June 6, 2013

Say Cheese: Vegetable Edition

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Margaret's Morsels | Broccoli Au Gratin

A couple of years ago, I shared a recipe for fresh steamed broccoli with lemon -- not cheese -- sauce.  When I don't have fresh broccoli on hand or I want to serve something a little fancier, I pull out a recipe my mom used to make called Broccoli Au Gratin.  The name may sound intimidating, but the recipe is really easy to make.  Au gratin is just a French word that means to sprinkle food with bread crumbs, grated cheese, or both and then brown it in the oven.

Instead of fresh broccoli, this casserole uses a 16 ounce package of frozen chopped broccoli that's cooked according to package directions.  While the broccoli is cooking, crumble enough Ritz crackers to equal 1/2 cup crumbs -- about 13 crackers.  The easiest and neatest way to do this is to put the crackers in a plastic bag

Margaret's Morsels | Broccoli Au Gratin

and crush them with your hands.

Margaret's Morsels | Broccoli Au Gratin

When the broccoli is almost done, bring a can of undiluted cream of chicken soup to a boil over low heat.

Margaret's Morsels | Broccoli Au Gratin

Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the grated cheese until it's melted.

Margaret's Morsels | Broccoli Au Gratin

I use 98% fat-free soup which has less sodium than regular soup.  For that reason, I stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt when I add the cheese.

Thoroughly drain the broccoli, stir it in the soup mixture and spread it in a greased casserole dish.

Margaret's Morsels | Broccoli Au Gratin

Most recipes call for cracker crumbs to be combined with melted butter or dotted with butter, but not this one.  It doesn't use any butter.  I actually prefer it this way because the crumbs won't be soggy when you reheat the leftovers.  Sprinkle the cracker crumbs on top 

Margaret's Morsels | Broccoli Au Gratin

and bake the casserole at 350° for 30 minutes.

My mom served Broccoli Au Gratin with a variety of entrees, but I especially like to serve it with Microwave Tuna and Noodle Parmesan.

Margaret's Morsels | Broccoli Au Gratin

No matter what you choose to serve it with, the recipe is a nice alternative to steamed broccoli.  It's also an easy, tasty and inexpensive way to dress up an ordinary package of frozen chopped broccoli.

Broccoli Au Gratin
6 Servings

1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained
1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup (undiluted)*
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup crushed Ritz cracker crumbs (approximately 13 crackers)

Cook broccoli according to package directions; drain.  Bring undiluted soup to a boil over low heat; remove from heat and stir in cheese until it's melted.  Stir in broccoli.  Place mixture in a greased casserole dish; sprinkle with cracker crumbs.  Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.

*If using 98% fat-free soup, add 1/2 teaspoon salt when you add the cheese.

© Margaret's Morsels

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