Crispy, cheesy cauliflower tots are an easy and healthy snack, a light appetizer or side dish. They’re so simple to make, yet packed full of flavor! Plus, this recipe is also delicious, so you can feel good about having it on the table.
I enjoy regular tater tots as much as the next person, but they’re not the best option when you’re trying to lighten things up and eat healthier. That’s why I love this cauliflower rendition so much. They taste incredible and you certainly won’t feel like you’re missing out on anything. And if you want to make it gluten-free, you can by replacing breadcrumbs for almond flour.
These cauliflower tots can be coupled with almost any main course. But, they’re also perfect for snacking or as a light appetizer! I love dipping them in Creamy Avocado Sauce, ranch dressing or ketchup.
If you’re looking for more snacky, finger food recipes be sure to check out my Low Carb Broccoli Tots, Easy Deviled Eggs, Shrimp Guacamole Bites, Low-Carb Almond Flour Crackers, or Mini Tortilla Pizzas!
How To Make Cauliflower Tots
Ingredients to make cauliflower tater tots
- Cauliflower — I generally purchase a whole, large head of cauliflower! However, you can buy bagged, pre-chopped florets or cauliflower rice to save a little bit of time, if desired. I
- Egg — Our binding ingredient, egg helps to keep the tots from falling apart.
- Onion — Yellow or white.
- Cheese — Shredded parmesan cheese and yellow cheddar cheese.
- Breadcrumbs — Plain and finely ground. If you want to make a free bread crumbs recipe, you can skip it and use almond flour instead.
- Seasonings — Salt, freshly ground black pepper, and any other seasonings you like!
- Time to heat up the oven! Set the temperature to 375°F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. If you don’t have any parchment paper, you can grease the sheet with a little butter or olive oil.
- Finely dice onion into small pieces and set aside.
- Cut your head of cauliflower into small pieces and use a colander to rinse the florets.
- Place a steaming basket over a pot of water. Put your cauliflower florets in the basket, turn heat to high and bring water to a boil.
- Cover florets with a lid and steam for about five minutes, until tender.
Drain and blend:
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- Drain water and transfer steamed florets to a food processor. Pulse a few times, until you obtain a rice-like consistency.
Remove excess moisture:
- Use a spatula to scrape blended cauliflower out of the food processor and onto a cheesecloth or clean kitchen towel. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
Add remaining ingredients:
- Place cauliflower in a large bowl and add egg, diced onion, shredded cheeses, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.
Form tots and bake:
- Portion cauliflower mix into 1-2 tablespoon sized pieces then form into tater-tot shape.
- Line cauliflower tots on your baking sheet, leaving a bit of space between them.
- Bake tots for 20 minutes, flip and bake 10 more, until crispy or fork tender! You can also place them in a air fryer basket and cook them for about 7-10 minutes.
- Remove tots from the oven and serve warm with preferred dip. Enjoy!
- After pulsing steamed cauliflower in the food processor, it’s important to remove as much moisture as you can from the puree. If you skip this step, your tots won’t be nearly as crispy and might even turn out kind of mushy. For the best results, take your time with this step!
- Try to make your cauliflower tots even in size, this will help with uniform cooking. You can use a cookie scoop to help with portioning, if desired. A kitchen scale is also a great tool for consistency.
- Leave a bit of space between your cauliflower tots when lining them on the baking sheet. This will help them to cook faster and brown evenly.
- You don’t have to stick with simple salt and pepper seasonings. Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices like garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, rosemary, or oregano. If you like spicy food, consider adding a pinch of cayenne pepper (and dipping tots in your favorite hot sauce).
How To Store Leftovers
- To Store: Allow leftovers to cool and place them in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To Freeze: You can also freeze your leftovers. To avoid ending up with one large frozen clump, I recommend arranging cooled cauli tots in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place the sheet in your freezer for an hour or two so they can freeze individually. Then, transfer them to a Ziploc bag and press to remove excess air. If stored properly, tots can last in the freezer for up to 10 months!
- To Reheat: Preheat your oven, or toaster oven, to 350°F and bake tots for 10-15 minutes until warmed through and crispy (you can reheat them from frozen, no need to thaw first). I don’t like reheating leftovers in the microwave, because they tend to get mushy.
More Cauliflower Recipes
Cauliflower is nutritious, low-carb and full of fiber. It’s a great ingredient to utilize in the kitchen and I’ve got tons of delicious recipes for you to try!
- Easy One Pot Cauliflower Curry
- Cheesy Broccoli-Cauliflower Bake
- Perfect Mashed Cauliflower Recipe
- Creamy Avocado Cauliflower Salad
- Golden Cauliflower Rice Recipe
Frequently Asked Questions
Cauliflower tots are a tasty and versatile way to add lots of veggies and extra fiber to your diet! They’re healthier compared to traditional tater tots.
They’re typically made with minimal, simple ingredients such as cauliflower, onion, egg, cheese, salt and pepper. You can definitely mix things up and use different seasonings to create various flavors of tots.
Cauliflower tots are cheesy, crispy and perfectly seasoned with salt and pepper (or whatever spices you prefer). They don’t taste completely identical to tater tots, but are similar in flavor and texture.
- Cooking spray or olive oil
- 4 cups cauliflower florets approximately one large cauliflower head
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup onion diced
- 1/3 cup shredded parmesan
- 1/3 cup shredded cheddar
- 1/4 cup finely ground breadcrumbs use almond flour for the low-carb version
- Salt and ground fresh pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with cooking spray or olive oil.
- Steam the cauliflower florets. Fill a large pot or skillet with 1 to 2 cups of water and place a steamer basket in the bottom. Bring the water to a boil, place florets into the basket and cover with a lid. Steam for approximately 5 minutes.
- Drain steamed cauliflower florets. Place them in your food processor and pulse for a few seconds (you want to get the consistency of “rice”).
- Transfer pureed cauliflower to a kitchen towel or cheese cloth and wring it out. Remove as much moisture as possible. Once, I made this recipe without squeezing out the water and the tots were not as crispy. This process is very important!
- In a medium bowl, add all the ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Spoon 1-2 tablespoons (depending on the size you prefer) of the mixture and use your hands to make a tot shape.
- Place tots on the prepared baking sheet and repeat the process until you use up the cauliflower mixture. The tots should be set 1 inch apart.
- Bake for about 20 minutes. Turn them over and bake 10 minutes longer, until crispy.
- Remove from the oven and serve with ketchup or any other dip of your preference.
- Slightly adapted from the Just a Taste recipe.
- To save time, you can buy cauliflower rice or pre-cut florets.
- You must squeeze as hard as you can to remove any moisture from the cauliflower. This ensures you get the crispiest tots.
- Try to make your tots even in size for uniform cooking.
- Leave space between tots while they bake so they cook quickly and brown evenly.
- Add different spices to your cauliflower mixture if desired.
- To store: Allow leftovers to cool and place them in an airtight container. Refrigerate up to 4 days.
- To reheat: Reheat tots in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes until warmed through. Microwaving can cause mushiness. You can reheat them from frozen, no need to thaw first.
- To freeze: Freeze cooled tots individually on a baking sheet, then transfer frozen pieces to a Ziploc bag and freeze up to 10 months.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.
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