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A fork breaks into a serving of Broccoli Pearl Onion Casserole on a white plate.
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Broccoli Pearl Onion Casserole

A creamy broccoli and pearl onion mixture topped with toasted soft Parmesan bread crumbs and baked until golden brown. This Broccoli Pearl Onion Casserole is a unique and comforting side dish choice.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Side Dish, Vegetable
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 259kcal


  • 1 ¼ pounds fresh broccoli florets cut into bite size pieces
  • 14.4 ounces frozen pearl onions thawed (like Bird's Eye)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 4 ounces Neufcahtel cream cheese 1/3 less fat, cubed
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

For the Soft Parmesan Bread Crumbs

  • 3 slices sandwich bread like Oroweat Buttermilk or as many slices as needed to yield 2 cups crumbs
  • ¼ cup shredded Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the broccoli. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or just until barely tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the broccoli to a colander to drain and then transfer it to the prepared baking dish.
  • Return the same pot to the heat (no need to change water) and return the water to a boil. Add the pearl onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and transfer to the baking dish with the broccoli.
  • Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over MEDIUM-LOW heat. Whisk in the flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually whisk in the milk. Increase heat as needed to bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to MEDIUM-LOW and stir in the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the mixture over the broccoli and onions in the baking dish and stir gently to coat. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
  • Tear the slices of bread into pieces and place them in the bowl of a food processor. Process until they are the consistency of bread crumbs. You should have 2 cups of crumbs. Transfer to a small bowl and toss with the Parmesan. Add 2 tablespoons melted butter and toss to combine. Sprinkle the soft bread crumbs evenly over the casserole.
  • Bake, uncovered, until the topping is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.



Ingredient Tips
I highly recommend using fresh broccoli florets for the best result. You can purchase the convenient bags of florets that are already cut and weighed for you to make it easy. I sliced 4 small broccoli crowns and used my kitchen scale to be sure I had the 1 1/4 pounds florets required for the recipe.
Look for bagged pearl onions in the frozen vegetable section of the grocery store. You want to thaw them in the refrigerator before starting the recipe. Frozen pearl onions come pre-peeled which saves you a bunch of time. Try them!
A little cream cheese goes a long way in making the creamy white sauce even more delicious. I use Neufchatel 1/3 less fat cream cheese to lighten the dish up.
You'll need three slices of bread for the soft bread crumbs. For delicious crumbs with a wonderful texture go with a soft white bread like Oroweat Buttermilk or Potato Bread.
Make Ahead Instructions
Assemble the casserole as directed but don't top with the bread crumbs. Cover the casserole dish tightly with plastic wrap or foil and transfer it to the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When ready to bake, remove the dish from the fridge and allow it to sit on your kitchen counter for 30 minutes to an hour. Top with the bread crumbs and bake as directed. Please note that it may take a little longer to cook through if the dish is cold when it goes in the oven. If the bread crumbs are getting too brown before the dish is cooked through, lay a sheet of foil lightly over the top towards the end of the baking time.


Calories: 259kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 52mg | Sodium: 561mg | Potassium: 353mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1008IU | Vitamin C: 63mg | Calcium: 283mg | Iron: 1mg