Everyone’s family has famous dishes – in my husband’s family, it’s Grandma Lila’s Spinach Squares. This recipe is essentially me replacing the frozen spinach with fresh broccoli — but let’s understand something, this *blank* Cheddar Casserole can essentially be made with ANY fresh or frozen vegetable of your choosing.
SHOPPING LIST: 6 broccoli crowns, 2 eggs, 12 oz. whipped cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded mozzarella cheese, chopped garlic, coconut oil, garlic salt, salt, pepper, onion powder, parmesan cheese
Because the broccoli is fresh and you don’t want your vegetable to be under-cooked in your casserole, the first step is to par-bake your broccoli. Cut the florets off of your broccoli crowns. Melt 2 tB. of coconut oil and toss the broccoli in coconut oil and then season with garlic salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. When the broccoli is done, give it a quick rough chop and set aside.
*** This is one of my tricks anytime I make casserole or macaroni and cheese. Turn up your oven to 400 degrees. Spray your casserole dish with whatever non-stick spray you prefer and put the empty dish into the oven. When you do this BEFORE you pour in your casserole mixture, it allows the BOTTOM and SIDES of your casserole to get CRISPY too! Oh, I also use this technique when baking brownies!!! ***
In a mixing bowl, crack and beat 2 eggs. Add 1 heaping tB. of chopped garlic and the entire 12 oz. of whipped cream cheese. Mix well with a fork – it will look a bit lumpy, DON’T WORRY. Add 1 1/2 tsp. of salt and 1 tsp. of pepper and 1 tB. of onion powder. Finally, add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Mix well and then pour over your chopped broccoli. Mix well, remove your piping hot casserole dish from the oven – BE CAREFUL – and then pour in your broccoli mixture. Top the entire casserole dish in a layer of shredded mozzarella parmesan cheese and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.
Look back at the photo – DO YOU SEE THE CRISPNESS of those sides! This was so so delicious. And while Grandma Lila’s will always be the original, replacing the frozen spinach for broccoli made the dish seem heartier. Yes, there’s a lot of cheese – but you are making an ENTIRE casserole — and there’s also a ton of broccoli. Let’s focus on the positive people 🙂