Cheesy Broccoli Bites Recipe
These cheesy broccoli bites are crispy on the outside and warm and tender on the inside. One of the most delicious ways to serve broccoli to your kids!
My philosophy is that kids should taste and try different fruits and veggies in a variety of ways. Roasted, raw, pureed, frozen, dried, etc. This way, kids can learn to enjoy the taste of different foods and mature their palate in a way that will prime them for tasting and trying more. These Cheesy Broccoli bites are a great way to serve your kids broccoli with a different flavor, texture and visual appeal that they may have tried before.
Cheesy Broccoli Bites
This cheesy snack would make a great side dish, appetizer, or even just a veggie packed snack! If I’m serving it as a side dish, I like to pair these bites with chicken and rice. If I’m serving them as a snack, sometimes I’ll whip up a yummy yogurt based dip to go with them.
You can also experiment with different add-ins. Try onions, garlic, pepper, or different types of cheese.
How to Make Cheesy Broccoli Bites
You can think of these bites as cute little veggie filled pancakes. The process for making them isn’t very different!
- The first step is to steam your broccoli just until soft. This helps the broccoli mix better with the other ingredients and also bring out the sweetness in the broccoli which masks any bitter flavor.
- Next, mix all of the ingredients together in a food processor. Make sure you pulse so that you don’t make a ball of mush. You still want to be able to visibly see tiny pieces of broccoli.
- Heat a skillet with olive oil to medium high heat.
- Scoop small balls of the mixture (I like to use a cookie scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup) and place on your hot skillet. Use a spatula or the bottom of the measuring cup to flatten slightly.
- Cook on each side until brown and crispy. These are best when served hot and crispy!
Ingredients You Will Need for This Recipe
This recipe is very simple and you will only need 5 main ingredients:
- Broccoli – You can buy a head of broccoli and cut it down, or buy pre cut broccoli florets. Either is a great option depending on what is available at your store.
- Eggs – These act as a binder, and also add some protein to this recipe.
- Panko – We like to use panko instead of breadcrumbs because of the distinct crunch it provides.
- Parmesan Cheese – The salty unique flavor of Parmesan is the perfect compliment to the broccoli in this recipe.
- Olive Oil – Olive oil has a higher smoke point and is a great option for sizzling these broccoli bites.
Most Commonly Asked Questions About Cheesy Broccoli Bites
Question: Can I freeze these after they are cooked? Yes! After they come out of the oven, cool them completely and then freeze flat on a pan. After they are frozen through, you can stack in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To reheat, we just put them in the microwave for 30 seconds until heated through.
Question: Can I make these with a different type of cheese? Yes! Cheddar cheese is another great option. Colby Jack works good also, but there is less flavor than cheddar or parmesan.
Question: Can I use frozen broccoli in this recipe? You can – just steam the frozen broccoli and then slightly squeeze with a paper towel or cheese cloth to remove some of the moisture before adding to the food processor.
Question: Is there something I can substitute for the panko? You can use bread crumbs, ground oats, or another gluten free/low carb option is to use quinoa flakes.
Question: My child has an egg allergy, any substitutes for the eggs? While I haven’t personally tried an egg substitute, some readers have used a flax egg and had success with this recipe.
Question: How many bites does this recipe make? When I make them they are fairly small and I usually get 20 bites.
More Favorite Broccoli Recipes
Broccoli Salad Makeover – This is the recipe that won me over into liking raw broccoli. Its sweet, creamy and soooo good.
Broccoli Mashed Potatoes – Fresh broccoli gives creamy mashed potatoes a boost of flavor and nutrition.
Cheesy Veggie Quinoa Cakes – These savory cakes have baked pieces of broccoli with sweet peas and shredded carrots.
Broccoli Trees and Sandy Beaches – This is a fun snack with broccoli and hummus that will keep your kids satisfied!
Cheesy Broccoli Bites
- Steam broccoli just until fork-tender.
- Add broccoli, egg, salt, bread crumbs, and Parmesan to a food processor; blend just until finely chopped. Using 1 tablespoon at a time, form into balls.
- Heat oil in a skillet. Drop balls of broccoli mixture into hot oil, flattening with a spatula. Cook both sides until crispy.
- Serve warm and crispy.
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie
Can you freeze these after you have cooked them, or freeze them after mixture is made?
I haven’t tried freezing them Erica.
I make huge batches with all different kinds of veggies so I have multiple options. After I am done making them I lay them back on the pan with parchment paper and layer it a few times then stick them in the freezer for a few hours. Once they are frozen you can just dump them in a container all together and pull out how many you need and microwave about 30 seconds on each side. When you first take them out of microwave they seem like a soggy hot mess but it just takes a few minutes of cooling down to regain it’s more solid state. My son who won’t eat ANY veggies will eat these with no complaints. I should also mention that I use sharp cheddar and not parmwsan for the ones I freeze. I don’t know if you have ever noticed but when you micro parmesan it turns into a hard rock.
I have frozen them before cooking and they freeze very well! Then, I just cook them in a pan with a little olive oil!
So you take healthy steamed broccoli, add cheese (FAT) and add SALT, and then FRY it? What’s healthy about that?!
Jon- Our purpose at super healthy kids is to find creative, simple, and delicious ways to serve kids more fruits and vegetables. We do not demonize or eliminate foods from our diet- only add healthy ones. This is not an anti-fat, anti-salt, or anti-anything website. Just pro-fruits and veggies in any way or form. We do not support messages for kids about foods being toxic or that they should be avoided. We only support more ways to incorporate healthy things.
Amen, Amy! Two thumbs up!
Then give them HEALTHY fruits and vegetables – no need to disguise them. I agree with Jon!
Vince, sometimes children just wont eat plain foods, and the only way to incorporate some fruit and vegies into there diet is to create fun ways to make them eat healthy. Adding fats and salt helps to flavour food. A person should eat 1.6gm of good fat daily which helps the digestive system.
Sometimes kids need things disguised so they will try them . Then when they realize they are good, you can make them anyway you please.
That doesn’t always work! My 7 year old step son WILL NOT eat any fruits and only veggies he eats are green beans, corn, and potatoes. Since we only have them every other weekend we don’t want to make dinner time a stressful time. Anything to get him to eat more stuff!
We actually fall in the other camp. We avoid lots of toxic foods. We have to. And we name them for the petrochemicals that they are. That said, nothing in this recipe is toxic, and I am excited to try it. Healthy fats are essential. Unadulterated salt is a nutrient.
We’ll have to sub the breadcrumbs for gluten free option to accommodate allergies, but that’s not a big deal.
Stacy — Did you end up trying this? I was thinking about trying a variation using almond flour instead of panko to get even MORE healthy fats in it. In my brain, I think it will still hold together with the eggs… May add a carrot too. Like a spin off broccoli-cheddar soup.
I tried it with gluten free bread crumbs and it didn’t hold together at all. I added some almond and 1 to 1 gf flour and it worked out.
I appreciate the recipe ideas on this website. I am a registered dietitian with a masters in nutrition, and I agree that no food should be “demonized”. This can lead to eating disorders. I work at a children’s hospital and deal with many feeding issues ranging from picky eaters to more severe conditions. However, what is very frustrating for myself and others in my profession is the non-science based information the public hears. Everyone believes they are an “expert” in diet. I just ask that everyone do the best they can regarding diet. There is no “perfect” diet. Nutrition is not black and white… it’s very gray.
Exactly! I am making these in a few minutes, using Kerrygold cheese and frying them in coconut oil! I think my kids will love them and they will be healthy.
And using Himalayan pink salt loaded with minerals our bodies need!
Fat is a necessary part of the diet…just stick to healthy fats(grassfed,whole fat cheese and butter, coconut oil, etc..avoid canola and other high processed fats)….and the dish isn’t deep fried, so nutrients are in tact. There has been a lot of misinformation about fat over the years, but doctors and scientists are coming around. I actually started to get healthier(organ and brain function) and lose weight when I went against the low fat craze.
Also, try using some real sea salt.(it shouldn’t be pure white)..in moderation, that can also be a part of a healthy diet. We really should demonize natural foods.
I can’t wait to make these for our babies. However I will be doing some alteration to make it even better. Use organic or raw cheese, himilayian sea salt (its pink with MANY nutrients), coconut oil for frying and coconut flour. Will let you know of the outcome! Thanks for the base recipe to go off of!
Can you get raw/organic cheese in the grocery store? Do you have a specific brand you would use?
Fat is healthy for kids .. And salt is NOT bad for you as long as you buy REAL salt and not white refined . We need salt and fat in our diets.
I think this is a great Keto appetizer subbing breadcrumbs with almond meal.
Can’t wait to try these!
Can you bake instead of frying?
Yes! You can bake them, but unless you drizzle with a little oil first, they won’t be as crispy. @Antonio
Can you make these with a different cheese? Like shredded Colby jack?
Is there a substitute for eggs?? Did anyone try it?
can you use something other than a food processor and get similar results?
@jess- I think it’s hard to get the same texture. But worth a try!
I tried using a blender and it didnt work. Though i may not have had enough panko or crackers….
Just made these and they were good! I did not have fresh so I used frozen, and used some GF bread crumbs, added in fresh parm and shredded cheddar and sprinkled salt on them when they were cooking. I may add in some more cheese next time, and maybe a little garlic…. Possibilities are endless!
My oldest lived on something similar to these when she was a toddler. This is a great way to get kiddos eating broccoli! My version was baked–I love your pan fried version. I’ll bet that makes them even tastier! Great recipe. 🙂
What can you use in place of bread crumbs for these to make them lower in carbs?
You can use Quinoa flakes to crumb instead of bread crumbs… thiese may work for this recipe also
Great idea Kirsty!
You can use chick pea flour, called besan flour instead of bread crumbs. Tastes yum and kids love them.
1 cup of chick pea flour, add as much water to make a batter and Just mix whatever grated raw veges like zucchini, pumpkin and steamed broccoli. Use fresh herbs to flavour. Shallow fry .
I make a delicious topping with cooked fresh green apples and fresh ginger. Delicious!!
Oh yes, you don’t need to add eggs when using chickpea flour.
It’s not recommended to fry with olive oil. Best to use rice bran oil or another type of oil meant for high heat for any type of frying. Only use olive oil in salads, dressings, or low heat roasting
Not true. “When heated, olive oil is the most stable fat, which means it stands up well to high frying temperatures. Its high smoking point (210º C) is well above the ideal temperature for frying food (180º C). The digestibility of olive oil is not affected when it is heated, even when it is re-used several times for frying.” http://www.internationaloliveoil.org
Good to know (about the use of EVOO – our “go to” oil) – thank you for that tidbit information!
My daughter has an egg allergy, any recommendations for a binder sub?
Maybe try psyllium husks? I’ve just used some for the first time in baking and it’s a great binder.
Japanese arrowroot called kuzu can be used instead of eggs. Google for more info.
A few comments back, I suggested chickpea flour. No need to use eggs and its gluten free too.
Don’t add the crumbs.
Kids love the , especially when you make chunky apple sauce salsa, with fresh ginger or without.
Can’t wait to try these!!! Everything u post looks yummny!!’
@Amy, @Jas, I haven’t tried an egg substitute. But you could try the flax/water combo as described in this post: https://www.superhealthykids.com/the-essential-food-allergy-substitution-guide/
I was just wondering how many of these delicious broccoli bites are considered a serve?
I would love to make these for myself! Used to buy something similar by Yves Veggie Cuisine but it was most of $5 for 12 and this sounds tastier.
Any idea of the calorie / nutrition info?
Val- If you split it into just four servings Calories179 kcalProtein9 gFat13 gCarb6 gFiber0 gSugar1 g
PS- we analyze all our recipes for our meal plan service! Check it out here: https://www.superhealthykids.com/meal-plan-memberships/
How many does this recipe make? Was looking for an appetizer for Thanksgiving and this sounds fantastic!
Depends on the size. We made them fairly small (about 1 tablespoon each) and got about 20 out of it.
Love how you can get more fruit and verges into children by trying your ideas ,keep them comming.
You can add boiled potato also
Has anybody tried these with JUST cheddar cheese? I only have cheddar and no parmesan cheese and was thinking of substituting.
YUM! I would also like to add that your body NEEDS fat to optimally process the vitamins found in veggies! I love easy things like this!
Another way my kids like broccoli is I steam it and cauliflower, add butter, salt and parmesan to it!
I made these today and my one and a half year old gobbled them up! This is a kid that will not eat veggies…he kept asking for more! Thanks for a great recipe!
I looked through all the replies but could not find my answer. Is the 1/2 cheese after grating? before?
Yes, grated Sandi!
Love this recipe, gave it a go today! I love how versatile it is too, even added steamed kale and blended it! I wrote a post on my blog and linked it to this original recipe, please visit and comment let me know what you think! Thanks for your inspiration !
I just pulled some beetroot from the garden and was looking for a recipe to use the top leaves in. I substituted the brocoli for beetroot leaves and added 10 kalamata olives. They were great. 11 month old could eat easily and 2 yo loved them.
Thanks Amy! Always great to get these fun new ideas from you! Sorry you have to suffer the slings and arrows of fools sometimes…..
I found this recipe on Pinterest, and just love it. Great great idea!
Comment to Jon and Vince :
This is a healthy recipe. I tend to be s bit of a “organic health nerd” so I do oush for raw organic foods mostly but kids need variety and most kids won’t just eat brocoli alone or any veggie really. The fat in cheese is not bad in moderation, especially for a growing child whom needs the fats. And salt in moderation is not bad either, although for a recipe like this I would skip it. I really like this website and I appreciate the time they take to post yummy recipes for us. If you don’t like the ideas or recipes and you think you know better, you post some ideas, or don’t use the site.
I tried them. They are delicious.
Just cook those littles bites for my kids. Very nice! For the first time my 2 1/2 yrs old eat broccoli without me hiding the vegie in a soup or smoothie. I dont understand some comments that it is an unhealthy recipe. Good saturated fat are essentials. I cooked them in coconut oil. It was delicious. love your website, it is full of great recipes for kids. Thanks.
I used your recipe and replaced cheese with glutenfree leftover spaghetti, with onion n green pepper and carrots.My son is Gluten, Casein Soyfree . Added some coconut flour and fried. It was delicious. Kids enjoyed it. Even though my daughter hates anything broccoli related, she was non the wiser. I called it Monster bites. lol thx for a really helpful site, Makes being a working mom of 4 alot easier.
Apart frm egg wht cn b used in cheesy brocolli bite
I’m making the cheesey broccoli bites with fresh Parmesan cheese and grass fed cheddar cheese and serving them with cucumber dill yogurt dip and baby carrots and broccoli stalks and pita chips, for the veggie portion of the platter; and pineapple, watermelon, grapes. All appetizers before the rib roast dinner for Mothers Day.
I use your recipes all the time and love your ideas! This broc bites recipes gets a good run at our house, and this week I substituted the brocolli for pumpkin/cauliflower/baby spinach cause that was what I had in the fridge and turned out great!
Cauliflower is a great idea!!!
Can you make these using a blender?
I haven’t tried it, but it seems like it would work!
Awesome recipe, really easy. I don’t have a food processor so I did them in my blender, which took a little longer, but they turn up perfect. My 18 month child loved them and ask for more and she’s not keen on veggies right now. I freeze the rest for little dinners and I think I can make these with many veggies (spinach and peas are the first to come to mind). I didn’t actually fried them, just cook them in a pan with just drops of olive oil so they won’t stick. Love it. Thank you!!
Wondering how long these last in the fridge? I’m wanting to incorporate them into my Sunday meal prep for the week for lunches/suppers.
definitely they would last all day.
The recipe looks delicious but to get the nutritional benefits of broccoli you have to steam it.This recipe will render the broccoli with zero nutrients.If all the nutrients are lost then what’s the point in eating anyway?
that actually isn’t true. All cooking destroys some nutrients, but definitely not all! There are still many nutrients still left after cooking.
I made these for my 18 month old and he loooooved them! I saw in a comment that you can bake these, do you by chance know the recommended temperature and length of time to bake these at?
Glad he loved them! I would start at 400 degrees and only about 10-15 minutes, or just watch until the start to turn brown and crispy.
Is there anything you would suggest to bind these without egg? My youngest is allergic. Thanks!
Yes- we’ve done this before with a flax and water mix to bind. Check out our post here:
Any recs for what you could us as a substitute to bread crumbs?
I haven’ tried it, but you could sub oats for bread crumbs!
My teenage daughter just made these and used ground up oats and they turned out very tasty!!
I made these for my then three year old and called them Hulk Smash Patties. He took one bite and wouldn’t eat any more. Bugger, back to the drawing board. Three months later and today he asked for them out of the blue. He happily ate three. Hooray!!
Nutritional information is incorrect, has to have fiber, has broccolli. please recalculate and add number of servings.
Tastes good, but nearly impossible to cook. Sticky and falls apart in the pan.
Omg! Thank you for the great idea! I think you may have found something that will work for my kids!
I made these for my daughter when she started eating finger foods and she LOVED them! She is almost 4 now and I still make them and she still likes them! It is the only way I can get her to eat broccoli!
Just made a big batch of these for my son’s pre-school. I’ve had a lot more luck getting my son to eat veggies if they don’t look like veggies, so hoping the other kids will be willing to try these out 🙂
I only have one frying pan and didn’t want to spend all afternoon cooking for his class, so I used a small ice cream scoop to turn these into “broccoli balls” and baked them at 390F on parchment paper for about 15-20 minutes. Saved me a ton of time and still turned out well!
These are absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to try them.
I tried this and my kids loved it. It came out perfect. Thank you great recipe.
Disgusting and inedible. I cooked these in the oven instead of frying them because I read the review that they did not stay together in the frying pan. But they have zero flavor, other than the flavor of licking a lawn mower. Gross. These need seasoning.
Made these with no issue. Simple, delicious, and my pickiest eater loved them.
Amazing and so simple and easy!
So good Instead of panko bread crumbs I put half almond flour and half coconut flour and also chopped up a whole green onion and mixed half the white and half the green part in and it tasted amazing!!! So glad I found this recipe my baby absolutely loved it. I doubled the batch and made some for her lunch or dinner for the next week.
That’s a nice way to make my kids eat more veggies, thank you for sharing the recipe!
Can I freeze these?
Hi Rebecca, good question! I’ve never tried freezing them, and I do think they’re best hot out of the skillet. But I’m all about experimenting! Give it a try and let us know how they are warmed up again.
Could these be baked in an oven? What temperature and how many minutes? Thank you for this recipe and help with an alternate cooking method!
Hi Susan, I think you could definitely bake these! They might be a tad less crispy, but still good. I’d try 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes, then flip them, and give them another 5 minutes. I haven’t tried this method personally, so it might need a little adjusting. Let us know how it turns out!
My 3 kids adore these!!! Thank you for helping us keep our children healthy with your helpful recipes and ideas
Thanks for sharing Nat!
Wonderful and easy recipe. I found that if I put the mix in the fridge for a few hours when it comes time to cook it will hold better.
its lovely & tasty i wanna try this thanks for sharing
What can be used to substitute eggs?
Hi Falguni! You can substitute a “flax egg” made from ground flaxseeds and water. You’ll find instructions how to make a flax egg here: https://www.superhealthykids.com/parenting/the-essential-food-allergy-substitution-guide/
So delicious! Very easy, quick & tasty!
I love these! I omit the salt as I try to give my little one a low salt diet and I did find I needed to add a fair bit more panko crumbs then the recipe suggested (I added 3/4 cup)
However my toddler loves these and it’s a great way to get veggies into meals in a fun way!
I’m wondering if cauliflower would work also? I might try this next
Thanks for sharing Nikki! Give the cauliflower a try, it sounds yummy!
Do you add boiled egg or do you just crack the egg and blend?
Hi Dan, crack the egg and blend it right in. It’ll cook along with the rest of the bites.:)
My 2 year old grandson loves these. Nutritional and easy to prepare, what could be better than that? Oh, they freeze well too!
R the carbs for the whole recipe? Or per tablespoon…?
The carbs are for 1 serving – so I would estimate it for about 2 tablespoons.
Thanks for this bites looks nice. Some how I got the mix too soft and liquid so I used my silicon waffle mold and bake for 25 min. The result was amazing. So delicious.