Broccoli Cheese Balls

These Broccoli Cheese Balls are a delightful appetizer or snack, featuring a blend of fresh broccoli, Colby cheese, cheddar cheese, and Velveeta for a creamy texture. Seasoned with crushed red pepper flakes and coated in crispy Panko crumbs, these balls are fried to golden perfection, making them irresistibly crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside.


  • 1 ½ heaping cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup shredded Colby cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces Velveeta, cut into small chunks
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 ¼ cups Panko crumbs, divided
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Vegetable or Canola oil

Directions :

  1. Steam the Broccoli: Steam the broccoli until slightly softened. Allow it to cool, then finely chop into pieces no larger than 1/4-inch. Place in a large bowl.
  2. Mix Ingredients: Add the Colby cheese, cheddar cheese, Velveeta, crushed red pepper flakes, 1/4 cup Panko crumbs, and 1 lightly beaten egg to the bowl with the broccoli. Stir well until thoroughly combined.
  3. Shape the Balls: Use your hands to shape the mixture into balls, using about a rounded tablespoon of mixture for each ball. You should be able to make 12-14 balls. Place them on a plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Prepare Coating Bowls: Prepare three separate bowls: one with flour, one with the 2 lightly beaten eggs mixed with 1 tablespoon of water, and one with the remaining 2 cups of Panko crumbs.
  5. Heat the Oil: In a Dutch oven or heavy pot, pour vegetable or canola oil to a depth of about 2 inches. Heat the oil to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, using a thermometer for accuracy.
  6. Coat the Balls: Remove the broccoli balls from the refrigerator. Coat each ball first in flour, then dip into the egg mixture, and finally coat evenly with Panko crumbs.
  7. Fry to Perfection: Carefully place about 4 balls at a time into the hot oil, frying until golden brown on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per batch. Use a slotted spoon to remove the balls and drain them on a paper towel-lined plate.
  8. Serve Hot: Serve the broccoli cheese balls hot, garnished with additional shredded cheese or your favorite dipping sauce.

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips

  • Serve Immediately: For the best texture and flavor, serve the broccoli cheese balls immediately after frying while they are still hot and crispy.
  • Pair with Dips: Pair these cheesy bites with your favorite dipping sauces like ranch, marinara, or a spicy aioli for extra flavor.
  • Garnish: Garnish with a sprinkle of extra shredded cheese or fresh herbs like parsley for added presentation and taste.

Storage Tips

  • Refrigerate Leftovers: Store any leftover broccoli cheese balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat Properly: To reheat, place them in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes, or until they are heated through and crispy again. Avoid microwaving, as it can make them soggy.
  • Freeze for Later: For longer storage, freeze the uncooked balls on a baking sheet until solid, then transfer them to a freezer bag. When ready to cook, fry them directly from frozen, adding an extra minute or two to the frying time.

Prep and Cooking Time

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cooking Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Servings: 8


1. Spicy Jalapeño Broccoli Cheese Balls Add finely chopped jalapeños to the mixture for a spicy kick. This variation is perfect for those who love a bit of heat in their snacks.

2. Bacon Broccoli Cheese Balls Incorporate crumbled cooked bacon into the mixture for a savory and smoky flavor. Bacon adds a delightful crunch and pairs wonderfully with the cheese and broccoli.

3. Garlic Parmesan Broccoli Cheese Balls Add minced garlic and grated Parmesan cheese to the mixture for a rich, savory flavor. This variation is perfect for garlic lovers and adds a nice depth of taste.

4. Italian Herb Broccoli Cheese Balls Mix in Italian herbs like oregano, basil, and thyme for a Mediterranean twist. This variation pairs well with marinara sauce for dipping.

5. Sun-Dried Tomato Broccoli Cheese Balls Chop up some sun-dried tomatoes and add them to the mixture for a burst of tangy sweetness. This variation adds a gourmet touch to the classic recipe.

6. Spinach and Artichoke Broccoli Cheese Balls Combine chopped spinach and artichoke hearts with the broccoli and cheeses for a delicious twist inspired by the classic spinach-artichoke dip.

7. Buffalo Broccoli Cheese Balls Mix in some buffalo sauce to the cheese and broccoli mixture for a tangy and spicy variation. Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing for dipping.

8. Corn and Broccoli Cheese Balls Add sweet corn kernels to the mixture for a touch of sweetness and extra texture. This variation is great for adding a bit of crunch and natural sweetness.

9. Smoked Gouda Broccoli Cheese Balls Replace the cheddar cheese with smoked gouda for a rich, smoky flavor. This variation adds a gourmet touch and pairs well with tangy dipping sauces.

10. Pesto Broccoli Cheese Balls Mix in a few tablespoons of pesto sauce into the broccoli and cheese mixture for a flavorful, herby twist. This variation adds a fresh and vibrant taste.

11. Greek Yogurt Broccoli Cheese Balls Substitute some of the cheese with Greek yogurt for a healthier option. Greek yogurt adds a tangy flavor and a creamy texture while reducing the overall fat content.

12. Vegan Broccoli Cheese Balls For a vegan option, use dairy-free cheese and a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 2.5 tablespoons water) instead of the regular egg. Ensure the Panko crumbs are also vegan.

13. Cauliflower and Broccoli Cheese Balls Mix in finely chopped cauliflower with the broccoli for a combination of two nutritious vegetables. This variation adds an extra layer of flavor and nutrition.

14. Blue Cheese Broccoli Cheese Balls Add crumbled blue cheese to the mixture for a bold and tangy flavor. This variation pairs well with honey mustard or ranch dipping sauce.

15. Sweet Potato Broccoli Cheese Balls Incorporate mashed sweet potato into the mixture for a touch of sweetness and extra creaminess. This variation adds a unique flavor and boosts the nutritional content.

These variations allow you to enjoy Broccoli Cheese Balls in new and exciting ways, catering to different tastes and dietary preferences.


1. Can I bake the Broccoli Cheese Balls instead of frying them? Yes, you can bake them for a healthier option. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C), place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown, turning them halfway through.

2. Can I use frozen broccoli instead of fresh? Yes, you can use frozen broccoli. Thaw and drain it thoroughly before chopping and using it in the recipe. Excess moisture can make the mixture too wet.

3. How can I make the balls gluten-free? Substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend and use gluten-free Panko crumbs. Ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free.

4. What dipping sauces pair well with Broccoli Cheese Balls? Popular dipping sauces include ranch dressing, marinara sauce, spicy aioli, honey mustard, and blue cheese dressing. You can also try sweet chili sauce or garlic yogurt dip.

5. Can I prepare the mixture ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the mixture and shape the balls ahead of time. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before coating and frying or baking them.

6. How do I store leftover Broccoli Cheese Balls? Store any leftover balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10 minutes to retain their crispiness.

7. Can I freeze Broccoli Cheese Balls? Yes, you can freeze them before frying or baking. Place them on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag. Cook them directly from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time.

8. What can I use instead of Velveeta cheese? You can substitute Velveeta with cream cheese or more shredded cheddar cheese for a different texture and flavor.

9. Why are my Broccoli Cheese Balls falling apart? If your balls are falling apart, the mixture might be too wet or not well combined. Ensure the broccoli is chopped finely and excess moisture is removed. Adding a bit more flour or chilling the mixture longer can help.

10. Can I use a different type of cheese? Yes, you can experiment with different cheeses such as mozzarella, Monterey Jack, or pepper jack for varied flavors. Just ensure the cheese melts well to maintain the creamy texture.

In conclusion, Broccoli Cheese Balls offer a versatile and delicious appetizer or snack option, combining the wholesome goodness of broccoli with creamy cheeses and crispy coatings. Whether fried for a crispy exterior or baked for a lighter version, these balls are sure to be a hit at any gathering. With various flavors and serving options, they cater to diverse tastes and dietary preferences, making them a favorite for both casual meals and special occasions. Enjoy these cheesy, crunchy delights as a delightful addition to your culinary repertoire!