Broccoli and Sausage Casserole

Ok so when I first saw a picture and description of this recipe, I thought, gross. Then my amazing friend Kim Dejong let me know she had tried this particular recipe and it was not only healthy but amazing! Its a wwight watchers recipe that has only 6points plus, by the way, and is packed with flavor! I cant wait to make this again!
Broccoli and Sausage Casserole


12 oz Italian bread, do not use slices; use in loaf form (I made my own whole
wheat bread in my bread maker for extra health! ya baby!)
2 clove(s) garlic clove(s), peeled and smashed (or to taste) (medium)
1 large red onion(s), cut into thin wedges
4 cup(s) broccoli, florets
1 tsp olive oil
12 oz raw turkey sausage, sweet Italian-variety
1/2 cup(s) canned chicken broth
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 spray(s) cooking spray
3/4 cup(s) low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, sharp-variety

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Slice bread in half length-wise; rub insides with garlic clove (I just spread a tsp of crushed garlic on each peice). Place bread, open-face, on one side of a baking sheet; spread onion on other side. Place broccoli on another baking sheet. Coat vegetables and bread with cooking spray. Bake until broccoli is tender, flipping bread over and stirring vegetables halfway through, about 15 to 20 minutes total. Remove pans from oven and cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes; reduce oven temperature to 350ºF.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Remove sausage from casing; cook sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in broccoli and onion, bread cubes, broth, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. (Make sure to scrape up any browned bits of food on sides of skillet and stir into mixture.)

Coat a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon 3 cups broccoli mixture into prepared dish; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Top with remaining broccoli mixture; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and casserole is heated through, about 30 minutes. Slice into 8 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving