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Broccoli cheddar bites are a quick and easy appetizer or snack idea! They take boring ‘ol broccoli and transform it into a wonderfully crispy, cheesy finger food.
Dip them in your favorite sauces or eat them plain, but either way, your kids will never know they’re devouring a healthy, veggie filled treat!
A container full of broccoli bites with a bowl of aioli. how to make broccoli cheddar bites These little bites are typically deep fried until they resemble perfectly crispy, golden brown broccoli nuggets. However, for this recipe, I bake them in the oven instead.
Baking the bites allows them to remain crisp, while the center becomes ooey, gooey, and cheesy. They also remain fairly healthy without the additional frying oil.
The bites are also rolled in some panko breadcrumbs so that the exterior gets brown and crisp. The combination of the crispy exterior and gooey interior is truly what makes these bites so delicious!
Similar to a broccoli tot, you can dip these cheesy bites in nearly anything! Ketchup, honey mustard, ranch, barbecue sauce… there are endless possibilities!
With all the customizations and dipping potential, these are a BIG hit with kids. They’ll love how great they taste and you’ll love that they’re getting their veggie fix!
featured ingredients Broccoli florets: these are the base of the bites. If you prefer a different vegetable, you can substitute the broccoli for many other veggies. You can use roasted, sauteed or steamed broccoli (from fresh or frozen).
Bacon: bacon adds additional smokey, salty flavor. If you’re not a fan, you can simply leave it out.
Eggs: these help to bind all of the ingredients together. Without them, the broccoli cheddar bites would fall apart and crumble.
Cheddar cheese: cheddar cheese is added for flavor, as well as texture. It helps the eggs bind the rest of the ingredients together, while providing a cheesy, slightly chewy consistency.
Panko breadcrumbs: breadcrumbs also help in binding. They also add a perfectly crisp texture. Coating the bites with breadcrumbs on the outside allows them to get golden brown and crispy.
Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes (optional): each of these spices helps to add more flavor. The crushed red pepper flakes are optional, depending on if you like spice. You can adjust each of these to your own personal taste.
instructions Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture comes together in a paste-like texture. Using a medium cookie scoop, form balls of mixture, using hands to shape. Place each bite on the prepared baking sheet, about ½ inch apart. Coat bites with cooking spray. Bake 15-20 minutes, until breadcrumbs are crispy and lightly browned. Allow to cool slightly before eating. substitutions and alternatives Instead of broccoli: you can use cauliflower, sweet potato, white potato, grated carrot, zucchini, or a mix of veggies.
If you don’t like bacon: you can skip the bacon or use store-bought real bacon crumbles.
For a gluten free version: use gluten free panko breadcrumbs.
If you like spice: add more crushed red pepper flakes. If not, omit them.
A container full of broccoli cheddar bites. fun facts What dips go well with these bites? These little bites are great on their own, but they also go well with tons of different dips. Anything, from ranch and honey mustard dressing to marinara sauce and pesto, are all great options.
You can also make an aioli with your favorite mix-ins, like garlic, roasted red pepper, lemon, chili or chipotle, and truffles.
What can you serve with them? These are great as an appetizer or snack, but can also be served as a side dish for dinner. Because they are pretty basic, they go great with almost any protein or grains.
Pair them with grilled chicken, marinated steak, seasoned fish or shrimp, homemade rice, roasted potatoes, or a simple pasta.
Broccoli Cheddar Bites Recipe
Broccoli bites made with riced broccoli, bacon, cheddar cheese and seasonings.
4 cups cooked broccoli florets 3 slices cooked bacon 3 large eggs ¾ cup shredded sharp or mild cheddar cheese ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs 1 teaspoon coarse salt ½ teaspoon garlic powder ½ teaspoon onion powder ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional) instructions Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture comes together in a paste-like texture. Using a medium cookie scoop, form balls of mixture, using hands to shape. Place each bite on the prepared baking sheet, about ½ inch apart. Coat bites with cooking spray. Bake 15-20 minutes, until breadcrumbs are crispy and lightly browned. Allow to cool slightly before eating. notes Cooking Tip: If you don’t have a food processor, use a chef’s knife to chop the broccoli and bacon until crumbled.
Serving Tip: Serve with mayonnaise mixed with Sriracha (to taste).