These cheesy broccoli puffs are a perfect snack or starter and make for great appetizer. Crisp pastry, cheesy filling and delicious broccoli? Yes please!
I have been dying to make a cheesy broccoli pie-style thingie for ages. If you’ve been reading my blog for long enough you’ll remember that two years ago I made these delectable cauliflower cheese pastries in homage to ready-made pastries I often buy from a supermarket here in South Africa.
They were absolutely delectable but I have wanted to make my version of the actual pastries I love so much which contain broccoli in a very soufflé-like sauce, and so finally this weekend, I did. And you guys, they were so damn good. The golden, crisp pastry flakes apart beautifully to unveil they creamy, cheesy broccoli cheese sauce inside. It is just heaven.
How to make cheesy broccoli puffs
The trick to these puff is to make sure the cheese sauce you make is thick. Like, really thick. If it is too runny, eating the puffs will be a disaster. You want to be able to pick these up and eat them as is, without a knife and fork and that’s why it’s quite crucial that you stick to making a thick cheese sauce. It’s also important that you cook the cheese sauce out properly so that it doesn’t contain any of that flouriness but instead is just velvety smooth and perfectly addictive. This is achieved by stirring the (very thick) sauce over medium heat consistently for around 10 minutes.
Thereafter, you take it off the heat, stir in the cheese and steamed broccoli and spoon it into the pastry. I used a small-cup muffin tin for this but you can definitely use a regular muffin tin. Just make sure you don’t fill the pastries too much. I cut a ready-rolled sheet of puff pastry into 12 squares and simply placed them in the holes, ready to be filled. The filled pastry is then closed (as you’ll see in the photo) and brushed with egg wash. They went into the oven and came out golden, crisp and too good to be true.
These delectable pastries are a fantastic snack and make for a great addition to a tea table but they’re also great served with a salad for a light dinner. And confession: I ate one too days later, warmed up, and it was still just as delicious. They are great in every way but then again, when is anything wrapped in pastry not?
Cheesy broccoli puffs
for the cheese sauce
- 2 heaped tablespoons butter
- 4 heaped tablespoons flour
- 1½-2 cups milk
- 1 cup grated mature cheddar cheese
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 small head broccoli cut into florets and steamed until al dente
for the pastries
- 1 roll ready-made puff pastry cut into 12 squares
- 1 egg beaten
- To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour.
- Stir for a minute over medium heat then slowly whisk in the milk. The sauce needs to be very thick (but still creamy) in consistency so you might not need all the milk.
- When the sauce is smooth, creamy and thick, turn the heat down and cook the sauce out for approximately 7-10 minutes, stirring regularly, until the sauce is velvety smooth and all flouriness has been cooked out.
- When the sauce is cooked, remove from the heat then add the cheese, steamed broccoli, cayenne pepper and seasoning and stir to combine. Cover the surface of the sauce with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent a film from forming then set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°c.
- Place the pastries in the holes of a shallow muffin tin, pressing down properly.
- Spoon in the broccoli filling then fold over the edges of the pastry.
- Brush with the beaten egg and place in the oven.
- Allow the pastries to bake for 20-25 minutes until they pastry is golden, crisp and cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Susan A White
These look amazing and I want to take them to a pitch-in at my office. Do you think they would be OK reheated in a warming tray (baked fresh morning of the event, transport, and reheat)?
Yes, that will work well.
I made them for a New Year’s Eve party and they came out perfectly. I used the mini muffin pan and assembled the night before, put them into the refrigerator, and popped them into the oven the next day. I also used two sheets of puff pastry to yield 24 bundles to fill the mini muffin pan. They came out beautifully. It’s important to emphasize that the broccoli and cheese mixture needs to be very thick so that the puffs don’t ooze cheese during the baking process. Otherwise, the recipe is practically foolproof.
OMG these were polished off and how! Is it possible to half bake them and freeze? Or how would you recommend that I freeze this – my husband wants to always have it on hand.. Its that good!!
I would assemble them and pop them into the freezer unbaked, then just bake from frozen. 🙂
I just made these for a Christmas party tomorrow they are fabulous I’m very sure this will be a big hit at the party. Thank you sooooooooooooo very much
Hope everyone at the party loved them. 🙂
These were fabulous! And easy to eat without making a mess because of the thick sauce 🙂
I’m so glad you liked them Rebecca!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
I can’t wait to try these Alida! They look like the perfect comfort food appetizer! It’s like broccoli cheese soup all wrapped up in puff pastry!
That’s exactly what they are Mary Ann. So GOOD!
I recently went to Italy and they served something just like these. So when I came home I had a mission to find a recipe for these and yours is just perfect! I just made them and yum, they are so delicious! Of course being from the US I didn’t realize at first that your temperature was in Celsius but other than that it was an easy recipe and it turned out perfectly!
I am so glad you liked this recipe Michelle. It’s so easy to make and always a crowd pleaser.
Yum, can’t go wrong with broccoli and cheese! These are so pretty, too 🙂
You definitely can’t! Thanks Sabrina!
Marisa Franca @ All Our Way
These look amazing. Kind of like a popover with a surprise inside!! I haven’t worked with puff pastry a lot but I believe now is the time. Great recipe! I agree — cheese forever!
Thanks Marisa. You really should, it is so easy to work with (especially if you buy the ready-rolled kind) and will open a whole new world of possibilities for you. It is one of my favourite ingredients.
I love the sound of these! Broccoli is made so much better with cheese!
Right? Broccoli and cheese forever!