Broccoli & Cheese Nuggets Recipe

Nuggets just got better. Broccoli now has a new fun way of appearing in your dinner plates and lunchboxes other than steamed. This Broccoli and Cheese Nuggets Recipe will revolutionize the way you serve broccoli at your house.

easy to make broccoli nuggets are perfect for dinner or in the lunchbox!

“When in doubt, make nuggets” was my friend Anne’s advice when I asked her how else I could make veggies appealing to my kids.  It seemed easy enough, right? But how exactly do you turn things like broccoli into a nugget?

I’ve seen veggie nuggets in the freezer isle at Whole Foods but at $6 for a small bag it seemed expensive. Plus, one of the brands had soy (an ingredient I avoid in our home) and most had gluten as well. For a few weeks, I tinkered with the broccoli mixture until it held together well. The result was a kid approved recipe made with easy to find ingredients.

It’s tinkering like this that inspired me to create the Family KickStart Program. My 30-day plan created specifically for busy families who want to eat clean, whole foods for 30 days!

Family KickStart includes over 50 recipes that are kid-friendly, gluten free, soy free and include zero processed foods. Not only will you find awesome recipes kids love reimagined in a way that is more nutritious, you’ll also receive the meal plans and grocery lists you need to make the 30 days a complete success! Learn more about the Family KickStart Program here.

simple ingredients and easy to make broccoli nuggets recipe

In the dozens of emails I receive daily, many parents ask for help to feed their kids more veggies. I always say that you have to try the same vegetable in many different ways. Vegetables have a crunchy texture that changes greatly depending on how you cook them. Some even smell different, like broccoli and cauliflower.

If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop the broccoli by hand, in a blender, or in one of those mini choppers. I’m a one-bowl-and-done kind of gal so I opted for the food processor.

broccoli nugget ingredients inside the food processor

While my daughter now loves steamed broccoli, that wasn’t always the case. My boys still refuse to eat broccoli, but one of them will eat these nuggets without a fuss. Maybe it’s because I call them Shrek Nuggets, but either way, he tolerates them.

broccoli nuggets? Shrek Nuggets? Either way, this green nugget is a winner!

Sure, 4-6 nuggets might not be as much broccoli as we’d like our kids to eat; but the reality is that it’s better than no broccoli and every little bit of veggies count towards a serving.

If you can roll out meatballs, you can make these nuggets. Check out how easy they are to make in this video.

If you think that nuggets are just for kids, you are mistaken. I’ve eaten my share of nuggets in the office packed for lunch. You can either pack them at room temperature in a lunchbox or heated inside a thermos.

broccoli nuggets make an awesome school or office lunch! gluten free, dairy free versions too.

You’ll find the recipe for the classic version, a gluten free, and a dairy free version. It’s crucial that you season these nuggets because without seasoning, they are pretty bland.

What are some interesting ways you serve up vegetables at your house?

Broccoli & Cheese Nuggets Recipe

easy to make broccoli nuggets are perfect for dinner or in the lunchbox!
  • Author: Laura Fuentes
  • Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 16 ounce bag of broccoli florets, thawed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 teaspoons favorite seasoning mix (Italian or Creole)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place broccoli florets inside a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Add eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese and seasoning to veggie mixture. Process a few pulses until every combined.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop, place veggie nugget scoops onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Gently press them down so all nuggets are the same height.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool slightly prior to serving.
  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 149
  • Fat: 4.6g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.8g
  • Protein: 11.4g

Gluten Free Broccoli & Cheese Nuggets Recipe

broccoli nuggets? Shrek Nuggets? Either way, this green nugget is a winner!
  • Author: Laura Fuentes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 16 ounce bag of broccoli florets, thawed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup gluten free bread crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 teaspoons favorite seasoning mix (Italian or Creole)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place broccoli florets inside a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Add eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese and seasoning to veggie mixture. Process a few pulses until every combined.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop, place veggie nugget scoops onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Gently press them down so all nuggets are the same height.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool slightly prior to serving.
  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 177
  • Fat: 5.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 23.1g
  • Protein: 13.1g

Dairy Free Broccoli & Cheese Nuggets Recipe

easy to make broccoli nuggets are perfect for dinner or in the lunchbox!
  • Author: Laura Fuentes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 16 ounce bag of broccoli florets, thawed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons favorite seasoning mix (Italian or Creole)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place broccoli florets inside a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
  3. Add eggs, breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, yellow mustard, and seasoning to veggie mixture. Process a few pulses until every combined.
  4. Using a small cookie scoop, place veggie nugget scoops onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Gently press them down so all nuggets are the same height.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool slightly prior to serving.
  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 180
  • Fat: 4.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 25g
  • Protein: 14.3g

 

Leave a Reply 48 comments

Leslie - February 20, 2015 Reply

Do you think there would be a way to make these egg free?

    ALYSSA MCCORD - August 15, 2015 Reply

    Have you tried flax eggs? I’ve subbed them out in most things with no issues at all. Going to try this recipe ASAP with the flax eggs.

      Laura Fuentes - August 15, 2015 Reply

      yes, they worked for me!

Tiffany - February 20, 2015 Reply

OMGEE, my boys would totally eat these! Can’t wait to try them!

amanda - March 27, 2015 Reply

Can you use rolled oats instead of bread crumbs?

    Laura Fuentes - March 27, 2015 Reply

    I imagine you can use quick oats. You might want to pulse them a few times to break them down. I haven’t tried it so please let us know how they turn out.

Jay - April 1, 2015 Reply

I’m starting the paleo lifestyle, could you tell me how to make these paleo? Thanks!

    Laura Fuentes - April 2, 2015 Reply

    unfortunately, these are not paleo. I am working on a grain free (paleo) version as we speak.

Valentina - May 10, 2015 Reply

If there’s cheddar it’s not dairy free… but looks good and I’m gonna try to make them actually dairy free!

    Laura Fuentes - May 10, 2015 Reply

    I have inserted all 3 recipes in the same post. the bottom one is dairy free. It has no cheddar. Enjoy!

      Valentina - May 10, 2015 Reply

      I saw it, but the one without cheddar has bread crumbs. There’s nothing wrong with the recipe, I was just confused by the title, I have to figure out something to keep them together that is both gluten and dairy free. Thanks though!

      Lora Chiem - August 24, 2018 Reply

      Laura, thanks so much for including various recipes for the same dish!

Felicia - May 11, 2015 Reply

Ok, so I’m new here but wondered why you stay away from soy?

Alexa - May 19, 2015 Reply

Made these this afternoon for a late snack/light dinner. Definitely easy to make – added a bunch more garlic powder and onion powder but still a little bland. Currently eating with a little chimichuri though… delicious.

    Laura Fuentes - May 26, 2015 Reply

    additional seasoning is a must if you are planing on eating these as an adult. 🙂

Azaria - June 8, 2015 Reply

What about if I don’t have an oven?

    Laura Fuentes - June 10, 2015 Reply

    I have never tried to pan fry them. sorry!

    Stevie Masen - August 12, 2015 Reply

    I can’t see a good reason why you can’t pan-fry them, but you’d need to adjust the recipe a bit. Dip the patties in a little milk, roll them in some more bread crumbs and fry them until brown in olive or canola oil, then drain them on a paper towel.

      Laura Fuentes - August 12, 2015 Reply

      I haven’t tried pan frying these, but I am quite sure it will work.

Mina - June 30, 2015 Reply

Looks delicious and Healthy

Victoria - August 10, 2015 Reply

Can you make these with fresh broccoli? If so, would you cook the broccoli first and for how long? Thanks!

    Laura Fuentes - August 10, 2015 Reply

    You definitely can Victoria. You don’t need to cook it first as long as the broccoli is finely finely chopped. Enjoy!

Kara - August 10, 2015 Reply

Can you freeze these for reheating later?

    Kat - March 6, 2017 Reply

    I’d like to know if anyone has tried freezing them? I’m using using flax eggs as a substitute.
    Thanks!

      Laura Fuentes - March 6, 2017 Reply

      These freeze great. Enjoy!

        Ashley Murray - November 25, 2017 Reply

        How long do they freeze for? I’d like to make these ahead of time and then reheat them for his school lunches? Would this work ok?

          Laura Fuentes - November 26, 2017 Reply

          Hi Ashley, about 30 days in a regular freezer. You can either cook them and freeze them and just heat or freeze uncooked and then cook them prior to packing for lunch. The texture will, however, change. I prefer to freeze them cooked, thaw them overnight, and pan-fry them in the morning. Otherwise, they won’t be crispy on the outside.

Niki - August 22, 2015 Reply

I’m definately going to try these. We’re paleo – ish. So I’m thinking replace the bread with ground cashew nut … or coconut flour? Any tips on what wouldn’t work appreciated 🙂

    Laura Fuentes - August 22, 2015 Reply

    I haven’t tried making them paleo (it’s on my to-do list). I think ground cashew meal will work; but note that the cheese helps “hold” it together. Can you have raw cheese or goat cheese?

Niki - August 22, 2015 Reply

Strict Paleo doesn’t include dairy. But but I haven’t cut it out of my kids diet.
We haven’t looked into eating raw dairy and I’m fairly sure the kids wouldn’t like goats’ cheese.

I looked at your book the other day… Are you considering making making a 100% gluten free lunch book? If so, I’d absolutely buy it. Your recipes are great!

    Laura Fuentes - August 22, 2015 Reply

    That is why I asked Niki. I eat paleo myself but I am not strict with the dairy that is either raw or from goat/wild animals. A grain-free book (it’s 99% paleo) is in the works for 2016. 🙂

      Niki - August 22, 2015 Reply

      Where do you get the time !?
      🙂

        Laura Fuentes - August 22, 2015 Reply

        I work nearly every weekend when I have deadlines and I’m up at 5:45 working before the kids wake up (don’t recommend it long term).

          Niki - August 22, 2015 Reply

          Wow. Hats off. Good for you. I understand the coffee addiction now

          Laura Fuentes - August 22, 2015 Reply

          🙂

Lara - September 8, 2015 Reply

Hey Laura,

I made the nuggets this week. They are awesome! Even better at the next day in a Lunchbox! 🙂
Do yo think the recipe would work with other veggies? Like cauliflower or something like this?
Thanks!

    Laura Fuentes - September 10, 2015 Reply

    So glad you liked them! yes you can. My favorite is with carrots or beets!

Lynn - December 6, 2015 Reply

Do these use dry breadcrumbs or fresh? I can’t tell from your photo!

    Laura Fuentes - December 7, 2015 Reply

    Dry

      Lynn - December 7, 2015 Reply

      Thank you! I made them last night without waiting for your answer. I lightly toasted my bread before making them into crumbs, but they were mostly fresh. They worked fine. My husband agreed with the earlier comment that they were bland, but my kids ate them with no problem. He puts hot sauce on anything, so I wasn’t worried about him! Thanks for a great recipe!

Cindy - February 22, 2016 Reply

These bad boys help with constipation. My two boys had been struggling until I tried these.

    Laura Fuentes - February 23, 2016 Reply

    so glad they helped!

Kathy Irizarry - April 11, 2016 Reply

Thanks for your recipe. Can’t wait to try them. Great for freezing. Place them on cookie sheet and freeze. after they are frozen put them in ziplock bags and use them as needed. All you have to do is bake them.

Michelle - January 24, 2018 Reply

Did you use panko or regular bread crumbs?

    Laura Fuentes - January 26, 2018 Reply

    You can use either one. Enjoy!

Julia - March 1, 2018 Reply

Can’t remember if i commented, but i use garam masala seasoning and its like broccoli falafel!

    Laura Fuentes - March 1, 2018 Reply

    WOAH. game changer. Will try this!

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