Whether you're looking for an easy side dish or a comforting casserole for special occasions, you're going to love this Cheesy Vegetable Casserole recipe! Made with frozen veggies and a creamy sauce, this quick and easy recipe is perfect for any night of the week.
As any child who grew up in the late '80s and '90s will confirm, casseroles were a THING! You couldn't go to a potluck or family dinner without seeing some sort of casserole made with cream of mushroom soup and finished with a crispy topping.
So when I am feeling all kinds of nostalgic for a simpler time, I like to make one of these 90s specialties (along with some English Muffin Pizzas or DIY Hamburger Helper) It sure does take me back, and it also happens to be an excellent way to get kids to eat their veggies. I think our Moms really knew what they were doing, huh!?
This recipe for Cheesy Vegetable Casserole features frozen mixed veggies, a cheese sauce made with condensed cheddar soup (although you could use cream of mushroom or some of my Mom's homemade cheese sauce), and a crispy topping of fried onions.
Now it's time to put on an episode of Boy Meets World (or Full House) and enjoy some sweet, sweet nostalgia.
Reasons to Love This Recipe:
- A creamy and cheesy side dish that is perfect for every occasion, whether it's simple weeknight dinners or a festive holiday meal.
- It requires just a few pantry staples - no sour cream or cream cheese needed!
- It's a great way to get your kids to eat their veggies! Who can resist a creamy sauce and lots of cheese?
- If you're looking for comfort food, you're going to love this. Cheesy, crunchy, and so delicious.
- Frozen vegetables: You will need a bag of the frozen mixed veggies of your choice. I recommend using California medley (cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots), but you can use whatever you like best.
- Cheddar cheese soup: Also known as condensed cheddar soup, this forms the base of your sauce. If you can't find it you could use cream of mushroom soup or homemade cheese sauce.
- Shredded cheese: I recommend a good quality sharp cheddar cheese, preferably one that you shred yourself. Pre-shredded cheeses do not melt as nicely, so doing it yourself definitely pays off here!
- Seasonings: You'll need some garlic powder, onion powder, and ground black pepper.
- Crispy fried onions: This is optional, but encouraged! Crispy fried onions are the perfect topping for creamy and cheesy casseroles, and provide a nice crunch on top. Feel free to leave them off (or use your favorite casserole topper).
How to Make Cheesy Vegetable Casserole
Before you get started on preparing the casserole you will need to briefly cook the veggies.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the frozen vegetables.
- Cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until warmed through.
- Strain the vegetables in a colander set over the sink and set aside.
Preparing the Sauce
Step one: Combine the milk, condensed cheese soup, and seasonings in a large bowl and stir well.
Step two: Add 1 ½ cups of the shredded cheddar cheese and fold it in, coating it in the cheese sauce.
Step three: Add the cooked and drained vegetables to the cheese sauce and fold them in gently, coating them in the mixture.
Step four: Spread the vegetables and cheese sauce into a 9X13" baking dish that has been greased or lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
Step five: Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of shredded cheese on top of the casserole.
Step six: Bake it in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Topping the Casserole
Step seven: Remove the bubbly casserole dish from the oven and sprinkle on 4 ounces of crispy fried onions.
Step eight: Return the baking dish to the oven for an additional 5 minutes, or switch the oven to "broil" and cook for just 1-2 minutes, watching it very closely, as the topping could burn easily.
Once the onions are crisp and golden brown, remove the casserole from the oven and allow it to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
Pairs Well With:
- Green Bean Casserole
- Mashed potatoes
- Roasted potatoes
- White or brown rice
- Sweet potatoes
- Scalloped potatoes
- A variety of casseroles for a covered dish dinner or potluck
Storing & Leftovers
Once the dish has cooled to room temperature, cover it with plastic wrap or foil and store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat portions in the microwave in 30-second intervals until warmed through.
The baked dish won't freeze well, but the unbaked dish can be frozen. Prepare the sauce and add the frozen vegetables (no need to cook them unless you're using fresh). Spread it into a freezer-safe baking dish and cover tightly with foil and label. Freeze for up to 3 months.
To prepare: thaw the dish overnight in the refrigerator. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until heated through. Top with the fried onions, and return to the oven for 5 minutes to crisp up.
With fresh vegetables: You can easily make this recipe with fresh veggies in place of the frozen ones used in the recipe. Simply substitute 1 ½ pounds of cut vegetables of your choice, and steam them lightly until bright and tender.
Without condensed soup: If you prefer not to use condensed soups, you can easily substitute the cheddar cheese soup in this recipe for 1 ¼ cups of homemade cheese sauce.
Other types of vegetables: Feel free to substitute the California Medley with any frozen mixed vegetables, or your favorite vegetables. Green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, sweet corn, and Brussels sprouts are a few good options. You could even add a few water chestnuts for crunch.
Alternate toppings: While crispy fried onions make for a tasty topping, there are all kinds of options for your veggie casserole. Crushed Ritz crackers, potato chips, buttered cornflakes, etc.
Alternate cheeses: While cheddar will provide the most complimentary flavor, you can definitely experiment with different types of cheeses. A little bit of mozzarella cheese will provide stretch, and parmesan cheese a sharper flavor. You could also try Gruyere or red Leicester if you were feeling fancy!
Cauliflower Casserole: Substitute the frozen veggies for frozen (or lightly steamed fresh) cauliflower florets. Use either cheddar or Red Leicester cheese. This is somewhat similar to the popular British Dish known as baked cauliflower.
Veggie and Rice Casserole: Double the sauce and cheese amounts, and add 2 cups of cooked rice to the mixture.
More Family Favorite Side Dishes
- Funeral Potatoes (with a Crunchy Cornflake Topping)
- Parmesan Crusted Potatoes
- Swedish Pizza Salad
- Slow Cooker Maple Glazed Carrots
- Roasted Asparagus and Carrots
If you loved this recipe for Cheesy Vegetable Casserole, let me know by leaving a 5-star review in the recipe card or comment below! You can also tag me on Instagram @dashfordinner.
Easy Cheesy Vegetable Casserole
- 24 ounces frozen California medley vegetables (1 ½ pounds)
- 10.5 ounce can cheddar cheese condensed soup
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
- 4 ounces crispy fried onions
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF and prepare a 9” X 13” baking dish with cooking spray.
- Bring a larger pot of salted water to a rolling boil, and then add in the frozen vegetable mixture. Boil just until the vegetables are warmed through, about 2-3 minutes.
- Drain the cooked vegetables in a strainer set over a sink. Set aside.
- Add the cheddar cheese condensed soup, milk, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper to a large bowl and stir until well combined.
- Add 1 ½ cups of the shredded cheddar cheese to the soup mixture and stir just until combined.
- Add the drained vegetables to the soup and cheese mixture, and fold them in gently until they are completely coated.
- Pour the vegetables into the prepared baking dish and top with the remaining ½ cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until heated through and bubbly.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and sprinkle the crispy fried onions on top in an even layer.
- Bake the casserole for an additional 5 minutes to crisp the onions, or broil for 1-2 minutes if your baking dish is broil-safe.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
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