Cauliflower Tots

These crispy cauliflower tots are so flavorful, you won’t miss the potato. The cauliflower texture is so similar to the potato, some might even be fooled into thinking these are regular tater tots.

cauliflower tots with dipping sauce

If you’ve been following along you know how obsessed I am with cauliflower recipes. There are so many ways to use it as a substitute for potatoes and other ingredients like rice. These cauliflower tots are a new favorite – you only need four ingredients, the tots are baked instead of fried and you can hardly tell they’re made with cauliflower.

I’ve been cooking a little healthier lately because Mr. K. has his annual physical coming up and so he’s been a little more amiable to my healthy substitutions. One of his favorite things has been these cauliflower tots, which are so similar to regular tater tots. You can’t taste the cauliflower and the texture is like tots made with potatoes, but they’re a lower-carb healthier version.

a close-up photo of a cauliflower tot dipped in sauce

These cauliflower tots are flavored with seasoned panko breadcrumbs and cheddar cheese. Even though they’re baked, they come out the oven hot and crispy.

If you want even lower-carb tots, be sure to check out my Keto Cauliflower Tots, too. Or you might like my other tot recipes like Broccoli Tots and Sweet Potato Tater Tots.

Ingredients

  • Cauliflower florets
  • Italian-seasoned panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs

How to Make Cauliflower Tots

Prepare the Cauliflower

Boil the cauliflower florets until they are soft. Finely chop the cooked florets until they resemble coarse crumbs.

process photo collage showing how to make the cauliflower tot mixture

Cauliflower Tot Mixture

Combine the processed cauliflower, panko bread crumbs, shredded cheese and eggs in a bowl.

Scoop the mixture to form the tots, squeezing it between your hands and shaping it into a cylinder shape.

Bake the Cauliflower Tots

Place the tots on a baking sheet and bake them at 400°F for 15 minutes. Flip the tots and bake them for another 10 minutes or until browned and crispy.

close-up photo of cauliflower tots on a plate with a dipping sauce

More Tips for Making Cauliflower Tots

  • You will need three cups of cooked chopped cauliflower which is approximately one medium-sized head of cauliflower.
  • Be sure to use seasoned panko breadcrumbs. Plain panko will make your tots bland, so if that’s all you have on hand you should add some dried Italian season and salt.
  • I like to use my food processor to chop the cooked cauliflower, but you can also do it by hand with a knife.
  • When you form the tots, be sure to squeeze them as you form them into cylinders. This will ensure your tots will hold together as they bake.
  • Depending on your oven the bake time may vary. Don’t flip your tots until they are nicely browned on the bottom, so keep an eye on them.

close-up photo of one cauliflower tot

These cauliflower tots come out of the oven very crispy, with cheese and Italian seasoning to give them a delicious flavor. The bits of cauliflower felt just like the little bits of potato in my mouth. I’m definitely making this one again.

Love cauliflower recipes? You might like my Cauliflower Fritters, too.

Cauliflower Tots

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
These crispy homemade tots are so flavorful, you won't miss the potato. The cauliflower texture is so similar to the potato, some might even be fooled into thinking these are regular tater tots.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups finely chopped cooked cauliflower approximately one head of cauliflower (see note)
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned panko bread crumbs (see note)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs

Directions:

  1. Add the 3 cups of chopped cauliflower, breadcrumbs, cheese and eggs into a large mixing bowl. Mix with a large spoon until everything is combined.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. While oven is preheating, shape cauliflower mixture to form small cylinders, the size of tater tots (about 1-inch long). Make sure to first press the mixture together firmly between your palms before shaping, so that the ingredients hold together. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  3. Bake for about 15 minutes. Bottom of tots should be brown. Flip tots over and bake for another 10 minutes. If your tots are larger, you may need to bake longer so that they are crispy. Serve with ketchup or other dipping sauce.

Notes:

For the cooked chopped cauliflower, first boil cauliflower florets until soft. Then either finely chop with a knife, or pulse a few times in a food processor until it resembles large course crumbs, like the photo in the post.

If you can't find seasoned panko breadcrumbs, you can use plain ones. Just be sure and season them with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper otherwise the tots won't have much flavor.

Nutrition Facts
Cauliflower Tots
Amount Per Serving (0.17 of recipe)
Calories 250 Calories from Fat 88
% Daily Value*
Fat 9.8g15%
Saturated Fat 4.7g29%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2.7g
Cholesterol 80.8mg27%
Sodium 502mg22%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 6.9g29%
Sugar 6.9g8%
Protein 14.9g30%
Vitamin A 300IU6%
Vitamin C 195.5mg237%
Calcium 240mg24%
Iron 2.5mg14%
Net Carbs 22g44%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have. All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.

 

37 comments on “Cauliflower Tots”

  1. Love these!!! And I can actually get my boys to devour these, not knowing they’re good for them. Perfect!

  2. I believe these as a tot imposter more than zucchini tots… I’ll have to try them. Cauliflower is one of my new favorite foods to play with. It works so well with so many different flavors!

    • Yeah, I don’t imagine you can hide zucchini and not have people notice. But the cooked cauliflower, chopped into bits and mixed with seasonings, tastes pretty darn similar to potatoes prepared in a similar fashion.

  3. ooh yummy! now the only dilemma i have is whether to try this one or the parmesan ones first! or both… also sounds like a great party appetizer!

  4. Maybe  mini muffin tins would work for easier forming and baking?

    • yes you can definitely do that too. I actually did a few that way, but I liked the “tots” form a little better and they crisped better too

  5. These look really good,  but could you post in your recipes how far in advance things can be prepared and if freezing is an option?  I like to make as much as possible ahead of time when I have company over. I skip a lot of recipes if I’m not sure how far I can make them in advance! 

  6. Could you skip the cheese? Got a house full of dairy allergies over here! Thanks! 

  7. Expect I’ll try these. Don’t understand the “finely chopped” part.
    Pictures don’t look finely chopped.

  8. Never mind on above comment. I get it now !

  9. A ice cube tray makes a great tot form.  I use a little nonstick spray before filling it to form the tots.  

  10. These look fantastic. Just whipped them up now but realizing they make a lot ! Could I freeze these and bake them up later?

    • i imagine that should work but i haven’t actually tried as my husband and I always finish these off right away!

  11. I need a low carb version. I’ll have to try these without the panko. There are 22g of carbs in 1 oz of panko crumbs! Perhaps some crushed pork rinds? 

  12. i made these last night. They were really tasty! I did add one jalapeño pepper finely chopped as we like things spicy. I also needed a lower carb version so I took some low carb bread and made my own bread crumbs with it. I also added some Italian spices. It worked great!

  13. Hope it’s not to late to reply, but @Shannon- I’ve used grated Parmesan cheese (the kind that comes in a can) as a low-carb substitute for bread crumbs in other dishes.  You may need to add some Italian seasoning too.

  14. These are yummy! I steamed my cauliflower in my Instant Pot pressure cooker for 4 minutes instead of boiling. Then because I’m lazy I used a small cookie scoop instead of forming the tots. My kids loved them! Imagine the looks of shock on their faces when I told them it was cauliflower! Of course I waited until after they had eaten them…..
    Now they beg me to make more! 😉

    • Oh interesting! I just bought an Instant Pot and am loving discovering all the different uses for it. I need to start posting some Instant Pot recipe creations too when I get a chance

  15. I made them today and they are so yummy! Great idea! 
    Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  16. Trader Joe’s now sells bags of frozen riced cauliflower! That simplifies the prep tremendously. One question, though: would you blanch the riced cauliflower first, or simply add a few minutes to the baking time? Thanks!

    • Everyone has been telling me about the riced cauliflower! I need to go get some at Trader Joe’s. I would just add a few minutes to baking time! The cauliflower cooks pretty fast in the oven.

  17. Made these for the family,
    hoping that everyone would like them including my veggie disliking 14 year old would at least try one. She tries one ,then another ,then another …until she ate about 5 of them & said ” WOW these are REALLY GOOD!!!”
    My husband and I loved them as well! I have to say they are the BOMB & this will be a do over for sure!

    Thank you so much for a new way to make Cauliflower & for helping me get veggies in my daughter .

    • Yay! I’m so happy to hear how much your family enjoyed these. I love this recipe and we make these tots instead of potato ones all the time. There’s a lot more other cauliflower recipes I have shared that I hope you’ll try as well!

  18. What happens if the cauliflower got too soft and it looks like mash potatoes? Will it still work?

  19. 5 stars
    Hi! I adore your recipes!!! Question: Is it possible to make them using almond or coconut flour or oat bran to make them more low carb?

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