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Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Casserole with Garlic Butter Pretzels. A mix between the coziest bowl of broccoli cheddar soup and a savory biscuit-topped cobbler. This dish is creamy, filled with broccoli, and topped with salted pretzel rolls. Cook everything together in a big skillet, add cheese, and finish this off in the oven. Simple, but so delicious. The perfect weeknight casserole!

Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Casserole with Garlic Butter Pretzels | halfbakedharvest.com

It’s really no secret, but wow, I love a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup. Probably more so than chicken noodle. A creamy broccoli cheddar soup is hard to beat. I grew up loving Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl. To this day, it really is my type of comfort food.

When fall rolls around, I always think back to what my family would eat when we lived in Cleveland.

It was a lot of chicken and rice, a lot of tacos, and every so often my mom would make her Sunday pot roast or casserole. But then sometimes on the weekend, mom and I would head to Panera for a warm bowl of soup.

Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Casserole with Garlic Butter Pretzels | halfbakedharvest.com

Today’s casserole is a combination of two favorite “old school” comfort food dinners, soup and casserole.

On the bottom, we have an incredibly creamy broccoli cheddar soup with extra broccoli. And on the top, there are salty, addicting soft pretzel rolls.

Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Casserole with Garlic Butter Pretzels | halfbakedharvest.com

Here are the details

Start with the pretzels. I used my basic soft pretzel dough, only I cut the recipe in half for a smaller portion. I also used instant yeast to ensure the process was speedy.

Start by mixing the dry ingredients with the wet, then let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes.

While the dough is resting, make the broccoli soup.

Start with the basics. Cook your onion, then add a touch of butter, garlic, fresh thyme, paprika, and a pinch of cayenne.

Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Casserole with Garlic Butter Pretzels | halfbakedharvest.com

At this point, pour in the broth and broccoli. Then simmer until the broccoli is tender. Once the broccoli has cooked, mix in the milk and stir in a handful of cheese until creamy.

This is when you can transfer everything to a casserole dish if needed/desired.

Now, going back to the pretzel dough, roll the dough into about 8 balls.

Once the pretzels are shaped, boil them in water mixed with baking soda. The baking soda in the water helps the pretzels achieve that soft, chewy texture we all love so much!

Then brush with a beaten egg and place the rolls right on top of the broccoli. Put everything into the oven. Bake until the cheese is melty and the pretzels on top are golden. As soon as you pull the dish out, finish the rolls off with melted butter and a sprinkle of flaked sea salt or pretzel salt.

Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Casserole with Garlic Butter Pretzels | halfbakedharvest.com

The corners of the dish will form an insanely delicious cheesy crust with buttery, salty soft pretzels baked right on top!

And the middle is creamy and delicious, like a thickened-up broccoli soup. It’s a wonderful combination.

We all love this dish, a truly special dinner.

Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Casserole with Garlic Butter Pretzels | halfbakedharvest.com

Looking for other easy back-to-school recipes? Here are a few ideas: 

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken and Rice Casserole

Garlic Butter Creamed Corn Chicken

Cheesy Zucchini Chicken and Rice Bake

One Skillet Street Corn Chicken Enchilada Bake

Broccoli Cheddar Chicken and Noodle Casserole

Lastly, if you make this Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Casserole with Garlic Butter Pretzels, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!

Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Casserole with Garlic Butter Pretzels

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories Per Serving: 856 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Pretzels

Casserole

Instructions

  • 1. Combine the flour and instant yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the water and 3 tablespoons butter. Mix on medium speed until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough is too wet, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Cover the bowl and place in a warm spot 15-20 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, make the casserole. Preheat the oven to 425° F. 
    3. Heat the olive oil, butter, and onion in a large, oven-safe skillet with sides. Cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour, garlic, paprika, and cayenne and cook until golden, 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the broth until smooth. Add the broccoli and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes.
    4. Stir in the milk and 2 cups of cheese until melted and creamy. Let cook 5-10 minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat. If needed transfer the mix to a casserole dish. Top with 1/2 cup cheese.
    5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
    6. Remove the pretzel dough from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal balls. Add the baking soda to the boiling water. Boil the pretzels, 4 at a time, for 30 seconds. Remove with a large slotted spoon, then place on top of the broccoli. Brush each roll with a beaten egg, sprinkle with salt. Bake until the broccoli is bubbling and the pretzels are golden, 25 minutes.
    7. In a bowl mix 1 tablespoon melted butter with 1 clove grated garlic and the thyme. Brush the rolls with garlic butter. Top enjoy!
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Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Casserole with Garlic Butter Pretzels | halfbakedharvest.com

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Comments

  1. Do you think I could make this the day before? If so what stage should I do? Or should I bake it and then just reheat? Any suggestions?

  2. 4 stars
    Overall a tasty dish. I did add chicken for some protein and made no other changes. Four stars because the pretzel dough didn’t come together when the 3/4 cup water was added. I wound up using an extra 1/3 cup of water. The dough was heavy and dense. I researched pretzel recipes using quick yeast and couldn’t find any, so I wound up proofing it for an hour and then proceeded to boil the dough per the recipe (for about a minute).
    Luckily the proofing produced a lighter dough. Not sure I would attempt this recipe again. If I did, I’d use a biscuit topping instead.

    1. Hey Lauren,
      Happy Monday!! Thanks a bunch for trying this recipe out, so sorry to hear you had some issues with the pretzels. What kind of yeast did you use? It’s hard for me to say without knowing more info! Let me know how I can help! xx

    1. Hey Sarah,
      You bet, the biscuit dough will be great to use, just cut into quarters. I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xx

  3. Hi! This recipe is great. The only issue I ran into was that after mixing the flower, yeast and butter there was no instructions on what to do with the dough before putting it somewhere warm. I sort of thought I was supposed to kneed it and roll it into a ball but it didn’t say to do that So I skipped it. This resulted in being unable to make eight perfect balls of dough as it was shaggy and wouldn’t come together.

    1. Hi Aja,
      Wonderful!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks for giving it a try! Step 1 says “cover the bowl and place in a warm spot.” Have a great weekend:)

  4. 2 questions – could I sub heavy cream for the whole milk? Also – I think my dough failed – I used a standard kitchen aid hand mixer with the whisks because it didn’t come with a dough hook – and the dough just came out in millions of tiny pieces – so I need to get a dough hook? Ps all of your recipes are winners!

    1. Hi Chelsey,
      Thanks for giving this recipe a try. Yes, you can use heavy cream in place of the whole milk. When making a bread dough, I wouldn’t suggest using the whisk mixers, just mix with a wooden spoon and knead by hand until you have a smooth dough ball. I hope this helps! xT

  5. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious. One question – if some of my pretzels were a little gummy inside, how should I adjust next time? They were perfect and brown on top.

    1. Hi Nicole,
      Awesome!! Love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it and sharing your review:) Was there anything you adjusted in the pretzels? How long did you boil them for? I might add an extra couple of seconds. Happy Thanksgiving! 🍽

    1. Hey Rachelle,
      No worries, just proof that first in the warm water, once it has bubbled then you can follow the recipe as written. Please let me know if I can help in any other way! xx

      1. Hi Teighan,

        I ran into the same issue, do you proof this in the 3/4 cup warm water that it calls for in the recipe? Or do I proof it and then add 3/4 warm water after it’s bubbled?

        Thanks so much! Looks so good, can’t wait to try it 🙂

        1. Hi Devin,
          If you are using the instant yeast, you do not need to proof it:) You can just follow the recipe as written. Let me know how I can help! xx

  6. 5 stars
    I don’t like broccoli and cheese casserole, but I really like this! And those pretzel rolls! Yum! My only note afterwards was to pull back on the amount of time cooking the broccoli.

    1. Hey there,
      Happy Friday!!❄️ Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your review, so glad to hear it was a winner! xx

    1. Hi Lindsey,
      Sure, that will work well for you! I hope you love this recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xx

  7. 5 stars
    OMG !!! This recipe was outstanding. I made it for my husband and boys last night. I doubled the recipe as I knew they would have more than 1 bowl each. My pretzel buns turned out amazing !!!! Thank you Tieghan for all your amazing recipes. I have all your cookbooks and look forward to trying new recipes. You never disappoint.

    1. Hey Michelle,
      Fantastic!! I love that this recipe turned out tasty for you, thanks so much for giving it a try! xx

  8. 5 stars
    Wow this was amazing! My husband and kids loved it and had seconds! I think next time I would double the “soup” just to have more of it. Thanks for a wonderful keeper recipe.

    1. Hi Kristen,
      Amazing!! So glad to hear that this recipe turned out well for you, thanks so much for making it and sharing your review:)