Good 'n healthy Broccoli Cauliflower

Broccoli Cauliflower
So many recipes call for drowning the broccoli and cauliflower in this popular side dish in condensed soup and cheese. We’ll show you how to make your own tasty cheese sauce with half the sodium and cholesterol.  

Our secret is to use olive oil for our white sauce, or roux, rather than butter, along with reduced sodium chicken broth and 1% milk, rather than heavy cream. All you need is some spices and reduced fat cheddar cheese and you have your sauce. Toss in the veggies and top with breadcrumbs mixed with a little butter and you are ready to bake. 

The beauty of this dish is you can make it the day before and bake when you are ready to eat or take to your next family or social gathering. Note: Add one or two cups of cooked chicken and you have a complete meal!

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes 


  • 2 large crowns of broccoli, stems removed and cut into flowerets (about 8 cups) frozen can be substituted
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, stems removed and cut into flowerets (about 4 cups) frozen can be substituted
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced (½ – ¾ cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced, or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup 1% milk
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne (red) pepper or more to taste, optional
  • 2 cups reduced fat (2%) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded 

Crumb Topping

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs or panko crumbs


  1. Rinse broccoli and cauliflower under cold water.  If using frozen vegetables, thaw in strainer, or cook according to package directions, but just a few minutes until thawed.
  2. For fresh vegetables: Add several cups of water to a large saucepan (a 5-6-quart size is ideal) and bring to boil. Add broccoli flowerets, bring to boil, then simmer 2 minutes until fork tender. Drain. Depending on size of saucepan you may need to cook broccoli in two batches.
  3. Cook cauliflower using same method as broccoli.
  4. While vegetables drain, you can make the cheese sauce in the same large saucepan, but make sure all water has been removed: 
    1. Heat large saucepan to medium high heat and add olive oil.
    2. Add onion and sauté, stirring frequently, for several minutes, or until soft, but not browned.
    3. Add minced garlic or garlic powder and stir another minute.
    4. Sprinkle flour over onion-garlic mixture and stir for one minute until onions are coated.
    5. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk, stirring constantly, until a smooth sauce is formed.
    6. Turn heat to medium if the sauce is too bubbly. Simmer and stir the mixture until it thickens a bit, one or two minutes.
    7. Stir in remaining ingredients of black pepper, paprika, dry mustard, red pepper and cheese.
    8. Turn heat to low and stir until cheese is melted. Remove from heat.
  5. Add drained vegetables to cheese sauce in saucepan and stir to coat.
  6. Pour vegetable-cheese mixture into 1 ½-quart casserole dish.
  7. To make crumb topping: Heat butter in small saucepan over medium heat for about one minute, or microwave in microwave safe container for about 30 seconds, or until melted. Stir in bread or panko crumbs.
  8. Sprinkle crumb topping over casserole. (At this point, the casserole can be covered with aluminum foil and refrigerated for up to 24 hours until ready to bake.)
  9. Bake at 375℉, covered, for 25 minutes (30 minutes if baked from refrigerator), or until bubbly. Remove aluminum foil and bake uncovered another 5 minutes until crumb topping is browned.

Makes 8, 1 cup servings.

Nutritional Information
Per one cup serving: 165.1 calories; 9.7g total fat (4.8g saturated; 0.3g polyunsaturated, 1.7g monounsaturated); 338.3mg sodium; 24.6mg cholesterol; 11.3g carbohydrate; 2.2g sugars; 2.8g fiber; 10.2g protein; 245.0mg potassium.

About LG Health Hub

The LG Health Hub features breaking medical news and straightforward advice to help individuals of all ages make healthy choices and reach their wellness goals. The blog puts articles by trusted Lancaster General Health clinical experts, good 'n healthy recipes, videos, patient stories, and health risk assessments at your fingertips.


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