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Baked Asparagus in Gruyère Cheese Sauce

There is nothing better than a creamy, cheesy vegetable casserole. My Baked Asparagus in Gruyère Cheese Sauce is absolutely divine. Asparagus are baked in a dreamy and rich gruyere, and cream cheese sauce. The sauce has a touch of Dijon mustard elevating the flavor of the gruyere cheese. And of course, no vegetable is complete without a buttery bread crumb topping.

baked asparagus with gruyere in white baking dish

Why I love this Baked Asparagus Recipe

In the Spring, when Asparagus is at its peak, I savor all ways of cooking asparagus. Like many cheesy, baked vegetable casseroles, this one is a perfect side dish for an Easter ham, a turkey dinner or a lovely pork roast. This recipe’s sauce is rich and decadent. It has a combination of 2 cheeses that work so well together to make this a mouthwatering side that I’m sure will be your family’s new favorite side dish.

How to make Baked Asparagus with Gruyère Cheese Sauce

This recipe is fairly simple to make. It takes a couple of steps because I like to blanch the asparagus to keep the beautiful bright green color while baking. Blanching is optional! You can skip the step and proceed with the recipe. We then make the cheese sauce and finally, baking the asparagus casserole. But even with the extra step, it takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.

What is Gruyère cheese?

Gruyère cheese is is one of my favorite cheeses. It’s definitely on the pricier side but well worth it for its nutty, delicious flavor. It’s a hard cheese that melts perfectly and is a great choice for cheese sauces. Its meltability is superb for vegetables, grilled cheese sandwiches, a hearty French onion soup, quiche or a retro fondue. Let’s dive into this cheese a little more, shall we?

Where is Gruyère Cheese from?

Pronounced gru-yair, this variety of hard cheese is produced in Switzerland, appropriately in Le Gruyère region of southern Switzerland. It is also produced in Eastern France in the Comté and Savoie regions.

When shopping for this type of cheese, I buy the Swiss version when possible. I typically find it in my larger, well stocked grocery stores in the cheese section.

Flavor profile of Gruyère cheese

I love all cheese period. But for sure Gruyère cheese is up there on my favorite hard cheese list. This is a subtle, nutty, slightly sharp and creamy cheese. It’s a perfect baking, melting cheese. Similar in flavor and comparable cheeses are American Swiss, Fontina, Comtè, Emmentaler, Gouda, Beaufort, Jarlsberg and Raclette.

ingredients for baked asparagus with gruyere sauce

Let’s dive on how to make this is perfectly decadent Baked Asparagus in Gruyère Cheese Sauce.

Ingredients for Baked Asparagus in Gruyère Sauce

  • 3 tbsp butter, unsalted – divided
  • 1/2 panko, plain (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 1/2 lb of fresh asparagus, washed and dried, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 1/4 cup of milk
  • 2 1/2oz of cream cheese, block style
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded or Swiss cheese
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 paprika, sweet
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Substitutions

The most asked substitution for this recipe is the cheese. What types of cheese work well with asparagus? Shredded Italian blend cheeses, Fontina, Swiss, Emmentaler, and White Cheddar are my picks. These work really well with this type of casserole that will add flavor and have the meltability component.

What about vegetables? I’ve not substituted any other vegetables for this recipe, however I’m pretty sure green beans or broccoli would work well. Just make sure the broccoli is cut into smaller pieces and it’s par cooked before hand so the baking time remains close to the same.

Assembling the Asparagus with Cheese Sauce

Preheat oven to 450°F.

In a small bowl, add 2 tbsp of melted butter and add panko breadcrumbs. Toss well so they are completely covered in butter. Set aside.

Now let’s blanch the asparagus. This is an optional step to allow the asparagus to keep it’s bright green color after baking.

In a medium sized pot, bring 3 quarts of water to boil.

Prepare a bowl with ice water so the asparagus can be added to the water bath to stop the cooking process.

Add fresh asparagus pieces and allow to boil for about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, remove asparagus pieces and place in ice water bath. Allow to fully cool.

Drain asparagus pieces and place in 3qt baking dish.

blanched asparagus pieces in casserole dish

Now for the cheese sauce. In the same pot you used for the asparagus, on medium heat, melt 1 tbsp of butter. Add minced garlic. Stir for 1 minute. Add flour, stir for 30 seconds. Whisk milk gradually into flour mixture and let it come to a boil. Continue to whisk for about 5 minutes until thickened. Add Grùyere cheese, cream cheese, salt, pepper, paprika and Dijon mustard. Whisk until fully combined and melted. Remove from heat immediately.

Pour on top of asapargus evenly. Toss if needed to ensure the asparagus is coated with the cheese sauce. Sprinkle with buttered Panko breadcrumbs.

Bake for about 15 minutes. Until bubbly and Panko bread crumbs are golden brown.

unbaked asparagus casserole

Dinner tonight: Pair this salad with a store bought rotisserie chicken for a quick and easy meal. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to blanch the asparagus?

No. You can skip the step. Note that the asparagus will cook to an army green color rather than staying bright green. It will taste just as delicious though!

What are substitutes for Gruyère cheese?

My picks for taste and melting are: White cheddar, American Swiss, Shredded Italian blends, Fontina and Emmentaler (another Swiss made cheese). The first three are the easiest to find.

Can I omit the Dijon mustard?

Yes, it can be omitted.

I can’t find Panko breadcrumbs, can I use regular breadcrumbs?

Yes, just use plain breadcrumbs and prepare the same way.

Can I use frozen asparagus?

Yes. I recommend baking it a little bit longer so the asparagus are heated through.

baked asparagus with gruyere cheese sauce
Crisp, bright green Asparagus enveloped in a creamy Gruyère cheese sauce and a buttered Panko topping.

My Favorite asparagus recipes

If you too, love this green vegetable, please check out my Asparagus Frittata with Ricotta and Prosciutto, Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Melt, and Warm Quinoa with Roasted Asparagus and Peppers for some veggie inspiration!

Enjoy!

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square image of baked asparagus with gruyere cheese sauce

Baked Asparagus with Gruyère Cheese Sauce

Ana | Claudia’s Table
April 12, 2023
Asparagus is baked in a dreamy and rich gruyere, and cream cheese sauce. The sauce has a touch of Dijon mustard elevating the flavor of the gruyere cheese
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 220 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 baking dish 3 qt or 9×13
  • 1 pot 4 qt
  • 1 whisk
  • 1 medium bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tbsp butter unsalted
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs plain
  • 1 1/2 lbs Asparagus, fresh trimmed, washed, dried and cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/4 cup milk, whole
  • 1/2 cup Gruyère cheese shredded
  • 2 1/2 oz cream cheese block style
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp paprika sweet
  • 1/2 tsp salt Kosher
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • In a small bowl, add 2 tbsp of melted butter and add panko breadcrumbs. Toss well so they are completely covered in butter. Set aside. 

Blanching (optional)

  • In a medium sized pot, bring 3 quarts of water to boil. 
  • Prepare a medium sized bowl with water and ice. This ice water bath will stop asparagus from cooking once they have been blanched.
  • Add fresh asparagus pieces to boiling water and allow to boil for about 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, remove asparagus pieces and place in ice water bath. Allow to fully cool, about 2 minutes.

Assembling the Asparagus with cheese sauce

  • Once completely cool, drain asparagus pieces and place them 3qt baking dish. 
    *If you didn't blanch asparagus, just proceed in placing asparagus in baking dish and follow the recipe.
  • Now for the cheese sauce. In the same pot you used for the asparagus, melt 1 tbsp of butter. Add minced garlic. Stir for 1 minute. Add flour, stir for 30 seconds. Whisk milk gradually into flour mixture and it comes to a boil.
  • Continue to whisk for about 5 minutes until thickened. Add Gruyère cheese, cream cheese, Dijon mustard, paprika, salt, pepper. Whisk until fully combined and melted. Remove from heat immediately. 
  • Pour on top of asapargus evenly. Toss if needed to ensure the asparagus is coated with the cheese sauce. Sprinkle with buttered Panko breadcrumbs.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes. Until bubbly and Panko bread crumbs are golden brown. 
  • Remove from oven and serve. This side dish is best served hot.

Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 220kcal

Nutritional information is calculated online and should be used as a guide.

Keyword Asparagus casserole, asparagus with cheese sauce, baked asparagus, Easter recipes, Thanksgiving, Vegetable side dish

All content and photographs ©Claudia’s Table and claudiastable.com

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