Broccoli and Prosciutto Bake

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This all-in-one meal is ideal on a busy night or when you simply don’t feel like cooking. It can also be made in advance and reheated, and it freezes beautifully. Equally perfect for a potluck or to deliver to a friend in need!

 

 

 

 

Years ago, when getting together in Stone Harbor, New Jersey for the weekend with my mom and aunt, my aunt brought this meal for an easy, at-the-ready dinner. We all loved it and, as we ate, she listed the ingredients.

I never did write the recipe down. I memorized it (it’s that easy!) and have made it many, many times since.

The quick-to-assemble casserole is lovely with a green salad when you have last-minute company or as a quick weeknight meal. It’s great for brunch, too.

While I have tweaked the recipe slightly over time, it is very much the same easy meal we enjoyed that evening in Stone Harbor.

While I don’t often reach for ready-made ingredients, they can be helpful-and better than a drive-thru! In this case, a package of refrigerated rolls creates a flaky crust for other, largely wholesome, ingredients.

My aunt always used basic deli ham, which works well. To elevate the meal slightly, I often opt for half deli ham and half prosciutto. Frozen broccoli and shredded cheese round out the base, and then a quick egg and milk mixture serves as a binder.

As I mention in the recipe, squeezing the excess liquid out of the thawed broccoli is the key to a crisp crust. Once I decided to see what happened if I omitted this step, and the finished dish was, in fact, watery.

The broccoli need not be cooked, however, as long as you have time to fully thaw it. If not, cook it in the microwave or on the stovetop so that you are able to remove the excess water.

A simple salad or your favorite frozen vegetable will bolster the meal. When my boys were young, I often served the casserole with a side of applesauce or apple slices.

See the recipe notes for more helpful suggestions, and feel free to ramp up the veggies, mix up the cheeses or add your favorite herbs.

For my gluten-free friends, this is one of the few meals for which I don’t have a solid alternative. My latest thought it that 8-10 ounces of gluten-free pizza dough could be stretched thin and used in place of the crescent rolls. I have not tried this, however, so if you experiment on your own, please report back!

Perhaps my favorite part of this meal is the aroma that wafts through the kitchen when baking. It’s heavenly and suggests far more effort than was actually required.

If it’s more convenient for you to bake the casserole earlier in the day, or even the day before, by all means do so. When reheated in the oven, the top layer and edges take on an extra hint of crispy, golden brown goodness, adding an extra layer of flavorful appeal.

This quick, all-in-one meal tastes amazing and can be fully prepared in advance. It reheats beautifully, freezes well, and the aroma while baking is heavenly!
Broccoli and Prosciutto Bake
Yield: 8 servings (6 for heartier appetites)
This is a terrific quick meal on a busy night. It may be made ahead or frozen and reheats beautifully in the oven. It's actually one of those meals I think tastes better after the second round in the oven! This is also a perfect make-ahead meal when you want to take dinner to a friend.
Ingredients
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk (I use non-fat; whole or 2% work well, too)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Original Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen broccoli spears, thawed with moisture squeezed out (see note)
  • ¼ pound thinly sliced prosciutto
  • ¼ pound your favorite ham*
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup (2 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375℉.
  2. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the milk and set aside.
  3. Unroll the crescent rolls and line the bottom of an ungreased 9×13 baking dish with them. These will serve as the crust. (Helpful hint: I keep the rolls attached at the seams and stretch them a little ways up the sides of the dish. Don’t worry if there are a few small gaps in the seams.)
  4. Tear the prosciutto and ham into strips or pieces (or purchase it chipped) and distribute over the rolls. Do the same with the broccoli. (There is no need to cook the broccoli unless you didn’t have time to thaw it fully. Either way, just make sure to remove the excess water.)
  5. Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the top. Then drizzle the egg and milk mixture evenly over the top.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
Notes

*While a mixture of prosciutto and ham provides nice flavor in this recipe, using all ham is fine and may be a more economical choice. I choose my favorite basic deli ham and asked for it to be chipped for extra ease.

Helpful hints:
My favorite trick to remove all the moisture from frozen and thawed broccoli (and spinach, for that matter) is to literally wring it out in a clean dish towel. Less moisture is often the trick to a better end result when baking with these vegetables.
I prefer to purchase frozen broccoli crowns. When not marked as such, the bags often contain as many stem pieces as crowns (although I use the stems, too). Also, for more even coverage if the spears are large, I tear them into smaller pieces after removing the moisture. Lastly, broccoli fans may use a 16-ounce bag of frozen broccoli crowns instead of the stated 10-ounce bag
If I have some spinach in my vegetable drawer, I sometimes wilt that (the last time I used half a 5-ounce bag), squeeze out all the excess moisture and add it with the broccoli.

 

The Fountain Avenue Kitchen https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/

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Comments

  1. Stacie Skelly

    Yum! Perfect quick meal for busy basketball nights. Was delish, I think next time I may add some mushrooms!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Thanks for letting me know, Stacie, and I love the suggestion of mushrooms. I might have to try that next time, too!

      Reply
  2. Kim

    Ann this looks just fabulous! I am printing and pinning as we speak. My family is going to love this. Thanks so much for being so faithful to the Weekend Potluck. I just love to see what you bring every week! Hope you’re having a nice holiday season!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Thank you, Kim! I hope your family enjoys this quick meal as much as we do. It is always a pleasure to visit your weekend potluck and I hope you are enjoying the holiday season as well!

      Reply
    1. Ann

      I love this dinner for a quick meal or a great make-ahead dinner to bring a friend in need. Thank you for the comment, Christie. I love your collection of Wednesday recipes!!

      Reply
    1. Ann

      Thank you very much, Debi, for featuring this recipe on your wonderful site! It’s a great go-to meal on a busy night…and broccoli is one of my favorites, too!

      Reply
  3. ~Maria~

    I just made this last night and anytime my daughter asks for seconds it’s a keeper! Although I made it in a lasgana pan it’s reminscant of a deep dish pizza.

    I used extra ham, less proscuitto plus both chopped broccoli and 1/2 bag of (frozen) cooked spinach for extra veggie power + an Italian 5 blend cheese. Next time I will increase the eggs to 4 to hold everything together better due to increase in veggies.

    Definitely a keeper recipe!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Maria,
      I am so glad this was a hit and I love how you added spinach. The Italian cheese blend would be fabulous, too. Thank you for the great feedback!

      Reply
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