This Millet Broccoli Cheese Casserole is gonna rock your world! It’s super easy for a quick weeknight dinner or healthy lunch with only a few ingredients plus spices!
This week, I’m continuing to explore comforting foods for cooler weather. Last week I shared Walnut Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, and today I’m sharing a hearty casserole of the broccoli, cheddar and millet variety. For those of you not familiar with millet, it’s a heritage grain, gluten-free just like quinoa.
Millet, considered an ancient grain, originated in Africa but a long since became a staple in Europe where millet is eaten as porridge, and India where it is ground into flour and made into roti.
Available in markets as pearled or “hulled.” It is advised against buying the hulled version of millet because it is considered whole grain and retains its fiber.
Millet is actually quite tasty; slightly larger and chewier than quinoa, with a slightly nutty taste. Here I’ve combined it with broccoli and cheddar cheese for a hearty, comforting casserole. It’s a healthy, nutrient-filled take on the standard casserole, and a lovely gluten-free option. In addition to this preparation, millet also makes for a easy side dish.
- 8 cups broccoli florets, 4 small heads
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1 ½ cups millet
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- I like to use individual tart pans but this can also be made in a large casserole dish or 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
- Wash and cut the broccoli into small florets.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and dry toast 1 1/2 cups millet, stirring often until brown and toasty– about 10 minutes. This step is optional but enhances the flavor and texture of the millet.
- Then… prepare millet according to the package directions (takes about 20 minutes).
- In the same large skillet, add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add broccoli and stir-fry until bright green, about 3-5 minutes. Remove to a separate bowl and set aside.
- Then, reduce heat to medium low and add 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet. Add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Add 1 cup milk, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon thyme, and bring to a simmer. Stir in 1½ cups cheddar cheese and stir until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens slightly (turn up the heat slightly if the cheese does not melt at first, but be careful not to overheat it).
- When the broccoli, millet and sauce are finished, turn down the oven temperature to 400°F. Pour the millet into individual pie plates, ramekins or large casserole dish and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Add stir-fried broccoli, pour in the sauce, and add a bit of the shredded cheese (making sure to reserve some cheese for the top). Stir thoroughly to combine all millet with sauce and cheese. Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese over the top.
- Bake at 400°F for 10-15 minutes until warm.
In a pinch, you can use frozen broccoli florets instead of roasting fresh broccoli. Choose high-quality broccoli; then thaw it and add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, a few drizzles of olive oil, and fresh ground pepper prior to incorporating in the casserole.
Hit me up! What’s your favourite broccoli and cheese recipe or casserole recipe?
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