Healthy-ish Broccoli Fritters

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | May 11th, 2020 | Appetizers, Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegetarian
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Cooking from your pantry and freezer ingredients doesn’t get much yummier than these healthy-ish broccoli fritters, which are incredibly delicious and pretty good for you!

Pan-fried broccoli and cheese cakes
Pan-fried broccoli and cheese cakes

Healthy-ish Broccoli Fritters

Michele Pesula Kuegler

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins

Course Side Dish

Servings 4

Ingredients

  

  • 3 cups frozen broccoli florets
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

 

  • Place florets in a medium-sized mixing bowl, and microwave for 1-2 minutes to defrost.
  • Allow broccoli to cool.
  • Gently squeeze florets to remove excess water.
  • Option 1: Chop florets into a fine dice. This will take a couple minutes.
  • Option 2: Use a food processor, and pulse broccoli until chopped into small pieces.
  • Transfer chopped broccoli to a mixing bowl.
  • Add flour, egg, cheese, and garlic powder; stir until fully combined.
  • Season with salt and pepper; mix.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat.
  • Coat pan with nonstick cooking spray or a small amount of olive oil.
  • Place rounded tablespoon of broccoli mixture in frying pan; flatten with the back of the spoon.
  • Repeat, leaving about an inch between fritters.
  • Cook for 2 minutes.
  • Flip and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Transfer cooked fritters to a baking sheet.
  • When all fritters have been fried, place baking tray of fritters in the oven.
  • Bake for 5 minutes.

Video

Keyword broccoli side dish
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I usually keep a couple frozen veggies on hand: spinach and peas or corn. The spinach I use regularly in egg white omelets. The corn or peas and sometimes the spinach are used in soups, stews, and those sort of dishes. Outside of that, I try to use fresh produce as much as possible.

However, this spring has been a different sort of time. With stay at home orders I’ve tried to limit grocery shopping to a once a week trip. That doesn’t go overly well for produce, among other items. So, when they were available, I added more frozen produce items to my freezer, including broccoli.

Pan-fried broccoli and cheese cakes

Now, with broccoli on hand, how would I use it? Honestly, to just heat and serve it as a side dish is unappealing to me. It’s mushy and lacking in flavor. I could make soup, but it’s warmer here in Arkansas, so a bowl of piping hot soup isn’t exactly calling my name. Thankfully, I love to think about food, so it was time to use frozen broccoli as my starting point.

As I do with my food thinking, I usually start with two buckets: weeknight/healthy eating and weekend/indulgent eating. I wanted this broccoli dish to be something I could serve on a weeknight, which could be used as a side dish to round out a meal. However, although weeknight eating is healthy, it doesn’t have to toe that line exactingly. Thus, these fritters are made with cheese (a little splurge) but are fried without oil (healthy).

Pan-fried broccoli and cheese cakes

When I made these fritters, I decided to try two different options for getting the broccoli to be more fritter-friendly. I assumed that pulsing it in my food processor would make the cakes hold together better because of the finer chop. The results weren’t really that impressive. The fritters made with food processed broccoli held together a little bit better than the hand-chopped. The biggest difference was that the food processor did the work in seconds, while chopping took minutes. So, it’s totally your call.

When you serve these fritters, feel free to create a dip to serve with them. I made a dip out of plain Greek yogurt and spices. My husband dipped his in barbecue sauce. Really, whatever pleases your palate is fine. Any food that can be dipped in sauce is a win in my book!

Another way to serve broccoli in a cheesy appetizer format are the Broccoli Meatballs.

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