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This quick broccoli and cheese recipe is everything cozy, cheesy, and warm: in less than 10 minutes! It’s the ideal easy side dish.

Broccoli and cheese
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What’s more comforting than broccoli smothered in Parmesan and cheddar? Meet this perfect Broccoli and Cheese, aka Cheesy Broccoli. Alex whipped this up for me and one bite in, memories from childhood flooded back. “What’s in this?” I asked. Somehow it transported right me to nostalgia land! This cheesy broccoli has just the right nuanced flavor from the Parmesan and cheddar cheese, the best tender texture, and the perfect warming vibe. Even better, it’s done in under 10 minutes! It quickly became part of our regular rotation: and we’ll show you how to do it!

Want a cheese sauce instead? Go to Basic Cheese Sauce or Fast & Easy Cheese Sauce.

Ingredients in this quick broccoli and cheese

This broccoli and cheese recipe is designed for quick weeknights, when you need a great side dish to pair with your meal. Most nights we make this Pan Fried Broccoli, but when we’re feeling fancy we whip this one out. It’s always a hit with kids, but perhaps more so with adults. Here’s a quick run-down of the ingredients:

  • Fresh broccoli
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Grated Parmesan cheese: The powdery kind, not the kind that looks like sticks (that’s shredded Parmesan)
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
Broccoli and cheese recipe

How to make cheesy broccoli: a few tips!

You might think that broccoli and cheese is as simple as throwing broccoli in a pan, adding cheese, and cooking. Well, it’s partially that simple! But cooking broccoli requires just a few special tips to get the right tender texture and gooey cheese. Broccoli can get dry when pan frying it, so often you’ll need a little water for cooking. Here’s what to know:

  • First, sauté the broccoli in olive oil for 3 to 4 minutes. This gets it mostly cooked and a little brown.
  • Add the cheese, then ¼ water and cover! Cook 1 minute. This both steams the broccoli and melts the cheese.

That’s it! Remove the lid and you’ve got a gooey, warm, perfectly tender pile of cheesy broccoli. Even better: you don’t have to wait to bake a casserole! it’s done in less than 10 minutes: perfect for hangry moments.

Broccoli cheese

Why it’s a healthy side dish…with cheese!

Adding cheese to vegetables is one of the oldest tricks in the book to try to get people to eat their veggies. Here’s the thing…it’s not a terrible idea! Especially when you’re not adding loads of the stuff. Here’s why this broccoli and cheese can be considered a healthy side dish:

  • You get all the fiber and Vitamin C in broccoli! 1 cup of raw broccoli has 2.3 grams of fiber (source) and 140% of your daily vitamin (source).
  • The cheese is moderate. The cheese adds 68 calories and 5 grams fat per serving. This is better than many cheese sauces that load on calories and fat.

Want to go super healthy? Try our Pan Fried Broccoli: it’s got no cheese but lots of great flavor.

Cheesy broccoli

More great broccoli recipes

Broccoli is one of the vegetables we love most in our house! We make it as a side dish all the time. But it’s great in soups, stews, stir fries, and more. Here are some more fantastic broccoli recipes:

This broccoli and cheese recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Broccoli and cheese

Quick Broccoli and Cheese (10 Minutes!)

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4.9 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This quick broccoli and cheese recipe is everything cozy, cheesy, and warm: in less than 10 minutes! It’s the ideal easy side dish.


  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli, stem on (about 3 large heads or 6 heaping cups florets)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (the powdery kind)
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Chop the broccoli into medium sized florets (leave a good amount of the stem for a nice shape; see the photo or How to Cut Broccoli).
  2. Add the olive oil to a large skillet and heat it on medium high heat. Add broccoli and salt. Cook 3 to 4 minutes until starting to brown, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the broccoli, followed by the cheddar cheese. Add ¼ cup water to the bottom of the skillet and cover with a lid. Cook another 1 minute until cheese is melted and the water cooks out. Serve immediately! 
  4. Alternative: Make Easy Cheese Sauce and add that instead of step 3 above.
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegetables
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Kathy Ingle says:

    Delicious and quick.

  2. Yvonne Jackson says:

    How about putting rice in this recipe

  3. Summer says:

    Just mad this and it was amazing and simple. Thank you

  4. Sabrina says:

    Delicious and quick! This recipe was exactly what I needed because I didn’t have cheese sauce but I had a ton of Shredded cheese (I love cheese! 😅) I probably used more cheese and salt than the recipe because I didn’t exactly measure but it was still tasty!

  5. Dawn Raup says:

    Just made this for dinner to accompany baked steelhead trout. Easy-peasy AND delicious! Will definitely be making this again. Thank you!

  6. Alicia says:

    Smells amazing👏

  7. Sylvia Musiyazviriyo says:

    Your broccoli cheese recipe is very nice and yammy.would love to watch more recipes thanks

  8. Lynn Walker says:

    Great recipe! I changed the water to lemon juice for additional tang and it worked perfectly. I also added more cheese, but then I firmly believe there’s no such thing as too much cheese. We’ll be enjoying this frequently — can’t thank you enough for a simple, easy, _really_ tasty recipe!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We’ll have to try the lemon juice idea!

    2. Raven says:

      Will Mexican blend cheese work as well?

      1. Alex Overhiser says:


  9. brooke says:

    I loved the recipe but i did end up adding more cheese but it was amazing

  10. Alex Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!