Broccolini Casserole Recipe: A Complete Guide

Introduction

Broccolini casserole is a delicious and nutritious dish that combines tender, slightly sweet broccolini with a creamy, savoury sauce. It’s ideal for family meals, potlucks, and holiday parties. This versatile recipe allows you to experiment with different ingredients to suit your dietary needs and tastes. In this article, we will look at the history of broccolini and why you should consider adding it to your diet. We will also include a detailed recipe, variations, nutritional information, serving suggestions, and more.

Origin of Broccolini Casserole Recipe

Broccolini Casserole Recipe
Broccolini Casserole Recipe

Broccolini, commonly referred to as baby broccoli, is a hybrid vegetable developed in Japan in the early 1990s. It is a cross of broccoli and Chinese broccoli (gai lan). Broccolini has longer, slender stalks and smaller florets than traditional broccoli, and it tastes sweeter and more delicate. Its distinct flavour and texture have made it a popular ingredient in many culinary dishes, particularly casseroles.

Why Broccolini Casserole?

The Broccolini casserole recipe is both delicious and nutritious. Broccolini contains vitamins A, C, and K, as well as fibre and antioxidants. These nutrients benefit overall health by strengthening the immune system, improving digestion, and promoting bone health. Furthermore, broccolini’s mild flavour makes it an excellent base for casseroles, as it complements a wide range of ingredients and seasonings.

Equipment Used for Broccolini Casserole Recipe

  • Baking dish (9×13 inches)
  • Mixing bowls
  • Whisk
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Saucepan
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Spatula
  • Aluminum foil

Ingredients for Broccolini Casserole Recipe

Broccolini Casserole Recipe
Broccolini Casserole Recipe
  • 1 pound broccolini, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa or rice
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or your favourite cheese)
  • 1 cup milk (or plant-based milk)
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (optional, for topping)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional, for topping)

Steps to Make Broccolini Casserole

Step 1: Preheat and Prepare

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.

Step 2: Cook Broccolini

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccolini and cook for 2-3 minutes until just tender. Drain and set aside.

Step 3: Make the Sauce

Step 4: Combine Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa or rice, blanched broccolini, and cheese sauce. Mix until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.

Step 5: Add Toppings (Optional)

If using, sprinkle the breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese over the top of the casserole.

Step 6: Bake

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbly.

Step 7: Serve

Allow the casserole to cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Preparation Time for Broccolini Casserole Recipe

  • Preparation: 15 minutes
  • Cooking: 30-35 minutes
  • Total: 45-50 minutes

Nutritional Value (Per Serving)

  • Calories: 300-350
  • Protein: 15-20 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 30-35 grams
  • Fat: 15-20 grams
  • Fiber: 4-6 grams
  • Vitamins: High in A, C, and K
  • Minerals: Good source of calcium and iron

Variations Broccolini Casserole Recipe

Broccolini Casserole Recipe
Broccolini Casserole Recipe

Vegan Broccolini Casserole

For those following a plant-based diet, the vegan broccolini casserole is a perfect choice. Here’s how to make it:

  • Cheese Substitute: Instead of cheddar cheese, use nutritional yeast or a vegan cheese brand.
  • Plant-based: Milk such as almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk can be used as a dairy substitute.
  • Butter substitutes: Include olive oil, coconut oil, and vegan butter.
  • Optional Additions: Add vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, and zucchini for added flavour and nutrition.

Gluten-Free Broccolini Casserole

If you need a gluten-free option, it’s easy to adapt the recipe:

  • Flour Substitute: Use gluten-free all-purpose flour to make the cheese sauce.
  • Breadcrumb Substitute: Use gluten-free breadcrumbs or crushed gluten-free crackers for the topping.
  • Ensure Ingredients: Double-check that all other ingredients, such as cheese and seasonings, are gluten-free.

Mediterranean Broccolini Casserole

Give your casserole a Mediterranean twist with these additions:

  • Additional Ingredients: Add sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and artichoke hearts.
  • Cheese Substitute: Use feta cheese or goat cheese for a tangy flavour.
  • Grain Substitute: Replace quinoa or rice with couscous or orzo for a Mediterranean feel.

Spicy Broccolini Casserole

For those who enjoy a bit of heat in their food, the spicy broccolini casserole is an exciting variation:

  • Spicy Ingredients: Add chopped jalapeños, red pepper flakes, or a dash of hot sauce to the cheese sauce.
  • Cheese Substitute: Use pepper jack cheese instead of cheddar for a spicy kick.
  • Optional Additions: Include diced bell peppers and onions to enhance the flavour profile.

Protein-Packed Broccolini Casserole

Add more protein to your casserole for a hearty meal:

  • Legumes: Add cooked chickpeas or black beans to the casserole mix.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Sprinkle toasted almonds, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds on top before baking.
  • Tofu or Tempeh: Incorporate cubed tofu or tempeh into the casserole for an extra protein boost.

Creamy Broccolini Casserole

For a richer and creamier casserole, try this variation:

  • Additional Dairy: Add an extra 1/2 cup of milk or a dollop of sour cream to the cheese sauce.
  • Cheese Blend: Use a blend of cheeses like mozzarella, gruyere, and Parmesan for a deeper flavour.
  • Cream Cheese: Mix a few tablespoons of cream cheese into the sauce for extra creaminess.

Low-Carb Broccolini Casserole

To make a low-carb version of the broccolini casserole, make these adjustments:

  • Rice Substitute: Replace quinoa or rice with cauliflower rice to reduce carbs.
  • Keto-Friendly Ingredients: Use heavy cream instead of milk and add more cheese for a high-fat, low-carb dish.
  • Optional Additions: Include low-carb vegetables like spinach, kale, or asparagus.

Herb-Infused Broccolini Casserole

Infuse your casserole with fresh herbs for a fragrant and flavorful dish:

  • Herb Selection: Add fresh herbs like basil, thyme, rosemary, or parsley to the cheese sauce.
  • Herb Topping: Sprinkle chopped fresh herbs on top of the casserole before baking.
  • Optional Additions: Incorporate ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes or roasted garlic for added depth.

These variations allow you to customize the broccolini casserole to suit your dietary needs and taste preferences, making it a versatile dish that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Other Health Benefits

The Broccolini Casserole Recipe is not just delicious but also offers several health benefits:

  • Antioxidant Properties: Rich in vitamins C and A, broccolini helps combat oxidative stress and reduce inflammation.
  • Bone Health: High levels of vitamin K and calcium contribute to strong bones and teeth.
  • Digestive Health: The fibre content in broccolini aids in digestion and promotes a healthy gut.
  • Immune Support: Vitamin C boosts the immune system, helping the body fend off illnesses.

Recipe Card for Broccolini Casserole Recipe

Broccolini Casserole Recipe

Broccolini Casserole Recipe

Broccolini casserole is a delicious and nutritious dish that combines tender, slightly sweet broccolini with a creamy, savoury sauce. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 4
Calories 350 kcal

Equipment

  • Baking dish (9×13 inches)
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Whisk
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Saucepan
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Spatula
  • Aluminum foil

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound broccolini trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa or rice
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or your favourite cheese
  • 1 cup milk or plant-based milk
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs optional, for topping
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese optional, for topping

Instructions
 

  • Steps to Make Broccolini Casserole
  • Step 1: Preheat and Prepare
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  • Step 2: Cook Broccolini
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccolini and cook for 2-3 minutes until just tender. Drain and set aside.
  • Step 3: Make the Sauce
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes or until a paste forms. Whisk in the milk gradually, until the mixture is smooth and thickens slightly. Combine the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Remove from the heat and add the shredded cheddar cheese, stirring until melted and smooth.
  • Step 4: Combine Ingredients
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa or rice, blanched broccolini, and cheese sauce. Mix until well combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
  • Step 5: Add Toppings (Optional)
  • If using, sprinkle the breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese over the top of the casserole.
  • Step 6: Bake
  • Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the top is golden and bubbly.
  • Step 7: Serve
  • Allow the casserole to cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutritional Value (Per Serving)

  • Calories: 300-350
  • Protein: 15-20 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 30-35 grams
  • Fat: 15-20 grams
  • Fiber: 4-6 grams
  • Vitamins: High in A, C, and K
  • Minerals: Good source of calcium and iron
Keyword Broccolini Casserole Recipe, Recipe Broccolini

Serving Suggestions for Broccolini Casserole Recipe

Broccolini casserole recipe can be served as a main dish or a side. Here are a few suggestions to complement your meal:

  • Serve with a fresh green salad for a light and balanced meal.
  • Pair with garlic bread or a warm, crusty baguette.
  • Enjoy alongside grilled vegetables or a simple tomato and cucumber salad.
  • For a heartier meal, serve with roasted potatoes or a grain bowl.

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Tips for Perfect Broccolini Casserole Recipe

  • Blanch Broccolini: Don’t skip blanching the broccolini. It helps retain its vibrant colour and tender-crisp texture.
  • Customize the Sauce: Feel free to adjust the seasonings and cheese in the sauce to match your taste preferences.
  • Make Ahead: This casserole can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Simply bake when ready to serve.
  • Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave.

Conclusion Broccolini Casserole Recipe

The broccolini casserole Recipe is a versatile and nutritious dish that will quickly become a family favourite. Whether you stick with the original recipe or try one of the variations, you’ll love the delicious flavours and health benefits of this vegetable-packed casserole. This dish is perfect for any occasion, is simple to prepare, and can be tailored to your dietary needs and preferences. Find more talks about this Broccolini Casserole Recipe on Reddit

FAQ: Broccolini Casserole Recipe

Can I use regular broccoli instead of broccolini?

Yes, you can substitute broccolini with regular broccoli. Just adjust the cooking time as needed since broccoli florets may require a bit more time to cook.

Can I freeze broccolini casserole?

Yes, broccolini casserole can be frozen. After baking, let it cool completely, then cover tightly and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

Is broccolini the same as broccoli rabe?

No, broccolini and broccoli rabe are different vegetables. Broccolini is a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese broccoli, while broccoli rabe is more closely related to turnips and has a more bitter taste.

How can I make the casserole creamier?

For a creamier casserole, you can add an extra 1/2 cup of milk or a dollop of sour cream to the cheese sauce.

Can I add other vegetables to the casserole?

Absolutely! Feel free to add other vegetables like carrots, peas, or bell peppers to the casserole for added flavour and nutrition.

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