When it comes to side dishes, I find it difficult to resist a simple vegetable smothered in cream and cheese! Broccoli is one of my favourite veggies and it goes particularly well with cream and cheese! This is a super simple side dish where a tasty cream sauce is made with butter, garlic and cream along with a bit of flour to thicken the sauce up before adding plenty of parmesan cheese for a ton of flavour! The broccoli is added to the sauce before covering and cooking until it’s tender. I sometimes serve the creamed broccoli at this point but more often than not, I mix in some crispy bacon before covering in cheese and melting it! Yum! No matter what the meal, this creamed broccoli is the perfect side!
Creamed broccoli with bacon covered in plenty of melted cheese!
- 4 strips bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons flour (rice flour for gluten-free)
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
- 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan cheese), grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 cups broccoli florets
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Cook the bacon in a large pan over medium heat before setting aside on paper towels and draining any grease from the pan.
- Melt the butter in the pan, add the onion and cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and flour and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the milk, bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened a bit, about 1-2 minutes
- Add the cream and parmesan and cook until the parmesan has melted into the sauce, about 2-3 minutes.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the broccoli and bacon, mix, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until the broccoli is just tender, about 3-5 minutes.
- Sprinkle on the cheese, cover and cook until it has melted, about 2-3 minutes.
Option: Use more garlic. (Use less garlic.)
Option: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes along with the garlic.
Option: Use all milk or all cream or any combination of the two.
Option: Use asiago cheese or pecorino cheese, etc. instead of the parmesan cheese.
Option: Hit the cream sauce with a splash of lemon juice!
Option: Add a pinch of nutmeg to the sauce.
Option: Use another melty cheese in place of the mozzarella; such as cheddar, monterey jack, havarti, etc.
Option: Omit the melted cheese topping.
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