Cauliflower Tots

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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.

Cauliflower Tots

A relatively simple and easy recipe for imitation tater tots made with cauliflower, cheese, and chives.
Servings 50 Tots
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Equipment

  • Baking Sheet
  • Food Processor
  • Rubber Spatula
  • Cookie Scoop Or spoon, melon baller, or other device to portion out the tots.
  • Steamer Basket
  • Dish Towels

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cauliflower

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