Broccoli souffle is a versatile dish, something to serve for a light brunch or side dish. It makes for a delightful anytime-dish. Yet many home cooks are scared of souffle. There’s nothing to fear! We’re here to tell you that it’s as easy as an omelet—and maybe more delicious, too.
The big worry with a souffle is that it will collapse if you open the oven door (or even walk through the kitchen!). This, however, is more fiction than fact. As long as the ingredients are proportional and mixed correctly, a souffle should hold up in the oven and come out light and airy.
So, now that we’re past the fear, you may be wondering: What makes a souffle a souffle? Well, souffles can be sweet or savory, but they all have the same structure: eggs. A souffle is basically stiffened egg whites mixed into a thicker sauce which often contains egg yolks. You need the egg whites whipped into proper stiff peaks for a souffle so that it retains its structure when it comes out of the oven.
This savory broccoli souffle takes the best part of a broccoli-cheese sauce and turns it into a light, fluffy masterpiece.
Broccoli Souffle Ingredients
- Broccoli: Our recipe calls for two bunches of broccoli, and you’ll use both the florets and stalks. Yes, the stalks! Using food scraps like broccoli stalks is a great way to manage food waste in the kitchen (plus, they’re delicious). Fresh broccoli can vary in size and weight, so the best way to think of amount for this recipe is that one bunch of broccoli contains about three stalks. You’ll need about six stalks for this recipe, or 2 to 2-1/2 pounds total. It will yield 10 to 12 cups chopped (including florets and stems), which will reduce by half once it steams.
- Eggs: You’ll use both the egg whites and yolks, which are separated and brought to room temperature. Room-temperature eggs whisk up much better than cold eggs.
- Butter: Butter is integral to the white sauce, the base of a good souffle. Here are some of the tested best butter brands according to our Test Kitchen.
- Flour: This recipe doesn’t call for much, but a little all-purpose flour goes a long way to thicken up a white sauce. It aids in the structure of a light and airy souffle.
- Milk: Milk is essential for the base of a souffle. We use 2% milk, but you can use whole. Avoid skim milk; it’s too thin.
- Cheddar cheese: Our broccoli souffle is for cheese lovers. Cheese that you shred yourself (on the largest holes of a grater) is best, but pre-shredded is also fine. A good medium-sharp cheddar is the way to go. Have extra? We have a lot of cheddar cheese recipe ideas.
Step 1: Prepare the eggs and baking dish
First, separate the egg whites from the yolks, then let the yolks and whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease a 2-1/2-quart souffle dish with 1 tablespoon butter, and set it aside.
Step 2: Prepare the broccoli
Before you start on your broccoli, preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the broccoli into florets, then peel and chop the stalks. Place the chopped broccoli in a steamer basket, and place it in a Dutch oven or large pot filled with an inch of water. Bring the water to a boil. Cover the pot, and steam the broccoli for four to six minutes or until crisp-tender.
Step 3: Make the cheese sauce
In a large saucepan, melt the remaining butter. Whisk in the flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add the milk while whisking. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cook, stirring, for two minutes or until thickened. Add 1-1/2 cups cheese and mustard, and stir (or whisk) until the cheese fully melts into the sauce. Remove the mixture from heat.
Step 4: Add egg yolks and broccoli to the sauce
Stir a small amount of the hot cheese sauce into the egg yolks. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the cheese sauce in the saucepan, stirring constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Add the broccoli, and stir until combined. Allow everything to cool slightly.
Step 5: Beat the egg whites
In a large, pristine-clean bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. With a spatula, stir one-fourth of the egg whites into the cooled broccoli-sauce mixture until no white streaks remain. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until combined.
Editor’s Tip: For the best stiff peaks, use room-temperature egg whites, make sure not a speck of yolk is in those egg whites, and use a dry, clean bowl. A stand or hand mixer is your friend here, too (your arms will thank you).
Step 6: Bake the souffle
Transfer the souffle batter to the prepared souffle dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese and bread crumbs. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is puffed and the center appears set. Let the souffle stand for 15 minutes before serving.
- Make mini souffles: To make individual-size souffles, grease six 10-ounce ramekins. Add the souffle mixture, and bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tops are puffed and the centers appear set.
- Add bacon or chicken: For a boost of flavor and protein, stir diced cooked bacon or chicken into the broccoli-cheese sauce.
- Change the cheese: Instead of using medium-sharp cheddar cheese, try smoked cheddar. Or go in a different direction with crumbled goat cheese (you can cut the amount in half so it’s not too overwhelming). Gruyere or Parmesan are other great options.
How to Store Broccoli Souffle
Let the broccoli souffle cool, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat it, simply microwave on high for two to three minutes, or pop back into a 350° oven and bake until it puffs up again, five to six minutes.
Broccoli Souffle Tips
Can you use frozen broccoli for broccoli souffle?
Yes, you can use frozen broccoli for broccoli souffle. Replace the fresh broccoli with an equal amount of chopped frozen broccoli, which could be florets and stems or riced. Follow the instructions for steaming the broccoli; no need to thaw it first.
What do you serve with broccoli souffle?
Serve broccoli souffle with a bright-green salad for a delightfully light meal. It also makes for a great side dish to things like roast beef (here’s how to cook prime rib) or any of our favorite ham recipes.