter.
- Sprinkle the buttery Ritz crackers mixture over the cheesy broccoli casserole.
- Bake in the preheated oven until golden and enjoy.
If you thought this broccoli casserole recipe couldn't get any better, it's time to think again! There are plenty of ways to prep and store it.
Assemble Ahead of Time—Fridge Storage: Prep the broccoli cheese casserole recipe, stopping after step eleven (don't add the crackers.) Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to two days. Before baking, don't forget to add the crushed Ritz crackers!
Assemble Ahead of Time—Freezer Storage: If you prefer to freeze the broccoli casserole, you can do so for up to three months! However, make sure to do so in a freezer-safe casserole dish, and leave off the crumb topping until you're ready to bake.
Leftover Casserole Storage: Leftovers should be covered with plastic wrap or portioned into an airtight container. Keep refrigerated and consume within four days.
Thawing & Reheating Instructions: If the unbaked casserole is frozen, let it thaw in the fridge before cooking. Otherwise, follow the recipe instructions as written to bake it!
Then, reheat your refrigerated leftovers in a microwave-safe dish until warm. As with most casserole recipes, you can also cover the dish and reheat leftovers in the oven, too!
- Southern broccoli casserole is also great with cauliflower, asparagus, or even green beans—like a classic green bean casserole!
- Stir in leftover chicken or another cooked, lean meat (like turkey) to transform this perfect side dish into a complete meal.
- Add some bacon bits, cubed ham, or crispy Proscuitto for a kick of savory flavor.
- Sharp cheddar is the perfect complement to broccoli (hello, broccoli cheddar soup!) However, feel free to use whatever kind you like.
- Add a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup or cream of chicken soup to make the cheesy sauce even creamier. Or, amp up the cheese with a cheddar condensed soup.
- For more healthy greens, you can stir in some wilted spinach—most people won't even notice it's there!
- Use bacon grease instead of butter to give the cracker topping more delicious flavor.
- Sometimes I'll add a little Italian seasoning to the buttery Ritz cracker topping or the creamy sauce, depending on the rest of the meal.
- If somebody gobbled up the last sleeve of Ritz crackers just before you started cooking, you can use bread crumbs instead.
💭 Things to know
Expert Tip: Unlike fresh broccoli florets, you don't need to cook frozen broccoli before putting it in the casserole. However, you will need to thaw it first. You can do this by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight or putting it in a colander and pouring hot water over it a few times.
- If you use frozen and thawed broccoli, make sure to drain it very well and pat it dry with a paper towel to remove any excess water.
- When blanching the fresh broccoli, don't cook it all the way through, or it'll be mushy in the casserole. It'll continue to cook in the oven to tender perfection!
- If you've assembled the broccoli casserole ahead of time, you'll likely need to add about 10 minutes to the total baking time so that it heats all the way through.
You could, but butter will give the cracker crumbs a richer flavor. Olive oil will work in a pinch to get 'em crispy, though.
Sure! Ranch seasoning mix is the dry powder that they sell in a small paper packet. It's usually a blend of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, dill, parsley, and some other herbs, as well as a bit of buttermilk powder.
Raw and cooked broccoli last for three to five days in the fridge. However, cooked broccoli will keep for about three months in the freezer.
You can make extra broccoli casserole and freeze it for another time (like Thanksgiving dinner!) Or, blanch the broccoli and freeze it in small bags. Then, you can slowly thaw and eat it over the next few months. Scroll down for more delicious broccoli recipes.
📚 Related recipes
- One of my favorite Ritz cracker recipes, Asparagus Casserole has bacon and lots of gooey cheese—a perfectly unique holiday side dish!
- Copycat Cracker Barrel Broccoli Cheddar Chicken is a creamy casserole dinner, perfect for busy weeknights when you're craving comfort!
- Creamy Broccoli Cauliflower Salad is one of those side dish recipes that will make everyone beg for your secret! Here's the actual secret: it's super easy and quick to prep!
- 50 Best Side Dish Recipes on the Internet is full of ideas and inspiration for side dishes you may not have tried before.
🍽️ Serve with...
Add this broccoli cheese casserole as a side dish and watch it disappear!
🥄 Restless Chipotle recommends
📞 The last word
It's the perfect side dish anytime but it's a family favorite during the holiday season.
If you click on the number of servings in the recipe card you can adjust the measurements up or down for the exact number of servings you need. Don't forget that you can click on "add to collection" to save it to your own, private recipe box!
If you love this recipe please give it 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Broccoli Casserole with Ritz CrackersPrint Pin Recipe Save Recipe
- 1 pound broccoli
- 4 ounces pimentos
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup milk
- 1 ounce ranch salad dressing & seasoning mix
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
- 15 Ritz crackers, about 1 sleeve, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
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- Heat oven to 350°F.
- Grease a 2 quart casserole dish.
- Cook the broccoli in salted water until tender but not mushy.
- Place cream cheese and milk in a microwave safe glass bowl.
- Microwave on high about 30 seconds, or just until the cream cheese is softened.
- Add the packet of Ranch dressing and whisk until smooth.
- Stir in the Cheddar cheese.
- Mix the cooked, drained broccoli with the pimentos in a large bowl.
- Pour the cheese mixture over the broccoli and mix gently.
- Spoon into the prepared casserole dish.
- Pour the melted butter into the cracker crumbs and mix.
- Sprinkle over the broccoli mixture.
- Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
- Use bacon grease instead of butter to stir into the cracker crumbs. YUM!
- Sharp Cheddar is delicious in this recipe but use whatever you like.
- If you are using frozen broccoli you won't need to cook it but you will need to thaw it first. You can do this by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight or putting it in a colander and pouring hot water over it a few times.
- If you use frozen broccoli make sure to drain it very well and pat it dry so it doesn't make your casserole watery.
Nutrition information is estimated as a courtesy. If using for medical purposes, please verify information using your own nutritional calculator. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
First Published April 5, 2021. Last updated December 26, 2022 for editorial improvements.