The Ballyhooed Broccoli Casserole

Along about the holidays each year I get the calls for my broccoli casserole recipe.

It isn’t really mine, of course. Years ago—when I lived in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia–I was introduced one Christmas to this broccoli casserole, and it was the best I had ever tasted.  There are many versions of it, of course.  Some use rice, or celery, even chestnuts. You name it and I’ve tasted it.  Some leave out the onion, which is a big no-no around my house.  Somehow, this one just tasted “right.”

The woman who made it got it from her mother, but there wasn’t anything extraordinary about it.  No “hidden” ingredients or special treatment.  Just an excellent combination of ingredients that make for a heavenly rich and crunchy dish.  You may have made this same recipe yourself. If you haven’t, you should.  Here it is:

Broccoli Casserole

  • 3 packages of frozen broccoli
  • 1 cup of mayonnaise
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 sleeve of Ritz crackers
  • 4 tablespoons of melted butter

Cook broccoli according to package directions.  Drain and mix with mayonnaise, soup, onion, cheese, and eggs. Pour into a buttered casserole dish.  Crush the sleeve of Ritz crackers by hand and scatter across the top of the casserole.  Then drizzle melted butter on the crushed crackers.

Bake at 325 degrees (F) for 30 minutes, or until top is golden brown and casserole is bubbling.  Oven times may vary, so check your casserole after 25 minutes.

Note:  There are variations on this recipe that will enhance it, without changing the ingredients.  For instance, fresh broccoli may certainly be steamed and used.  And you may prefer more (or fewer) crackers and butter on the top.

© Wade Kingston

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