Broccoli Bites with Tangy Dipping Sauce

I usually test a recipe 4-5 times to make sure everything is consistent. When it came to testing this one, I honestly, lost count. The recipe itself didn’t change but the cooking methods did.

These broccoli bites have been deep fried, air fried, baked, pan seared, even tried to make them into little soufflés! You name it, I did it. In an effort to keep things on the healthier side and avoid the frying method, which was the best version (bar none) I finally settled on a pan fried version. Yes, it uses oil, but significantly less oil than the deeper fried version.

So what do I love about these Broccoli Bites?

The flavor in these little nuggets is insane. Sweet shredded carrots, scallions and cheese compliment the broccoli to perfection. Don’t be fooled by the fact that these bites are small and vegetarian, these Broccoli Bites are packed with tasty goodness.

The dipping sauce is simple and very refreshing. Sour cream and a bit of mayo with lemon juice and zest brighten the flavors and balance the strong broccoli flavor.

The inside is creamy and tender while the outside is crunchy. Such a perfect balance of textures!

brocoli bite split in half showing creamy texture inside

I served these Broccoli Bites as a side to several diners in my house. My family enjoyed having them, all 700 times I made them!

How I made these Broccoli Bites with Tangy Dipping Sauce:

These are the ingredients needed to make the Broccoli Bites:

ingredients needed for the broccoli bites

These are some helpful tools you’ll need to make these Broccoli Bites:

Helpful cooking tools to make the broccoli bites. grater, vegetable peeler, small ice cream scooper

Start by cutting the broccoli heads into smaller size florets. Discard the stems. 

broccoli florets

Cook the broccoli florets in salted boiling water for 5-7 minutes until very tender. 

broccoli cooking in salted boiling water

Tip! The broccoli will be slightly overcooked. It will be very soft and easy to chop. This texture works best to create a creamy consistency in the inside of the broccoli bites.

 While the broccoli cooks, prepare the rest of the mixture. 

Peel, trim and finely shred the carrots. Add them to a large bowl. 

Trim and chop the scallions very finely. Add them to the bowl where the carrots are. 

Add the eggs and the shredded mozzarella cheese. 

shredded carrots, scallions, cheese and eggs in large bowl.

Mix the ingredients well. 

In a separate small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. 

flour mixed with baking soda, baking powder and salt

Add the flour mixture to the carrot mixture. 

Combine until slightly incorporated. 

carrot mixture with flour mixture slightly combined

Tip! The flour is still very visible at this point. Do not over mix as it makes the mixture become dense and less airy. 

At this point the broccoli should be cooked through. Drain the broccoli and chop as fine as you can. 

broccoli chopped

Tip! Try to leave the broccoli chunks in pea size bits. 

Add the broccoli to the carrot mixture. Try not to add the broccoli in the mixture while it is piping hot.  Let it cool a bit.

broccoli and carrot mixture in the bowl

Tip! The broccoli will have a chance to cool a bit while it is being chopped. This will help the eggs not scramble in the mixture. 

Combine the broccoli into the mixture and stop mixing as soon as the flour has been completely absorbed.

DO NOT OVER MIX.

broccoli and veggie mixture

In a medium size pan, add 2-3 tablespoons of oil. Let the oil heat in medium high temperature. 

Tip! If you move the pan, you can see tiny ripples forming on the bottom of the pan, this is indicative that the pan is nice and hot! 

Using a small ice cream scooper, scoop out the mixture. Do not over crowd the pan. Fry 5-6 bites at a time. 

Tip! If the pan is over crowded with broccoli bites, they will not get crunchy, they will steam and absorb more oil. 
Cook the bites for 2-3 minutes per side. 

broccoli bites cooking

Tip! If you try to flip them and they seem stuck to the bottom, then they are not ready to be turned yet. 

Flip the bites when they are nice and golden. Before you flip them, pat them softly to make them a bit flat. 

broccoli bites being flattened a bit

When cooked on both sides, place the bites on a paper towel for extra oil absorption. 

broccoli bites on paper towels to absorb excess oil

Tip! While resting on the paper towel, sprinkle a little salt to each bite. 

Repeat the frying process with the rest of the mixture. Add oil as needed. This frying process is on the slower side of things, it is not a flash fry, it’s more of a slow sear. 

broccoli bites served

Tip! If the pan becomes too hot, remove from the heat to allow it to cool a bit. If the bites get fried too quickly on the outside, they will not have enough time to cook properly on the inside. 

overheated pan cooling down


For the tangy dipping sauce: 

ingredients needed for the dipping sauce

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, mayo, lemon zest and lemon juice. 

Add a few dashes of cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like it) and season with salt and pepper. 

broccoli bite dipped in sauce

Serve the bites while they are still warm. 

Tip! If served later, these bites reheat beautifully in a air fryer or a hot (400°) oven. 

Broccoli Bites with Tangy Dipping Sauce

Flavor packed little broccoli nuggets. The perfect side or appetizer. Served with a tangy cooling dipping sauce, these bites are so fun and delicious to eat. Everyone in the family will love these.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
CourseAppetizer, Side Dish, Snack
CuisineAmerican, vegetarian
Keywordbroccoli appetizer, broccoli bites, broccoli nuggets
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Servings30 bites

Equipment

  • Grater
  • Zester
  • small ice cream scooper
  • vegetable peeler
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Medium frying pan
  • Tongs or spatula

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of broccoli about 4 cups of florets
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 3/4 cup chopped scallions about 4 large scallions
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrots about 3-4 carrots
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup peanut oil or canola oil more if needed

For the dipping sauce:

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped scallions
  • 1 whole lemon zested
  • 1/2 lemon juiced about 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Start by cutting the broccoli heads into smaller size florets. Discard the stems. 
  • Cook the broccoli florets in salted boiling water for 5-7 minutes until very tender.   
  • While the broccoli cooks, prepare the rest of the mixture. 
  • Peel, trim and finely shred the carrots. Add them to a large bowl. 
  • Trim and chop the scallions very finely. Add them to the bowl where the carrots are. 
  • Add the eggs and the shredded mozzarella cheese. 
  • Mix the ingredients well. 
  • In a separate small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. 
  • Add the flour mixture to the carrot mixture. Combine until slightly mixed. 
  • Drain the broccoli and chop as fine as you can. Try to leave the broccoli chunks in pea size bits. 
  • Add the broccoli to the carrot mixture. Try not to add the broccoli in the mixture while it is piping hot. The broccoli will have a chance to cool a bit while it is being chopped.
  • Combine the broccoli into the mixture and stop mixing as soon as the flour has been completely absorbed. DO NOT OVER MIX 
  • In a medium size pan, add 2-3 tablespoons of oil. Let the oil heat to a medium high temperature. 
  • Using a small ice cream scooper, scoop out the mixture. Do not over crowd the pan. Fry 5-6 bites at a time. 
  • Cook the bites for 2-3 minutes per side. 
  • Before flipping them, pat the bites softly to make them a bit flat. 
  • When cooked on both sides, place the bites on a paper towel so the excess oil can be absorbed. 
  • While resting on the paper towel, sprinkle a little salt to each bite. 
  • Repeat the frying process with the rest of the mixture. Add oil as needed. This frying process is on the slower side of things, it is not a flash fry, it’s more of a slow sear. 

For the dipping sauce: 

  • In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, mayo, lemon zest and lemon juice. 
  • Add a few dashes of cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like it) and season with salt and pepper. 
  • Serve the bites while they are still warm. 

Recipe Video Instructions

Notes

If served later, these bites reheat beautifully in a air fryer or a hot (400°) oven. 

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