Cheesy Craving Satisfied: Broccoli, Cauliflower & Cheese Casserole (Recipe)

I'm Always telling people that I could be vegetarian, but not vegan.

Why?

Well, meat, I can easily do without.

We don't eat pork. I stay away from chicken unless it's organic...or really good chicken wings. Turkey, is just, turkey, except when it's a smoked turkey from Honey Baked Ham around Thanksgiving time, then it's AWESOME! Lol. And I like a good, garlicky steak, every now and then.  But believe me when I say meat, I could take it or leave it.

But I Absolutely. Cannot. Be vegan because I have a SERIOUS. love affair. with. CHEESE. 

:eyes roll back just thinking about it:

This past Thursday, husband took me on a surprise lunch date to a quirky, cool spot called EATS. I had a broccoli casserole with rice and cheese as one of my sides. You choose your meat and two sides at EATS. I had the chicken chili, which was tasty. To be honest the broccoli casserole was just Okay, but today I couldn't stop thinking about how much I would love some really good broccoli casserole.

Danny brought home a broccoli, cauliflower, and cheese casserole once and I was obsessed. And the broccoli casserole I had at EATS just took me back to that first night, lol.  

So I decided that I would make a broccoli, cauliflower, and cheese casserole for dinner. 

FindlayHouse BroccoliCauliflowerCheese
Ever had a craving for something before and once you finally satisfied it you were like, "Eh, what was all the fuss about anyway? It wasn't even that great."

THIS WAS NOTHING LIKE THAT!

It really hit the spot, and I'm thrilled that I can satisfy this craving whenever I want without breaking the bank. 

There are a lot of variations for this particular casserole but I did my best to find a recipe that best reminded me of that first broccoli, cauliflower, and cheese experience. 

In the end I combined two of the more popular recipes, one that used cream of mushroom and one that created its own sauce.

It. gets. better. READ on. 

FindlayHouseCheesyCasserole

Ingredients 

1 head (large) Broccoli

1 head Cauliflower

6 Tablespoons Butter - for cheese sauce 

1/2 whole Medium Onion, Diced

2 cloves Garlic, Minced

1/4 cup Flour

1 Can Cream of Chicken & Mushroom Condensed Soup

4 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, Room Temperature

 Salt

Black Pepper

Paprika

1-1/2 cup Grated Monterey Jack Cheese, More To Taste

1 Tablespoon Butter - for breadcrumbs

1/3 cup Breadcrumbs

Steps

1. Cut off the thick stalks and break the broccoli and cauliflower into small florets.

2. Steam the broccoli and cauliflower for about 3 minutes or until the broccoli is bright green. (You can mince the onion and garlic at this time.) Remove them from the heat. Set aside.

3. Melt the 6 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet. Then sauté the onion and garlic until the onion starts to turn translucent, (about 3 minutes). Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the butter, onion, garlic mix, and stir to combine. Cook for another 45 seconds. 

5. Pour in the can of cream of chicken & mushroom, stirring constantly, until cream is heated all the way through.

6. Reduce the heat to low and season the sauce with salt, black pepper, and paprika to taste. Add the softened cream cheese. Keep stirring until it melts. Add 1/2 cup Monterey Cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Keep the sauce warm on the stove.

7. Melt the tablespoon of butter and combine with breadcrumbs in a small bowl.

8. In a small casserole dish, (I used a pie dish) layer the broccoli and cauliflower. Then pour on the cream sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Top with the breadcrumb butter mixture. 

9. Bake in the pre-heated 375 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and the breadcrumbs are brown. 

10. Bon appétit!

 Here you go...Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Cheese - #upcloseandpersonal

Here you go...Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Cheese - #upcloseandpersonal

FindlayHouseFriday

NOTES

  • You could totally opt to create a multi layer casserole repeating the process of adding broccoli + cauliflower, cream sauce, and cheese. I only did one layer of each, as I was using a shallow dish.
  • My major change to the recipe was using the cream of chicken & mushroom, rather than just plain chicken broth. 
  • The original recipe I referenced came from one of my favorite food blogger's, The Pioneer Woman, she can do no wrong when it comes to food. Thanks Ree!
  • Just say NO to frozen veggies.  

I ended up pan searing Tilapia for husband to go along side the casserole, but I more or less just had the casserole for dinner. YUM! :insert licks lips: I totally indulged and didn't feel bad about. AND I drank from a mug.

Get into ad agency nerd mode and binge watch Mad Men? Check! My weekend is off to a wonderful start, I hope yours is too!

Best wishes for good food. love. light. & many more wonderful weekends!

-CF