Monday, February 22, 2010

Broccoli Cheese Breakfast Casserole Recipe (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free)

Broccoli and cheese is a classic combination that tastes great in a breakfast casserole!

Broccoli Cheese Breakfast Casserole found on

(Updated and added to Recipe Favorites February 2010) For years now I've been making low-carb and South Beach Diet friendly breakfast casseroles with eggs, veggies, cheese, and sometimes meat., but this Broccoli and Cheese Breakfast Casserole is still one of my favorites, adapted from a casserole my Grandma Denny used to make. Grandma's version was a richer casserole with more cheese, mayo, and cracker crumbs, but the idea of a casserole with broccoli, cheese, and eggs is still a keeper.

The original version of this recipe made a huge casserole, but now I'm much more likely to make a smaller version in my countertop toaster/convection oven. This post has the recipe for the smaller version you see in the two sets of photos, but after that I'll include the larger version for those with the original recipe bookmarked. This is delicious with sour cream, and I love it with a thin layer of Ajvar Red Pepper Spread over the sour cream. If you like the idea of an all-in-one breakfast dish, this recipe is a great one to try.

Start by cutting broccoli into small flowerets, then blanch them in boiling salted water for a few minutes and drain.

Layer the cooked broccoli in the bottom of a glass or metal casserole dish that you've misted with olive oil or sprayed with non-stick spray.

Sprinkle the cheese on top of the broccoli, trying to get an even layer so there is cheese all through the dish. For the toaster oven, I use a pan that's 7.25 X 11.25 inches. (When I look at this photo it looks like a lot of cheese but it was only 3/4 cup!)

Mix together eggs, milk or half and half, and Spike Seasoning and pour over the broccoli cheese mixture. I like to take a fork and make sure everything is evenly distributed.

When it's done the casserole will puff up slightly, sometimes even above the edge of the pan.

After it sits for a few minutes it will sink back down and end up looking something like this.

I like to eat this with some low-fat sour cream, and it's also good topped with Ajvar Red Pepper Spread.

(Before you make this you may wish to read Basic Instructions for Low-Carb Breakfast Casseroles which has instructions for various sizes of pans and ingredient options for this type of breakfast casserole.)

Broccoli Cheese Breakfast Casserole
(This smaller version shown in these two sets of photos makes 6 servings. Recipe created by Kalyn, with memories of Grandma Denny's Broccoli Cheese Casserole.)

12 eggs, beaten with a fork
1 T milk or half and half
1 tsp. Spike Seasoning
fresh ground black pepper to taste
3 cups broccoli flowerets
3/4 cup cheese (I used four cheese Mexican blend, which is a blend of low-fat cheeses)
(Optional: serve with low fat sour cream. Also good topped with Ajvar Red Pepper Spread.)

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 375 degrees. Spray a glass casserole dish with nonstick spray.  (I use 7.25 X 11.25 inch pan for this size, but it can be a little larger if you don't have that size.)  Cut broccoli into flowerets about 1 inch across. Put broccoli into pot with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils and broccoli turns bright green (less than 5 minutes) immediately drain broccoli into colander.

While broccoli cools, break eggs into mixing bowl. Add milk or half and half, Spike seasoning, and black pepper and beat eggs until ingredients are well combined.

Put drained broccoli into casserole dish. Sprinkle cheeses over broccoli. Pour eggs over broccoli-cheese, then use a fork to gently stir so that broccoli and cheeses are evenly distributed throughout the eggs.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until top is slightly browned and eggs puff up slightly.

Broccoli Cheese Breakfast Casserole - Original Recipe for 8-12 servings
(Use a 10 X 14 inch casserole dish and cook for approximately 45 minutes for this size. All other directions would be the same.)
18 eggs
1/4 cup milk or half and half
2 tsp. Spike seasoning
fresh ground black pepper to taste
4-5 cups fresh broccoli flowerets
1/2 cup grated low-fat swiss cheese
1/2 cup grated low-fat mozarella cheese
1-2 cups grated low-fat grated sharp cheddar cheese

Printer Friendly Recipe
South Beach Suggestions:
Made with low-fat cheese, this is a perfect breakfast for any phase of the South Beach Diet, and would be perfect for any Low-Glycemic eating plan. For phase two or three, add some 100% whole wheat toast or a dish of berries on the side.

More Low-Carb Breakfast Casseroles to Try:
Swiss Chard and Mushroom Squares

Breakfast Casserole with Mushrooms, Green Bell Peppers, and Feta

Breakfast Casserole with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Goat Cheese

Mushroom and Feta Breakfast Casserole

More Casseroles with Broccoli And Cheese:
Broccoli Cheese Rice Casserole from Chaos in the Kitchen

Crockpot Broccoli Casserole from A Year of Slow Cooking

Broccoli, Cheese, and Rice Casserole from Nummy Kitchen

Broccoli Parmesan Casserole from A Veggie Venture
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  1. Hi Kalyn, I read your blog all the time! I tried this recipe last night and ate it this morning. It turned out good for my first casserole! I made it into 3rds because I would be the only one eating, but something felt like it was missing? Who knows! I wanted to ask you if I should freeze it, or just put it in the refrigerator? I work in the morning and made it so I could just take that with me every day. Thank you for all your fun recipes!

  2. HI RR,
    You can freeze it, but if you're eating it within a week or so it's fine just to keep in the refrigerator, then microwave each day for a minute or two.

  3. This looks kid-friendly to me?

    I'm supposed to cook a few meals for a week-long family vacation with my parents, sister and brother-in-law, and (gulp!) nieces in the 5-10 year old range.

    I want to make stuff the girls will like so that they will love me ;-) but it needs to be healthy so that their mom (my sister) doesn't have a cow, and it needs to be sophisticated enough for the adults, including ME!

    Anyway, this looks promising. Can anybody with kids tell me if little girls will eat this? Thanks!

  4. Lulu, kids who like broccoli will definitely like it. I do think broccoli is kind of a mixed bag with kids though, so I'd check on that part!

  5. Ooooh, this looks so good! I usually see recipes that call for spinach, so this was a delightful change ... and I have some broccoli in the fridge now just waiting to be used!

  6. Kalyn, how funny. I made something very similar yesterday for our picnic! I use cauliflower instead of brocoli though. Very nice!

  7. Ahhhhh. you call casserole what we call tart here. It looks divine and I make these quite often, so will definitely give your a try. Have I ever said what an indispensable resource your blog has become fr my regular meals?

  8. Paula, thanks, and I hope you like it.

    Anh, that's fun. I'm always happy to be thinking like you, since your food always looks great.

    Mallika, thanks so much for letting me know that. Comments like that just make my day!

  9. Can you guess what we'll be having for breakfast in the AM?
    This looks just divine Kalyn.

  10. A breakfast to look forward to waking up for!

  11. this looks divine, Kalyn. Thanks. Am definitely doing this for a weekend breakfast.

  12. Looks good Kalyn, and I have lots of broccoli waiting to be eaten here.

  13. I have been trying to do South Beach for several months and I'm always looking for new recipes and this one fits the bill perfect for breakfast. I'm thinking this would be really good served with the fat free sour cream mixed with a tiny bit of fresh pesto sauce.

    Thank you for all of your encouragement to all of us on South Beach, I can hardly wait to try many other of your recipes.

  14. SuzyQ, I use light sour cream because the fat free type usually has sugar added. Check the sugar content on the carton.

    Pesto mixed with the sour cream sounds delicious!

  15. Can this be made with just egg whites? If so, should I double up?

  16. Becca, I haven't ever cooked anything with just egg whites, but I'd assume you would need twice as many eggs. Let us know how it turns out if you try it.

  17. Hi Kalyn!
    I have been eating this casserole for a week now for breakfast, and I just made it again for this coming week. This time, I added some green pepper and red onion to give it a little more flavor. I will let you know if it tastes better or worse with these added ingredients. Do you think Canadian bacon cut into chunks would be good in it as well?

  18. Kelly, I think the variations are endless. Canadian bacon would be great. I think mushrooms would taste good with this too. There are quite a few other breakfast casseroles in the Eggs and Breakfast Dishes section of the recipe archives too, if you want to check them out.

  19. Hi, I need some help here. I have a small bottle of Thickened Cream (300ml) and Sour Cream (300g). I have no idea how to use them in cooking. I guess I can use the Thickened Cream for indian food as thick curry sauce. But how about Sour Cream? If you can point me to few recipes will be really great! Thanks.

  20. Catherine, enter "sour cream" into the google search bar in the upper left and you will get every recipe that has sour cream as an ingredient.

    I use it a lot on eggs, as in this recipe, and it's also great with cucumbers, as a salad seasoned with dill.

  21. This is a great Brunch dish. I like the use of the low fat cheeses!

  22. Hi Kalyn, Thanks for this recipe! Been trying to add more warm breakfasts into my routine so that my TCM practitioner can stop going on and on about how detrimental cold breakfast is. At only 25 minutes, I can easily pop this in the oven and then get ready for the day and enjoy afterward. Thanks!

  23. I think this is by far my favorite of all your breakfast casseroles! Broccoli, cheese and eggs are just such a winning combination!

  24. This casserole looks and sounds so delicious. I can not wait to make it for my family of 7! I am always looking for nutritional dishes to make for the family!! I love broccoli and cheese!

    Thank you and take care,

  25. made this last night and ryan and i loved it! i used season salt instead of spike (not a big fan of spike). it was so yummy!

  26. Becca, I'm so glad you liked it. Will your kids eat this kind of thing (I'm guessing not.) I love this with sour cream!

  27. This is amazing! Thank you so much for posting it.

  28. Thanks for recipe! I made it last night. I tweaked it a bit by not boiling the broc first. I also added red pepper and green onions. Super yummy and very filling!

  29. Hi Kalyn, Love this recipe. I added a chopped red pepper and used feta cheese and some parmesan instead of the shredded cheese. Next time I'm going to add some chopped ham. My hubby has been eating for lunch. Reheats nicely and is hearty.

  30. LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog thanks so much. Looking forward to trying many of your recipes. A question about freezing the broccoli, egg and cheese breakfast casserole. Do you cook it then freeze it or freeze it raw? It would be great to cook it and freeze it. Thanks in advance DEB~

  31. I've never tried freezing the breakfast casserole raw, not sure how that would work.

    You can freeze the cooked egg casseroles, but they stay good in the fridge for at least a week, so these days I rarely freeze them. Freezing does make them a little more watery.

  32. HI Kalyn! I've been a big fan of your site for a while now - thanks for your hard work. I recently tried making this casserole and it is just delicious. I couldn't believe it but it truly taste great left over as well! Thanks! Liz

  33. made this today! so delicious. family enjoyed it.

    can you please clarify what
    "1 T milk or half and half" means?
    I assumed T meant teaspoon? but i added way too much milk in mine :( maybe about half a cup!

    Thanks for your help.

  34. Jenna yes, 1 T means one tablespoon. The milk or half and half is probably optional too, but I usually add a bit to the eggs.

  35. Thanks so much for this recipe! I am really struggling with phase 1 breakfast: eggs & meat without bread. I can do either with bread, a little nauseated without it. But this casserole is wonderful!

  36. Stacie, so glad you're enjoying it. This is one of my favorites.

  37. Hi Kalyn

    Made your Breakfast Casserole yesterday & was delighted with the results. My husband has had bad experience with quiche in the past, but it was a winner with him, too!

    I used your basic recipe, but added sauteed yellow onion and garlic to the broccoli, cheese and (turkey) bacon base. I added a side of salsa to mine, too, for a very pleasing kick.

    The dish was supposed to last us several days. I made the 9 x 13 recipe yesterday. Our son had the last piece this morning.

    Will definitely make this again!

  38. So glad your family enjoyed it so much! This is one of my very favorites of all the breakfast casserole variations I've made.

  39. Kalyn, in the photo portion above, you mention using a 7.25 X 11.25 inch pan. However, the recipe itself says 10 x 14 for both the 6-serving and 8- to 12-serving versions. I assume I would need the smaller pan size if I were making the version that serves 6?

  40. Kim, good catch! You're right and I have edited the recipe. The pan doesn't have to be the exact size for this recipe, but use one that's close.

  41. I think I'll chop up the broccoli so my daughter can't just eat around it! Maybe I'll try to make these in a muffin tin, for quick re-heatable on-the-go breakfasts!
    I think it would taste great with some bacon chopped up in it too! Green onions would probably add a nice flavor as well.
    Now off to the store!

  42. Yes, I think all those ideas sound good. Hope you enjoy!

  43. I made this during my first week of South Beach, and it was very delicious. I did not have Spike seasoning, which I think would've given it a little more flavor (it was slightly bland the way I made it). I'm going to go read your posts on Spike Seasoning and see if I can get some ideas on how to either buy it or add spices that are similar!

  44. Nicole, Spike is a pretty unique blend of seasonings, but I think any type of seasoning salt blend that you like the taste of will kick this up a bit!

  45. I have tried a few of your recipes and LOVE them! I wanted to make this broccoli/cheese casserole, but I was going to put it in a pie dish so it's more like a crustless quiche. My question.... does it form a bit of a crust on the bottom? Does this cut in clean pieces?

  46. I'm not sure I would call it a "crust" but it does have a browned edge on the bottom and cuts in clean pieces. Hope you enjoy it.

  47. This sounds great - sort of like a baked frittata.

  48. Rachel, exactly! Hope you enjoy it.

  49. Can this be prepared the night before and baked in the morning? We're having company over tomorrow. Thank you!

  50. Tracy, I've never done it that way. Seems like the cooked broccoli would get soggy overnight in the fridge. I would probably cut up the broccoli the night before, then cook the broccoli and assemble the casserole to cook in the morning.

  51. Can I freeze this? I have a lot of eggs that I need to use up and think this would be something my family will enjoy. Should I cook it first and then freeze or freeze it uncooked?? Thanks! Jody

  52. Jody, it will freeze but when it thaws the eggs release some water and I don't think it's quite as good after it's been frozen. It will keep well in the fridge for at least a week after it's cooked, so I'd probably recommend just making a couple of batches and eating it a few times during the week. (If you do try freezing, it definitely needs to be cooked first.)

  53. Hello Kalyn,
    What does 1T of cream stand for ? is it 1 tablespoon.. Thanks,

  54. Hi Kalyn!

    Can this be doubled for a larger crowd? And can it be made/prepped ahead of time?

  55. This can definitely be doubled and cooked in two pans in the same oven. I haven't tried making it ahead (although I make and store in the fridge, and then microwave to heat all week.)

    If possible, I'd probably assemble the casseroles and keep in the fridge, and then cook right before you're serving them. Allow a few minutes extra for starting with cold ingredients. If that won't work, you could *probably* cook in advance, (slightly undercooking) and then heat in the oven, but I have never tried it that way so I can't say for sure.

  56. Hi Kalyn. I love your blog and recipes so much. I'm about to start SBD (again) and have been researching and gathering recipes for Phase 1. I'm thrown off a little by the pan size. I don't have the same size you use in the smaller recipe. I only have 9x13, 9x9 and 8x8 pans. Would this work in one of those or would you alter the recipe? I'll be the only one eating it so I wanted to make the smaller batch.

    Thanks for all you do!

  57. Rachel, glad you're enjoying the recipes. A pan that's 8"x8" would be very close to the size I used. (Whenever I'm in doubt I just do the math - length x width - and pick the one that's closest. And for this recipe if the pan is slightly larger or smaller it will just make the casserole slightly thinner or thicker.)

  58. If I wanted to use eggwhites(that's all I have), how do I need to modify the recipe so it's not overly soupy?

  59. Mindy, I'm guessing it will work but I can't say for sure since I've never tried it. Maybe increase the cheese just slightly.

  60. Hi Kaylyn!
    I love your blog and love all of the breakfast casserole ideas!:)I'm a serious foodie and these look great.
    I've got a gluten free and vegetarian family members.I'm in charge of Christmas brunch this year and this recipe looks great! Can I make any of your egg casseroles the night before (precooked) to cook in the a.m.? Christmas a.m. will too hectic for me to cook for 10plus people(did 8 also mention I have a newborn?!;-) with out some preivous evening prep! Thank you.

  61. Hi Ashley. That does sound like a hectic morning! What I think would work best is to do all the advance prep the night before (blanch the veggies, cook meats, grate cheese, beat eggs and keep in a container with a snap-on lid, etc. Then the next morning just assemble in the casserole dish and bake. Remember to add a little cooking time if the ingredients are still cold, or let them come to room temperture before you put it in the oven. Enjoy!


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