Air Fryer Broccoli Cheese Bites

Air Fryer Broccoli Cheese Bites make a wonderful appetizer for any party or a fun side dish. The new presentation is sure to get your kids to love broccoli.

These Air Fryer Broccoli Cheese Bites are perfect for Christmas or New Years Eve appetizers. Simple to make, healthy and delicious.

This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please read my disclosure policy.

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.

Ingredient List

First you need to gather all your ingredients. You will need:

  • Fresh broccoli: You definitely want to use fresh for this recipe. Frozen will be too watery and could mess with the texture.
  • Egg: This will bind the broccoli bites together.
  • Shredded cheddar cheese: Use a good quality cheese and shred it yourself.
  • Bread crumbs: This will bind the bites together.
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper

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.

Fresh Broccoli is Best

Let’s talk broccoli. I always prefer fresh over frozen. I like that I have more control over the cook and texture.

For that reason, I don’t recommend using frozen broccoli in its place. It’s watery and will add extra liquid to the recipe which could possibly mess up these delicious little bites.

Good Quality Ingredients

Because there are so few ingredients in this recipe, they will really shine through. That means you want to use the good stuff.

When it comes to your 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.

More Party Appetizers

Air Fryer Broccoli Cheese Bites make a wonderful appetizer for any party or a fun side dish. The new presentation is sure to get your kids to love broccoli.
4 from 15 votes

Air Fryer Broccoli Cheese Bites

Air Fryer Broccoli Cheese Bites make a wonderful appetizer for any party or a fun side dish. The new presentation is sure to get your kids to love broccoli.
Prep Time50 minutes
Active Time20 minutes
Total Time1 hour 10 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Yield: 28 bites
Author: Meg’s Everyday Indulgence



  • 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 5-10 minutes depending on your air fryer. You may need to do this in batches (I did). Cover lightly with foil to keep warm while others are baking.

Success! You're on the list.


  1. Yum! I’ve only had these baked but I bet they’d be amazing in the air fryer! My son would totally gobble them up.

  2. 5 stars
    And I was proud that my broccoli pie had won over a friend of mine who hated broccoli (I didn’t know and made this for dinner once when she was visiting me. She ate it out of kindness and discovered she actually liked broccoli). I need to send this recipe to her. This must be the tastiest version you can make broccoli. Surely a hit among kids, too! Fantastic!

  3. This looks like such a fun and simple recipe! I can’t wait to try this out with my family!

  4. Chandice Probst

    5 stars
    Yum, love a CRISPY vegetable side dish and this is it, thanks!!

    1. Crispy veggies are the best veggies!

  5. can i skip freezing for 30 min? why do we have to do this?

    1. It helps keep them together as they cook. If you skip the freezing step they are more likely to crumble during or after cooking. You could try skipping it but just be aware they may fall apart.

    2. I added red pepper flakes and these were really delicious!

      1. Oooh, I love that addition!

  6. I made this recipe and I felt the temp was too low – I’m using the food I xl grill fryer and it took all ost 20 minutes and a good spray with oil which was not in the recipe to get these brown and or crisp. I did freeze as instructed

    1. I’m sorry to hear that Susan. After reading your comment I decided to retest these in case I accidently put 5 instead of 15. Sometimes typing errors happen. But they still came out crispy for me with the 5 minute time in my Ninja air fyer. I’ve never used the type you have. Is it one that needs to be preheated? Mine doesn’t require that. I’ll put a time range in the recipe noting that it may depend on the type of air fryer you have. I’m sorry these took longer for you. I appreciate that you were kind in telling me the issues with the recipe.

  7. Hey Kat! Yes, you could definitely make them ahead of time. Pull them out of the freezer about 15 minutes before you want to cook them then you’ll be good to go! Hope you enjoy them.

  8. 5 stars
    I loved the purity of this recipe and the limited ingredients. Because I was making this for my sister who has celiacs disease, I substituted the bread crumbs for quinoa flakes and it still turned out amazing. To help hold it together a bit more I sprayed it with some gluten-free canola oil spray on all sides before putting it in the air fryer.

    1. Love hearing this Kendra! Makes me so happy you were able to adapt it so everyone could enjoy!

  9. Could you eat them cold ?

    1. You could but I’m not sure how great they would taste. I personally love the gooey cheesiness when they are hot.

  10. 3 stars
    I was excited about these and followed the recipe exactly, shredding high quality cheddar cheese and fresh broccoli. It didnt turn out as i had anticipated. . If I made them again, I would add more flavor through some herbs…perhaps or adding chopped onion and perhaps garlic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating