Broccoli and Cheese makes an irresistible combination and is a tasty way to eat your veggies! Elevate your oven roasted broccoli to the next level with this effortless, tasty and cheesy side dish that is ready in under 30 minutes.
If you are looking for a a delicious way to eat your broccoli or feed a picky eater, then this cheesy side dish is a must try, just like this one pot mac and cheese recipe or broccoli cranberry salad.
It takes minutes to prepare and will feed the pickiest of kids! Who can resist a pan of crispy charred tender florets smothered in cheese?
Roasted broccoli achieves a caramelization factor with crisp, crunchy edges that can never be achieved when steamed or boiled. Have you tried air fryer broccoli?
Fresh florets are tossed with olive oil, garlic and seasonings, roasted at high heat until crispy and charred on the outside, and then topped with a mix of cheddar and parmesan cheeses, flash baked to melt the cheese. It's simply irresistible!
It is easy to make and perfect for busy weeknights, served with instant pot chicken pasta. This broccoli and cheese dish will quickly become part of your dinner rotation - truly addictive!
Why this recipe works?
Roasting broccoli is a proven method to intensify the flavor, caramelize the natural sugars, and achieve a crispy crunchy exterior. It adds depth and complexity! And when you finish it off with a generous shower of cheddar and parmesan cheeses….it’s so damn good!
Scroll down to the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and amounts.
- Broccoli - Fresh head is best for this broccoli and cheese recipe. You’ll need about 1½ pounds of broccoli which is approximately 2 medium sized heads.
- Garlic - We love freshly minced garlic with broccoli and cheese, although you can easily substitute garlic powder if you are in a rush.
- Cheese - For cheesy broccoli, I like the flavor of slightly sharp and pungent cheddar cheese combined with complex and nutty parmesan.
- Olive oil - It helps to crisp the florets in the oven without burning. Although too much of oil will result in the florets soaking it up like a sponge, making the broccoli and cheese dish too greasy.
- Seasoning - Salt, pepper and a dash of red pepper flakes.
Pro Tip: Did you know that you can also roast the stems of the broccoli head? They are so tasty when roasted, might even rival the florets! Remove the tough outer layer with a vegetable peeler, cut into bite-sized pieces and toss it in with the rest of the florets.
Substituions & Variations
Though this oven roasted broccoli and cheese recipe is absolutely delicious and doesn’t really need anything else, here are few suggestions to make this dish your own.
- Sprinkle some crispy bacon bits along with the cheese.
- Sprinkle some toasted panko bread crumbs before serving.
- Switch up the cheeses and use a Mexican blend, gruyere, mozzarella, gouda or asiago cheese.
- Replace half the broccoli with cauliflower florets.
How to make?
You can find full printable recipe below, but here is a quick overview of the procedure along with step-by-step photos.
- Cut a broccoli head into florets. In a greased sheet pan, toss broccoli, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes together, until evenly coated. Spread into a single layer, but not too close together. You need room for them to roast instead of steaming.
Tip: Cut the florets large! Smallish or bite size chunks of florets tend to burn on the outside before the inside gets cooked, in the high heat.
2. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in a pre heated 425 degree oven, until crisp, tender and lightly browned. Remove baking pan from oven and place on a wire rack (do not turn off oven).
Tip: Don't overcook! Cook florets until tender yet with some firmness and retains the vibrant green, without getting too dark in color.
3. Using a spoon, move broccoli florets closer together (so that the cheese will stay mostly on the broccoli), sprinkle both cheeses evenly on top.
4. Return pan back into the oven and bake until cheese melts ( 2 to 3 minutes). Serve broccoli and cheese immediately.
How to serve?
The baked broccoli and cheese is best when enjoyed right out of the oven so plan on having your entree ready to be served. Make it a kid friendly dinner and serve with air fryer chicken nuggets or ramen alfredo and watch your kids gobble it up!
How to make ahead?
You’ll want to enjoy this dish hot for the ultimate melted cheesy yumminess but leftovers also keep well.
- Prep-Ahead: You can pre-chop your florets and measure out the seasonings and oil ahead of time. Toss everything together just before baking.
- Bake ahead: You can roast the veggie few hours before serving. Top with cheese and pop into the 425 degree oven again to melt the cheese (it might take a minute longer) and dig away!
- Refrigerate: Once the cheesy roasted broccoli has cooled to room temperature, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for 2-3 days.
- To reheat : You can reheat in the microwave until warmed through.
- Dry thoroughly - After you wash your head, make sure to dry it off before you toss it with the oil. A little moisture is ok, but if it’s too wet when it goes in the oven, it won’t get brown and crisp.
- Cut your florets to a similar size - Similar-sized pieces will cook at a similar rate, so make sure your florets are all about the same size. You don’t want smaller ones to burn before larger ones become tender!
- Don’t over crowd - If the florets are too close together on the sheet pan, they will steam in the over instead of crisping up. Make sure to spread your florets in an even layer with a little space between each one.
- Grease baking sheet - Make sure to grease your baking sheet liberally with non-stick cooking spray so that the melted cheese won't stick to the baking sheet. You can line your sheet with parchment paper instead.
Sure can! Frozen broccoli florets will not quite crisp as fresh broccoli and will cook tender with slightly crisp edges. However, they will still be delicious because they will be eventually concealed in cheese.
If using an air fryer, we recommend working with half the recipe to fit (or bake in two batches).
Prep florets as per instructions and toss together in a large bowl.
Cook in a pre heated 380 degree air fryer (add 1 to 2 tablespoons water into the bottom of the air fryer basket, check our air fryer broccoli recipe for more details), in a single layer, cook for 6 to 7 minutes, shaking them once half way through cooking.
Open the basket, move florets closer together (so that the cheese stays on top), sprinkle both cheeses evenly on top. Continue cooking for another minute or two, until cheese melts.
Wash head under running water and make sure to dry them thoroughly before roasting. If if it is very wet, then it will end up steam cooking in the oven without getting roasted.
More broccoli recipes to try
Broccoli with Cheese
- 1 and ½ pounds broccoli cut into even size florets
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves chopped
- Salt to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Red pepper flakes to taste
- 1 and ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Pre heat oven to 425°F.
- In a greased sheet pan, toss broccoli, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes together, until evenly coated. Spread into a single layer.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until crisp, tender and lightly browned. Remove baking pan from oven and place on a wire rack (do not turn off oven).
- Using a spoon, move broccoli florets closer together (so that the cheese stays on the broccoli), sprinkle both cheeses evenly on top.
- Return pan back into the oven and bake until cheese melts ( 2 to 3 minutes). Serve broccoli immediately.
Nutritional information, based on third-party calculations, should be seen as estimates, not guarantees, as various factors like product types, brands, processing methods, and more can alter the nutritional content in recipes.
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