Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Recipe for Thanksgiving Broccoli with Cheese Sauce (Kalyn's Food Assignment for Thanksgiving Dinner)

Broccoli with Cheese Sauce
It's not very diet-friendly, but my family wants this Thanksgiving Broccoli with Cheese Sauce every year!

I was on the phone with my sister Sandee and we were talking about Thanksgiving Dinner. Sandee had just asked me what I wanted to bring for dinner and immediately my foodie brain had switched into high gear. I started rattling off ideas for interesting Thanksgiving type dishes I had seen in magazines and on other food blogs. Sandee listened patiently, and then she quietly said, "Don't try out anything new on us."

I laughed out loud. "I'm putting that on the blog," I said. Sandee said she didn't mind if I repeated it on the blog, as long as I brought the broccoli with cheese sauce again this year.

Thanksgiving in America is all about traditions. Entire families have been known to rebel if the person who makes Thanksgiving dinner tries out a new recipe for stuffing. So, even if my tastes have changed quite a bit over time, when Thanksgiving rolls around, I am delegated to make a dish that I first made years (and years and years) ago, when I was barely learning to cook.

There have been a few years I have tried to "improve" on this recipe, once even making a nice homemade cheese sauce with expensive imported cheese. But when I do, my family gently comments that they really prefer "the way you usually make it." So there you have it. My Thanksgiving Broccoli with Cheese sauce has a cheese sauce made with Campbells Cheddar Cheese Soup, mayonnaise, a touch of lemon juice and black pepper. The only improvising I am allowed these days is a little grated cheese mixed into the sauce to make it a little more cheesy.

Thanksgiving Broccoli with Cheese Sauce
(about 6 servings)

6-8 cups fresh broccoli flowerets
1 can Campbells cheddar cheese soup
half a soup can of mayo (do not use fat free)
1 T fresh lemon juice
generous amount black pepper
1 cup (or more) grated sharp cheddar plus 1/2 cup for top (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Cut broccoli into same size pieces (bite size), put in pan with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. When the broccoli turns bright green (about 2-3 minutes), immediately take off heat and drain.

Pour well drained broccoli into casserole dish with a lid. In a bowl mix cheese soup, mayo, lemon juice and pepper. Mix in 1 cup grated cheese. Pour sauce over broccoli and bake covered until just starting to bubble, about 35 minutes.

Remove lid and sprinkle over 1/2 cup grated cheese and bake until cheese is melted and slightly browned, about 10 minutes more. Serve hot.

P.S. Now it's after Thanksgiving and I'm coming back to give you the photos I promised. You can see how the broccoli with cheese sauce looked when I served it that day. To the left is how much was left from two dishes. It was for sure very tasty and probably acceptable as a "very once in a while" treat for South Beach Dieters, even with the mayo and cheese. This sauce is also very good on cauliflower or brussel sprouts.

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  1. My family might let me try something NEW, but the traditional dishes they can't do without would feed an army anyway! We always have broccoli; this recipe sounds delicious.

    I've got Thanksgiving humor on my blog today.

  2. Now you have ME laughing out loud too! I'm making the same cranberry chutney I've made for ... well the recipe is dated 1985, I'm quite sure it came from my very first issue of Gourmet, a wonderful introduction to the world away from green beans with mushroom soup and Durkee onions on top. Enjoy the holiday and the VACATION.

  3. Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe.
    I love your blog and your "How to" tips and trick. You have a new reader.

  4. This was so simple, and ten times as good. I ended up changing quite a few things, but you created a great recipe to get the ball rolling for me. Just the perfect cheesy and warming dish that I was craving!


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