Feeling a bit monotonous after the New Year’s resolution diet? Yeah, me too. This healthy-ish recipe is sure to curb those comfort food cravings, while not throwing you too hard off the wagon. Cheesy Veggies is a basic recipe that can be played around with using whatever you have on hand. No pepper jack cheese? Leave it out. No colby jack? leave it out. Just make sure you have a total of 1 1/2 cups of cheese and you’ll be good to go. No broccoli or cauliflower in the freezer? No problem, this sauce is wonderful on asparagus, brussel sprouts and so much more. Let your culinary imagination run wild with this one and have fun.
Here’s what you’ll need: 1 cup of cheddar cheese; 1/4 cup pepper jack; 1/4 cup colby jack; 1 cup of milk; 3 tablespoons of butter; 1/4 cup all purpose flour; 1/2 Greek yogurt, or sour cream. I used 12 ounces each of broccoli and cauliflower for the veggies in this recipe.
First things first. Put the butter into a medium size sauce pan and place over medium heat. Cook it for about 3 minutes, until the butter browns and looks like this.
Once the butter is browned, add the flour. It will bubble up pretty hard here, so don’t freak out, it’s all good.
Mix the butter and flour until it’s nice and smooth. It will be pretty dark at this point, almost caramel colored, that’s ok.
Now add the milk. it will thicken up really quick, so stir constantly here until it’s smooth.
It will be very thick. Don’t worry, the sauce will thin out when we mix it with the veggies.
Now turn the heat to low and add the cheeses. Stir constantly until cheeses are completely melted and incorporated into the thick sauce.
I find this sauce works best with steamed veggies, so I just pulled out 1 12-ish ounce bag each of frozen cauliflower and broccoli and placed them in a large microwave safe bowel. Cover the bowel with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 8 minutes-ish, until the veggies are just fork tender.
Once the veggies have been steamed, remove the plastic wrap. Do not drain the liquid in the bottom of the bowel.
Add the cheese sauce to the veggies and mix well. The liquid in the bowel will thin out the cheese sauce significantly; that’s what you want. If you’re in a hurry, you can serve the Cheesy Veggies like this, but I would strongly suggest finishing it off in the oven as described below.
After the veggies and cheese sauce are mixed well, transfer them into a greased oven safe pan. I of course used a cast iron skillet, 8″.
Cover the pan with foil and place in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the foil. Place back into the oven, uncovered, for an additional 10 minutes.
When the Cheesy Veggies come out of the oven, they are bubbly and amazingly wonderful looking. The sauce will reduce by almost half, making it adhere to the veggies. The smell will drive you wild during the last few minutes of cooking, so waiting 10 minutes after it comes out of the oven is hard, but worth the wait, trust me.
After the Cheesy Veggies cool for 10 minutes, the sauce is thick and creamy and the veggies are slightly roasted with a delightful texture. And yes, that is a yummy cheesy crust around the edge that you can fight over, haha.
Have fun and feel free to play around with the recipe. If you make it, feel free to share a picture of your final product in the comments or on our Facebook page.