Fast, Flavorful and Fabulous!
“Eat your broccoli” are three words that need never be said again! All kids – big, small, and grown – will be converted to broccoli lovers with this quick & easy, crispy, cheesy side dish. There are only three main ingredients; broccoli, shredded cheese, and panko bread crumbs. The other ingredients are of the basic pantry variety and include oil (canola or vegetable), salt & pepper, and a couple of squirts of cooking spray.
Quick Prep – No Blanching Needed!
Fresh broccoli is the key to the overall crispy results. You can use frozen broccoli, but it’s far from ideal. It will still taste good, and the cheese will still get brown and crunchy, but frozen veggies usually end up mushy when roasted. This recipe uses the florets, not the stem of the broccoli plant. Florets are broccoli parts that appear like tiny trees branching off from the thick, green stems. Unlike most roasted broccoli recipes, this one doesn’t require blanching the broccoli. The florets go directly into the oven after being tossed with oil and seasoning. No extra steps are required. It’s one more reason why this is such a quick and easy dish. I mix the broccoli, oil, salt, and pepper in a plastic bag instead of a bowl. I’m all about easy clean-up!
Shortcuts & Hacks
Another tip for easy clean-up is lining the baking sheet/pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. After dinner, simply throw away the foil or parchment. No pan to wash. YAY!
The oiled and seasoned broccoli is spread out on the lined baking pan and goes in the oven for just 8 minutes in a 450°F oven. While roasting, combine the shredded cheese and panko bread crumbs in a small bowl or in the same bag used for the broccoli.
Most shredded cheese will work in this recipe, including cheddar, Colby jack, mozzarella, or parmesan. I use whatever I have already opened in the fridge because only a quarter cup is needed. When shredded cheese goes on sale, stock up as it will stay fresh in the freezer for up to three months. Panko crumbs have a dryer and flakier consistency than regular breadcrumbs, and as a result, they absorb less oil. Because panko produces lighter and crunchier tasting food, they are perfect for roasting.
Ready in 11 minutes!
After the broccoli has roasted for 8 minutes, remove it from the oven and sprinkle with the cheese/panko mixture. Before popping it back in the oven, give the mixture a light coating of cooking oil for crunch and golden brown color. It only takes about 3 minutes for the cheese to get brown and crispy. The hot (450°F) oven makes for a quick roast which leaves the broccoli crispy-tender. The cheesy flavor with the fabulous crunch will make this veggie dish a family favorite!
Easy Crispy Cheesy Roasted BroccoliCourse: Side DishCuisine: American, Keto-FriendlyDifficulty: Easy
Crispy, crunchy, cheesy roasted broccoli takes less than 15 minutes! No blanching required. The panko breadcrumbs and a spritz of cooking spray create a golden-brown color and added crunch. The high oven temp quickly roasts the broccoli to a perfect crisp-tender.
1 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
¼ cup shredded cheese (colby jack, cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan)
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Prep: Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and set aside. If needed, chop broccoli into florets
- In a plastic bag (or bowl), combine broccoli florets and olive oil and shake/toss until fully coated. Add pepper and salt.
- Transfer broccoli to a prepared baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. While broccoli is baking, combine cheese and panko in a small bowl. Remove baking sheet from oven and sprinkle broccoli with cheese/panko mixture. Spritz lightly with cooking spray and return to oven for 3-5 minutes, until cheese is melted and a bit browned.
- Broccoli: Fresh is the best choice for this recipe but in a pinch frozen can be used although it won’t get crisp.
- Bread crumbs: Panko breadcrumbs are necessary for adding texture, fine breadcrumbs aren’t a great substitute.
- Cheese: Most any variety of shredded cheese will work.
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