This creamy and Healthy Broccoli Casserole with ham is made with creamy cauliflower sauce. No cream or cans of cream soup whatsoever. A perfect healthy veggie-loaded dish to repurpose leftover ham.
This post is kindly sponsored by Crunchmaster. Their amazing gluten-free crackers are made with non-GMO, real ingredients that you can pronounce. And they give the perfect healthy crunch to this comfort food casserole.
This post contains affiliate links
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This healthy Cauliflower Broccoli Casserole is actually my mom's recipe. I believe it is one of the dishes that made me grow up as a vegetable lover.
I adapted her recipe to make it a little healthier. Originally, the veggies are baked in a creamy white sauce made from butter, flour and cream.
But I managed to sneak even more vegetable servings into this already veggie-loaded dish with a creamy cauliflower sauce.
How to Make A Healthy Broccoli Casserole
I am considering this a healthy ham casserole recipe because it is loaded with vegetables. The main ingredients are broccoli and cauliflower florets.
And secondly, instead of a cream + butter + flour white sauce or cans of processed cream of something soup, my sauce is mainly made from cauliflower! And I dare say you might not taste a difference.
This healthy cauliflower 'Alfredo' sauce still is creamy and oh-so-delicious.
In order to make it taste great (and not all veggie-ish), caramelized onions and garlic are pureed with the cooked cauliflower to create a wonderful flavorful sauce! And then of course there are cheese and ham in this casserole dish.
I let you decide for yourself if these are healthy enough for you. Personally, I think these 2 ingredients might be the reason my mom was able to make us kids eat and actually LOVE cauliflower and broccoli.
Growing up I never understood the other children who hated these veggies. Actually - I still don't.
I made this animated GIF as a fun way to show you the layers that go into this healthy broccoli and cauliflower bake.
First there are the broccoli and cauliflower florets, then the diced ham, creamy cauliflower sauce, cheese and at the end crushed up Crunchmaster crackers for a final layer of crunch.
More Tips for making this Healthy Broccoli Casserole Recipe
- I boil the cauliflower and broccoli florets in salted water until they just start to get tender. Alternatively, you could also steam the vegetables until they are just softened.
- The creamy cauliflower sauce can be made ahead and stored in the fridge or frozen. With prepared sauce the prep time for this healthy vegetable casserole recipe goes down to about 10-15 minutes!
- Ham was the original animal protein my mom always added to this healthy broccoli and cauliflower casserole. But you can definitely switch it up. Make it vegetarian or turn this into a broccoli casserole with chicken. Use shredded rotisserie chicken in that case.
- There isn't a lot of cheese in this hamd and vegetable casserole recipe. But if you want to make it entirely dairy-free, you could omit the cheese. (And use coconut oil and dairy-free milk in the sauce)
Why Crunchmaster Crackers?
I was recently introduced to Crunchmaster crackers and have fallen absolutely in LOVE!!
Unlike any other crackers, they aren't made from refined white flour or re high in unhealthy trans fats. In fact, they are actually gluten free, made from simple non-GMO ingredients that I know can all pronounce, and they are BAKED!
And most importantly, they taste awesome. The satisfying crunch and savory flavors are spot on!
The resealable bags they come in are also really handy. That way I don't have to go scrambling for a bag clip to keep the crackers crunchy for the next time.
And for this crunchy cracker casserole topping, I could just crush them up right in they bag they came in. No need for another plastic baggy.
Where to buy Crunchmaster Crackers
Recently took a couple of bags to a potluck and everyone else loved them just as much as me and kept asking me where they could get them.
Crunchmaster Crackers are available at many major retailers like Target, Whole Foods, or Walmart. Be sure to use the storefinder to find a retailer near you and to check on specific selections.
Alternatively, the crackers are also available on Amazon.
Items I used for making this healthy ham casserole
To blend up the creamy cauliflower sauce I use my trusted Vitamix blender.
Although any large casserole dish will work for this recipe, I still love my Pyrex glass casserole dish. It comes with a lid that makes transports to potlucks really easy.
I used Crunchmaster's Sea Salt Multi-Grain Crackers to give this cauliflower and broccoli casserole a satisfying crunch topping.
Want more? Try these healthy broccoli recipes
- This Chicken & Brown Rice Casserole also uses broccoli and this creamy cauliflower sauce
- And so does this Cheesy Tortellini Bake
- When time is short, this easy Ginger Beef Broccoli Stir Fry is a quick dinner solution
- And for a salad try this Broccoli Strawberry Salad with creamy poppy seed dressing
Healthy Cauliflower Broccoli Casserole with Ham
For the creamy cauliflower sauce:
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil
- 2 pounds (900 g) cauliflower divided
- ½ cup (125 ml) water or broth
- ¾ cup (175 ml) milk or dairy-free alternative
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the Casserole:
- 1 pound (450 g) broccoli
- 7 ounces (200 g) cooked ham diced
- 1 heaping cup (150 g) cheese shredded
- 3.5 ounces (100 g) Crunchmaster Multi-Grain crackers crushed
- Cut the onion into thin slices. Slice the garlic cloves. Melt the butter in a skillet on low heat, add onion slices and garlic and sauté on low until the onions are golden and caramelized (about 20 minutes).
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut half of the cauliflower (1 pound) into florets and cook in broth until tender (5-7 minutes). Use the stem parts of the cauliflower heads for the sauce and leave most of the florets whole for the casserole.
- To make the creamy white sauce, place tender cauliflower into a blender or food processor together with the caramelized onions, garlic, ½ cup of broth, milk and salt. Puree until smooth and set sauce aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Divide the remaining 1 pound cauliflower and broccoli into florets. Bring the large pot of salted water to a boil again and cook the cauliflower florets for 5 minutes. Add the broccoli florets and cook another 3 minutes. Drain, then place cauliflower and broccoli in a large casserole dish (at least 9x13-inches) together with the diced ham.
- Pour the creamy cauliflower sauce over top and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Add the crushed Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Crackers over the cheese.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until bubbly with a golden colour.
Pin for later?
Yes, broccoli casserole freezes beautifully. Make sure to store it in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.
Absolutely, fresh broccoli can be used instead of frozen. Just blanch it briefly before incorporating it into the casserole for optimal texture.
Broccoli casserole pairs well with various options, including grilled chicken, roasted vegetables, or a fresh green salad for a balanced meal.
The calorie count can vary based on specific ingredients, but a typical serving of broccoli cheese bake contains around 200-300 calories, depending on portion size and ingredients used.
Disclosure: Thank you Crunchmaster for sponsoring this post.
This post includes affiliate links. Thank you for your support in making Leelalicious possible. I really appreciate it!