These cheesy fried broccoli bites are a new way to serve up your broccoli. This is a broccoli and cheddar filling that is battered and then dredged in a breadcrumb coating and fried in oil. Crispy outside, tender broccoli, and oozing cheese that hits the spot. These broccoli bites are a game-changer!
Packed with the goodness of fresh broccoli and oozing with cheesy goodness, these bites strike the perfect balance between health and indulgence. They’re an excellent way to sneak some greens into your meals or entice picky eaters into trying a new veggie.
Even picky eaters can’t resist the crunchy coating and cheesy goodness. Trust me, these broccoli cheddar bites are one recipe you will want to save.
Imagine biting into a crispy, golden exterior, revealing a velvety, melty cheese center. It’s like a burst of happiness in every bite! These bites are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed as an appetizer, a side dish, or even as a quick snack on-the-go. Not only are these broccoli cheese bites absolutely delicious, but they’re also incredibly simple to make. You’ll only need a handful of common ingredients, a good-quality cheese, and about 30 minutes of your time. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just a beginner, this is a recipe that anyone can master!
What are broccoli bites?
Broccoli bites are simply pieces of broccoli and a variety of types of cheese all formed into balls and refrigerated. Once they are set up, you will then dredge in a panko breadcrumb breading and fry in a pan with hot oil.
Crispy crunchy outside and tender broccoli and cheese centers. A fun and different way to eat up your veggies for dinner or even as a snack.
Reasons Why You Will Love This Recipe
- The perfect snack or side to serve up with dinner or as a mid-day treat. This is a crunchy and savory flavor in each bite.
- A total comfort food recipe that will warm your bones from the inside out!
- These are shareable snack options so each person can grab their own balls and eat.
- You can make as many or as few of these broccoli balls as you would like.
- A fun and different way for kids to dive into their veggies in a creative way.
- Easy to eat since they are bite-sized. Which makes them a winner in my eyes.
Whip up a batch of my fried pickles for another satisfying fried treat!
Broccoli – You will use fresh broccoli that is florets. You can keep some of the stems but I do recommend that most is the floret portion.
Cheese – Shredded Colby cheese, cheddar, and Velveeta are what I used. The ultimate cheesy broccoli recipe.
Red Pepper Flakes – The red pepper flakes add a nice kick. If you don’t like spice drop it down to 1/4 teaspoon or leave it out completely.
Panko – I prefer Panko as it is going to offer a stronger crunch compared to the classic breadcrumbs.
Egg – For an egg, you will make sure to lightly beat your egg.
Flour – All-purpose flour is what I used for a part of the dredging.
Oil – Pick your preferred oil to fry these balls. You can use peanut, vegetable, or canola oil.
What to Serve With Broccoli Bites
You can lighten up the meal by pairing it with a crisp green salad. Or even this cucumber and onion salad will help to tame the heaviness of the fried aspect. Get creative and create a meal the whole family can enjoy.
Variations to Recipe
- Reach for classic breadcrumbs instead of panko style.
- I used three types of cheese. Swap them out with different flavors. Pepper jack, sharp cheddar, etc. Feel free to pick and choose.
- Use frozen broccoli that has been thawed instead of fresh. Skip the steaming step.
- Add in some chopped cauliflower with the broccoli for added flavor. You could even add in some carrots as well.
- Mix in some buffalo sauce instead of red pepper flakes to add some spice. Just mix in with the broccoli and cheese.
- Cook and dice up broccoli to mix in with the broccoli and cheese.
- Dice up a jalapeno finely and you can mix it with the batter, so it is a spicy kick.
- Use gluten-free flour if you need a gluten-free snack.
- Play around with spices and herbs to develop different flavors for the recipe. The options are truly endless.
Tips for Success
Chop up the broccoli nice and fine. You don’t want huge chunks of broccoli in your bites. Otherwise you will find it won’t form properly into balls.
Make sure to mix all the ingredients together well. This is important so that each bite is well mixed. You want the balls to hold shape.
Use a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop for making similar sized balls. That way each ball is the same size so they cook up evenly.
Ensure you refrigerate the balls before you fry them, or the balls can easily fall apart when they are being fried.
Cook In Batches
Make sure to cook the broccoli balls in batches, otherwise you won’t get that crispy texture on all sides of the balls.
Ensure that when you place the broccoli balls in the oil the oil is evenly heated and ready for frying. Otherwise it will make the balls soggy and not crispy like you want.
Paper Towel Lined Plate
Once your balls are done place the broccoli bites on a paper towel lined tray. This will help soak up any excess oil that is left on the bites.
These broccoli cheddar bites are best eaten fresh and hot. But if you have some leftover simply store in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-4 days. When you want to eat you can eat cold, warm in the microwave or warm up in the oven. The oven will offer the best crispy texture to the leftovers.
You are also welcome to freeze any balls you don’t eat right away. Place in a proper freezer container and freeze for 2-3 months. Then reheat straight from frozen in the oven until warmed through or warm in the microwave or air fryer.
A plateful of addictive, irresistible broccoli cheese bites that will have everyone coming back for more. Serve them up with a tangy dipping sauce, or enjoy them as-is for maximum cheese and broccoli goodness!
Can I use frozen broccoli for making fried broccoli bites?
Thaw and drain frozen broccoli, and then finely chop. Frozen will work just the same, you just won’t need to steam the broccoli since it is soft already.
Can I bake the broccoli bites instead of frying them?
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and then prepare the broccoli bites the same way as you would to fry. Once done, place on a prepped baking sheet in a single row. Then spray lightly with cooking spray, and then bake for 10 minutes. Rotate the balls and if need spray more with oil to help the outside to turn golden brown. Cook another 10 minutes. Then check and if need cook the balls longer.
What’s a good dipping sauce for fried broccoli bites?
Dip your balls in marinara sauce, honey mustard, hot mustard, ranch dressing, or more. Feel free to pick and choose any dips you would like.
Can I air-fry the broccoli bites?
Go right ahead and air fryer the bites if you want. Assemble the same and then air fry at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Then rotate the balls and cook another 5 minutes. Check and if they are not fully done cook additional time.
More Side Dishes
Cheesy Fried Broccoli Bites
- 1½ cups Fresh broccoli florets
- 1 cup shredded Colby cheese
- 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 4 oz. Velveeta- cut into small cubes
- ½ tsp. Crushed red pepper flakes
- 2¼ cups Panko crumbs- divided
- 1 Egg- lightly beaten
- ½ cup All-purpose flour
- 2 Eggs lightly beaten
- Vegetable or canola oil
- Steam the broccoli until it is soft. Then allow it to cool for a bit.
- Finely chop the broccoli and place it in a medium to large bowl.
- Add in the cheese, red pepper flakes, part of the Panko breadcrumbs and one egg. Mix well.
- Scoop up 1-2 tablespoons of mixture and form into balls.
- Refrigerate the balls for an hour to let the balls get nice and set up.
- Then in 3 separate bowls you will add flour in one, eggs, and then thenlast one panko for frying.
- Heat the oil to 375 degrees using a thermometer in a large skillet to ensure the oil is nice and hot.
- Place the ball in the flour mixture, next roll in egg, and finally panko.
- Place the balls in the oil and fry for a few minutes on each side. Cook in batches, making sure there is space between each ball.
- Once the breading is golden brown on all sides, then place on a paper towel lined tray. Then serve warm.