It's football season, which means it's time for lots and lots of finger foods! I don't usually mess too much with the classic dippers like wings and nachos (Nate's a purist, you know), but last week I whipped up these fried broccoli pieces and they were a HUGE hit.

Fried Broccoli

Crunchy parmesan melds together with classic Italian flavors like garlic, onion and red peppers in this zingy recipe that's surprisingly addictive. I can pretty much guarantee this is the only time you'll be seeing fans munching on broccoli during a football game (and begging for seconds!).

Fried Broccoli for the Win

House Italian Fried Broccoli

House Italian Fried Broccoli
  • 1 head broccoli cut into small florets
  • 1/3 cup Italian dressing
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup flour (I use Bob’s gluten-free)
  • 3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Palm shortening for frying
  1. Heat palm shortening in a large pain over medium-high heat.
  2. Beat together eggs and Italian dressing. Toss with broccoli florets until the vegetables are evenly wet and shiny.

  3. Mix together flour, Parmesan cheese, baking powder and salt. Toss with broccoli florets to coat.
  4. Fry broccoli florets in palm shortening for about 2-3 minutes until deep brown, turning each floret approximately every 30 seconds.
  5. Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels before serving.

Getting fried broccoli ready to cook

Make sure to cut up your florets nice and small. For fried broccoli, you want the vegetables to get nice and crunchy! Italian dressing is my secret weapon in a lot of recipes because it packs a real flavor punch with just a few squeezes. I love that I don't have to pull out all the little jars of spices separately. It's a quick shortcut for making recipes fast and easy. I also pull the same trick with ranch dressing and blue cheese. Don't doubt the power of a good dressing to take any recipe from drab to fab in a flash!

gluten-free base for fried broccoli

The trick to getting fried broccoli really fluffy – especially if you're using gluten-free flour – is baking powder. The parmesan adds flavor and crunches up to help form a nice shell and keep the coating sticking to the fried broccoli.

frying broccoli

You could use a deep fryer for your broccoli pieces, but I take issue with wasting that much shortening unless I'm cooking a HUGE batch. A shallow layer of shortening or oil will do the trick, and I just keep turning the pieces until they're evenly browned.

Fried broccoli - perfect little dipping fritters for a football game day. My husband and his friends loved them!

Dip these little fried broccoli bad boys in ranch or blue cheese dressing for an irresistible snack that goes really well with an assortment of game day snacks. I think I may try doing a version of this recipe with some carrot stick fries soon and seeing how that goes over. I bet it would translate well to green beans, too.

House Italian fried broccoli. Gluten-free and perfect for game day. This is the only time you'll see guys munching on a bunch of broccoli as a football snack.

Serve them with a bunch of dipping bowls – you can NEVER have too much dressing!

Another favorite snack food that your family is guaranteed to love is our bacon avocado egg rolls. Serve both of these together with some Dr Pepper sauce and you've got a party platter hit for SURE.