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Why is broccoli with cheese so good?

Broccoli with cheese is a delicious combination that has stood the test of time. The flavors and textures complement each other perfectly, making this dish a favorite for many. In this article, we’ll explore why broccoli and cheese make such a good pairing.

The Flavors

First, let’s look at how the flavors of broccoli and cheese work together. Broccoli has a mild, earthy, and slightly bitter taste. Cheese, especially when melted, offers a creamy, rich, and savory flavor. The cheese helps balance and smooth out the vegetal flavors of the broccoli. It adds a tangy, salty accent as well. The combination creates an umami-packed flavor profile that is hard to resist.

Specific types of cheese that pair well with broccoli include cheddar, parmesan, swiss, gruyere, and gouda. The nutty, buttery notes of these cheeses complement the broccoli beautifully. Soft cheeses like goat cheese or cream cheese also work well and make the dish extra rich and velvety.

The Textures

In addition to flavor, the textures of broccoli and melted cheese make an excellent pairing. Broccoli has a crisp, dense texture when raw. However, when cooked, it softens up into tender florets with a slight crunch. Melted cheese has an indulgently creamy, smooth mouthfeel.

Together, the contrast of creamy melted cheese and soft, yet still crunchy broccoli makes for very pleasant textures. The cheese coats each floret in a satisfying way. There’s also just enough texture variation to keep each bite interesting.


Broccoli and cheese pair well in simple preparations, but also handle more complex cooking methods. Some examples include:

  • Broccoli cheddar soup
  • Cheesy broccoli casserole
  • Broccoli gratin
  • Broccoli with cream cheese sauce
  • Broccoli with mornay sauce
  • Broccoli stems wrapped in ham and cheese

The possibilities are nearly endless! The broccoli provides a neutral canvas that pairs with all different types of cheese. It also stands up well to other ingredients like cream, ham, spices, breadcrumbs, etc. This versatility makes broccoli and cheese a staple pairing in many cuisines around the world.


There are also nutritional benefits to enjoying broccoli and cheese together. Broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables around. It provides antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and more. Cheese adds protein, calcium, vitamin A, and other nutrients. So together, they make a well-rounded, nutritious dish.

Research suggests that the fat from cheese may even help boost absorption of some of the fat-soluble vitamins in the broccoli. So by pairing them, you get an extra nutritional bang for your buck.


The protein from cheese and fiber from broccoli make this dish quite filling. This means it can help stave off hunger and prevent overeating at meals. The volume of broccoli along with the rich creaminess of cheese lead to feelings of satiety. So if you’re looking for a meal that will stick with you for hours, broccoli and cheese fits the bill.


When you add everything up, the complementary flavors, intriguing textures, versatility, nutrition, and satiety provide the answers for why broccoli and cheese are simply better together. This powerhouse pairing has stood the test of time for good reason. The magic combination of creamy, cheesy goodness and fresh, hearty broccoli florets will continue satisfying palates for generations to come.