Cauliflower Tots


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


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

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