For us, no Christmas dinner would be complete without this Creamy Parmesan Broccoli. My mother has been making this side dish at Christmas since I was little. She came across this recipe when we were living in Canada briefly, and brought it back to England with her. She’s not sure where she found it, but I have tweaked the original method a little to speed up the cooking process.
This Creamy Parmesan Broccoli side doesn’t only go with roast turkey, it’ll pair well with any roast you fancy and it’s indulgence makes it perfect for special occasions. The recipe serves 6 but you can increase quantities easily, you’ll just need a large oven dish.
See how to adapt this recipe for your family here.
Making My Creamy Parmesan Broccoli
Watch me make my Creamy Parmesan Broccoli side dish step-by-step here, before or as you cook.
Regardless or whether you are having this Creamy Parmesan Broccoli for Christmas, Thanksgiving dinner, or just a regular Sunday roast, there is always so much to do. I always like to prepare everything I can in advance to a roast day, particularly if we are having it for lunch.
All steps but the final baking of this Broccoli side can be done the day before. Here’s what the make-ahead process looks like:
- Steam the broccoli.
- Fry with the butter and cream.
- Transfer to oven proof dish and sprinkle over parmesan. Allow to cool completely.
- Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until 1 hour before ready to bake.
- You’ll need to bake it for 25 minutes, 5 minutes longer from cold.
Fitting Everything in the Oven
Remember, if you don’t have enough oven space to fit your turkey / meat and all your trimmings, you can cook your turkey earlier and then rest it for 45 uncovered, then cover with foil and a few layers of tea towels or newspaper to keep it warm while you roast all your sides.
Kids Cook Too
Younger children can help you make this! Have them sprinkle over the parmesan.
My Creamy Parmesan Broccoli Pairs Perfectly With…
Feed a Crowd
You can easily double this recipe to feed up to 12 people, just allow a little extra time to steam cook and use a large saucepan. You could also steam it in the Instant Pot, pressure cook on high for 0 minutes then quick release. You’ll also need a large oven proof dish to bake the broccoli in.
Storing My Creamy Parmesan Broccoli
You can store leftovers in an air-tight container or resealable food bag in the fridge for up to 3 days (2 days + cook). You can also freeze them, although the cream sauce is likely to split. If that happens, give it all a good stir and it should go back together. If frozen, defrost for 24 hours in the fridge and reheat until steaming hot all the way through.
For more on safe food storage and reheating read here >
My Creamy Parmesan Broccoli is gluten, egg and nut-free.
Adapting My Creamy Parmesan Broccoli For Your Family
Here, I recommend how to tweak this recipe if you are eating with a baby or toddler and I’ll also give a tip for serving it to a fussy eater.
Keeping Picky Eaters Happy
If they aren’t a fan of creamy sauces, lift out some broccoli for them with a slotted spoon and allow the excess cream to drip off. If they like creamy sauces but are not big broccoli fans, toss their broccoli through the cream once baked, so it’s coated fully.
See more from me on fussy eaters here >
Making My Creamy Parmesan Broccoli Baby & Toddler Friendly
Either set aside a little steamed broccoli for them to have plain (you may want to steam theirs a little longer) or omit the salt from the cook and use a slotted spoon to dish up their broccoli, which will allow excess cream to drip off. If serving them some previously steamed broccoli, reheat in the microwave when you are getting ready to dish up.
How to Serve to Babies & Toddlers
Serve as whole florets.
Spoon Fed Weaning
Roughly chop and add to your stick blender pot (6 months) or mini-food chopper (7-12 months) along with the rest of their meal. Purée for 6 month olds with liquid added (warm boiled water or low-salt stock), pulse until finely chopped for 7-9 month olds, with a little liquid added, and go for a more lumpy, chopped consistency for 10-12 month olds, liquid added if needed.
1 Year + Chop into bite-size pieces.
I’ve also added these notes to the bottom of the recipe so you have them to hand when you come to cook. For more info on how I keep my family meals baby & toddler friendly, read here >
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CREAMY PARMESAN BROCCOLI
- Medium-large saucepan + steamer basket
- Scales (measuring spoons US)
- 2 medium broccoli heads, around 500g / 1lb 1oz
- 30 g salted butter
- 150 ml double cream
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 30 g grated parmesan
- Preheat oven to 200ºc / 180ºc fan / 400ºf / gas 6.
- Cut the broccoli into florets (no more than 2 inch in size), leaving no more than 1 inch of stalk below each one.
- Heat an inch of water in a lidded medium saucepan, bring to a boil. Then and add in your steamer basket and the broccoli. Cover and steam for 10-12 minutes until the stalks are just tender. Remove and set aside. Drain out the water.
- Over a medium-low heat, melt the butter in the same saucepan and then add in the broccoli. Stir gently for 1 minute. Add in the cream, salt and pepper. Cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring every so often.
- Spoon into a medium-small oven proof dish that just fits the broccoli in an even layer. Sprinkle over the parmesan.
- Cover loosely with foil, transfer to the oven and bake for 20 Minutes (25 mins if prepared ahead and cooking from cold).
Making in AdvanceYou can make this broccoli side the day before. Once you’ve completed steps 2-5, cover tightly with clingfilm and transfer to the fridge. Remove 24 hours before ready to bake to bring up to room temp. Remove clingfilm and continue to step 6 - baking for an extra 5 minutes.
YOUNGER CHILDREN & FUSSY EATERS
If they aren’t a fan of creamy sauces, lift out some broccoli for them with a slotted spoon and allow the excess cream to drip off. If they like creamy sauces but not a big broccoli fan, toss their broccoli through the cream once baked, so it’s coated fully.
BABY & TODDLER
Either leave set aside a little steamed broccoli for them to have plain (you may want to keep steaming it a little longer) or omit the salt from the cook and use a slotted spoon to dish up their broccoli, which will allow excess cream to drip off. If serving them some previously steamed broccoli, reheat in the microwave when you are getting ready to dish up.
Baby-Led Weaning - serve as whole florets.
Spoon Fed Weaning - roughly chop and add to your stick blender pot (6 months) or mini-food chopper (7-12 months) along with the rest of their meal. Purée for 6 month olds with liquid added (warm boiled water or low-salt stock), pulse until finely chopped for 7-9 month olds, with a little liquid added, and go for a more lumpy, chopped consistency for 10-12 month olds, liquid added if needed.
1 Year + Chop into bite-size pieces
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