These Air Fryer Broccoli Cheese Bites are perfect for Christmas or New Years Eve appetizers. Simple to make, healthy and delicious.
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I hope you all are getting an air fryer under your Christmas tree this year. I received mine this summer for my birthday and it’s quickly become a go to gadget for me.
I love that I can still have all the crispy things without them being fried. Because crispy is kind of my love language.
First you need to gather all your ingredients. You will need:
That’s it folks. You’ve got to love a simple ingredient list like this. And honestly, I always have those things at home. Yay for broccoli cheese bites whenever the craving strikes.
Let’s talk broccoli. I always prefer fresh over frozen. I like that I have more control over the cook and texture. That said, if you have a bag of frozen broccoli in your freezer you can substitute it here.
Keep in mind that frozen broccoli may end up more watery so you may need to squeeze excess liquid out before proceeding with the recipe.
Next up, the bread crumbs. You can use traditional bread crumbs or panko (Japanese) bread crumbs. I’ve made it with both types and they are equally delicious. The photographs here show them made with panko bread crumbs.
One of my favorite tips to share is about cheese. Buy the block of cheese and shred it yourself. It makes such a huge difference in every recipe.
Is shredding the cheese more work and sometimes a pain? Yes. But I promise you won’t regret it.
The pre-shredded stuff is tossed with something to keep it from sticking and clumping and that prevents it from fully becoming the gooey, melty perfection that cheese should be. Steps off soapbox….
How to Make Air Fryer Broccoli Cheese Bites
First, the broccoli needs to be steamed. I chose to do this in the microwave because it’s quick, easy and saves on dishes.
Place your broccoli florets in a microwave safe container that has a microwave safe lid. If you don’t have one with a lid, you can use plastic wrap instead.
Add the broccoli to the container along with some water and place the lid on top. Don’t seal it. If you’re going the plastic wrap route, cover it tightly with plastic. Then steam away until the broccoli is tender but NOT mushy.
Once the broccoli cools enough the handle, chop it into oblivion. You want really, really fine broccoli here.
Now mix all the remaining ingredients in with the broccoli and it’s time to form the bites.
Tightly roll 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mixture into a ball and set on a rimmed baking sheet. You may need to squeeze them a little while rolling to keep them together.
Once all the bites are rolled (you will have about 28), pop the baking sheet into the freezer for 30 minutes. This step prevents them from falling apart in the air fryer.
Then fry those little babies away.
Air Fryer Broccoli Cheese Bites to the Rescue
These Air Fryer Broccoli Cheese Bites are a great option for lots of different scenarios.
They would be super fun to serve at a party. I’m thinking pop two on a toothpick and serve on a platter for a fun and different appetizer.
They also make a simple and delicious option for a side dish. It’s different than your standard steam or roasted broccoli. The new presentation may even get your kids excited about eating broccoli.
Air Fryer Broccoli Cheese Bites
- Air fryer
- 10 oz. fresh broccoli florets
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup bread crumbs (panko or traditional)
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- Place broccoli and water in a microwave safe container with a microwave safe lid (if you don't have a lid you can use plastic wrap). Place lid lightly on top or cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave for 4 minutes.
- Remove from microwave and allow to cool enough to handle. Chop very finely then place in a bowl. Add egg, cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to the broccoli and mix well. Grab a rimmed baking sheet.
- Scoop out 1 1/2 tablespoons of the broccoli mixture and squeeze and form into a ball. Set on baking sheet. Continue until you've used all the mixture. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Place broccoli bites in air fryer in a single layer and cook at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes. You may need to do this in batches (I did). Cover lightly with foil to keep warm while others are baking.