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.


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.

Food Stylist: Carrie Purcell


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

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.

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