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Baked Broccoli Bacon Cheddar Bites

Baked Broccoli Bacon Cheddar Bites

I asked Shelby for some recipe inspiration.  Perhaps something she had enjoyed recently in a restaurant that she’d like to see recreated.  Just so happens she had visited her local watering hole the night before and apparently the Broccoli Cheddar Bites hit the spot.  That was good enough for me to begin some recipe research.

Baked Broccoli Bacon Cheddar Bites

While broccoli and cheddar are wonderful together and I’m sure fabulous breaded and deep fried….I couldn’t bring myself to go all in.  So I added bacon and baked them.  Just go with me on this, it made perfect sense at the time.

Baked Broccoli Bacon Cheddar Bites

The nearest thing I could find to what Shelby had described was an old Bennigan’s recipe that’s been floating around the internet for years.  I replaced frozen broccoli with fresh, packaged bacon bits with crispy home cooked, mixed cheeses with sharp cheddar, and Italian bread crumbs with panko.  Oh and baked instead of deep fried.  The results…

Baked Broccoli Bacon Cheddar Bites

Crispy well seasoned on the outside, brocco-ly bacony cheesy on the inside.

Unless you just want to, you don’t have to hang out at a bar late at night to get good bar snacks.  Add these Baked Broccoli Bacon Cheddar Bites to your appetizer repertoire and you can bring the party to your house.  Or better yet, bring them to your neighbor’s (so they get clean up duty…jk neighbors).

Baked Broccoli Bacon Cheddar Bites
Broccoli Bacon Cheddar Bites

I also found they work well to lure adult children back to the house.  I floated this text and not long after Shelby arrived…in time to help roll, coat, bake and sample.

This recipe made a big batch, at least 35-40 ‘Bites’ and that’s after several samples were distributed to my in-house test kitchen tasters.  Shelby left with a plate full, I enjoyed my fair share AND we were able to freeze a dozen.

As I hope I’ve illustrated, Baked Broccoli Bacon Cheddar Bites….of love! are powerful good.

Baked Broccoli Bacon Cheddar Bites
Baked Broccoli Bacon Cheddar Bites

Baked Broccoli Bacon Cheddar Bites

Prep Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. broccoli florets steamed and chopped
  • 4 oz. bacon cut into lardons
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 12 oz. cheddar cheese grated
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 3 Tbl. flour
  • 1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • 3/4 tsp. paprika

Instructions
 

  • Steam broccoli and chop into small pieces. Wrap in paper towels and squeeze out excess moisture.
  • Cook bacon lardons until browned and crispy, drain on paper towels.
  • In a medium bowl combine broccoli, bacon, onion, cheese, eggs, and flour. Mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat two baking sheets with olive oil spray. Combine panko and seasonings in a shallow dish.
  • Roll chilled broccoli mixture into 1 1/2″ diameter balls. Roll balls in seasoned panko crumbs and place onto prepared baking sheets. Spray tops lightly with olive oil spray. Bake for 20 minutes, turning over after 10 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
  • Serve with ranch dipping sauce.

Notes

After the ingredients are combined the mixture needs to chill in the refrigerator for about an hour. This helps them keep their shape while baking.