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Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Millet Bake

Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Millet Bake | A Couple Cooks

Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Millet Bake | A Couple CooksRoasted Broccoli and Cheddar Millet Bake | A Couple CooksRoasted Broccoli and Cheddar Millet Bake | A Couple CooksRoasted Broccoli and Cheddar Millet Bake | A Couple Cooks

This week, we’re exploring comforting foods for cooler weather. Our first is a casserole of the roasted broccoli, cheddar and millet variety. For those of you not familiar with millet, it’s a heritage grain, gluten-free just like quinoa. However, millet is not quite as sexy as its trendy cousin, since it’s also known as a component of birdseed. (We actually had no idea until a commenter on a past post told us they fed millet to their pet “budgie”, which we found quite entertaining!)

Here’s a great story on millet by NPR that made us want to root for this underdog grain. According to the article, “The grain needs adventurous chefs and tastemakers to promote it to really take off.” We’ll consider that a challenge!

Millet is actually quite tasty; slightly larger and chewier than quinoa, with a slightly nutty taste. Here we’ve combined it with roasted broccoli and cheddar cheese for a hearty, comforting casserole. It’s a healthy, nutrient-filled take on the standard casserole, and a lovely gluten-free option. In addition to this preparation, millet also makes for a easy side dish; see our recipe Master Recipe: Perfect Millet.

Casserole is not a traditionally lovely subject to photograph, so it was a challenge to make these shots look interesting. For this shoot, we played with a “flare”, created using a wine glass held to the side of our shots. It creates a bit of blur towards the edge of the frame that helps to add motion to the image. Just a little peak behind the scenes, for those of you interested in the photography aspect. 

How about you — what are some of your favorite comfort foods? We’ll be back this week with another tasty option.  

Roasted Broccoli and Cheddar Millet Bake
 
In a pinch, you can use frozen broccoli florets instead of roasting fresh broccoli. Choose high-quality broccoli; then thaw it and add ½ teaspoon kosher salt, a few drizzles of olive oil, and fresh ground pepper prior to incorporating in the casserole.
by:
Makes: 4 to 6
What You Need
  • 8 cups broccoli florets (4 small heads)
  • 1 ½ cups millet
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Large casserole dish (9" x 13"; we used a 10" x 12" oval dish)
What To Do
  1. Preheat an oven to 450F.
  2. Wash and cut the broccoli into small florets. In a bowl, combine the broccoli with 1½ tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and some fresh ground pepper. Pour onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes.
  3. Prepare 1 ½ cups millet, according to the Master Recipe: Millet (takes about 20 minutes).
  4. Meanwhile, dice 3 cloves garlic. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium low heat. Add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Add 1 cup milk, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 teaspoon thyme, and bring to a simmer. Stir in 1½ cups cheddar cheese and stir until the cheese melts and the sauce thickens slightly (turn up the heat slightly if the cheese does not melt at first, but be careful not to overheat).
  5. When the broccoli, millet and sauce are complete, turn down the oven temperature to 400F. Pour the millet into a large casserole dish and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon or more kosher salt. Add roasted broccoli, pour in sauce, and add a bit of the shredded cheese (making sure to reserve some for the top). Stir to thoroughly combine, making sure to combine all millet with sauce and cheese. Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese over the top.
  6. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes until warm.
Notes
Adapted from Naturally Ella
 

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SonjaRoasted Broccoli and Cheddar Millet Bake

Comments 17

  1. Kathryn

    I love a big bowl of cheesy comfort and this looks like it would totally hit the spot. Also super impressed with the wine glass trick, it adds such a dimension of life to the photo. Definitely one to remember!

  2. Ashley

    Totally making this. I absolutely love the simplicity and comfort that is wrapped up in this casserole dish. I think I may add chickpeas and eat it all week long. Chris is going to love this, too! Cannot wait!

  3. Jess

    This recipe sounds fantastic – I recently started putting millet in chilled salads, but I haven’t done anything warm and comforting like this yet. It’s got such a great, nutty flavor – can’t wait to try this!

  4. Ashley

    This was SO FANTASTIC. The thickness of the millet was just perfect. Chris and I both loved it. I roasted the brocc at 400* and added some chopped kale in the last 8 minutes of roasting [just enough to wilt it]. I also used unsweetened almond milk which worked perfectly. I meant to add chickpeas into the mixture but forgot. Not that it needs them but I thought it would be a tasty addition. This is going to be on rotation all of the time!

  5. Valentina @Hortus

    This looks SO good! I totally want to make this. Plus, it looks really easy.
    I love casseroles, but I can’t even remember when it was the last time I had one. They are usually way too calorie dense, especially if they are pasta bakes. I absolutely wanna try this with a mix of ricotta and Parmesan – I hate Cheddar!

    Millet is such an underestimated food. When I say I like it, everybody teases me saying ‘Ah! you not only eat food for hens (bran and oats) but food for birds too!’ Meh. Texture-wise, it’s a great gluten-free alternative to fine couscous.

    My favorite comfort food has got to be Minestrone. I heard yesterday on the radio that it’s the most hated food amongst Italians. This means that people are either out of their mind, or have no idea how to properly make it (or both).

    Thanks for this recipe!

  6. Dearna

    I love millet! I’ve been using it to make porridge for a while now – I love the texture and creaminess and it makes a nice change from oats – but I’ve yet to try it in a savoury dish. Will have to give this a go, it sounds divine!

  7. Lydia

    I saw this on your blog one morning and made it as a side for dinner that night. I had never cooked millet before and found that what I had took more liquid and more cooking time than your recipe (which I saw later in the comments that other people experienced as well). My husband and I both really liked the casserole, but since we started with slightly undercooked millet, it ended up a little dry. Regardless, we will be adding this recipe to our rotation as a healthier comfort food.

  8. Kacie

    I made this last night and absolutely loved it! The only changes were that I sautéed shallots with the garlic, and I also roasted brussels sprouts because I did not have enough broccoli. My fiancé is not a huge fan of pure veggie dishes, and never had millet before. But, he loved it. I can’t wait to make it again!

  9. Jaimie

    Just looked in my cupboards wondering what to make for dinner and saw millet.. I knew I had broccoli and cheese in my fridge and I thought of this immediately! WIN!

  10. Tori

    I have made this a couple times now with GREAT success! It’s such a good building platform for a bake. I’ve swapped the millet for quinoa, the broccoli for butternut squash, the cheddar for yogurt cheese and a bit of parmesan, added roasted tomatoes and garlic and onions. It works out great EVERY time. Thank you for this fab recipe and the inspiration!!

  11. Virginia

    This recipe is awesome and always a hit! My husband and I have made it several times this summer and the only change we’ve made is swapping the veggies for whatever is in season here in Louisiana (which isn’t usually broccoli — green beens have worked great!).

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