Broccoli and cheese is the best combination! This easy Velveeta broccoli casserole with Ritz crackers is a simple side dish that comes together with just 6 ingredients. Made with fresh or frozen broccoli, it’s perfect alongside your favorite mains like roasted chicken, Thanksgiving turkey, and Christmas ham.

broccoli cheese cheese casserole with Velveeta

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Broccoli casserole with Velveeta cheese and Ritz crackers

Is it just me, or does broccoli taste best smothered in cheese and topped with crunchy crackers? Case in point: This cheesy Velveeta broccoli casserole with Ritz crackers!

It’s simple, quick, and easy to make without too many ingredients. And it’s oh-so-creamy and delicious, filled with tender veggies, a velvety cheese sauce, and a crispy topping.

This yummy broccoli and Velveeta cheese recipe is a favorite side on our holiday table! But not just for holiday meals, but also for our weeknight dinner table.

The casserole is perfect alongside a fancy holiday meal of turkey or glazed ham, just as well as accompanies some weeknight chicken. Your whole family will go crazy over this!

If you like cooking with Velveeta, go ahead and try our Velveeta hamburger helper, mac and cheese, and cheesy beef stroganoff next!

Velveeta broccoli casserole ingredients

Ingredients

The ingredients in this Velveeta broccoli casserole are things you probably already have in your kitchen. This makes this Ritz broccoli casserole so simple to put together! Check the recipe card below for a list of exact measurements.

  • Broccoli: I often use fresh broccoli, but you can also use frozen broccoli florets if you prefer. Frozen, steam-in-bag broccoli is a nice shortcut since you don’t need to chop the broccoli and can cook it in the microwave in a couple of minutes. Alternately, blanch fresh broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces, until crisp-tender.
  • Velveeta cheese is the base of the cheese sauce. It creates a creamy mouthfeel and gives the casserole a mild taste that children love. My recipe calls for a 16-oz block that you cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
  • Butter: You need butter for the cheese sauce and the crunchy cracker topping. Both salted and unsalted butter work. I like to melt the butter for the Ritz cracker topping in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Put a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl to catch butter splatters.
  • Ritz crackers create the flavorful topping. Crush the crackers in a food processor. Alternatively, place the crackers in a large Ziploc bag and roll over them with a rolling pin until crumbly.
  • Salt + pepper season the dish and add savory flavor.
ritz broccoli casserole

How to make Velveeta broccoli casserole

Ritz Velveeta broccoli casserole comes together pretty quickly. It’s an excellent side for any holiday meal, especially if you need to feed a crowd. Let’s go over the instructions step-by-step:

step 1 prep broccoli and melt cheese

#1: Prep broccoli and melt cheese

  • Blanch broccoli. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Then add 1 teaspoon salt and the broccoli. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Place the cooked broccoli into a colander to drain.
  • Melt Velveeta. Add the cubed Velveeta and butter into a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low flame until the butter and cheese melt. Stir frequently so the cheese doesn’t scorch to the bottom of the pan.
step 2 assemble casserole

#2: Assemble casserole

  • Assemble casserole. Transfer the drained broccoli florets to a greased baking dish. Pour the Velveeta mixture on top, add the black pepper, and stir until well combined and every floret is coated. If desired, adjust the salt and pepper according to your taste.
  • Make cracker topping. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter. Sprinkle on top of the casserole.
step 3 bake Velveeta casserole

#3: Bake casserole

  • Bake. Bake the casserole in a 400°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until heated through and the topping is golden brown.
  • Serve. Remove the broccoli casserole from the oven and serve warm. Enjoy!
Velveeta broccoli

Cooking tips

This Velveeta broccoli casserole is definitely my go-to Thanksgiving side dish, but I also like to make it for weeknight dinners and Sunday suppers. Here are a few tips to make the recipe a success:

  • Don’t cut fresh broccoli too small: Otherwise, it might overcook and break down when you stir it later.
  • Pre-cook the broccoli: Only cook the florets until they are crisp-tender to avoid mushy, over-cooked broccoli. You don’t want to fully cook the broccoli as it will continue to soften when you bake the casserole.
  • Microwave bag: If using microwave steam-in-bag broccoli, use about half of the cooking time recommended on the package.
  • Drain the broccoli well: When the broccoli is cooked, tip the florets into a colander to drain. Removing any excess water is important, so the broccoli cheese ritz casserole doesn’t get watery.
  • Combine the broccoli and melted cheese swiftly: Once the broccoli is ready and the Velveeta is liquid, combine both components quickly. The cheese mixture will firm up as it cools otherwise.
  • Toss the crackers with melted butter: Melted butter adds flavor and helps the crackers turn a nice golden brown color.
  • Add the crackers just before baking: The Ritz crackers are the most fun part of this broccoli and cheese recipe with Velveeta. To ensure the topping is crispy, put the crushed Ritz crackers on top of the casserole right before baking.
Ritz Velveeta broccoli casserole

Variations & substitutions

This Velveeta and broccoli casserole is perfect as is. But if you want to cook it more often, feel free to switch things up and make it taste fresh and new every time! Try these ideas:

  • Other crackers: If you don’t have Ritz crackers, try other buttery crackers, dry stuffing mix, panko breadcrumbs, or seasoned breadcrumbs instead.
  • Cauliflower is a tasty substitute for broccoli. You can either completely substitute the cauliflower for broccoli or go half and half. Chop and cook your cauliflower following the directions for the broccoli.
  • Cheddar: For an extra cheesy broccoli casserole, stir 1 1/2 cups freshly grated sharp cheddar into the broccoli mixture before baking.
  • Onion or onion powder: 1 chopped onion or 1 tablespoon onion powder makes the casserole very flavorful.
  • Garlic or garlic powder: Add 2 finely minced garlic cloves or 1 teaspoon garlic powder for more depth of flavor.
  • Milk: We like our broccoli cheese Ritz casserole on the saucier side, so I often add 1 cup whole milk, evaporated milk, or half-and-half. The casserole you see in the photos was made with that addition.
  • Lemon juice: Add 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice for a bright touch of acidity.
  • Rice will take this broccoli Velveeta Ritz cracker casserole from a side dish to a full meal. Simple mix in 2 cups cooked rice into the casserole before baking.
  • Mushrooms: Add 2 cups diced mushrooms to give this scrumptious Velveeta cheese casserole an earthy taste.
  • Chicken: Feel free to add 2 cups diced cooked chicken. Leftover roasted chicken, turkey, and rotisserie chicken are great options.
broccoli cheese casserole with Velveeta

Serving suggestions

There are so many ways to serve Velveeta broccoli casserole. I like to keep it simple with a protein like roasted chicken, sautéed shrimp, or steak. Just about anything will work really.

This Velveeta and broccoli recipe is a must for the holidays! Whether you serve a Thanksgiving turkey, glazed ham, or a festive roast, the casserole must be on your holiday table. Together with mac and cheese, it’s the perfect side dish!

You really can’t go wrong! This cheesy broccoli casserole might even turn veggie-afraid kids, who are resistant to most “green things,” into broccoli lovers.

broccoli and Velveeta cheese recipe

Storage & make-ahead instructions

Make Velveeta broccoli casserole ahead of time

This Velveeta casserole recipe is the perfect dish to make ahead of time! You can assemble the entire casserole up to 24 hours in advance. Cover the baking dish with tin foil and chill in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Before baking, put the casserole on the counter and come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes while you preheat the oven.

How to store Velveeta broccoli ritz casserole

Once baked, store leftover casserole in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Let the casserole cool completely before refrigerating.

Freeze Velveeta broccoli

  • Freeze: If you want to prepare Velveeta broccoli casserole ahead of time, it’s best to freeze the casserole unbaked and without the cracker topping. Wrap the baking dish with several layers of plastic wrap and heavy-duty foil, and it should stay good for up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • Thaw: Allow the casserole to defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Plan 24 hours to fully thaw in the fridge.
  • Bake: Let sit on the counter for an hour before baking. Then give it a good stir, add the cracker topping, and bake according to the recipe instructions.

Reheat Ritz broccoli casserole

  • Reheat: Bake the casserole loosely covered in a 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4 oven until warm (about 15 minutes). You can also reheat individual portions in the microwave until hot.
  • Bake from frozen: If you forgot to take the casserole out in time, bake it from frozen. You’ll need to double the baking time to ensure the dish is completely heated through. I also recommend covering the frozen casserole with foil for the first half of baking to prevent the topping from burning.
Yield: 12 servings

Velveeta Broccoli Casserole Recipe

Velveeta broccoli casserole

Broccoli and cheese is the best combination! This easy Velveeta broccoli casserole with Ritz crackers is a simple side dish that comes together with just 6 ingredients. Made with fresh or frozen broccoli, it’s perfect alongside your favorite mains like roasted chicken, Thanksgiving turkey, and Christmas ham.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

Casserole

  • 2 lb / 32 oz / 900 g broccoli (4 fresh broccoli heads)
  • 16 oz / 1lb/ 450 g Velveeta cheese
  • 1/2 cup / 115 g / 4 oz butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Topping

  • 1 sleeve Ritz crackers (32 crackers)
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Prep. Preheat the oven to 400°F / 200°C / gas mark 6. Grease a 9-in x 13-in / 23 cm x 33 cm baking dish with butter or nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Blanch broccoli. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Then add 1 teaspoon salt and the broccoli. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Place the cooked broccoli into a colander to drain.
  3. Melt Velveeta. Add the cubed Velveeta and butter into a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low flame until the butter and cheese melt. Stir frequently so the cheese doesn’t scorch to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Assemble casserole. Transfer the drained broccoli florets to the prepared baking dish. Pour the Velveeta mixture on top, add the black pepper, and stir until well combined and every floret is coated. If desired, adjust the salt and pepper according to your taste.
  5. Make cracker topping. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the crushed Ritz crackers and melted butter. Sprinkle on top of the casserole.
  6. Bake. Bake the casserole for 15 to 20 minutes, until heated through and the topping is golden brown.
  7. Serve. Remove the broccoli casserole from the oven and serve warm. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 226Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 865mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 8g

Reasons to love broccoli cheese casserole with Velveeta

  • Delicious taste + texture: You won’t have to choke down mushy, flavorless steamed broccoli with this recipe. The dish is full of tender broccoli, velvety cheese, and a buttery, sweet-salty crunch topping!
  • Simple ingredients: 4 pantry staples plus salt and pepper are all you need to throw together this tasty Velveeta ritz broccoli casserole.
  • Kid-friendly: Even children who usually don’t like broccoli will DEVOUR this easy broccoli casserole and lick their plates clean.
  • No roux: While some recipes have you cook a roux, this Ritz broccoli casserole is as simple as can be. All you do is chop up the broccoli and cheese, and you’re on your way to a deliciously cheesy side.
  • Great for the holidays and big gatherings: This broccoli Velveeta casserole makes a lot of servings and easily feeds 10 to 12 people. You can even double the recipe to serve more hungry mouths.
  • Make-ahead: This Velveeta cheese broccoli casserole is convenient for the holidays because you can assemble the dish in advance. Keep it in the refrigerator until it’s time to bake it.
velveeta broccoli

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