5 Ways Cheese Is Broccoli's Best Friend

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

If you’re asking me, broccoli and cheese go together just like peanut butter and jelly or milk and cookies. When creamy melted cheese, particularly cheddar, crosses with the green vegetable, a little magic happens.

Of course, adding a little dusting of cheese can punch up nearly anything, but these recipes prove that broccoli and cheese share a beautiful union that can’t be denied (and still manages to be healthy).

Though the mention of cheese might raise a few red flags for the health buff, broccoli and cheddar share a friendship of good influences, as a little dose of the good stuff sure goes a long way. Especially if getting your little ones to eat this cruciferous vegetable is a nightly challenge, uniting it with a much-loved indulgence is a sure-fire way to please.

With cheese, broccoli becomes fun enough to be a bar snack.

You can’t properly cheer on the big game with a few naked broccoli florets in hand. Instead, load our favorite veggie into Broccoli-and-Cheddar-Stuffed Potato Skins (pictured above) for a reinvented take on the hearty appetizer. When broccoli and cheddar get together, the creamy bite of the extra-sharp cheddar counters the crisped potato skin just right. Plus, adding a dollop of healthier avocado cream on top means that you get every element of the appetizer favorite while still eating smart.

Melissa-dArabian-Roasted-Parmesan-Broccoli

Melissa-dArabian-Roasted-Parmesan-Broccoli

Photo by: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

With cheese, broccoli gets an elegant edge at a dinner party.

Think of this side as the big-kid contender in the broccoli-cheese game. Serving Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan adds a big punch of umami to the green veggie, even if you just add a modest two tablespoons.

With cheese, broccoli gets creamy and comforting.

Though this veggie-and-cheese soup is traditionally very heavy, especially when served in a bread bowl, it’s possible to savor this stellar combo without going overboard. Sink a spoon into Food Network Kitchen’s Healthified Broccoli Cheddar Soup, which gets its characteristic creaminess thanks to fat-free evaporated milk and, of course, cheddar.

BROCCOLI_POCKET_090.tif

BROCCOLI_POCKET_090.tif

Food Stylist: Carrie Purcell

Photo by: Andrew Purcell

Andrew Purcell

Food Stylist: Carrie Purcell

With cheese, a toaster oven staple reaches ooey-gooey perfection.

Though picking these up in the freezer aisle could get you your fix quicker, Food Network Magazine’s revamp of Broccoli-Cheddar Pockets has fewer than 400 calories and 18 grams protein to help keep you satisfied. Going big on the broccoli means that each cheesy bite balances indulgence and nourishment just right.

Food Network Kitchen's Broccoli-Walnut Pesto With Pasta

Photo by: Tara Donne ©2012, Food Network, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, 2012, Food Network, Television Food Network, G.P.

Food Network Kitchen's Broccoli-Walnut Pesto With Pasta

With cheese, a broccoli-based twist on pesto reaches nourishing, herbaceous heights.

When you blend broccoli and just two tablespoons of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano into basil pesto, you ramp up the nutritional value and impart an earthiness to the herbaceous, garlicky sauce. Sprinkle Broccoli-Walnut Pesto with Pasta with another tablespoon of cheese to give this vibrant Italian meal a salty finish.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Best 5 Family-Friendly Tailgate Recipes

Check out Food Network's top-five family-friendly tailgate recipes to find a mix of sweet and savory picks that are sure to win cheers from your guests.

Best 5 Broccoli Salad Recipes

Check out Food Network's top-five broccoli salad recipes to find traditional and dressed-up takes on this go-to favorite from Alton, Trisha and more chefs.

5 Foods That Are Not Really Your Best Friends

Watch out for five unassuming foods that rake in the calories, whether you realize it or not.

Best 5 Macaroni and Cheese Recipes

Check out Food Network's top-five recipes for decadent macaroni and cheeses from Trisha, Alton and more chefs.

Best 5 Ways to Dress Up Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Stick to Food Network's best-ever turkey recipes to put an impressive spin on your holiday bird.

5 Kid-Friendly Ways to Reinvent Thanksgiving Leftovers

From make-your-own mini pot pies to cranberry corn muffins, these are our best kid-tested ideas for serving Thanksgiving dinner again in a whole new way.

Roasted, Fried and Mashed: 5 Best Ways to Put More Potatoes in Your Life

Learn these top-five takes on all of the classic potato preparations, like roasting, frying, mashing and more.

Kid-Friendly Mac and Cheese, and a Grownup Way to Use the Leftovers

One common dieting pitfall parents fall into is eating food off of kids' plates. Avoid this by making creative use of leftover kid-friendly food.

The Best Way to Cook Bacon

... is actually more than one way. The perfect method depends on the circumstance. Here's how to get perfect bacon every time, no matter what.

On TV

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.