Broccoli Cheese Balls

Broccoli Cheese Balls are a delightful snack or appetizer that combines the goodness of fresh broccoli with the comforting taste of melted cheese. These crispy bites are perfect for parties, gatherings, or simply as a tasty treat for yourself. With a crunchy exterior and a gooey, cheesy interior, these broccoli cheese balls are sure to be a hit with everyone.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 heaping cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup shredded Colby cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces Velveeta, cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 1/4 cups Panko crumbs, divided
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Vegetable or Canola oil

Directions:

  1. Steam broccoli until slightly softened. Let cool.
  2. Finely chop broccoli into pieces no larger than 1/4 inch and place in a large bowl.
  3. Add Colby cheese, cheddar cheese, Velveeta chunks, crushed red pepper flakes, 1/4 cup Panko crumbs, and 1 egg to the bowl with broccoli. Stir well to combine.
  4. Shape the mixture into balls using about a rounded tablespoon for each ball. Aim for 12-14 balls.
  5. Place the formed balls on a plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Prepare three bowls for breading: one with flour, one with the lightly beaten eggs mixed with water, and one with the remaining 2 cups of Panko crumbs.
  7. Pour vegetable or canola oil into a Dutch oven or heavy pot, filling it with about 2 inches of oil. Heat the oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, using a thermometer for accuracy.
  8. Remove the broccoli balls from the refrigerator. Coat each ball in flour, then dip it into the egg mixture, and finally coat it in Panko crumbs.
  9. Fry about 4 balls at a time in the preheated oil, cooking until they are golden brown on all sides.
  10. Drain the fried broccoli cheese balls on a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess oil.
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Tips:

  • Be sure to finely chop the broccoli to ensure that the balls hold together well during frying.
  • Refrigerating the formed balls helps them firm up, making them easier to handle and less likely to fall apart during frying.
  • Maintain the oil temperature around 375 degrees Fahrenheit to achieve crispy and evenly cooked broccoli cheese balls.
  • Serve the broccoli cheese balls with your favorite dipping sauce for an extra burst of flavor.

Conclusion:
These Broccoli Cheese Balls are a crowd-pleasing appetizer that combines the goodness of broccoli and the irresistible taste of cheese in a crispy, bite-sized form. Whether you’re hosting a party or simply craving a delicious snack, these savory treats are sure to satisfy your taste buds. Enjoy the crunchy exterior giving way to the warm, gooey center with each delightful bite.

  1. Can I use frozen broccoli instead of fresh broccoli florets?
    Yes, you can substitute frozen broccoli for fresh broccoli florets in this recipe. However, it’s important to thaw and drain the frozen broccoli thoroughly before using it. Frozen broccoli tends to retain more moisture, so you may need to pat it dry with paper towels to prevent the cheese mixture from becoming too wet. Additionally, finely chop the thawed broccoli to achieve the desired texture for the cheese balls.
  2. Can I prepare the broccoli cheese balls in advance and freeze them?
    Yes, you can prepare the broccoli cheese balls in advance and freeze them for later use. After shaping the mixture into balls, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze them until they are firm, usually for about 1-2 hours. Once frozen, transfer the balls to a resealable plastic bag or airtight container, separating each layer with parchment paper to prevent sticking. When ready to cook, you can fry the frozen broccoli cheese balls directly from the freezer without thawing. Just be sure to adjust the frying time to ensure they are heated through and crispy.
  3. Can I bake the broccoli cheese balls instead of frying them?
    While frying the broccoli cheese balls creates a crispy exterior and a gooey center, you can also bake them as a healthier alternative. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and place the breaded broccoli cheese balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly spray or brush the balls with oil to help them brown evenly. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and heated through, turning them halfway through the baking time for even browning. Baking may result in a slightly different texture compared to frying, but they will still be delicious.
  4. Can I customize the cheese blend in the broccoli cheese balls?
    Absolutely! The combination of Colby, cheddar, and Velveeta cheese creates a rich and flavorful filling for the broccoli cheese balls. However, you can customize the cheese blend according to your preferences or what you have on hand. Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese, such as mozzarella, Monterey Jack, or even blue cheese, to create your own unique flavor profile. Just ensure that the cheeses you choose melt well and complement the taste of broccoli. Adjust the quantities of each cheese based on your personal preference for cheesiness. Remember, the key is to create a deliciously cheesy filling that pairs well with the crispiness of the breaded exterior.
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