snacks / the main course

Stem to Floret Broccoli Nuggets

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Most folks prefer to eat only the broccoli florets. This leaves the leaves and their tough stems uneaten and set aside for the trash. But while a broccoli stem may not be much fun to eat raw, when mixed with the right ingredients and seasonings, and made tender and crispy in the oven, they become a nutritious and crave-able snack. Or let’s be honest, we would happily make these Broccoli Nuggets as a full meal. 

Makes 18-20 1.5-inch wide nuggets


stem to floret broccoli hummus
  • 2 broccoli heads plus their stems (about 16 ounces), cut into 2-inch chunks 
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Olive oil for brushing


  1. Preheat your oven to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Steam broccoli in a steaming basket over a pot of boiling water or in the microwave until tender, but not soft.
  3. Transfer broccoli into a food processor and pulse until broccoli bits are slightly larger than grains of rice. Place broccoli bits in a large bowl.
  4. Add bread crumbs, quinoa, eggs, cheese, and spices and stir to combine. 
  5. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 1.5-inch wide nuggets. 
  6. Arrange nuggets on parchment paper and brush with olive oil. 
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, flip, and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until beginning to firm. 

Recipe Notes and Variations

stem to floret broccoli hummus
  • For the sauce, we used this recipe for peach mustard sauce. But a honey barbecue ranch or classic ketchup would also be delicious with these Broccoli Nuggets. Or go full veg and make this vibrant Carrot Hummus.
  • For the bread crumbs, we used a dry variety but panko, crushed stale crackers, or fresh bread crumbs would also be delicious. If making fresh bread crumbs, simply blitz stale or leftover bread in a food processor, spread a thin layer over a baking sheet and bake at 300ºF for 10 minutes or until your breadcrumbs are dry and lightly toasted. Let cool completely.
  • The cheese really takes these nuggets to the next level. So if you want to make yours dairy-free we recommend using a substitute like Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Cheddar  Cheese Shreds. 


  • Chris
    April 6, 2021 at 12:04 am

    It would be great If the recipes included nutrition information.

    • Imperfect Foods
      April 6, 2021 at 1:31 am

      You can use this calculator [] to find out the nutritional information of this recipe! 💚

      • Yvette Mallory
        April 11, 2021 at 4:19 pm

        This link doesn’t work can you please just include information?

        • Imperfect Foods
          April 12, 2021 at 8:56 pm

          We’ll pass this suggestion to our team, but in the meantime you can copy and past the link into your browser!

      • Nancy D
        November 3, 2021 at 7:49 pm

        This tool is awesome! Thank you!

  • Frances Landreth
    April 7, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    How much is a serving? Is it one nugget?

    • Imperfect Foods
      April 12, 2021 at 8:42 pm

      The full recipe serves 6 people and makes around 18-20 nuggets, so a serving size should be around 3!

  • Julie
    April 8, 2021 at 12:48 am

    About how many nuggets does this recipe make?

    • Imperfect Foods
      April 12, 2021 at 8:41 pm

      This recipe should make around 18-20 nuggets, depending on the size of the broccoli heads used.

  • Allison
    April 8, 2021 at 1:24 am

    Use a vegetable peeler or knife to get rid of the tough fibrous outer bits from the broccoli stem. Makes the stem much nicer to eat sliced and cooked with the rest of the head.

    • Imperfect Foods
      April 12, 2021 at 7:24 pm

      Great idea!💡

  • Angela
    April 9, 2021 at 3:14 am

    I am going to make these but instead of using g bread crumbs I am going to use pork rinds. We shall see how they turn out.

    • Imperfect Foods
      April 12, 2021 at 7:27 pm

      Ooh you’ll have to lettuce know how they come out! 👀

  • Andrea “Ani” Johnson
    April 10, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    I put the ingredients into fitness pal to get the nutritional info

  • Chelsea Greenwood
    April 12, 2021 at 9:38 pm

    This looks like the ultimate make ahead toddler meal that the whole family would love! Thanks for a great suggestion on using up the whole broccoli. 😋 yum!

    • Imperfect Foods
      April 12, 2021 at 11:28 pm

      Definitely! Lettuce know how your family likes it 💚

  • Carla
    April 13, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    Made these today, and they are delish. Leftovers are going to be great in the air fryer. I got 24, each about 2.5 inches across.

    • Imperfect Foods
      April 13, 2021 at 11:57 pm

      Yay! So glad you were able to give this recipe a try, Carla!

  • Rebecca Oconnell
    April 27, 2021 at 4:35 am

    Do you use dried or fresh bread crumbs in this recipe?

    • Imperfect
      May 19, 2021 at 11:36 pm

      We recommend dried breadcrumbs or using pulsed stale crackers as your breadcrumbs! However, we don’t believe that fresh breadcrumbs would change this recipe too much if that’s all you have on hand 💚

  • daisy mae
    May 3, 2021 at 8:20 pm

    Since this was new to me, I followed the recipe fairly closely except for the bread crumbs. I’m grain-free so I used almond flour. I know I like more seasonings than most but I ended up with tasteless nuggets even after tripling the spices. On the plus side, my dog loved them! I’ll be making them again but with maybe 8 times the seasoning ratio. Everything needed more salt! Thank you for the idea and all your work! I belong to a CSA as well and have been turning ugly imperfect produce into meals for years!

    • Imperfect
      May 18, 2021 at 8:11 pm

      Awesome you tried these out! And cool that your dog loved them too! Looking forward to hearing how they improve next time around for you!

  • Joni Lincoln
    May 5, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    My delivery was very late so will try this with the old broccoli. Thanks!!!

    • Imperfect
      May 18, 2021 at 8:12 pm

      We’re sorry about the late delivery! If anything didn’t last the journey home to you, please send us a note here [] so we can help make things up to you!

  • Laura
    March 18, 2022 at 10:37 am

    Yay! Thanks for sharing a recipe that might lure more folks to use broccoli stem, aka “broccoli stump” in my house.

    • Imperfect
      March 24, 2022 at 1:34 pm

      We love all parts of the broccoli!!! 💚💚💚

  • Craige
    April 4, 2022 at 10:04 am

    UH-MAY-ZING! It may seem like kid food, but this is now my new favorite thing! Flavor is pretty mild on their own, but the sauce possibilities are endless. I like sriracha mayo and a tahini sauce I may have gotten from Imperfect.

    • Imperfect
      April 12, 2022 at 4:39 pm

      We love hearing this so much! And we agree! They’re sooo good and tasty! 😛


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