What’s more comforting than broccoli smothered in Parmesan and cheddar? Meet this perfect Broccoli and Cheese, aka Cheesy Broccoli. Alex whipped this up for me and one bite in, memories from childhood flooded back. “What’s in this?” I asked. Somehow it transported right me to nostalgia land! This cheesy broccoli has just the right nuanced flavor from the Parmesan and cheddar cheese, the best tender texture, and the perfect warming vibe. Even better, it’s done in under 10 minutes! It quickly became part of our regular rotation: and we’ll show you how to do it!
Ingredients in this quick broccoli and cheese
This broccoli and cheese recipe is designed for quick weeknights, when you need a great side dish to pair with your meal. Most nights we make this Pan Fried Broccoli, but when we’re feeling fancy we whip this one out. It’s always a hit with kids, but perhaps more so with adults. Here’s a quick run-down of the ingredients:
- Fresh broccoli
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Grated Parmesan cheese: The powdery kind, not the kind that looks like sticks (that’s shredded Parmesan)
- Shredded cheddar cheese
How to make cheesy broccoli: a few tips!
You might think that broccoli and cheese is as simple as throwing broccoli in a pan, adding cheese, and cooking. Well, it’s partially that simple! But cooking broccoli requires just a few special tips to get the right tender texture and gooey cheese. Broccoli can get dry when pan frying it, so often you’ll need a little water for cooking. Here’s what to know:
- First, sauté the broccoli in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes. This gets it mostly cooked and a little brown.
- Add the cheese, then 1/4 water and cover! Cook 1 minute. This both steams the broccoli and melts the cheese.
That’s it! Remove the lid and you’ve got a gooey, warm, perfectly tender pile of cheesy broccoli. Even better: you don’t have to wait to bake a casserole! it’s done in less than 10 minutes: perfect for hangry moments.
Why it’s a healthy side dish…with cheese!
Adding cheese to vegetables is one of the oldest tricks in the book to try to get people to eat their veggies. Here’s the thing…it’s not a terrible idea! Especially when you’re not adding loads of the stuff. Here’s why this broccoli and cheese can be considered a healthy side dish:
- You get all the fiber and Vitamin C in broccoli! 1 cup of raw broccoli has 2.3 grams of fiber (source) and 140% of your daily vitamin (source).
- The cheese is moderate. The cheese adds 68 calories and 5 grams fat per serving. This is better than many cheese sauces that load on calories and fat.
Want to go super healthy? Try our Pan Fried Broccoli: it’s got no cheese but lots of great flavor.
More great broccoli recipes
Broccoli is one of the vegetables we love most in our house! We make it as a side dish all the time. But it’s great in soups, stews, stir fries, and more. Here are some more fantastic broccoli recipes:
This broccoli and cheese recipe is…
Broccoli and Cheese
- 1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli, stem on (about 3 large heads or 6 heaping cups florets)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (the powdery kind)
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat it on medium high heat. Add broccoli and salt. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until starting to brown, stirring occasionally.
- Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the broccoli, followed by the cheddar cheese. Add 1/4 cup water to the bottom of the skillet and cover with a lid. Cook another 1 minute until cheese is melted and the water cooks out. Serve immediately!