Low-Fat Broccoli Gratin

How is it possible that Thanksgiving is already this week? November has just flown by! We also celebrated Madeline’s 4th birthday over the weekend and had the most fun time at Disneyland where she got to have a special princess makeover!

We certainly can’t forget the veggies for your Thanksgiving spread! One of my favorite potato dishes of all-time is most definitely potatoes gratin. I mean, what’s not to love about creamy cheesy potatoes? It’s total comfort food at it’s best. So I made this broccoli gratin instead of potatoes this time around and it’s seriously delish. I also tried to lighten up the cheesy sauce a bit by using fat-free half and half and lower fat cheese. If you don’t care about the fat, use regular half and half and cheese!

Low-Fat Broccoli Gratin

This recipe will satisfy your craving for cheesy and creamy goodness without all the calories and starch. I used just broccoli here, but you could also do a combo of broccoli and cauliflower! Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables so of course, it would grace my Thanksgiving table. And who doesn’t love broccoli covered in cheese? That’s right. Nobody. I love the crispy panko topping on this too as it adds a nice crunch and texture to the dish.

One thing to note about the recipe is the second step where you toss the broccoli in some boiling water for a couple of minutes. This precooks the broccoli so it’s nice and tender when it’s done cooking. HOWEVER, I actually prefer my broccoli to be more al dente so I have also made this skipping the boiling and I actually prefer it this way. So, if you want your broccoli to be softer, boil it before baking. If you want it to be more al dente, skip the second step.

While I’m posting this as a Thanksgiving dish, this broccoli gratin is a delicious side dish to make year around, especially if you have picky veggie eaters in your house!

Low-Fat Broccoli Gratin

Low-Fat Broccoli Gratin
Yield: 6 servings

Low-Fat Broccoli Gratin

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

A lower fat alternative to the potato version, but just as delicious!


  • 5 cups broccoli, trimmed
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fat free half and half
  • 1 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs (can use more if you would like)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large pot of lightly salted, boiling, water, cook the broccoli for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside (Note: you can skip this step if you prefer your broccoli to be more al dente).
  3. In a saucepan, melt the butter on medium heat. Stir in the flour with the butter and stir until well-combined. Add in the milk and cheddar cheese and whisk until smooth. Stir in the garlic powder and salt and pepper.
  4. In a 9×13 baking dish, add the broccoli. Pour the cheese mixture over the broccoli and mix to coat. Evenly distribute the panko bread crumbs over the top. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden brown (if the bread crumbs are not golden, you can also switch the oven to broil for a couple of minutes, watching very carefully to avoid burning).

Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 158Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5.4gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 216mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 2.1gSugar: 4gProtein: 4.1g

Low-Fat Broccoli Gratin