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+ servings
Pan filled with bacon, broccoli and creamy pepper jack sauce.

Creamy Pepper Jack Broccoli with Bacon

A super simple and delicious side dish that will wow your family when it hits the dinner table tonight. Pan fried broccoli and bacon in a creamy pepper jack cheese sauce that cooks in one pan and is the perfect compliment to grilled chicken, salmon or enjoyed as a meal itself.
Course Main Dish, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Creamy, Creamy Pepper Jack Broccoli with Bacon, Easy Side Dishes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings, as a side
Calories 308kcal
Author Samantha Buckner


  • 8 ounces bacon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic, or 3-4 fresh cloves
  • 2 cups half and half,
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 cup pepper jack cheese, freshly grated and divided
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water, mixed
  • 4 tablespoons cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • salt and pepper


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Place a large, oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Cook chopped bacon for 3-4 minutes or until crispy.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel.
  • Drain the bacon fat from the pan and add butter. Once melted, add the broccoli florets. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir as it cooks.
  • Saute for 3-4 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and stir well. Saute 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  • Pour in the half and half, stir. Pour in half of the cornstarch slurry and whisk as the sauce simmers and continues to cook down.
    If the sauce is too thin to your liking, pour in the other half of the cornstarch slurry and stir as it simmers and thickens. Keep in mind, you will be adding 3 cheeses that will help thicken the sauce. So if you're unsure, hold off and add the rest of the cornstarch once the cheeses have melted and it has cooked down a bit.
    If the sauce gets too thick, simply pour in a splash or two of half and half to thin.
  • Add the parmesan cheese, cream cheese, and 1/2 cup of pepper jack cheese.
  • Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring consistently until the cheeses have melted and the sauce is creamy.
    For softer broccoli, cover the pan with a lid and allow it to cook 3-4 minutes longer prior to adding bacon and placing into the oven.
  • Add the bacon back to warm, top with remaining 1/2 cup of pepper jack cheese and place into the oven, uncovered, to bake for 10-15 minutes. Allow the cheese to melt.
  • If preferred, switch the oven over to broil on low. Broil until the cheese is bubbling and brown. Keep an eye on the dish, as it won't take long to brown the cheese. 1-3 minutes depending on burnt preference.
  • Remove, garnish with red pepper flakes, black pepper, and parmesan cheese, if desired.


  • Bacon: Please note that my calculations are based on using Applegate Uncured Sunday Bacon, which is lower in calories, fat, cholesterol, and fat than traditional bacon. If using a different bacon, I recommend using an app, such as MyFitnessPal, to properly calculate the full nutrition of this recipe per serving. Keep in mind, the nutrition may increase using other bacon.
  • Cornstarch: Add in half of the cornstarch slurry, whisk, and allow the sauce to cook down. If it's still too runny for your preference, add the second half of the slurry, whisk and allow to cook down and thicken to your liking.
  • Half and half: if swapping with heavy cream, omit the cornstarch/thickener. Allow the cream to cook down to thicken naturally.
  • Can use prepackaged frozen broccoli florets. Fully thaw before adding to the pan & decrease sauté time to 2-3 minutes.
  • Cheese: Please use freshly grated pepper jack cheese (or cheese of choice). Prepackaged, shredded cheese contains preservatives like potato starch and natamycin, which is used to keep the shreds of cheese from clumping together in the bag. These preservatives are what prevents the cheese from melting in a sauce. Prepackaged, shredded cheese may likely result in chunky sauce, rather than creamy.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 454mg | Potassium: 277mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 935IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 308mg | Iron: 1mg