Broccoli and Blue Cheese Gratin

Broccoli and blue cheese gratin is a simple comforting casserole that makes the perfect Thanksgiving side dish.

A white gratin dish filled with cheesy broccoli and topped with toasted breadcrumbs

Broccoli and blue cheese gratin. Ooooh baby, this is how we like our broccoli. Buried in a not-too-rich sauce with a hint of heat from cayenne and ample oomph from pungent blue cheese. The make-it-in-advance trick doesn’t do anything to dissuade us, either.Choose a mild blue cheese, such as Bleu d’Auvergne or Gorgonzola, for this recipe. The broccoli is first steamed until tender, then cloaked with cheese sauce and topped with buttery crumbs for baking. You can steam the broccoli and prepare the sauce in advance, then finish and bake the dish just before serving. Originally published December 8, 2011.Renee Schettler Rossi

Broccoli and Blue Cheese Gratin

  • Quick Glance
  • (3)
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 25 M
  • Serves 6 to 8
5/5 - 3 reviews
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Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C). Lightly butter a gratin or 8- or 9-inch baking dish.

Trim and discard the thick stalks from the broccoli. Cut each head in half lengthwise. Place the broccoli in a steamer rack set over boiling water, cover, and steam until easily pierced with a fork, 7 to 12 minutes or so, depending on the size. Drain and rinse the broccoli under cold running water, then coarsely chop it. Drain it again, then transfer it to a bowl.

Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, melt 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, transfer to a plate, and set aside.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the flour until smooth. Return the pan to low heat and slowly pour in 1/2 cup of the milk, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Slowly whisk in another 1/2 cup of milk. Add the salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened again, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup milk and simmer until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the blue cheese and cook, stirring, just until melted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Pour the sauce over the broccoli and turn gently to mix. Spoon the mixture into the prepared gratin dish, smooth the surface, and top with the buttered bread crumbs. Cut the remaining butter into bits and dot the top. Bake until bubbling around the edges and golden on top, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

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    In Advance Advice

    • You can cook the broccoli early in the day, or even the day before, and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. You can also toast the bread crumbs and leave them at room temperature for up to several hours.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    This broccoli and blue cheese gratin made a fairly easy side dish for our family dinner. I love the tang from the blue cheese and the crunch from the bread crumbs. They both added more interesting tastes and textures than some other vegetable gratins that exhaust your taste buds with so much richness.

    First off, last summer, some friends of mine were in Iowa and brought us back gifts for housesitting. These gifts included La Quercia prosciutto and an entire wheel of Maytag blue cheese. (Yeah, I know, these are really good friends!) Anyway, we’d been slowly getting through the blue cheese when this broccoli and blue cheese gratin recipe popped up, and all I can say is, killer! The dish came out of the oven creamy, slightly pungent, and super tender. I do have to point out one small beef I had with the recipe. What, really, is a head of broccoli? The broccoli at the farmers markets tends to be much larger than the stuff at the grocery store, so I guessed and used 2 bags of Trader Joe’s florets, which, IMHO, should be used anyway since it saves so much time. Other than that the recipe works fine as written. We ended up eating the whole pan for dinner, it was that good.


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    1. I veganised this recipe and it is absolutely delicious. It will become a staple in my household. Thank you for sharing

    2. This sounds delicious! I plan to make it tomorrow for my production day, in culinary school (Le Cordon Bleu). We’re required to make a broccoli gratin & I like to be the one out of the box… AND I love blue cheese! AND so does my instructor 😉
      So, THANKS!

    3. This was excellent. I scaled it to 1/3 and it was perfect for two people as a side dish to short ribs. My only complaint with the way the recipe was written is that it was hard to scale it when the directions state “use !/2 cup milk” instead of, for example, “1/3 of the total milk.” I did a lot of “winging” in terms of measurements, but it came out great never the less. The only other (albeit small) complaint: This little side dish dirtied a LOT of dishes: colander, saucepan, skillet, plate, bowl, baking dish. I cheated: I added the brocoli to the white sauce in the sauce pan rather than the other way around and I left the bread crumbs in the cooled skillet until ready to use (why do I need a plate?). I will make this again! Thank you for this and all your great recipes.

      1. You’re very welcome, Lynn. Glad to hear you like this recipe as much as we do! I can completely understand the difficulty you mention in terms of measuring when you scaled the recipe down, although by way of explanation, I worded it the way I did because for the average reader who’s making the full recipe, it’s much easier to just be told to add a specific amount of milk rather than !/3 of the total milk because this way there’s no need to do math in your mind as you’re juggling all those dirty bowls and pots and pans. I like how you cut down on the dishes, although in response to your query, the bread crumbs are transferred to a plate because if they were left on the baking sheet the residual heat from the sheet could cause the crumbs to burn. I hope these explanations help and look forward to hearing which recipe on the site you try next!

    4. It is very nice when a site attracts people who have actually tried a recipe before commenting, as your site does. (Instead of a hundred repeats of, “Oh, this looks so good.” In this regard sites seem to diverge feast or famine…. I wonder how that happens? Anyhow, this recipe worked perfectly. Many thanks!

      1. Ruth, thank you so much for your comment. It cuts right to the heart of what we do–and what I think sets us apart: Posting only recipes that have been tested by us so that you can cook with confidence, as you have in this case. Mucho gracias.

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