Cauliflower is one of the more common vegetables we eat in this house, for a couple of reasons. One, it goes well with broccoli, mushrooms, and lemon in our standard roast veggies side. Two, though, is that with my health issues, I can’t eat potatoes very much, so I’m always on the lookout for alternatives.
I’ve done cauliflower mashed potatoes, and they’re pretty good, with enough butter and garlic. This was a different experiment. We had about half a head of cauliflower left over and no idea what to do with it, and my partner found a recipe for cauliflower tots.
Now, I love tater tots, but again, I can’t have them very often. I’d be more than happy to have an alternative that doesn’t use potatoes but is still plenty tasty, so I gave them a try.
They’re a bit of work to get right — the steaming and drying process is a bit odd — but once you make them, they’re delicious. A bit of cheese, some chives to spruce them up a bit, and you have a great little side that’s healthier than potatoes.
If I had to give one piece of advice for making these, I would say make sure you don’t over-pulse them in the food processor. You want some texture to it, so if you puree them you’re making something more like twice-baked potatoes or duchess potatoes, not tots. Still tasty! Just not what the recipe calls for.
You also don’t HAVE to form them into tots. A ball shape would be easier and still bake up just fine. I think tots need to be tots, though, so I spend the extra time to get them right. Thanks, childhood me, for all that time spent with play-doh.
- Baking Sheet
- Food Processor
- Rubber Spatula
- Cookie Scoop Or spoon, melon baller, or other device to portion out the tots.
- Steamer Basket
- Dish Towels
- 4 Cups Cauliflower Florets
- 1 Egg Lightly beaten
- 1 Cup Cheddar Cheese Shredded
- 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese Shredded
- ¾ Cup Panko
- 2 Tbsp Chives
- ½ Tsp Garlic Powder
- ½ Tsp Seasoned Salt
- ¼ Tsp Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper, silicone mats, or whatever you prefer.
- Steam your cauliflower until it's soft and cooked. How long this takes depends on how large your pieces are, usually around 15 minutes.
- Transfer your cauliflower to your food processor, working in batches if need be. Pulse until it's riced or about that size. Be careful not to over-blend.
- Transfer your cauliflower rice to a clean dish towel. Layer another on top and gently press out as much moisture as you can. Paper towels can also help to absorb moisture.
- Combine the cauliflower and the rest of the ingredients (yes, all of them) in a mixing bowl, stirring until they're well mixed.
- Using your scoop or spoon, take roughly ½ Tbsp balls of mix and form them into tots. Arrange them on your baking sheet. I find it helps to squeeze them a bit to compress them before shaping, otherwise they can fall apart easily.
- Bake your tots for 25 minutes, or until they turn golden.
- Allow to cool slightly and serve with your favorite ketchup, aioli, or other dipping sauce.