Basic, boring steamed broccoli can go ahead and step down now. This Crispy Cheesy Baked Broccoli will make you forget alll about it. Thanks to some crispy panko breadcrumbs, crunchy, melty cheddar, and an easy baked preparation, it’s a far cry from the bland and mushy broccoli your parents might have forced on you. No, this right here is broccoli you’ll look forward to, I guarantee it.
While I personally love to just roast broccoli all by its lonesome, this recipe adds a lot more to the party, but that does mean you should start by blanching your broccoli so it finishes cooking just as the breadcrumbs and cheese are nearing perfection.
You’ll just want to blanch your broccoli for two minutes before plunging it in an ice bath and spreading it out on a baking sheet that’s gotten hot in oven before giving it a few minutes under the broiler.
Then you join it with it’s companions by sprinkling it with buttered panko breadcrumbs, grated cheddar and Parmesan, and a few red pepper flakes.
It all goes back under the broiler for just a few minutes and just as the broccoli gets perfectly tender (but not anywhere near mushy), the breadcrumbs crisp up and the cheese gets melty with golden brown edges to lend even more crunch. This is broccoli, but it’s broccoli you’ll crave. It’s easy to make, but it’s anything but basic!
Crispy Cheesy Baked Broccoli
Serves 4 Prep 5m Cook 15m
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets with 1-inch of stem attached
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 450°F and place a large rimmed baking sheet in the middle rack of the oven while it heats.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and fill a large mixing bowl with ice water, and set it aside.
- Once water is boiling, add broccoli and reduce heat to medium-low. Let boil for 2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to ice bath.
- Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and pat top dry.
- Transfer broccoli to a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the melted butter, breadcrumbs, cheddar, Parmesan, and red pepper flake. Set aside.
- Spread broccoli on hot baking sheet. Set oven to broil and return to middle rack of oven.
- Broil for 4 minutes, remove pan from oven and top with breadcrumb and cheese mixture. Return to oven and broil until broccoli is tender and cheese is crippled around the edges, 3-5 minutes.
Recipe adapted from The Chunky Chef.